This past week was very similar to the week before: I started my French class, went to Disneyland Paris, had trouble with the trains, and planned more trips!
This week was my second, first week of French class. I officially moved up to “Upper Intermediate French.” The class is taught entirely in French, and if we don’t understand something, my professor will just keep changing how he says it until we understand. We also did quite a bit of reading out loud which reminds me a little of certain days in Jean-Pierre’s French class. In my International Contract Law class, we were reminded that next week (now, tomorrow) we have our first midterm. I’m both nervous and excited about this because this is my first exam in France, and I don’t really know how hard it will be.
On Wednesday I went back to Disneyland Paris because my friend Ariel had a ticket that expired that day, but she realized that she wouldn’t be able to use it, so she gave it to me! Unsurprisingly, I had problems with the trains. As I believe I said in my last post, getting to Disneyland should just require riding the RER A from one end to the other. This time, it did not go nearly that smoothly. It started out as an issue with one of the stations; we were stopped there for around 40 minutes. Once we started again, I thought we would be okay for the rest of the ride. I was wrong. About 4 stops before the one for Disneyland, we stopped and everyone was told to get off because there was a problem with the train itself. This meant that everyone had to wait on the platform for 20 minutes before the next train arrived and we could be on our way. When I go to Disneyland, I decided to just go on my favorite rides, and actually see the parade and the fireworks show. The parade was pretty short, but it was pretty easy to be close to it. My favorite characters in it were the Army Men (from Toy Story)!
The fireworks show was called Disney Dreams, and it wasn’t so much a fireworks show as it was a story showed via animations on Sleeping Beauty’s Castle with occasional fireworks. Still, it was very good and I was happy that I stayed for it… at least until I tried to get the train home. I had checked to make sure the RER would still be running if I stayed for the show, but I hadn’t counted on a 45+ minute delay due to a problem much further down the line. This time everyone was stuck on the platform waiting for a train, but once it finally came the ride home went smoothly. I wouldn’t have minded the delay so much if it didn’t mean that I didn’t get home until midnight and I had class the next day at 9:00am.
Unfortunately, getting back at midnight meant that I slept through my alarm on Thursday. Fortunately, I woke up early enough that I could still go to class (though I was late). After class, Ariel and I got together to finalize our plans for next weekend. We are going to Champagne! We had already booked the train tickets to get there and back, but we had not picked which Champagne Houses we wanted to visit, nor had we figured out where we were going to sleep. Finding somewhere to sleep turned out to be a big problem as everywhere under 200 euros was already booked. After over an hour of searching, and nearly resigning ourselves to sleeping on a bench, we found an airbnb that was available and not too expensive! Just goes to show, persistence pays off. We also booked Champagne tastings at Veuve Clicquot, Taittinger, and Moët & Chandon!
Today (Sunday), Ariel and I went into Paris. For the last couple of weeks (including this one), the trains have been messed up on the weekends because they are doing repair work on the lines, so we had to take a bus most of the way before we could use the train. Once in Paris, we started off our day by going to Angelina, which is famous for its chocolat chaud (hot chocolate), and was a favorite of Audrey Hepburn. We had had their chocolat chaud before, but this time went in, sat down, and had the Petit Déjeuner Angelina. This includes a choice of hot beverage (we had the chocolat chaud), juice (we had orange juice), bread (served with butter, honey, apricot preserves, and strawberry jam), small croissant, small pain au chocolat, small pain aux raisins, fruit cup, and choice of egg (we had omelettes). It was delicious!
Then, after I went to mass, we visited the Musée Rodin. Part of it’s statue gardin is being redone but we still got to see most of the statues, including the “Gates of Hell,” both “Thinker”s, and “The Kiss.” Musée Rodin was free because it is the first Sunday of the month, but this also meant that the Champs-Elysées was ‘car free’ which was cool to see. We only took a few pictures and wandered through a couple of stores before we had to make our way back home.