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Archive for the ‘France Knitting’ Category

Well, it’s official – tomorrow I will be fighting the time stream home. This was clearly the only explanation as to why it takes longer to fly home than it did to get here. Maybe we can try warp speed to get us there faster =)

One more side nerdy note: I can’t wait until I am Dr. Stock because it sounds so close to Dr. Spock that I will be completely okay with people calling me that =)

Moving on. Guess what I finished?

Rose’s socks are all done just in time for me to take them home. I even tucked the ends in!

And …

Mom’s Traveling Socks are also officially completely and made a little trip around Ambialet yesterday. Everything is so green here now given the high amount of rain we have been having. On top of that, the river is muddy because the rain was so crazy and at one point, I looked outside and it was legitimately hailing. But the weather is being quite beautiful for our last couple of days here.

Have a rich and wonderful day! =)

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Today has been an extremely relaxing day. After our one class this morning, I decided I really wanted to work on my sister’s socks.

That was only a cuff and heel flap when I started today. But when you pick a two hour movie, you really can get quite a bit done! The movie we picked for the day was the first Sherlock Holmes movie. And can I please tell you that I received a huge reality check when watching this? In the movie, they are constructing the Tower Bridge.

And you know what was so cool?! I was able to think “I was there!”

And Big Ben was in the movie, which I also saw, and I feel like this is going to be the first of many instances where I can say that and really appreciate my time here and the experiences that I have incurred.

And do you know what else is odd? I realized I never posted a Mom’s Traveling Sock from London! So I got the picture off of Carly and I look like I’m deep in thought but I am knitting on Mom’s Sock!

We were just hanging out in a park reading and knitting. It was quite the nice experience =)

Have a rich and wonderful day =)

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Even coming up with a title for this blog was thought provoking because Switzerland was over the top, amazing, and ten kinds of wonderful.

Jen and I headed off on our adventures on Thursday. We kind of had an idea of where we were staying and had definitive modes of transportation in and out of Switzerland but other than that, we were flying by the seat of our pants. I did not bring my Kindle along, no books, and no knitting because EasyJet does not allow knitting needles (this is a travesty), so Jen and I brought along a deck of cards. That saved us the entire trip because we played cards everytime we had free time. One of the most memorable moments was when we were playing a game where you hit the cards and yell ‘Spit!’ except we changed the word; so yes, I did yell ‘Ostrich!’ rather loudly in the Toulouse airport =)

We flew into Basel Airport and then took a train to Zurich. It was really early in the morning so we took an extremely early train because we wanted to be warm and comfortable.

Unfortunately, the train was neither warm or comfortable. There was a wicked draft coming in through that window! Then our plan was to stay in the train station that night only to find out right after getting off the train that the station was closing until four in the morning. Yikes! Thank God for the McDonald’s across the street that was open until 4 am. What a lucky break! We went back over to the train station around 4 and caught a train at 5:55 to our hostel. We walked to our hostel after we got off the train and arrived around 6:30 am and had a lovely breakfast. However, Jen left at one point, and I put my head on my hand and instantly fell asleep and fell off my hand. We clearly needed some sleep. So we grabbed a 45 minute nap on hidden couches so the receptionist couldn’t yell at us. Then we decided that on 3 hours of sleep, a hike in the Alps would clearly be the best idea possible!

This is where we went hiking and it was just such a break taking experience.

I just could not get over the views!

Just being able to see these views was all that I could have hoped for in Switzerland. But you know, Switzerland wouldn’t have been complete without some yodeling so Jen and I found an awesome little clearing and we yodeled away!

After our lovely hike, Jen and I just hung around the area near our hostel. We walked and found the lake, and found an awesome swing set which I am sure we could have fell asleep on. We decided to call it an early night, and both of us were in bed by 630 and went to sleep between 830 and 9.

Sleeping a solid 10 hours will do wonderful things so the next morning we were ready to go! Our plan was to spend the entire day just touring around Zurich. I loved Zurich for the fact that it did not feel like a tourist city. The architecture did not make it feel particularly old like some of the places I have visited and was quite appealing to me. We walked down the main shopping street of Bahnhofstrasse. Everything was so expensive on that street that I was afraid to breathe on it but it had some great window shopping. Jen and I found this awesome toy store and spent a ton of time in there.

Then we headed over to Linderhof which was this awesome park with some great views over Zurich. It was such a wonderful place to sit and ponder life and just enjoy what was in front of you without feeling rushed whatsoever.

Next we spent some time over by the lake and guess what?

Mom’s traveling socks made it to Switzerland! No way were they going to go everywhere else that I visited and not Switzerland! And here they are looking over lake Zurisee which had such lovely views.

We also found another green space and took pictures there under a really lovely tree.

We just had such an incredible day just walking around and stumbling upon cool little things and enjoying each others’ company and constantly reminding ourselves that we were in Switzerland! We appreciated Switzerland the entire time we were there and never really got over the fact that we were there!

Jen and I have a notorious sweet tooth between the two of us and so, of course, we splurged on Swiss chocolates!

And they were just as delicious as they look! We capped off the night by hanging out with friends and that just made Switzerland end on such a high and happy note =)

And here we are after over 24 hours of being awake:

And not looking too shabby either!

I can’t believe we actually made it to Switzerland and more than that, I can’t believe how much I fell in love with it. It’s right up there with Dublin for me on favorite places I visited which means it made the number one spot with Dublin. The whole trip was so laid back and we did such a wonderful job of enjoying ourselves seeing as we had practicially no plans whatsoever! Thinking about this weekend still puts a smile on my face =)

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I hope everyone had a perfectly lovely Easter!

Easter here in France definitely falls under the category of days I will never forget in the best possible way =)

The day started out with mass at 10 which was awesome. I didn’t think we were going to need to read but Jen and I ended up reading the first reading and the Gospel in English. It was really meaningful to be able to participate in Easter mass like that. After mass, five trumpeters played and it just sounded so incredible in that church. Truly the right was to start Easter off.

Then it was time for brunch!

Everyone was so excited about brunch because we all have wanted a real breakfast for a while so this was super exciting. Granted it was served closer to 12 but it will worked =)

Then after brunch it was time to get serious because it was time to play cricket with the British. Not your typical Easter fun but it completely worked! There are two British couples living in the town and one couple had extended family come in to visit and they challenged the Americans to a game of cricket.

I think they played the easy verison with us but it was quite fun. I took my shoot at batting and when I got out, I had to quack like a duck because whatever happened was called a duck. There is a chance I was being messed with but I’ll play along =) Playing was intermixed with breaks for drinks, cucumber sandwiches, and scones (does it get much more British than that?!)

Then it got to be time for fielding. I’m not sure how many of you know this but I am not athletic but I like to think I am a good sport. So keeping this in mind, I found myself what I assumed to be a dead spot. It was to the left of the batter, out in a field of longish grass. No way is anyone going to hit balls to me. I swear to God every one in three balls was headed towards me! It was insane! I think the most memorable part of it was when I was standing there going, ‘I can’t find it!’ and someone runs over and goes, ‘It’s right behind your foot!’ If I had stepped backwards I would have stepped on it and yes, this happened more than once.

But it was just such a cool experience and so fun! Each team was heckling each other in the best sense of fun. At one point, someone on the other team made some kind of comment about knitting to me to which I replied ‘I have it right here with me!’ He just started to laugh when I pulled my knitting out and said he definitely wasn’t expecting that!

And I’m excited because I can finally get to starting the second sock because I wanted to make sure I had knitting to take to Switzerland on Thursday and I didn’t want to start it too early!

After cricket, we had a short break before an early dinner.

We were 38 for dinner and it was fantastic. I think the most noteworthy food to mention was the fact that we had two cheese platters with 11 different types of cheese on them a piece! This was quite tasty! But there was good food, great company, delectable wine, toasting, and a warm and welcoming spirit that truly made this a wonderful Easter =)

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Let’s talk mice.

Firstly, they look like that would be really fun to knit or crochet. [Disclaimer: I did not make these because I didn’t bring supplies for mice making to France with me . . .]

(More by the person who made these can be found at foxymitts.deviantart.com!)

And I feel like I have been seeing mice like things since being here. For instance, on one of our first excursions, I tried a souris chocolate (chocolate mouse).

This was followed by the urge to watch the Pixar movie Ratatouille. It’s all about a mouse who wants to be chef and finds himself in Paris. So appropriate for while I am here. It might be my favorite Pixar movie =)

When we came back from Spring Break, we found there had been a mouse problem. I think the most memorable comment on it was ‘Why did you [the mouse] have to eat my Reese’s cups? That’s just not right.’ So every once in a while, you hear of someone seeing a mouse. The other night, some of the girls here had a mouse in their garbage can so they threw it and all the contents of their garbage can out the window. Then I was sitting on my bed which is right by the door and looked down and saw a mouse zooming around on the floor and it shot out under the door. My reaction? I opened that door and said ‘Where did you go?!’ And with how much activity this mouse has been recreating he needed a name, so I have named him Ralph S. Mouse after Beverly Cleary’s books. (Not everyone here knew this book which did surprise me a bit; I loved these when I was younger!) All this mouse wanted was a motorcycle which I can support =)

Anyway, last night, I went to bed early and woke up about an hour and half later to find someone in my room setting a mouse trap with chocolate because they saw the mouse come into my room. I was told it wasn’t going to climb into bed with me which I was not concerned about. I rolled back over and went to sleep. I woke up again around 6ish to hear what sounded like a mouse in the trap but I thought ‘Hey, it’s not going anywhere so no reason to wake up,’ and here he is today!

Hi Ralph! Ralph is getting a drive down to the river later to let him loose there so that he doesn’t come back =) Perhaps this will be the end of the mouse adventures . . .

Have an excellent day =)

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I have never really been much of an outdoors type of person. I prefer air conditioning for the most part. However, being in France, I’m doing strange things like petting dogs and going on bike rides so why not sit outside and eat as well? About five or six of us sit outside for lunch and sometimes dinner most days and it feels so good to sit in the sun and just have it hit my back. The weather is almost always commented on when we go outside. =)

But this isn’t the only relaxing thing that we have been up to. I associate get togethers as a summertime activity too and Friday night we went to our teacher’s house for dinner. Five of us went with him right after class and helped him prep dinner. This caused him to remark that he knew how the pyramids were built – lots of slaves =) But we had so much fun getting dinner together and then he played piano for us and sang. It was simply incredible.

While we were waiting for the rest of our group, we sat outside for a bit. Of course I brought my knitting along because I figured if we were getting there around 2:30 and dinner wouldn’t be until 7:30 that there would probably be some down time. My friend was a good sport and knitted with me for a bit.

It was quite fun and I enjoyed it immensely. I don’t think I quite made a knitter out of him but I had fun and I think he did too =)

Yesterday, we went to Notre Dame de la Dreche just for a visit and to see the church. It was a very pretty church with a really happy feeling to it overall.

And we got to go into the carillon and see the bells being played!

But overall, things have just been so nice and calm and just wonderful here =)

Have a rich and wonderful day =)

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Paris!

We started off the day by waking up slowly and getting breakfast. After that, Kellie, Carly, and I walked over to the Pont d’Avignon. It’s a really famous bridge and we couldn’t not be in Avignon and not go see it. Unfortunately, the bride was closed but it was a really nice walk over there. Then we sat and watched the ducks for a bit while sitting on the banks of the Rhone River. What a perfect way to spend the last bit of time in Avignon.

After lunch we were off! We hotfooted it to the shuttle to go to the Avignon TGV. We took a train that went 300 km/h, which is 180 mph! We took a trip that normally lasts around 8 hours and did it in 2.5! The ride was really nice especially for my first train ride. Mom’s Traveling Sock made an appearance for a while as well!

When we arrived in Paris, it was raining and our bus never came to take us to where we were staying. Instead, all 18 of us piled into different taxis and off we went! We dropped our stuff off, grabbed dinner, and it was time to see Paris by night. We took the metro and in the process learned how to use it. You had better be ready to jump on and off that thing fast because you aren’t given much time! And it was so perfect because on our first night, two accordion players jumped on and went to town.

It could not have been more perfect! As Olivia said, they are like the soundtrack to Paris.

Then we finally all saw it out the window – the Eiffel Tower! We all did the tourist thing and became way to excited over it but, hey, sometimes you just need to show that level of excitement. We were also able to watch it light up and sparkle which was so incredible to see. It really did look like lacework the way the metal was used and placed. What a perfect and awesome way to spend our first night in Paris.

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