09 March 2009

L’Opéra, le tourisme et du champagne

Salut, les punks!

I feel like I haven’t written anything here in forever. That can be interpreted as a good thing, as in I’ve been doing too many amazing things to take the time to record them here, or it could more accurately be a reflection on my recent spurts of laziness and utter lack of gumption in all aspects of my life. I have, however, done some pretty sweet things in the last few weeks. I’ve been returning diligently to check items off on my “to-do list” as they are accomplished, but I’ll try to expand on a few of my more interesting conquests.

This last weekend was pretty eventful. Earlier in the week, I stumbled upon a ticket to the opera – Smith’s theater class was going and M. Bloom offered me one of the extra places to which I literally responded, “Pourquoi pas?!” So Friday I had the privilege of getting dressed up and joining my amies at the enorme Opera Bastille. An excellent example of romanticism, Werther was full of lost love, torment, angst and agony and, ultimately, suicide. What fun! Despite the subject matter, the music, scenery and general experience was pleasant and fun. It was a truly great and unforgettable experience; my thanks go out again to the generosity of this Smith program.

Unfortunately, I had to pull myself out of bed early on Saturday morning to get myself to the lovely Gare de l’est where the Smith crew reconvened for a daytrip to Reims (pronounced like the French word for prince without the “P”). I indulged in the Smith-provided breakfast of a croissant, which I chose over the pain au chocolat, and the short train ride and the Champagne countryside passed quickly by.

Once in Reims, we partook of a tour of the Corot exhibit at the Musée de Beaux Arts, which was burdened by an utterly banal tour guide. Next, we received our audio guides for the tour of our choosing. Yes, these clunky devices made us the visual definition of overeager tourist, but the buildings we saw on the Art Deco walk were pretty cool. It was a great way to explore the city.

Before heading back to Paris at the completion of our brief séjour, we visited Mumm’s champagne facility, where a tour and tasting were enjoyed by all. Returning to Paris, we were greeted by the city’s typical overcast skies and biting droplets of rain, an unfortunate contrast to the warming sun we had enjoyed earlier in Reims.

In addition to my busy weekend, I’ve been going often to the cinéma (35 Rhums, Le code a changé and Harvey Milk were all wonderful), profiting from the increasingly frequent spring-like days and visiting interesting exhibits (this one made me fall in love with Serge Gainsbourg). Plus, I somehow found myself on a tour of the UNESCO building…I’m still not quite sure how that one happened.

Well, we are well into March now and the time is passing absolutely trop [too] quickly. My weeks, and particularly weekends, to come are quickly filling, but it’s all for the better. My mom will soon be visiting, and we will be traveling to Amiens and Boulogne-Sur-Mer. A high-school friend will be stopping in from Scotland. I will, hopefully, be participating in a weekend trip to Belgium. And Spring Break will bring me to the Côte d’Azur and Provence. Also, I guess I still have that school thing to do…

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