Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How is it November already??

So I have been horribly lazy about blogging during the past three weeks, and that stops here! It's been so long that I could probably write a novel right about now, but in the interest of not scaring away my few readers, I'll keep it short and sweet with mostly pictures :)

So my halloween lessons with the kids went very well! Since my classes range in age from 6 to 11, I adapted each lesson to the language abilities of the students. For the youngest, I read a simple book with pages such as, "My pumpkin has TWO scary eyes!!", to teach numbers and body parts. They enjoyed my interpretation of, "My pumpkin can DANCE!!!". One of the fun things about being with the littlest ones is that I can make a fool out of myself and they like it!

For the older kids, it was reviewing halloween vocabulary followed by halloween bingo. Some lucky winners even got reeses peanut butter cups all the way from the US. Sadly, however, halloween does not really exist in France with very few children dressing up and no trick-or-treating to be seen in my neighborhood. From what I've seen, however, Halloween for my friends and family on the east coast this year was not too great either with all that snow!

Vacation started on October 22, and I go back to school this Thursday. Not too shabby! Here's what I've been up to:

Maureen snapping the tops off of green beans
We've been going to the city's Sunday market every week, and this past week we decided to gather materials and have a nice late-afternoon lunch together!

It was delicious and I can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday. Especially when everything else is closed! Hopefully it becomes a Sunday tradition.

Japanese bridge in Monet's garden. Hi Maureen, Jordan and Marissa!
We (Maureen, Marissa, Jordan, Liz, Stacey, Loreto, Clare, Julia and I) took a day trip to Giverny to see Monet's gardens, where he painted his famous water lilies. 

It was gorgeous and such a nice day. Good thing, too, because we missed the once-hourly bus from the train station to the gardens, so we decided to walk the 6 km there and back! It took just over an hour each way and was a nice way to see the surrounding countryside. Giverny looks like what I picture when I think of "French countryside". Most of it, anyway!

The only downside to visiting Monet's gardens in late October is that most of the flowers were in the process of dying. Oh well!

Maureen, Jordan, Liz and I visited Paris for one night this past Saturday, and stayed in a structurally questionable hostel in Montmartre. We visited one of my favorite monuments, the Sacre Coeur. It is always bursting with life, regardless of time of day or weather!

Later that night, we met up with my friend Christina, who I met while studying abroad in 2009 and now lives in Paris, and had dinner in a fondue restaurant that serves wine in baby bottles. It was certainly an experience to remember!

Jordan and Liz goin' for it!

Look at that bubbling vat of cheese!!

Other than our couple of small trips, our vacations have been spent mostly wandering about Rouen and continuing to explore all of the little side streets, nooks and crannies. We went to the Musée de Beaux Arts, a 5 minute walk from my home, the Museum of Natural History, which was incredibly creepy and consisted of stuffed dead animals (the closest I'll ever get to a tiger!) and two-headed cat fetuses in jars. A nice pre-Halloween activity, if you ask me :)

 I've been drinking my share of coffee, espresso, and tea - the French love their caffeine. This Marilyn Monroe espresso cup was served to me in a bathtub-themed restaurant, Les Bains d'Bouches (I think that translates roughly to mouthwash?). There were showerheads hanging from the wall, pictures of people bathing, etc... The food was great too!

I am continuing to enjoy the views from my apartment window, completely aware of how lucky I am each time I look out and see Rouen. Now if I could only get time to slow down a bit!!!

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