La Fête de Dinde
Guten Tag! Yes, once again it’s one of those occasions where I feel it is necessary to pay tribute to my German tongue after returning from my last Deutschkurs of the semester! My my, how time is really slipping away…there is so much to share just from the past two weeks. First on the agenda, I would like to recount our wonderful trip to Dijon, France where we were reunited with our other French-loving Holy Cross friends. While most people tend to only think of the mustard (Dijon mustard…anyone?), I can now contest that there is so much more to the beautiful city. For starters, the region is the wine region of France (Burgundy) and is just as quaint as one would imagine it to be. I oftentimes forget that I am living in France because although Alsace is a French region, it is very much German-influenced and the architecture, regional specialties, and French accent is very particular. As much as I love Strasbourg, I realized after climbing a wonderful tower in Dijon that I need to be exploring more of France! I re-discovered my love for “typical” France and so, Jess and I began house hunting (the only way to find where we’re going to come back and live here is through exploring all our options).
In terms of Lily and Alexandra, they are doing fantastic! Colleen and I were given the honor to stay with Lily’s host family and they are absolutely adorable (I swear the mother should have a career in better homes and gardens). We arrived Friday night, met up at a Café, retold all our great stories from the past three months (can you believe it’s been three months?), and then decided that we would need to be daring…KARAOKE! Yes, we crossed yet another thing off our bucket list, and I convinced Barbara to do a duet of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.” It was at the least a night for the books (I won’t recall the random man who got on stage with us and decided that he wanted to share his love for ABBA too #awkward). We then proceeded to spend a wonderful weekend sightseeing, trying the local specialties, and visiting historic places (like the setting for Cyrano de Bergerac, several exquisite Cathedrals, and the Museum of Fine Arts). We then returned from a very relaxing weekend and realized that it was GO TIME. I’m not sure if Malou and Rachel wanted to distract us from the Thanksgiving home-sickness or not, but they definitely did a fine job of doing so.
Wednesday, we were given the privilege to enter European Parliament where we sat in on a discussion for Environmental protection. Quite fascinating if I might say the least…but a little bit too hectic of an environment if you ask me (people in that place really need some yoga in their lives). Before Parliament however, it was time to go where no Holy Cross student has ever gone before…Yes, the five of us, Rachel, and her three sons all contributed in the grand production of cooking for Thanksgiving! I don’t think I have ever witnessed such a mélange of different cultures in my life…and I’m not talking about Europe. Apparently, in the United States, certain people eat Macaroni and Cheese as well as Marshmallow sweet potatoes (not mentioning any names #Kelia) for their Thanksgiving Dinner. I guess there’s a first time for everything. I was really concerned however, that I would be missing out at Thanksgiving at home, which is an important Holiday for all of us, and although I did miss all my family at home, I could not have been more thankful for the incredible Thanksgiving gathering that Rachel prepared. In the end, we dined with precisely 25 American/ German/ French friends, ate an alarmingly fantastic “traditional” (take out the marshmallows and succotash) thanksgiving meal, and were obligated to give a singing performance of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” with Rachel as the pianist. I cannot say that I will ever want to watch that ear-shattering video anytime in my life, but it was a lot of fun and I’m honestly so lucky to have such a wonderful advisor, a great group of friends, and a once in a lifetime study-abroad experience.
To sum up the weekend, we attended a “spectacle de danse” (I must admit I was not too keen on the “modern” approach), took a day trip to Baden-Baden, Germany (the same place I went with my parents, yet this time got to experience the baths), and finally returned to Strasbourg for the beginning of the Christmas Market!! For all of you who have not been reading my blog, the “Marché de Noel” is the biggest event in Strasbourg and the town basically goes all-out for beautiful Christmas decorations, a giant Christmas tree, and hundreds of little Holiday booths (most of them stocked with Christmas treats and hot wine/cider/orange juice). I have already walked through the markets twice since Saturday and am way too enthralled by how pretty everything is! Don’t worry, more to come on that one. Until next time, finals are approaching and I have to study! Yes, this word has become foreign to me for the past 6 months because the French University system creates classes where there is only 1 exam at the end of the semester (C’est fou!). Yet, that doesn’t mean I can’t squeeze in a trip to Saint Andrews in between right? Thanks for reading or Danke Shoen! Tschuss!
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