Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Last Three Days!

Dear Internet-
Hope all is well, as per usual! :D
Ok, so everyone keeps telling me how fast this exchange is going by and how they hope I enjoyed every moment and how they are so jealous of me. Every time I hear this I always end up thinking the same thing. So, because I really feel like talking about it, I have decided to use it as the beginning of this last blog, or last blog, at least until I get back home, who knows, maybe I will continue to do random rants on random things when I get back...wouldn't  that be fun! LOL Just kidding! I would never do that to you. :P
Anyway, so like I said, I always end up thinking the same thing, and even though some disagree, this is what I think, personally about this great experience! First off, I do not think that time went by too quickly, I mean sure, it went past pretty fast but, as stupid as this may sound, it really went by at the perfect speed to enjoy everything, while being able to look forward to the next thing, and think about all the things you have been able to do. I am not too too sure, but I know that I enjoyed my experience to the fullest, and got a lot out of it, educationally and being able to REALLY have a change in my normal day to day life, and for three months. I find that this exchange really allows you to appreciate that day to day routine, and your own way of living. Now, I hope you don't take that the wrong way, and think that I did not like the life I lived here, that is not true! I did like it here, I am with a great family, in an adorable little town, in France, and have visited some of the most beautiful places in the world, that being Venice, Spain, and Paris <3. Its just that, its almost as if, OK seriously don't laugh, but you know how some people ask 'do we really have a place', well, its not like I am trying to be all philosophical, because, hahahah that's not exactly my thing, but I just feel like, there is actually a place for me back home, and its like ( I don't know if someone has already said this in some book or interview or something.. haha) its a big puzzle, and currently, my piece has been removed and replaced by....well, whoever my brother is renting my room out to ;), no but seriously, its weird. I guess what I am trying to say is that, I think that I am really ready to get back to MY life, instead of living in someone elses', and ... (sorry I have to say this cause its too corny not to) re-fill my missing puzzle piece space : ).
However, there are many things, ( no kidding ) that I am going to miss about this experience, so, as per usual, I have made one of the dependable lists, of what I am going to miss!
Here goes-
1) Being this close to Paris and casually being able to take a short train trip to the most pulchritudinous ( yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeahh I thesaurus-ed that word because the word beautiful wasn't substantial enough..and my vocabulary, due to lack of reading, is not big enough to come up with another word to truly define what I think of Paris, so I figured a big word that no one will know... or at least I didn't know.... :D) city in the world! :)
2) All the bakery's and the Delicious treats that are always on display!
3) Talking in french and finally, after three months, being able to hold a steady conversation in French! ( HOWEVER! FUNNY STORY TIME- Ok so, when we went to Paris last week, Juliette's dad was really set on taking us to an American Burger restaurant, known in Paris to have the best burgers, so, we walked for like a good hour,and finally found it! ( PS- Yeah, my burger , that I ate, puts shame to the average American standard burger that is so well know, SHAME.) Anyway, so we walk in, and I am with a french family right, so you would normally assume that I belong to the family right? Cause I am with them... speaking french! Well, Well, WEEEELLLLL apparently not, apparently I am wearing a big fat sign that Read's " I am English, speak to me in English", because the first thing that happened was, when the waiter came to our table, Juliette ordered, followed by Michel, and the Chantal ( note: they all ordered in french, and the waiter responded in French ), and then it was my turn... 'And what would you like Miss? ' EXCUSE ME! PAAAAAAAAAARDON!!! WHAATTTT! I was actually ready to just... I don't even know, but I do know that, apparently, my accent for sure hasn't improved that much, apparently! OUCH.) For the rest of the lunch, I continued to speak to him in french and all I got was 'Thank you!' 'Enjoy your meal miss.' 'How would you like your steak? Medium or rare?' 'Have a nice day!' URRG! But that's OK, it provided a good laugh for the whole family....minus me...but that's
4) I would say school, but I am so excited to get outta there!
5) French music on the radio! I have actually started to really like it!!
6) Train rides !
7) Doing nothing in class and not feeling bad about it ( I guess I will miss that about school!)
8) Horses! JUST KIDDING! HAHAHAHA Still foes not friends! :) Although, I have made progress in appreciating their beauty ... :)
9) Some of the friends that I have made here, but, many of them plan on coming to Canada! So I really hope that that works! Wouldn't that be so much fun! :) !
And although there are many more things that I am going to miss and have been very fond of, I think that I am going to leave it at that before I... well, before you ...well I am not entirely sure why I am stopping, I just feel like, maybe I will get sad if I continue!! ha. JUST KIDDING, I am just really lazy ... sorry! But I guess it could actually be good because this way you don't have to spend half an hour reading about some girl who is going to miss a bunch of stuff... BORINGGGGG!
Anyways, so I don't really know what else to say! I mean, I have talked about a lot, I guess in these blogs, and I kind of just wanted to use this last one a small reflection, and I think that I have done that? I don't know, there is so much more to say, but I would much rather tell everyone in person, then have to type it, soo.. yeah! lol
I guess, I will see everyone, well, maybe not exactly 4 days! But hopefully soon enough! :)
Jenny :D

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Little Trip to Spain : )

Dear Internet!
OK SOOO , before I go on some long rant about how much of an amazing time I just had in Spain ( and yeah... I TANNED!! HAHAHAHA! OK....not really a tan, more like burn, but hey! ya take what you get! ), I would first like to take the time to talk about a lovely picnic that I had, that was suggested to me by a genius and wonderful person!
About, six days ago, I had the great opportunity to go by myself to a park and have my very own french style picnic! Cool right? Yeah folks, it was pretty cool! After buying a freshly made sandwich from the market, stopping into the bakery to pick up some macarons and a bottle of iced tea, I went down to the park for a picnic on my own, only to spend two hours "reading a book" and listing to my ipod, in the brilliant sun! Now, to answer the most common question one may get upon reading this blog, "why is she telling us this...?" I just thought that it would be nice if this made you very very jealous of the way I spent my Friday afternoon, but to be honest, if I would have had some friends or family there with me, my picnic would have been about 100000000% better, because honestly, 2 hours with only yourself, some birds and the occasional bumble bee to talk to... one gets lonely very easily. Basically, the just of this is that, I MISS MY .... EVERYTHING, and even though without doubt I am having the time of my life in this glorious country, VOUS ME MANQUE! <3 : )
Anyway, on to more important things (just kidding!) ;
I have just passed four of the most wonderful ( the things I saw, the people I was with ), hot ( the temperature....and maybe some Spanish QT's, but mostly the temperature ;D ), sunny ( not one day of cloudy, rainy weather ) and cultural ( the palaces I entered and the cities that I toured, learning about their history and creation ) days of this whole exchange! Truly eye opening! Due to the sight seeing areas and buildings important for the past and present Spain, and given massive amounts of free time ( In which Chris, (the other exchange student and friend), and I walked and walked and wandered into parks and shops and museums to see on our own what we could discover) our "little" trip to Spain  without doubt lived up to any high expectation it could be given! We were able to see things, both by the help of guides, but also on our own, and I really think that it was the perfect way to be introduced, to not only a new city, but a new culture, for also, on our own, we spend four nights in the house of a Spanish lady, where we were supposed to communicate, learn and understand the differences of the "Spanish ways" and, of course, eat.
This would have made the trip EVEN BETTER.... if I actually spoke a word of Spanish...other then "Si". Well actually, here, considering I have the time, why don' we go over a little list, titled: Jenny's Spanish Word Count ( I.E pathetic list of words she knows) -
Si, Senor, Senorita, Chicka, Chikos, Chico, Mucha, Gusta, Buene, Aseso ( asenos? asensos? ... bathroom!) Sol, Gracias, Buenos noches, AIEEEE, Estudios.... and that is about it-
For conversation with said lady, this leaves me with these next phrases-
" Buenos Noches", "Buenos Dias" , "Gracias senora", "Mucha Gusta" , " Si Si Si ahhhh si si si... (and so on) ", and " sol est grande " other words, thank goodness for my room buddy Marion, who takes Spanish as a course.
Without her, I am not sure that I would have been able to do many things, such as ask where the bathroom was or if I could leave to catch my bus that was supposed to leave ten minutes ago, and tell the lady that she was wrong when thinking that it arrived at 830 when we were told the day before that it was 8! Thank you Marion! THANK YOU!!! Haha it was funny, and we made the bus in the end, but juuuust barely, and from then on the Seniora ( who's name I unfortunately did not catch, and I know that that is sad considering I lived there for three nights, but I seriously don't know what it is because I just called her senora) didn't argue with us about our time schedule! :P
Other then that, the stay was quite pleasant, EXCEPT FOR THIS ONE THING! OMG! OK SOO! Like the last night Marion and I were there, she served us this pudding thingy that was (debatable) edible, and seriously tasted like cigarettes ( and yes I know I shouldn't be complaining like this because it was really nice of her to let us stay in her house and all, but seriously, guys, she was just B-I-Z-Z-A-R-E), but the pudding should actually be pretty impressive because she didn't smoke, so having a pudding that tasted just like what cigarettes smell like, that must have been a hard task to accomplish, I can only assume... so respect there, but other then that! OMG, ok, so she put it in front of us and then just stood for ten minutes until we finished the whole thing...just watching us eat it.... I was a little worried, and later that evening after Marion and I were in our room, we came up with a theory that the pudding was actually poisoned, and we were going to be stolen and forced to watch Spanish soap operas until three o'clock in the morning, and be isolated into Spanish speaking solitude... (if that makes sense) EEP! ha ha although very strange and a little unnerving, being in Senora's house gave me even more stories to tell, so for that! Thank you Mme. Senora! You shan't be forgotten,  and although I would like to forget the pudding, that shan't be forgotten either.
Anyway, now on to the things that I saw!
I have to say that Madrid is quite an astonishing city, but there are also many cities surrounding it that I personally preferred visiting, just because they were less crowded and the smaller community and old features were something I enjoyed more then the constant hustle, bustle and more modern look that Madrid has. Now, this does not mean that I did not like Madrid, oh no, that is FALSE. I truly loved Madrid! I thought it was beautiful! There were many things that I saw that I never would have imagined possible! For instance, we went on a tour in the Royal Palace, and learnt that apparently in the time that the palace was used by the Queen and King, many members of the royal family suffered from depression because they did not know what there was left to do in life, because they had it all already, and at first, this struck me as a little hard to believe, no one can really have it that great right? yeahhhhh, I was really wrong. These people had everything. It was ridiculous. My reaction wasn't even like, wow I am so jealous, it was actually "this is just ridiculous." For instance, as a wedding gift, the Queen received many gold embroidered furniture pieces, actually, she received a fully furnished bedroom, with everything from a stool, to a flower pot, to a bed.... embroidered with a wedding gift... :/. They royal family also had people that would check and wait for them in the anteroom, to make sure that they were, yannow, going to the bathroom, or weren't getting bored, or were eating, or needed their nose to be blown or something ridiculous like that. And as for the children! HOUIIIEE! Ok so, you know that little rocking horse that you had when you were a kid that was about two feet long and rocked at the perfect pace and you thought was the best thing ever because when ever you went to your grandmas house it was always there and it was just so perfect in every way? (yeah, that is a reference to myself...) OK WELL, that horse can just go rock itself to horsey-shame-heaven because it has officially been...rocked! The horses provided for these children, to play on, were .... RIDICULOUS! it was about 4 feet high, standing up on its hind legs with stirrups and gold hooves, carved to have the exact facial and body features as a real horse and given to them as a casual present. OH! Guess who actually worked out and had a gym with equipment similar to the ones found in gyms today? THAT'S RIGHT! The adolescent royals actually worked out! With velvet covered weights and a machine for pulling weights just like the ones used today! It was so strange, I just always assumed that they went cow tipping or something to stay in shape...well so much for that theory! They actually worked out! HARD CORE ( hehe pun! Core, like abs and core like hard core... haha yeahhhh). Yes, but all in all, to finish off my rant about the inner royal palace, it was absolutely beautiful in every way and I actually can't describe it. There would just be too much to cover, but if you ever have the opportunity to go, TAKE IT!
We also visited Toledo and Aranjuez for the other two out of four days that we were there and I think that it is safe to say that Toledo was my favorite city! Most likely because it was very very old and every single building, I though, was picture worthy and presented the famous " flower pot on balcony" Spanish style home. Along with that, all the roads twisted and turned and there were little roads that led to quite little restaurants, or more shops, or to churches or old mansion like homes. I'm going to have to say that, although I disagree with this word as a descriptive word for a city, it was really cute! And I wish we could have had more time there. Something interesting that I found out about this city is that its building was done by both the Jewish and Christian community, so many of the buildings combine the designs used by both cultures. For instance, many of the buildings are made with a combination of materials that the Jewish community and Christian community brought with them, and then combined to make the city... I don't know from where, and what materials, but the guide said that if you look closely, many of the buildings will have a combination of materials to create and you can tell by just looking at it. In addition, on the walls of some buildings, there will be Hebrew or Islamic writing passages from either the Christian or Jewish belief, stating a belief of a family.
Note: this may not be 100% accurate, but I think that it is pretty close because it made sense, and the french speaking Spanish guide showed us some of these passages, so I am pretty sure! But, I just thought it was cool.. : )
Other then that, the temperature was so so soooo perfect! SHORTS AND TSHIRTS ALL THE WAY! The food was...good, and interesting ;) and I just had a really great time learning things that I had no idea about! :)
So I guess! Until next time! Adios Amigos! ;)
Jenny : )

Friday, March 25, 2011

Another day goes by, with everything enjoyed as much as the last :)

Dear Internet <3
How are you doing :)?
...ok that doesn't really makes sense, because it is addressed to the Internet, but, in reality, it is addressed to you (who ever is reading this :P) so really, I should be saying "Dear _____" but I think that we can all safely assume here, that I am not crazy and that when I say "Dear Internet" I really mean "Dear you"... But for those of you who probably think that I am a little loopy and still wonder why I just asked the Internet how it is doing I will say this instead.
Dear (insert name here),
How are you doing? I do hope all is swell! (unless you are creepy and I do not normally talk to you in my day to day life) I MISS YOU SO MUCH! 
France is still showing me new things everyday! And for that, I remain getting up very morning and looking forward to my daily doings! Even if such doings are to enter the class, of which a note should be posted, " Beware of pure evil and heartlessness" (yeah, its the i-wish-to-throw-pie-in-face teacher! LOL), but still, the concept of learning new things everyday really applies, especially when you are in a new country! Let alone a new continent...or is it new continent let alone a new country... I never figured that out... hmmm...
The weather remains to be absolutely beautiful here. I believe that it has been about a solid 6 days of pure sunlight! We hit 22 today and yesterday! HA! AND IM NOT ACTUALLY JUST SAYING THAT TO MAKE YOU JEALOUS! IT WAS LEGITTT! Also other then the weather, I have made great progress with my frien-imies! Horses and I have possibly bonded! You see, like I said.... or at least I think I said... Juliette had a horseback riding competition, THAT I ATTENDED THANK YOU!! :D and I, yes I, walked for 20 minutes around ring with a horse in my hand (who you would all know was foaming green saliva from the ew.) and I didn't even complain! It was a very fulfilling experience! For both me and the horse! I don't think its ever been lead by someone who made it clear that there was to be a specific distance between my feet and his! :) As sad as this sounds, I was very pleased! And plan on doing it again! Once I think about, horses really are "majestic" creatures. But yeah, that went well, and it was, once again, a sunny and warm day, and I have concluded that spending the day at a horse competition is a very good way to be outside! I think I tanned! JKJK we all know that is impossible, but the sun was nicceeee!
Ok, So, like I have found so much fondness in talking about said teacher, guess what act of great crime he preformed this week? Hehe, this Wednesday, I was out late and returned late from lunch because we ate at Juliette's friends class..unfortunately, we had to be 15 minutes "en retard' for pie-in-face teacher...He was not pleased. But I sure was! For two reasons! A) I got to have a great lunch! BONUS! and B) As I found out when I arrived, Mr. (lets call him cruel) Cruel, had asked everyone for their homework and was in an especially bad mood! He went around the whole class and looked at every question, and when he arrived at the station of the other exchange student (who is Russian, and speaks English and french, but primarily Russian)  he asked to see his homework! He expected that the exchange students, who barely understand what he is talking about, or can make out what he writes, to do the Physics homework, material we have never seen! Without textbooks! OR THE QUESTIONS! I tell you, so happy I was late! Fortunately he forgot about asking me, so I didn't have to face the wrath, but seriously..dude...take a chill pill and get knocked into reality, or find and Ipod, load it with Mozart and Bach and go for a niiiiceee loongg wallkk.
OHH this brings me to another topic of conversation/commentary/talk/discussion/you reading me blab on!
If there was one thing on this exchange that I would not have though to have had would be a lot of spare time, due to extensive school hours and...well just exploring around and seeing everything! But, it turns out that I really do! So much time to just relax! And just think....which may or may not lead to being the best thing, because...when I think, like, its intense though! Haha, no but seriously! Thinking about everything and everything that you wonder about, or know about, or want to know about (which is wondering about but not really) or just think about at that instant, can really turn out to be a wonderful thing! I think that I have gone on about four long walks now, and just though about whatever and looked around and noticed so many things! Think it sounds corny, dumb and stupid? WELL YOU'RE CORNY, DUMB AND STUPID! MEH! LOL jkjk you're awesome!! ... maybe... I'll THINK ;) about it haha! No, but seriously, just going on a walk and noticing everything and like, actually appreciating where you are and what you are doing is really quite quite pleasant! For instance! Today, I went on one of these said walks, with my ipod and noticed many things that I would not have been able to see otherwise! Not only am I in the french countryside, but it is so warm that you can walk in a T-shirt and the hairs on your arms don't even budge to stand when the wind blows! :) And so, on this walk , I made a list of things that I noticed that I would not have noticed had I been speeding by in a car! So here it is. Please don't laugh! Its not funny! Its true! If you think its funny, go for a walk and think and notice things! Its really neat what you can see!
1) about ten different shades of blue in the sky ranging for deep blue to baby! :) hehe and the formations of the clouds ( Love clouds..don't know why...kinda a wierd liking of mine..but yeah!)
2) TWO BABY SHEEP ACROSS THE STREET that had just been trimmed and were soooooooooooooo tiney tiny and just so adorable!
3) A big spider that crossed the street...unfortunately I realised this due to a crunch on the bottom of my foot, but hey! I noticed it :)
4) A classic old fashioned wind turbine blowing on a farm field. Wanted to take a picture because it was so perfect, but forgot my camera :(
5) There was a hang glider! No joke, it was someone who was taking off the open grass fields and sailing for a bit and then came back down at about the exact same departing spot! He had very good aim..or she...couldn't tell :P
6) Spring blossoms sprouting on tree's :) (it takes a lot to notice that ehh :P ...haha sorry I still had to say it...its on the list, so it has to be said :) :P )
But yes, this is really all I wrote down at the time, but you get the idea, I hope :) Its just really... comforting? Pleasant? Fulfilling? I don't know. A great man once said, after listing to his daughter blab on about why it was really her brothers turn to mow the lawn and she possibly couldn't because there were so many other important things to paint her nails or something, "To mow the lawn, should really be something one should enjoy. The smell of the grass, actually sooths the soul.. It adds a comfort and calms you." WHAT A NUT EHH??? Haha just kidding, This man, is really quite right, the smell of fresh cut grass does calm the soul, and I believe to add to things that do so, walking wan be right next to it :)
Anyway, I do not have much else to say...because, well, I would be telling you all about the exchange student from Holland, but I cannot because, unfortunately she will not be joining us :'(! She caught a case of Mono and is not well enough to come and have an amazing time with Juliette and I! THAT'S WHAT YOU GET FOR PUCKERING UP!! jkjk, But, it really is unfortunate! BUT BUT BUT BUT BUTTTTT, Even though the trip to Paris next week is only for Holland exchange students and there partners! WE STILL GET TO GOO!! YAHHOOO! Because..we were going to, and as Juliette's WONDERFUL mother convinced the principal, its the thought that we were going to that counts! hehehe! 
OH AND ALSO! I am probably going to forget! But tomorrow! I am going to go and see my first Handball match! It is one of Juliette's friends and I am very very excited :) WEOO!! Gonna be sweettt!!!
Haha, thats all for now, as always, hope you are not bored! But if you are, then seriously, common, if you were bored all the other times and continue to read, then that really can't be my fault!! Or, if you are reading this for the first time, then yeah, i'm sorry! haha 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Venice, Italia!! :)

Dearest Internet!
Its official, I have just been to the most beautiful, day in and day out city in the world. Venice, Italy has got to be and or have the most to see, do, and just enjoy! Honestly, I have never had so much fun just walking around and looking up and around where I was. Being able to see everything and just imagine, how 800 year ago, it was relatively the same, and I am walking in the same streets and Leonardo De Vinci, Casanova, the Dodge family, or INDIANA JONES <3 haha (I knew something was familiar about San Barnaba di Venezia, so I googled it, and oh yeah, The Last Crusade? Donnow if you have ever heard of it, kinda the best movie of big deal..kinda shot exactly where I was standing! SO COOL!!! EEP!) (I may have squealed and people may have looked...maybe!) But just being able to learn about where I was and the importance of this city, by itself, was one heck of a journey!
Leaving Paris on Monday night, we took an overnight train to Venice. This was fun because, I have never really had a fondness for trying to sleep on a 12 hour one...was...difficult? Impossible? Didn't really happen? haha instead Juliette and I played little games of, switch the ipod and judge each others songs, sing every word to every eminem song that we know, along with the occasional disney , and try and it still for as long as possible before the force of the train made your body shift...this went on for...twelve hours.
Upon arrival, we may have been totally exhausted and utterly gross looking, BUT when we got out of the train, and walked out of the train station only to come face to face with Venice and the Grade Canal, none of that mattered! Because we were in Venice. And due to the contribution of being overtired=overexcited=over expressive, my reaction to the city was fairly...lets just say I thought it was really really really really really really really reeeeeeeeeeeeeally wonderful, and I had a need to express that, and so I did! :D This awakening feeling lasted for about 20 minutes until we realised, oh god, we are going to be walking all day an can barley count to 10, so, we hustled on over to the hotel, situated right on the Canal, and ordered four pipping hot cappuccinos! BAM! AWAKE!
Along with arrival that day, I also walked around Venice for the first time! Not only was it my first day in Venice, but it was also the last day of Carnival, and everywhere you went people were wearing masks, amazing costumes and smiling away! It was quite the sight! Also, in every corner of every little street, colourful confetti could be found! It was like a whole city in giant joyous celebration! hehe loved it!
Later, I was able to experience my first pizza and pasta! Italian <3 So good! To be specific and to best describe how good it was, I am not supposed to have anything with dairy products in it, ever. This pasta was made with a cream sauce and drowned with Parmesan cheese, and the pizza has mozzarella, Gorgonzola and Parmesan all over it... and I ate every last bite! Delish! And this was only to be complemented after by Tiramisu! Which, yeah, just as awesome. No doubt.
Upon other first experiences I was able to that was..well different. I was told previously that Italian and Spanish boys like to whistle at girls for fun, and so I told myself that if that ever happened to Juliette or I, I would whistle back, just for fun, and then run or speed walk in the opposite direction! Full proof plan right? no! false! idiot. I didn't actually think that any whistling was going to take place, so when someone whistled at Juliette, I whistled back....Well...apparently...they spoke English, and..apparently I look like I speak English ( I was offended! I was totally going to the french look! Darn it!) but yeah, so they began to approach us, but thank god that Juliette, after giving me a look I probs deserved, pretended that we didn't know English and thank the good lord that they didn't speak french. And even though they were TOTALLY cute, my plan totally backfired, once again that I should really leave situations like this...not up to me.
ANYWAY, Other then that, Juliette and I toured around the whole time, looking at everything eagerly and taking in every step! which is important on trips such as these because, quite honestly, they really are not every day trips! But yes, So we also visited the Dodge Palace and were able to go on a "behind the scenes" tour of the palace! This was special because not only were you able to see the interior, along with everyone else, but with the guided tour, we were able to go into all the blocked off areas! I felt so special! HAHA, I know sad right? but there was like locked door that said tours only and everything! lol No but the tour was based around the extraordinary escape of Casanova, and how he oddly enough, to escape walked right through the main and fully guarded entrance! Along with that, we were also to see a lot of weapons used in the glory days of said palace, the torture room (ohh goody) , the prison cells, and the exact route taken by Casanova himself.
Now, to give you a little background about Casanova, or what I could make out from the French tour guide who was speaking at aaaaaaaaabout 345746385873 miles an hour...ok that en exaggeration...but it was still way to fast! Anyway, so basically, Casanova with his genius mind, was imprisoned for (he had no idea) being thought to be a spy...among other things related to witchcraft and wizardry conspiracies of that day and age of which he was believed to preform. But yeah, to keep it short, for his first attempt, he used a spoon for about three or four months to dig a hole under his bed into the roof beneath him ( unknowingly, this was the roof of the judges who decided the fate of the of which Casanova later became...after escaping and returning to Venice... :/ says a lot about their security...)
But yeah, so right when he was done, they decided to move him to a different room....BUMMER... and his little hole was found by the guard! THANKFULLY Casanova was a little bit of a quick thinker and before anything could be done he told the guard that if he said anything he would tell the judges the guard helped him... how else could he have gone for so long without being noticed ? So nothing was done, but his new prison was checked regularly for holes... :P. So, to end this, and try to explain his which I should really google before telling cause I'm probably wrong, but something about a bible used to hide something that helped their escape...someone important in the church who was imprisoned beside him and they escaped together, nice clothes so that they wouldn't seem like they were prisoners...the famous big black hat that I think Zoro is known for wearing...and walking out through the main entrance quietly and calmly, having glided past the entire (and best) army or guards, detectives and policemen in the whole of Venice... I think a job well done was in order! haha
Juliette and I also were able to go and see a mansion of one of the hundreds of families who were inscribed in the "golden book", which was basically a book, that started in the ... 16th or 17th century..sorry not too sure, and said who the rich families were...and this house happened to belong to them..unfortunately no pictures were taken! BUT THAT IS WHY YOU ALL MUST GO TO VENICE AND SEE HOUSES LIKE THIS! Too magnificent! Paintings on every ceiling, painted by true artists, some more famous then others of the Renaissance time, all relating to specific morals and beliefs that the family had... (or something like that... sorry...french only catch so much! lol) No, but in all seriousness, and I know I keep on describing thing with words that aren't exactly sufficient, but breathtaking! every room!
To end off, because this is getting way to long, Venice, aside from its residents, who...when they want to get somewhere will really get somewhere, is just beautiful and even though every street looks the same upon first glance, or in pictures, if you look more closely, and take the time to examine, just like many paintings or sculptures that I saw, you will really see that there is so much more then the same street!
GUESSSS WHO IS SO SPOILED as to be given the opportunity to, in Italy, in Venice, in one of the older churches, watch nationally famous violinists preform Bach and Mozart to an audience of 30? sound boring and old person like? yeah no, that's wrong, I sat, so happily for two hours being able to listen to the best violin performance I will most likely ever here! It was so ... AWESOME!! ;)
Anyway, until next time something awesome happens..which will probably be tomorrow..and I will probably be to lazy to write...but yeah! UNTIL NEXT TIME
Bisous! Jenny :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Just a little update :)

Dear Internet!
Long time no see ehh? yep! Well, sorry about that, I have been super-ultra busy doing absolutely everything under the French sun. From eating sushi, to shopping, to cleaning a horse truck (ohdeargod), to going to a beautiful sea-side city, to more eating :X, to just simply enjoying every day! Its quite tiring having this much fun you know! I just don't ever know how I am going to make it through these next two months... jkjk its going to be AWESOME.
So, to start off, there has just been so much that has been going on! I am not sure if I said anything in the last blog, but earlier last week, Juliette had a horseback riding competition and I told her that I was more then excited to go....then she told me we were to get up at 430 in the morning and be out the door by wished her good luck!! Now, I know you are thinking, woowww Jenny you sissy you should have gone, BUT, in my defence, it was strongly encouraged by Juliette parents that I did not go and stayed at home, because Juliette has many other horse competitions that I can attend...oh goody.. NO but seriously! It was really great that I didn't go! BECAUSEEE the truck ended up breaking down, and they missed her event! Fortunately she had two, but they were stuck on the highway for two hours waiting for a truck to come and get their truck and fix it...and there was also a panicking horse in the back of the truck.... horse + broken truck + girl that needed to compete in 20 mins and they were 45 mins away + my fear of the horse that was panicking= THANK GOD I DIDNT GO! I mean, I regret that I didn't get to see the horse show, and watch Juliette own everyone else there, but seriously! L.U.C.K.Y! lol
Then, a couple days after that fiasco, Juliette's parents took me to Deauville, a little French sea-side city! It was so cute and pleasant! But it was totally the sea-side smaller version of Paris, where to-expensive-to-drive cars weaved the streets and the most common particle of clothing to be seen were the latest Long champ or Louis bags! It was quite the city! Not only that, but the houses were just like in the paintings, where they lined the sides of the mountain, and the port's along the sea shore were already filled with sail-boats ready to sail as soon as the warm wind hit, cause +12 wasn't warm enough! haha I laughed a little, I always do though when the cold temperature is discussed! HOWEVER! I should not be so cocky! I will admit, when there is a cold day here (which I haven't really talked about because bragging about the warm weather is way to much fun!! haha snow... anyway) it is COLD. And the thing is, it isn't like, "oh I am cold I should probs get a warm jacket and some hot chocolate and I'll be good.", its more like, " Omg I think my bones are going to freeze and snap!" haha its really weird, the cold goes like through you and freezes your core! So when its like +2 its really like -6! No joke!! Thank god for fluffy socks! Seriously! THANK YOU !
OH OH OH COOL THING!! Ok, so you know how in, not even classic movies, but how in movies about old city's in Europe, (normally a corny romantic comedy of something :P)you will see a lady who is hanging her clothes outside, or like beating a mat with a broom to clean it, WELL, on my way to Deauville, we went the scenic route and there was a little one church city, and right before we left, there was a lady in an apron outside her window hanging her clothes! It was so weird because I has sworn I had seen that exact scene in a movie before, and it was like being replayed right in front of my eyes!! AWESOMENESS!! It was a very exciting moment, cause I think its really cool when you see thinks that are literally replayed in movies! Also, as we were leaving the city, I noticed that the name was crossed out with a bold red line passing across the sign... I thought that that was really strange!! LOL I mean its one thing to have a sign before every city or small village, that is totally normal! But at the end of the city, having a big bold red line crossing through the center, kinda makes me think that that city is no longer there! I don't know... I found it a little strange.
I think that at this moment I can say that I am a little disappointed in United States, and their proclamation of having the worlds best burgers...sorry, this is incorrect.
Dear America,
your burgers have officially been pwned.
Sincerely, France
No but in all seriousness, this has got to be the most tasty burger ever! Loaded with cheese, un known vegetables, sautéd apples and onions and .... other stuff, this burger rocked it! Even the fries were triumphant! I was, actually, really shocked!! Cause when you think of it, France and burgers are two words that I wouldn't really put together, but but but! I have been proven wrong, France=Burger dominance.
ANYWAY BIG BIG BIG BIG NEWSSSSS.... I am kinda, sorta, maybe, possibly, most likely, hopefully, am, going to VENICE tomorrow XD ahhhh I am so excited! I just cannot wait to take like a gazillion photos, and ride in a gondola while trying to keep my laughter at the singing gondolier to a minimum, and visit all the places that Indian Jones was shot! AHH, ok jkjk that's not my goal, but that would be awesome! In addition to that, Juliette's parents have planned it so that I will be able to see a classical Italian singer, preform in a church...although this may sound lame to some, reality check, its so not, dude-going to be so cool! I have only ever herd one Italian singer in my life, and I am sorry, but it is so true, everything is more beautiful when it is said in Italian...unless they are angry....then that really isn't that pleasant.
Anyway, so yeah, Venice tomorrow! XD 5 days!! WEOO
Ill tell all when I get back I guess XD
Until next time,
Jenny <3

Friday, February 25, 2011

Something I found to be a little shocker!! :P

Dear Internet,
I am so sorry, I completely forgot I had something else that I wanted to say, that I didn't put on my list but just remembered! YOU SEE HOW IMPORTANT LISTS ARE! haha I could have completely forgotten this! I mean, its not exactly the most important thing in the world, but still, I thought it would be perhaps interesting to mention, and plus, I have this need to rant and type, hehe, so here goes!!! Oh yeah, and if you don't like to hear someone rant about their opinion on something that they unfortunately know very little about but still manages to upset them, then please please for the sake of you still liking me after you read this, don't! lol
Alright so basically, I have pretty much been talking about all the things that I have seen, or that I have enjoyed, or just things about my personal experience, but I haven't really talked to to much about the differences and similarities between our two great countries ( that being Canada and France lol), or maybe I have.. not sure, either way, I HAVE ANOTHER COMPARISON!
So, I was talking to Chantal, on the way back from Juliette's horseback riding school (no :( , I did not go no the horse yet... BUT I FED IT A CARROT. It was a big moment...), and we got talking about sketchy parts of Argentan, and places I should avoid when walking around. This struck me as interesting because when we drove around the area, it looked just like the areas that are found in Kingston, or Ottawa, or Toronto or even Philadelphia (random I know, but its true) and I just thought, like I have before, how everything is so different in Europe, but then again so similar. How weird of a description is that right? haha
No but in all honesty it true, and so I made another wonderful list to contrast and compare, and show how in general, things are the same, but when you look at it closely, so different !!
Things that are the same (general) - grocery stores,  bathrooms, school, town layouts, and shoe stores ( shoes!! <3)
Things that are different in these generally similar places: Every single product in the grocery store is different, I do not think that I have seen one thing being sold, found commonly in Canada, except for Nutella <3. Even the Coca cola (which is sold in a glass bottle here!!) has a different label!, Bathrooms...well they have bathrooms, but the toilet is by itself in a little room, and the sink and shower is in a different room... interesting...yet rather annoying... haha. School, well, as I have explained, teachers are horrible and have no souls, and that's being nice, and even Juliette parents would agree haha, school ends at 5 o'clock at average, no one does school sports...unless smoking is a sport, then everyone gets an A++++++ and will all place gold in the smoking Olympics!jkjk not everyone, because there are for sure some champion athletes at Jean d'Arc (the school I am attending) For instance, Juliette who is a National level equestrian ( sound so much better then horseback rider!! hehe), and Marion, fourth in the country for Kayaking, and another boy who is a national level Tennis player. Pretty much, if you are good at a sport.. you are really good at a sport! haha. The towns are the same, as in there are sketchy regions, nice regions, downtown, uptown and country areas, but everything has a higher sophistication/ European style to it, which never get old...except for the fact that it is literally old.. haha. And the shoe stores.... well they have shoe stores... lol but THEY ARE 1000 TIMES AWESOMER CAUSE THEY. HAVE. ITALIAN. SHOES!!! and that is just so much better then sneakers and crocks, I can even begin to express it!! haha
Anyway, so getting back to the point that I was trying to make (that, here everything is the same but different)! Those were the first examples, but wait, there is more!! Just one more, don't worry I wont go on forever! But yeah, so, like I said, I was talking to Chantal about the different parts of the city, and how its pretty bad here, but in Paris, the most beautiful, romantic and fashionable city in the world, it is even worse! At first, I was shocked! I would never have guessed that that could possibly be true, but when you think about it, it makes so much sense! Apparently, All the refugees that come in by plane gather and form regions on the outskirts of Paris.She told me that if you were to walk in these areas you would want to be with at least five other people to feel safe! eeeeepppp!!!
From what I gathered, these regions are formed because certain banks and other big enterprises buy out all the apartments and town houses in order for "future development" or leasing them at a ridiculously high price, which take away home's for people to live in, thus people gathering together in small home's and apartments, sometimes seven to a room! Not only this, but say one of the banks leases one of their rooms, well this generally is going to cost people 600 euros per month! which is ridiculous! people shouldn't have to pay that amount of money for an out of Paris unstable home! and not only not only that, BUT THIS COST IS FOR AREAS 3 METERS BY 3 METERS!! I'm sorry, but as a fifteen year old girl able to have the luxury of a fully furnish and heated home, I find it outrageous that banks and companies have the right to do this, and are fully aware that these people have no were else to go! Plus, if you are raised in these regions and you try to make a life for yourself by leaving and getting a job, when asked where you are from, THE SECOND you tell them you are from that region, bye bye out the door!
Now, I don't know what percentage of the information I have just talked about is correct, because, well it was told to me in French may be a little incorrect, but the main point is there! While people are living in the high class luxury of Paris home's, just down the street are three to a twin bed, two twin beds to a room! Now, I know what your thinking, w/e Jenny, this happens everywhere stop trying to make a point that's been made before, and your no activist, BUT SERIOUSLY! This sort of thing should happen in places like... I don't know, just not Paris! Paris, for heavens sake!! This just shocked me, and I felt like I needed to have a good old rant about it so I'm sorry !!! ha ha BUT SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY! Does this not upset anyone else!!??
Other then that, Paris still remains to be the most beautiful and interesting city I have ever set my eyes on! And despite the tragedy that lies on its outskirts, I still love it XD. The streets are full of lights, as with the pretty store windows and historical sites!!! Everything is pretty by day, but glorious by night! I personally think that it glows in the dark (hahaha get it? glows as in like a girl glows with beauty and glows because of all the lights!! hehe funny..)
Sorry for ranting again, and going on forever...I hope you don't think I'm physco....!!

I don't know what to post as a title... how do you title a blog? I dont know, if anyone has any sugggestions, feel free to tell me because I really don't have a clue! anyway!! ( oh and I am not doing the whole blog 1, blog 2, blog 3 thing!! so lame!! :P)

Well actually, to be super specific about this whole time change thing, Good early morning to all central Canadians and Americans, Good late morning to all the whales in the middle of the Atlantic, Good evening to everyone in south-eastern Russia, and Good middle of the afternoon to everyone in France, who should all be either working or at school right now! And if you are not, and, say, your exchange student suggested that you stay home today because it was the last day before vacation and the teachers are going to be in a horrible mood (NO. THANK. YOU) and you "look tired" like me! Then congratulations! You are so lucky! You should just be so happy with your life right now! Especially if you just had like 6 crèpes ( which you made and were pretty decent for a Canadian) with Nutella! If you are said person, then really, take a moment to think of how lucky you are, and then go eat some more crèpes cause you know that they are awesome!
Hehehe, ANYWAYS, so there is just so much to say, but I have decided (as you may have noticed, I like to clearly say that I have decided to do things, it just makes me feel that much more organised when writing this blog, and I need as much organisation as possible, because quite frankly, when you are trying to write about everything you think people would care at all about, that you have done in the past three or four days, and your brain works like mine, organisation is KEY), but yeah, I have decided to, once again, make a list! yay lists!
So to start off, I would like to publicly announce that Jennifer Joan Casson + The Fine Art of French Cooking = NO!, HECK NO, NEVER AGAIN, LEAVE IT TO THE REAL FRENCH PEOPLE TO COOK AND YOU CAN JUST EAT BECAUSE THAT WAS JUST.... NO!!!
Exaggeration?? Nope, I seriously do not have the patience, clearly, or the " natural cuisine sense" to possibly come near a fine french cooking book, and attempt to bake, ever again. Although, like I said, I did master the Crèpes... or so I though. Juliette thought that they were pancakes, wait no, Juliette wasn't going to even let me argue. They were pancakes- so, not going to argue with that, but they totally had some resemblance, AND I Tried. Its not easy when you compete with her, cause she is seriously a wizard of baking. So, in the end result, with my fail of baking of the pancakes/ Crèpes, Juliette took over and I took credit for them to boost my self esteem! Thus, my crèpes were amazing, just like any other crèpes made by a French person! yay! Although, I made the batter with soy milk instead of real milk thinking it would be the same end result... Ooops, I mean, it worked... but... sugar NEEDED to be added to you know... give then some taste, instead of just eating what tastes like paper. So, sugar, and Juliettes homemade ( YES!! THEY HAVE FRUIT TREES, OF EVERY GOOD FRUIT, YEAR ROUND, IN THEIR BACKYARD!!!) jams were added profusely!
But, like I told one of my favorite people in the world wide world, who was wearing a matching snowflake sweater and headband that was, quite honestly, hilarious, you should know who you are :D, I am going to bring back the best baking book that I can find that is full of amazing French deserts that are do-able (yeah, its going to be quite a search, but I am definitely up for the challenge!!) and we are going to cook the greatness right out of it, and put it right out on a plate! Its going to be EPIC! hehe... and then we are going to eat it, because, I don't think that looking at something that is made from a French cookbook can possibly sit in the eyes of humans for over two minutes and not be eaten, its just way to appealing, or smells way too good!!
Anyways, so although I was so excited to get over my fear and get on Juliettes horse, and ride off into the sunset, I still have to unfortunately say that I have not yet
mounted that horse! ( literally and figuratively... I think) I don't know what it is, but I can just not manage to get over my fear! I mean, I know that I will eventually because, Juliette was an amazing trouper when she came to Canada, and really did everything! and I mean everything! Folks, this little 5'4 french girl came over to Canada, and got right into Junior Boys AMERICAN FOOTBALL! ON THE HIGH SCHOOL TEAM. Sorry, big deal. really big deal. And look at me, I can't even get on a horse, possibly because I know it will kill me and buck me right off, but yeah! But no! I will! I WILL RIDE THE HORSE!!! ... later... :P haha Don't worry though, you will be the first to know!! XD
OH AND COOLEST THING!!! There is going to be another exchange student in this house!! haha, basically, a girl from Germany is going to come and stay in the house for a bit. To be honest, it was kind of random, I mean the principal of the school just called Chantal ( Juliettes mom) and asked if an exchange student could stay at her house for a while, and Chantal, being one of the nicest people I have ever met, said yeah for sure! So now there are going to be THREE, no make that FOUR (Juliette can speak Spanish!) languages under one roof!!!! how cool is that!? maybe I will be able to get in touch with some of my long lost German roots and pick up a couple of words or phrases! How cool would that be!! XD lol, I don't know, I am pretty excited!!
ASSSSSSS for the poetry... well unfortunately, I know how much everyone LOVED the last one! haha lol, no, but I have decided to put that to bed, no more poetry. I'm going to have to go back to the doodling days when I go back to school............ in TWO WEEKS BECAUSE MARCH BREAK STARTS TOMORROW!!!! WEOOOO!!! not like I really need a vacation from anything because, I am pretty much on a three month vacation! NO but seriously SOO excited!!!! VENICE <3
Anyways, that about it for now, with many more exciting and mind blowing things to come (haha just kidding, I just like to type a whole bunch or random stuff that I find to be some what valuable enough to put on my blog!) but yeah, thanks for reading XD !!
Jenny :D