Thursday, May 30, 2013

Adventures & Other Things That Make Me Happy

I was sitting at the piano yesterday, going through an old notebook, looking for song material, when I came across journal entries from Study Abroad.
And they made me happy, and not like they'll necessarily make you happy, but what the heck. Also, I apparently have plans to live ALL the places. Nbd.
We'll just pretend it's like I'm liveblogging the whole experience, instead of failblogging the entire three months. It is without further ado that I present to you: Adventures (ONLY eight months after they happened.)

Saturday - Saturday market in Loche, live there much? It's all so picturesque, but it also feels quite real, and I could happily live here. More than Paris, even. Yeah, I went there. & there's lots of gorgeous woods round here, like in Amboise, where we're staying. Mel & I went for a run last night and it was major fairytale. So in love with this country, but also terribly excited for Belgium, Amsterdam (!!!), & obvs...England, etc.
Paris did teach me I could be a city person if said city is beautiful enough...but being out here in the autumn woodsen reminds me of home & the fact that deep down, I'm just plain country.
& bought a gorgey russet sweater at the market. (& Alicia bought it in grey...twinsies!) (Joking.) (But really.)
Off to Chenonceau!
Also there was this sweet black lab at the market and everyone immediately goes up and pets him for like a year - like, spot the dog-lovers - but he was the sweetest - Sapphy - but made me miss Hoss & Boo hardcore.
Also yesterday - Leonardo da Vinci's French home & a huge park with tons of his inventions - gorgeous, mad fun, vair cool, and I took mebs a million pictures for KK.

Saint-Malo Saint-Malo Saint-Malo!
So gorgeous and peaceful and wild. You understand. I think beaches just won in the eternal beach vs. mountains discussion. It is so perfect. The oooooooooocean. Last night we were in our church clothes and straight up got in there. Soaked to my waist? Don't mind if I do. And it was tres warm. BRILL. & today we just like sat and watched the ocean for over an hour.
Here I want to live.
Also Chenonceau yesterday (Saturday?) - so lovely & fairytale-y. The wooooods. Mmm. Oh, and happy October!

At Port...en...Bennis. I think? (UPDATE: Nah, it was Port-en-Bessin, my little fools.) It's a fishing town, not v romantic but almost...realistically romantic? Like modern drama? Think the town in Ondine when there's the accident. Although obvs less chaotic. But, like, Mel & I popped outta our hotel room at tenish, wandered the tiny town center, with two roads facing each other across a canal, with all the boats blinking blue and guys hauling fish out of their boats. Also cool moving asphalt bridge, v. Hogwarts. Anyways, it smelled of fish & salt & grease & it was raining lightly, the kind you barely feel but can see coming down hard in the goldy streetlights, and it was fantastic. Normandy D-Day beaches manana.
Oh & Mont St. Michel today! Really really lovely, & made me think of our Christmas Village train, all steep little road winding up through the cottages.
"The cure for anything is salt water: tears, sweat, the sea."

Omaha Beach - assess, adapt, and overcome.
At Omaha Beach: how incredibly brutal. War is horrible & brutal & sick & dehumanizing, but warriors - they're noble & believe in something & are braver than I think most of us can realistically imagine. The greatest horrors of mankind seem to create the greatest men.

Oct 3
The Bayeux Tapestry this morning - seriously excellent.
Giverny this afternoon, except it was pouring.
And now we've been on the bus for ages, & it is so grey and green and it's sleepy and sad and lovely. & Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head just came on. Excellent. I love France, uh, a lot.
One of those days where I dream - more than normal - that I can fly. Comprende?
& all the countryside & towns we're passing...the houses all look either like mental institutions in horror movies or crazy, stupidly picturesque & lovely & cosy, all windowboxes and smoke curling out of chimmneys and painted shutters and all that, or some bizarre combination of the two.
Very If You're Feeling Sinister.
Yet all highly magical, too - that wooded glen with smoke rising out of it? An elf feast. These brick houses? Holding a mad magician, C.S. Lewis style, every last one of them. That sort of feeling.
Count me in and consider me sold. If I could get thrown into a story right now, Inkheart style...well, I'm not so sure I couldn't, today.

Just watched The Sound of Music on the bus (love). (HELLO Christopher Plummer. Who knew that was him? Not me. I love Captain Von Trapp.) (LOVE.)
In ma homeland...The Nederlands! What's more, last day with Pieter, our adorbs bus driver/ ma Dutch brotha. He's the jovial big-belly-ed kind of man whose tip of the nose gets red when he laughs at his jokes. That kind. Adorbs.
Nederlands Nederlands Nederlands.
It's about 4 here, the sun's low in the sky & mad bright, & it's v green and chill & Just a Boy is playing. Done & done. One of those Mindy moments: "Or rather, who I have been is not who I will be."
It's naice. xxx

Sent mom a pic of the I Love You sign drawn in the sand for her birthday, and today's Demarie's birthday, so we all wrote on Post-Its & covered her hotel room door in em this morning. Besides which, on the bus, her countoff number is 3, so when she called it out we all launched into Happy Birthday. I love other people's birthdays!

I love how Holland is literally claimed from the sea. Like there's an area, like a whole county/providence (?) that didn't exist in 1930...because it was THE OCEAN. That's solid.

In France the clouds moved so fast it was bizarre, & in the Netherlands, they don't move at all. Oh, I'm sorry, did I say at all? I meant at all. The most green and blue still kind of peace, though...I like Holland MUCHO.
Still tripping out about the clouds, though. In 5 minutes they have made no progress. It's majer surreal.

Holllllllland. We were in Amsterdam yesterday and it was fab, I lurved it. So this morning we went to Leiden, and I was like, I love this. Leiden > Amsterdam. And we climbed up inside a windmill. Shveet. Then we stopped in Delft, and I was like, I DIE. Delft > Leiden. The Netherlands just keep getting better and better. All we've done in Delft is walk around & now we're drinking cinammon steamers in Coffee Company, where there are lots of scruffy, sensitive, well-dressed Dutchmen having deep discussions in English. It's just really sun-lit & cosy & there's a very nice, very broad-shouldered, very ginger baristo. Happiness is a Dutch coffee shop in the sunshine in the autumn.
(& the biiikes!) (& Vermeer's hometown!)

That's the end of that run-on trip down Memory Lane, babes.
xxx and all that jazz,

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