Study Abroad

I don’t speak wine.

I want to start this post by clarifying that I’m not a wine expert (sommelier) at all!

A few weeks ago I spoke with Alida (BFF) and she asked if I was a wine expert now that I’ve spent a good amount of time here in the land of all things wine. As embarrassed as I was I responded I still hadn’t a clue.

Luckily, this past week Strasbourg hosted the Vignerons Indépendants Wine Expo where independent winemakers boasted all of their products in a huge expo center, my friend Lu and I attended.  Attending the wine expo led me to to some supporting research and now I can bring to you a quick guide to a few wine must-knows.  Continue reading “I don’t speak wine.”

Study Abroad

Essential Gadgets of the Kitchen

Last week I broke down and bought 2 new knives, the total was 7 euros. Being that I won’t be able to take any kitchen utensils home with me I’ve tried to survive with the bare minimum. Out of us 4 flatmates we are constantly trading pots, knives, and cutlery. Having to “make-do” this past year I was inspired to come up with a list of the essential gadgets of the kitchen I’d love to have based on my experience here. Continue reading “Essential Gadgets of the Kitchen”

Study Abroad

February: Valentine’s Week Recap

Although this post is titled “Valentine’s Week Recap” I will add one thing that did happen prior to Valentine’s week that is a must! As we welcomed a new housemate, Adriano, it was only appropriate we host a dinner. Abi and I decided to cook “American” specialties and having never fried chicken it was obvious that would be the dish that’s we’d try to cook.

If you aren’t “learned” on the topic of fried chicken in Europe -it doesn’t exist. Yes, there is KFC (crazy right?) but otherwise fried chicken is not common at all. So, with this being said, mind you if you haven’t read my previous posts the way our flat is set up we make do with what we have; it’s amazing how many things we’ve managed to cook and bake using a toaster oven and a 2-burner electric hot plate. Continue reading “February: Valentine’s Week Recap”

Study Abroad

How do you say bedsheets in French?

So, the title of this post may seem a little strange and I’ll get to that in a second. But- first and foremost (I love when I have a chance to use this expression) I’d like to bring you guys up-to-date.

A while back my bike had broke…I purchased a bicycle when I first arrived and I had to bring it to the bike shop for several different tune-ups. Continue reading “How do you say bedsheets in French?”

Study Abroad

Getting to Know French People

Maybe you’ve heard of the peaches and coconuts culture analogy for other countries. It’s used to describe cultural tendencies and essentially what the people are like such as if they’re easy to get to know or not. Before you study abroad there is usually some type of meeting where they discuss culture shock, adjusting to your new environment, and the things you should expect, as well as a brief discussion on whether the country you’ll be visiting has a peach or coconut culture. Continue reading “Getting to Know French People”

Study Abroad, Visit Louisiana

Things I Wish I Was Doing Back Home This Month : Mardi Gras Preparation

This time of the year in Louisiana is one of my favorites. It’s the beginning of crawfish season and Mardi Gras; some of the best things Louisiana has to offer. With that being said, I thought it would be appropriate to start a series the rest of this semester of all the things I wish I was doing back home each month.

If someone were to ask me what Mardi Gras was, this would be my reply, meaning, without researching any information, just from my knowledge as a Louisiana resident, this is how I would respond:  Continue reading “Things I Wish I Was Doing Back Home This Month : Mardi Gras Preparation”

Study Abroad

The Break

I had the most amazing Christmas Break ever. Damian flew in to Paris and arrived by train to Strasbourg as I anxiously waited. He surprised me by getting an earlier ticket and I was even a few minutes late to the station picking him up!  After almost 4 months apart it was such a sweet moment being with each other again. The whole bus ride to my apartment I couldn’t stop smiling! We stayed here in Strasbourg a few days during which I got to show him my city and he got to see the Christmas Market on the last day before it closed. We then took a 9hr (turned 10hr) bus ride with FlixBus to Amsterdam, Netherlands where we began our travels. Continue reading “The Break”

Study Abroad

Christmas Spirit

As this semester is coming to a close with my last final being tomorrow I can only be thankful for the experiences and people I’ve met these past few months.

Although things have been tough, difficult, and frustrating I’ve also experienced some pretty great things too.

We did a Secret Santa gift exchange with the flat and it was perfect. Despite not following directions for the rules of the gift exchange, despite being gifted a hunk of cheese, and despite Virgil dropping wine on our carpet for the umpteenth time; I love these people! Continue reading “Christmas Spirit”

Study Abroad

Strasbourg Capitale de Noël

The Christmas Season is in full swing, and we were greeted with snow on the 1st day of December making it all the more magical. Since then it has snowed a handful of times but not big snow, however, enough to be beautiful. Unfortunately, unlike back home, classes don’t get cancelled. It was so strange for me to see little kids at recess the day it snowed. Continue reading “Strasbourg Capitale de Noël”

Study Abroad

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Being 5,090 miles away from home (yes, I looked it up) didn’t stop me from celebrating Thanksgiving! We planned our “Friendsgiving” meal way in advance and everyone was assigned a typical Thanksgiving dish to bring to the table. Mind you, this was everyone’s first time celebrating Thanksgiving in their life…most of them had never even tried the dishes they made, yet, they all turned out AMAZING! Francesca was so confused why she was putting sugar and marshmallows in sweet potatoes, however, her dish turned out to be my favorite!

I assigned everyone a recipe and there were A LOT of substitutions. There are several things you cannot find here in France that make up your favorite thanksgiving dishes: brown sugar and corn syrup for pecan pie; as Tatiana had put it best, “you can’t find ‘corn’ anything here”! Continue reading “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”