Cannes 2014

This post is a year in the making. It was one of my favorite trips that I’ve taken in France and I definitely wanted to include it on my blog. So here is is, my trip to the Cannes 2014 Film Festival.

I was meeting Anna in Cannes for the festival, since we were interning in different cities. Since we only had the weekend there, we left Friday evening after work to make the most out of the short time we had there. I had a direct train from Paris to Cannes and Anna had a few connections to make before getting on the same train. But, her first few trains were running late and we weren’t sure she was going to make all of her connections. I remember freaking out and calling both her and my parents multiple times, trying to figure out what to do. But, everything worked out and she made the train, no problem, and we arrived late that evening in Cannes and headed to our hotel.

The next day, we caught the bus into town to go check out the festival. Cannes is in southern France and borders the mediterranean sea, and part of the film festival is right next to, or on the beach. There was even a free night showing of an older movie on the beach every night!

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While there, we were able to see two films at the festival. Student prices (4 euro tickets!) made it cheaper for us to see movies at this festival, than at a movie theater. The first movie was good and well made, but not exactly my cup of tea. But, the second movie we saw was a Korean film made over the course of 8 years, subtitled in both French and English, and was amazing! There was a Q & A with the director after the movie, and it was awesome to learn more about all of the hard work that went into the making of the movie.

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We were also able to see a couple of red carpet premieres while we were at the festival. It was definitely worth the wait and the crowd to see my first red carpet events!

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Cannes is a beautiful city and I loved exploring it, even if we only had a weekend to do so. We even splurged on a fancy lunch at a restaurant right on the beach our last afternoon there. It was such an amazing experience to catch a bit of the film festival and was definitely a weekend to remember!

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Almost There!

After months and months of work, I turned my thesis in yesterday!

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Regardless of the grade I get on it, I am extremely proud of all of the work I’ve done. Fall semester my sophomore year at Elon, I took a French Literature class. The final for this class was a 5 page paper analyzing a short french book that we read. The night before it was due, I remember writing it in my dorm room stressed out of my mind because the paper was in French. Since it was exam time, there was a 24 hour quite policy in the dorm room, but someone had decided to host a game night in the common room…which was right outside of my dorm. Needless to say, that did not help my stress levels and my roommate was kind enough to go sassily ask them to be quite because I was writing a paper in a foreign language.

Fast forward 2.5 years to now, when I’ve turned in a 70+ page, 25,000 word thesis in French. Writing a short, 5 page paper in French seems like a breeze now that I’ve finished my thesis. It’s hard to believe that I was once so stressed about a short assignment and it’s even crazier to think of how much I’ve changed and grown these past 2 years in France. I’ve very proud of everything I’ve accomplished during my time in France. And, hey, if I can write a 70 page thesis in French, I can do just about anything. Thanks so much to everyone who has supported me throughout my time here! I couldn’t have done it without your support.

Finishing my thesis also means that I am one step closer to graduation. But, while the hardest part is behind me, I’m not quite done yet. I have one more exam and the oral defense of my thesis to pass before I’m done. But, there’s only 14 more days until my oral defense and last exam will be finished and 45 days until I’m flying home. I’m almost there! 🙂

Lisbon, Portugal

Exactly 2 months from today, I will be getting on a plane to head back to the US. Just another remind of how crazy fast time is going by. Let the countdown begin!

After finishing my classes earlier this week, I have been holed in my room and the library working on my thesis. T-15 days until it’s due. Saturday, I headed to the library for a productive day of thesis work, to find out that it wasn’t actually open… In France, it’s typical to take a vacation around this time, but the Saturday closure wasn’t mentioned anywhere. Someone mentioned that the library wasn’t going to be open again until May 3rd and I started to panic. No library or access to new books for a week, right before my thesis deadline was not a challenge I wanted to deal with. Luckily, the week-long library closure was just a miscommunication and the library should be open this week, which is a relief. If all goes well, my thesis will be written by the end of the week. Fingers crossed!

Moving on from all of the thesis talk, I do have something more fun to talk about (as you could probably guess from the title)–my recent trip to Portugal!  In mid-April, I had a week off school and my parents were kind enough to fly over to Europe to come see me. It was great to see them and we had a great time exploring Lisbon! We even had time to  take a day trip to nearby towns, Sinatra and Cascais. In Cascais I was able to stick my feet into the eastern side of the Atlantic ocean, which was absolutely freezing. But, I can now say that I’ve been in both sides of the Atlantic ocean, so it was definitely worth it.

None of us had ever been to Portugal before and so this trip was a real treat! It was a great escape from reality and one last mini-vacation before diving into my thesis and the end of classes. Pictures below! 🙂

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Last Day of Classes!

Today marks the beginning of the end of my undergraduate experience, with the last day of class. This semester has flown by, and the end of classes shows just how quickly the end is approaching. I can count the number of weeks and assignments I have left on one hand. Only 1 projet, 1 thesis, 1 retake, 1 thesis defense, and 5 weeks stand between me and finishing my degrees. I’m not quite done yet, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and am looking forward to finishing strong.

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So much has changed since our first day of classes (including the name of our school), but I am so glad that I’ve gotten to share this experience with these girls. I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished these past 2 years. It’s been a great experience with lots of challenges, but also many wonderful adventures along the way.

My last few weeks of college are going to fly by, especially if they go by as fast as the rest of this semester has. I look forward to making the most of theses last few weeks of college, celebrating the end of undergrad and all that we have accomplished, and soaking up my remaining time in France. 🙂

Stressed But Blessed

I know that the title is cheesy, but it’s true. I just got back from spending a few days in Portugal with my parents, have had the amazing opportunity to study at a private university and spend 2 years abroad, can see the 800 year-old cathedral where all the kings of France were crowned from my apartment window, and have exciting things to look forward to in the near future. I feel blessed and am so grateful for all of the wonderful experiences and opportunities I’ve had.

But, my thesis is due in 29 days and I am stressed out of my mind. The May 11th deadline is coming up way too fast and my thesis is constantly on my mind. It’s one long time management battle that I seem to be loosing daily. This thesis the last big thing I need to finish before I can graduate and I have so much left to do and am running out of time. Deep down, I know that everything will get done and that I will (fingers crossed) pass and validate it. But right now, I’m very stressed and cannot wait for it to be done.

For now, I’ll count my blessings and get back to work. I’m going to finish my college experience strong and knock this thesis out of the park. May 11th, here I come!

12 Days in Europe: Berlin

After a short train ride from Hamburg, we arrived at the final stop of our trip, Berlin. Our first day there, we took another free walking tour of the city. It was a great tour that helped us get oriented in the city and see some of the major sites, including the Berlin Wall, the Holocaust Memorial, and the Bradenburg Gate.

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The second day was a Monday, so all of the museums in the city were closed. Instead of seeing more of the city, we decided to take a tour of the nearby concentration camp, Saxenhausen. It was a good, but hard day. I’m glad that I was able to visit a camp in person and learn more about what happened during the holocaust.

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And then, all too soon, our time in Germany came to close. We ended the trip in Reims. I showed Ben the cathedral, my school, and we went champagne tasting at Taittinger. It was the a great, and relaxing, end to our trip. 🙂

Did you miss any of the posts about our trip? Catch up here!

Itinerary: https://dabblingintraveling.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/12-days-in-europe-itinerary/ 

Parishttps://dabblingintraveling.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/12-days-in-europe-paris/ 

Brusselshttps://dabblingintraveling.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/12-days-in-europe-brussels/ 

Amsterdamhttps://dabblingintraveling.wordpress.com/2015/03/15/12-days-in-europe-amsterdam/ 

Hamburghttps://dabblingintraveling.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/12-days-in-europe-hamburg/ 

12 Days in Europe: Hamburg

The final leg of my trip with Ben was 4 days in Germany, starting with 2 days in Hamburg. When we arrived in Hamburg after an early flight from Amsterdam, we were exhausted. After checking into our hotel, grabbing lunch, and getting coffee, we hopped on a bus tour of the city. It was a great way to see the city while sitting down and staying out of the drizzling rain that had started up. The bus tour ended in the early afternoon and we promptly headed back to our hotel for a nap and a lazy afternoon.

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Hamburg was Ben’s first real taste of the language barrier. In Paris and Brussels, I could speak French, and in English is widely spoken in Amsterdam. But once we got to Hamburg, our combined knowledge of 10 German words didn’t help us out that much. However, English is the international travel language, so we didn’t have much trouble, but I did end up accidentally ordering an appetizer at dinner.

After having a day of rest, we set out to see as much of Hamburg as we could in the time we had left. Unfortunately, the weather was cold and rainy, but we made the best of the situation. First, we headed to St. Michaels church and climbed to the top to get an amazing view of the city. Next, we headed to the Miniature World Exhibit. It is home to the world’s largest model railway and is absolutely amazing. We spent a good 3 hours there but you could easily spend an entire day there looking at the exhibit. The attention to detail and the massive scale of the exhibit is astounding. If you ever find yourself in Hamburg, I definitely recommend visiting!

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We wandered around the city some more in the afternoon, grabbed dinner, and had another early night to make sure that we were well rested for our last few days of travel. Next stop: Berlin.