Princess Peach


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{Chateau Haut-Veyrac winery in St. Emilion}
As most decisions in my life go, choosing this study abroad program was not done without thought and deliberation. A go-to conversation among the my new friends is what brought everyone here.

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{St. Emilion}
I told them I always wanted to go to France ever since I opted to take French over Spanish.

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{Bordeaux Cathedral}
Seville was a more unexpected part of the plan. I'm lucky enough to go to school with my two best friends but being in different sororities can make it difficult to carve out quality time together.

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With all three of us spending this summer in Europe, I couldn't bear the thought of only more brief, rushed visits. So, in an effort to satisfy the best of both worlds I chose this multi-city program.

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{my new friend, Becca, from Indiana}
 In Paris, I get to enjoy a place and city I love, and hopefully along the way, meet new people. I've been in a bubble for awhile, and Paris has already proven to be the perfect place to pop it.

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I did, however, entertain a program in Aix-en-Provence. My adviser was intent on Paris being oh so passé and encouraged the south of France. After an excursion to the region of Bordeaux and the darling little town of St. Emilion, I now see what he means.

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Surrounding the big city of Paris are little pieces of paradise. It's not what it looks like on Pinterest though. It's a thousand times better.

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{Grand Hotel de Bordeaux whose symmetry reminded me of Grand Budapest Hotel}
Claimed to be the wine capital of the world, I expected this quaint countryside winery feel from Bordeaux.

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{look closely sista sherries, that's 'Quatre Soeurs' ... 4 sisters!}
I soon learned the city itself is the sixth largest in France, so it's fairy urbanized.

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My friends and I explored the cathedral, St. André, and as is true with any European church, it was breathtaking inside

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and out.

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It sits next to the bell tower Tour Pey-Berland, a tower with 230 steps that we climbed to take in the view of the city. The local university makes the nightlife in Bordeaux lively (with less Bota Boxes and more Bordeaux!), which we were happy to enjoy after a long day of traveling only days after our arrival in Paris.

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After my first overnight stay in a hostel, we were taken to the most charming town of Saint Emilion.

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It felt as though it were out of a fairy tale book,

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and being there, I felt like a princess.

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The sun was shining on the rolling hills which held up precious cottages and chateaus.

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Every shop owner was so friendly you'd almost mistake them for Texans. (One owner nailed my apparent Houston accent!) I'd guess the livin' is good when your diet is rich in mararoons,

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and wine is drunk like water.

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My new friend, Becca, and I discovered this after strolling through the village together and having a private tasting of Bad Boy wine for breakfast.

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We even found little boutiques along the way. I collected two souvenires--a wine opener and the three-coin necklace on the bottom right. 

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A tour guide then took us through the underground ruins of St. Emilion, which include catacombs and a church. Unfortunately, he laid out a very strict no photo policy, but the stories of the city were fascinating. 

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We wrapped up the tour with a wine tasting at Chateau Haut-Veyrac.

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As students here in France, we've certainly enriched our knowledge on aging, oaks and harvesting grapes.

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The train ride home back through the countryside during sunset was a perfect end to the trip. We must have brought the sunshine with us as today was the first completely rain-free day in Paris. Jordan and I enjoyed it in the Saint-Germain district meeting up with her sister and friends. Tomorrow, off to the French Open!

Bon weekend!


Amy said...

Wow! It just keeps getting better. I love reading all about it. Miss you!

Cathy McConn said...

C'est magnifique!! Truly jealous. and so glad you got sun.