In February I made the “wise” decision to leave from Jura and immediately get on a 6 hour night bus to Amsterdam. At the time of purchasing my ticket I convinced myself that despite the time crunch and awkward bus timing, it would be worth it to spend my 21st birthday in Amsterdam. Somehow in a total of 24 hours and with little-to-no-sleep, my roommates and I managed to see the Anne Frank house, Van Gogh museum and Red Light Distinct all without killing each other. And I managed to have an unforgettable birthday with all my loved ones!
Paris has really spoiled me with amazing class sponsored trips. With my Food and Communication class I had the opportunity to see how Comte was made in the Jura region last week. I think the only class trip I’ve attended back in DC was to pick up trash in China Town. So I think Paris has DC beat field trip wise.
Over a period of three days we visited a dairy farmer, a fruitier and a cheese aging cave. These activities were all supplemented with taste classes and delicious meals featuring the terroir of the region.
The experience that made the biggest impact on me was learning about the dairy farms. In Jura, farmers are required to supply at least one hector per cows, keeping the total amount of cows at about 60 per farm. In the US the smallest dairy farmers have 300 cows, which causes much worse conditions. Cows in Jura live to be 15, while cows in the US often die from exhaustion at 2 years old. This caused me to really reevaluate the products I use back in the states.
On a brighter note! The cheese was absolutely delicious and even after consuming at least 2 pounds of it, I still crave it every day. If you can find Comte back in the US buy it immediately, I promise it will be life changing. One thing I will not miss is our daily wine tastings at nine a.m. I guess I’m not French enough to handle that yet!
The GW sponsored trips have continued and last week we enjoyed a beautiful trip to Giverny. The weather hit above 70 degrees for the first time and I was finally able to leave my winter puffy jacket at home. The warm weather spurred a bold fashion move, and I inaugurated my fedora. Based on the pictures you can comment below and cast your vote if I look more like Patrick Stump, Channing Tatum in The Vow or a member of Buena Vista Social Club.
Although there was only one sad, limp, moldy lilly pad in Monet’s pound, the rest of the gardens were in full bloom. It was just as picturesque as I had imaged and after a few glasses of wine at lunch it felt like you were living inside of an impressionist painting. Although a little bit out of the city, I would highly recommend making the trip to see where the magic happened.
Courtesy of George Washington (and the hefty study abroad fee they forced upon us) this past week we took a trip to Loire Valley. The trip was filled with stunning chateau tours and wine tastings, which obviously one ups any school trips I’ve taken in the US. Unfortuantely the best picture of the weekend was not taken by me, so shout out to Drew Manville for his sick camera skills.
As soon as the weather hits above 40 degrees Parisians grab their jaunty scarfs and their cigarettes and head to the nearest outdoor cafe. Everyone is so eager for spring that I think they have convinced themselves that it’s near (even though this week’s forecast only predicts rain). All the stores are fully stocked in floral dresses and the lines at Berthillon have never been longer. Half of me wants to scream, “it’s F%#$ING freezing outside” and sulk around my petit appartement. But the other half of me wants to celebrate the mediocre weather. So I’ve chosen the latter and have joined every other Parisian by indulged in picnicking, sightseeing and endless ice cream.
This week I went to Dijon with my dad. Even in the winter, the acres of fields are more picturesque than I thought possible. I can’t even imagine how beautiful it will be when the fields are flowering. By the end of the week I had become the ultimate wine snob and was dropping phrases like tannic and cote d’or left and right. Although now that my parents are back in Denver, I am back to the 1 euro wine. A least it was nice to have the week off from the cheap stuff and live the good life in Burgundy!