Annecy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    A n n e c y, I discovered this city when I was student teaching while researching for geography lessons. What I like to convey most with teaching geography, is that France is about the same size as Texas (in fact France is a little bit smaller) yet the geographical features are so diverse. You’ll be in the south and feel like you’re in a dramatic French movie surrounded by olive trees and valleys. Move a little bit over and you could fall into caves, rigid landscapes, or even be at a beach! Then there is the eastern border that is lined with mountains; the longest being the famous Alps that separates France from Switzerland. Here is where I located Annecy filled not only with mountain scenery but a beautiful lake.

I was really fortunate with the weather, and most of my time in Annecy was spent sitting on the lawn next to the lake (I am even a lil sunburnt!) While getting my first lobster look of the year, I also walked around and took many pictures of the bright pastel flowers and buildings. Annecy is one of the most flowered cities in France, there’s even an award for it called the “Golden Flower”.

People here were beyond lovely. Whenever I am on the border of France close to a neighboring country, I do notice shifts is the local culture. What I mean is, personalities and habits change when there’s an influence in the typical cultural norm. For example in Strasbourg, I saw a lot of German influence with healthier food stores and bike riding. When in Annecy, I noticed overly friendly locals and healthier lifestyles (a lot of runners, bikers, roller-bladders, water sports, no smokers, really I saw almost no smokers) now I don’t have any knowledge on Switzerland culture, so I can only assume it’s influence of two cultures, or  the scenery of Annecy being so beautiful and positive.

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Lake Annecy is said to be the cleanest lake in Europe. It was formed more than 18,000 years ago from glaciers that melted. The glaciers and mountains act like a natural filtration system, which is why it is so crystal clear! You are able to see 8 meters down (the deepest part of the lake is 87 meters deep). Small rivers and an underground source still feed into the lake, which is why it is so prominent and kept clean! I’m used to seeing Chicago’s lake, lake Michigan, so let’s just say I WAS BLOWN AWAY // JUST LOOK AT THE AQUA COLORS

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B O A T . T O U R  for 14.50 euros you can take an hour boat tour around the lake, seeing nearby villages, castles, and some special mountain spots. Here are a few pics from it 🙂

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cute nearby village
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formed in the ice age
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lovers’ cave
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11th century castle, privately owned by a family where they live year round, what a dream!

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If you look closely, you can see hand-gliders ; a very popular activity !

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there’s another castle in the middle there. it’s been owned by the same family for over 28 generations !
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At one time this was one of the most famous (and best) restaurant in France. The Queen of England still eats here !
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One of the most expensive villages to live in, in France

 

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Annecy has a few nicknames : Pearl of the Alps // Venice of the Alps
I hope you enjoyed my photos, and I was able to share a little special-ness from across the world.

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thanks for stopping by, here’s some cute pigeons taking a dip :p

 

 

bike ride to Chateau Beauregard

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Here to share a few photos from a bike ride I took today that was set to be 45 minutes, and ended up being some hours longer. After a few hiccups along the way (such as rocky old cobblestones, seriously v painful), it was a nice adventure. What makes it all worth it is peeking into the small French towns and country sides (even though most of the country sides today looked similar to midwest usa :p)  Today brought up a lot of memories from the last time I rented a bike in France to make it to the American Normandy cemetery from Bayeux; had far less highways and fluffy cows!
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Yes, I fangirled over all the dog portraits. There is even a pitbull 🙂 its a smaller castle, so they add art exhibits in it to something a little more. A family even lives in half of the castle! What a dream

thanks for stopping by :))

5 useful French for a French Classroom

things i hear

Wanted to note down some words/expressions I hear everyday, either from myself saying it or students saying it to me. One of the obvious things students say to me almost EVERY class is “he said a bad word”, if I were to directly translate it means “he said a FAT word”. Myself and another English person giggled that sometimes when we ask what bad word a student said, we don’t actually know what the bad word is (I know the bad words, and it is not bad words lol). So a lot of times we shove it off as a “don’t say that again.” We explained this to a French teacher and he giggled back and said be careful, because 99% of the time it is NOT a bad word at all; such a calling another student a villain. So now I just say things like let us all be nice :p

City of Love

img_7218Paris.

These past two weeks I have been on my winter break, (breaks…France does a lot of those) and I ended it in Paris. Seemed like the perfect plan because I would swoop back to Blois and Kyle would fly out of Paris -.-

I have already visited Paris when I first moved to France to study abroad, so the pressure was on to be a tour guide a little for Kyle. My head is spinning already with trying to come up with an opinion on Paris. It’s the most visited place in the world, the THING people know about France, the city of love, in general the super hyped up city. They city has an abundance of museums, arrondisments (neighborhoods), restaurants, people, transports, lines, shops, just an abundance of just about everything. This overwhelming fact of there being so much makes it hard for me to form an opinion, because there are a millions ways to do Paris. The most simplistic way I can explain it is you can be either a tourist or visit Paris like you live there. Kyle and I did a little bit of both.

For example, Thursday on a rainy morning we walked to Notre Dame, walked through it’s park to take in the scenery and really remember it. Friday afternoon we walked to the Eiffel Tower, bought some sandwiches and ate them in the park in front of the tower. Did we wait in an 1-3 hour long line to go to the top of Notre Dame/Eiffel tower? Heck no. I totally understand why the travel connoisseur Anthony Bourdain says, if you are going to Paris do Paris, and that means drinking an espresso in a cafe and people watch, not wait in miserable lines. Do not plan too much.Do not experience what everyone says you have to experience.

We definitely still went to Le Louvre, because it’s a one of kind place and I don’t care how long the line is. Another thing we made sure to do is go to a traditional French brasserie for dinner. Kyle loves French onion soup, so we had to let him experience it in France :p i was over the moon we found a cute spot in the Latin Quarter, that has a veggie option, as well as a dog hanging out inside! We found a lot of good food spots via Pinterest this time. brasserie Le Petit Prince de Paris

In 2016, I said Tycho was going to be my official anthem for the year. Whenever I was applying for jobs, or doing work on the computer, getting ready, I put up their Youtube full albums. They were the background noise for a huge chunk of my life these passed months, so I got emotional and fluffy and fortunate for being able to see them play in Paris.

take a listen 🙂

kilo-shop
Paris is the fashion capital of the world, so I couldn’t help myself but do a little shopping here >.I revisited a store I stumbled upon on on my last trip here Kilo Shop. Kilo Shop is an organized vintage treasure chest of goodies. It’s a thrift store that sells items by the weight, not priced per item. SO YOU CAN PURCHASE SO MANY ONE OF A KIND ITEMS FOR PRACTICALLY NOTHING. I didn’t do hardcore digging because I was with Kyle, and let’s be fair I don’t think he looked like he was having fun, but was being a champ :p I did find a pair of vintage denim Levi pants made into shorts. Girls you know the struggle, it is so hard to find reclaimed denim shorts that don’t show your booty cheeks. These fit so perfect, and even have had the butt patched with denim patches, and I think it gives it so much character, I love them.  Wore them with tights a few times already in Paris! I am really trying to be more ec0-friendly with clothing buys/ not buy from stores like Forever 21 that have child labor issues and just over production of clothing. Marzia has touched on a few notes on unethical clothing if you’re interested :p

 

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we’re a horrible couple at getting photos of us together. we tried :p

INSTAXS 

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thanks for stopping by 🙂

Adorable Alphabet

I had to make a blog post (safe keeping for the future) of this adorable alphabet I saw on one of my school’s wall today. Hope to make it one year when I’m back teaching French in the U.S., just look at all perfect hues ❤ maybe it will inspire you too!

Abeille
Ballon
Cœur
Dinosaure
Étoile
Fromage
Guitare
Hibou
Italie
Jaune
Koala
Loup
Monstre
Noir
Orange
Papillon
Quille
Rois
Serpent
Tigre
Usine
Vélo
Wagon
Xylophone
Yoyo
Zèbre

IN THE BACK OF MY MIND

Some words that keep coming up in conversation that I have to take a pause with and think; they’re a bit dusty in the back of my mind & on the tip of my tongue. Writing it down always help to remember, and hey maybe you’re interested. 🙂

up / en haut (adv), levé (adj)

straight ahead / tout droit (adv)

I don’t care / ça m’est égal

it doesn’t matter / ce n’est pas grave

to turn on / allumer

to turn off / éteindre

I lied / j’ai menti

on sale (discounted) / en solde (adv)

I wonder / Je me demande (I ask myself)

floor / le sol

to spell (orally) / épeler