Wednesday, November 27, 2013

La Dinde

I'm sitting here curled up in a big cozy sweater, listening to Frank (his Christmas album, of course), while my new Anthropologie candle burns. It's called "fireside" and, you'll be surprised to hear that it smells like you're sitting beside a fire;) and it makes me feel just like I'm at the lake house. Which is where my family is right now. (sob*) I'm only partially serious about the sobbing. It's such a first world problem, "I'm in France on Thanksgiving." Haha Hardly something to complain about. But of course, I miss my family and the lake and Kentucky during this time of the year. Fall and winter are so wonderful in the Bluegrass. I also miss the easy accessibility we have to certain necessities this time of year.. For example, la dinde.

All of my friends here are very curious about the famous Thanksgiving feast, but more specifically about the Thanksgiving Turkey! They've all seen pictures of the big, gorgeous bird we prepare on the last Thursday of November. So of course, we decided to have a dinner where I would prepare the traditional Thanksgiving turkey. We have seriously been talking about this turkey for months! Fast forward to today. The day before Thanksgiving (we all know how good I am at doing things in advance..)

I had planned on going to the market about 10am, picking up my beautiful turkey along with the ingredients for Pioneer Woman's brine recipe, returning home and having a wonderful afternoon preparing for the big feast.

Haha. Dijon had other plans.. I spent the ENTIRE day searching every square inch of Dijon for "une dinde"- a turkey! Every answer was the same: "en novembre??!" UHM. YES in November! That's the ONLY time I need a turkey. Call me crazy! And that's exactly how they treated me, as if I was crazy for requesting a turkey in the month of November. Apparently the French only eat la dinde one time a year- and that's on Noël. (Christmas) Finally coming to the realization that there may not actually be a single turkey in the city of Dijon- and you'd be surprised at how sad that made me- I stared, bleary-eyed at my friend Aya, who reluctantly but loyally followed me around to each and every market, butcher shop, you name it- to find my Amazing Thanksgiving Turkey. I explained that it's just not Thanksgiving without a turkey. It's just not. But we had looked everywhere, and I had class this evening. A chicken it is, I decided.

When I walked into class, I was all but cheerful. I really adore this professor and we always chat before class, so when she noticed my expression, she asked what was wrong. I told her about my Turkey Problem and she said that indeed, it's pretty much impossible to find a turkey at any of the markets in France before Christmas. I just looked at her pitifully, cause that's how I felt. I just want a real Thanksgiving meal, that's ALL. I want turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes and stuffing. I'm American, I realize this. Some things will never change.

But. Wait. All of the sudden my professor looks at me and says "Chloe! Actually, I bought a frozen turkey this time last year at a shop called Picard! I can't make any promises, but that's probably your best bet." Frozen or not, I'll take it if it's a turkey! My class didn't finish until 7:45, and the typical French business closes hours before this, so I immediately sent a text to Aya explaining the news, and begging her to please please run to Picard to get my Thanksgiving Turkey! Haha Poor Aya, I can imagine her face when she got my message. But it was crucial!! Low and behold, half and hour later I get a text saying: "I bought 3" YES! YES! YES! YES! was all I could think!

My Thanksgiving turkeys may be small and frozen but, you know what? It's going to be a real Thanksgiving in Dijon.




Post about the actually dinner soon to come!

Miss everyone! And Happy Thanksgiving!

Bis!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Milan!

 Italia! First time in Italy and it was so much fun! Not knowing a single word of Italian was a little stressful but it ended up being fine. As far as Italian men - I only got creeped out by the street performers.. It's difficult to describe but they would make eye contact with you when you walk by and motion for you to come over, but when I didn't, they made the "call me" motion and then made other strange gestures that I won't describe. But other than that, not even remotely as aggressive as I've heard from others who have been to Italy. Overall, it was a very cool trip. McDonald's in Italy is worth mentioning as well.. Best coffee I have ever ever tasted. I got a cappuccino and was literally in shock when I took a sip. It's so interesting how different McDonald's is in every country. Of course, Italian pizza was insane, and super cheap. Definitely a whole new culture than anything I've ever experienced!









There are all these men who stand in the city center with chips and before you know it you've got a hand full of chips and a million birds coming straight towards you. After pretty much all the skin is missing from your arm and you're wondering what exactly just happened, you are then asked to give these men a substantial amount of money for the wonderful Italian memory they just provided for you!



American Advertising ;) You can see this sign from almost anywhere in Milan! 



Gelato <33


Incredible Cathedral in the city center.. wow!! 



This man makes a living from carving carrots into various shapes.. So many things I want to say about this, but hey we're all gifted in different ways!



Italian food Mmmm.. 





Inside the Cathedral. Amazing! 








Roasting Hazelnuts outside, the smell made it impossible not to get some! 




The famous shopping center in Milan. Beautiful! 



Warhol exhibition 








Happened to walk past this statue, had to take a picture. 



Road trip time!

I think it's official- I am the worst blogger in existence. I'll be surprised if I have a single person following this blog by the end of my time here! It has been so incredibly busy the last couple of weeks. I've had exams and presentations in every class. Horrible! But it is helping my French tremendously!

In other news, we have so much to catch up on! At the end of October, I spent a wonderful week traveling with my sister and brother-in-law in the South of France and after, had the opportunity to visit Milan with my school. It was so nice getting to see my family. With the weather changing, and Thanksgiving coming up, I'm missing everyone so much. But my friends here are all getting really excited about the Thanksgiving feast:) Little do they know, I have absolutely no idea how to cook a turkey. Thank goodness for modern technology and my mother. We're going to have a cooking date via FaceTime ;)

I'm threw a Halloween party the weekend after fall vacation! It went over really well because Europeans hear a lot about Halloween in America, so everyone was excited to experience an authentic celebration! And my sister brought me a ton of halloween themed candy from the states, it was so perfect. I got to witness quite a few people trying Reese's for the very first time in their lives!!! Unbelievable! Also, SUCH exciting news. Fleur invited me to spend a few days in Paris with her! We went last weekend and it was absolutely wonderful!

As promised - it's picture time.

I'll start with the road trip to the South!

Au revoir Dijon!


What's a road trip without a stop at McDonalds.. Turned out to be a little more complicated than expected- can you tell? hahah


First stop: Annecy, a charming little village set on a gorgeous lake among the French Alps!



There were never such devoted sisters.. ;) 



Paddle boating on Lac d'Annecy! 





The one single evening we were in Annecy, this happened.. Breathtaking.. 


It's imperative that you go right now and buy whole milk, honey, and a milk frother so that you can make one of these divine "Lait chaud avec du miel."(Hot milk with honey) You may never go another day without one. While you're at it, you should probably just go ahead and get one of these adorable, festive, Santa-esque glasses. Perfect.



Driving out of Annecy!


Too pretty not to stop... 


So.. the GPS took us through Italy to get from Annecy to Nice. We were completely unprepared for this, so when uniformed people stopped us and began asking questions about our trip we were pretty surprised. But thank goodness we happened to drive through Italy, because otherwise we never would have seen this castle sitting all by itself on the tippy top of a mountain! I mean, come on! How many times are you going to drive by something like that!?


Stopped in St. Tropez for lunch.




Had to try the famous Tropezienne, yum!


Good morning Nice :)


Cassis :) Gorgeous little town set directly on the Mediterranean shore. Sigh. And there are people who actually wake up here everyday of their lives.. 




Such a different kind of beach 






Waiting to take a boat tour of the Calanques!












Adorable town center, with an outdoor market going on that morning.


Delicious dinner right on the beach! What a great few days with these two. Already miss them!


There aren't many people who would invite their little sister to vacation with her and her husband. What an unforgettable trip. So thankful!