Monday, August 30, 2010

How I Spent My Summer Vacation Part 2: France

After a few days of mooching off my brother in Amsterdam, I headed to France to spend a few days in Normandy to do a D-day tour and go to a friend's wedding, then one day in Paris, just because I could. Note to self: Marry a Frenchie. They throw awesome weddings and they have the best wine and cheese.

This is actually the key to our hotel room in Bayeux. How cool is that?

This is seriously what it looks like when you walk around in Bayeux. I think that's just someone's house. One night we were just out wandering around, and out of nowhere this choir showed up and started singing. It is bizarre and magical and beautiful. Also, we were pretty drunk, but it really did seem like magic.

Again, wine makes things funnier, but my friend Susan bought these and then pointed out, "Ok, so does anyone else notice that these are called 'Fingers' and it looks like the package says, 'Fondle'?" Best cookies ever.

If you were a D-Day soldier, you would know that this is the map of where all of the attacks had to happen. I can't make any sense of it, and it was explained to me in detail. It's amazing what people are capable of. This is on the wall of a memorial that will break your heart and make you cry, but if you ever get the chance, you should still go.

Barbed wire on a beach. War is bad, boys and girls. Don't ever let anyone tell you anything different.

Bomb craters. But there's still vegetation. It's like Mother Nature was like, "OW! Whatever, I'm still gonna grow some trees."

Once we were done with the good times in Bayeux, we headed to Caen for the wedding. (Not to be confused with Cannes.) Instead of a rehearsal dinner, the lovely French family invited the visiting Americans over for wine and cheese. And they SO delivered on that promise. They had a ginormous cherry tree in their backyard, so the evening obviously devolved into a pit spitting contest. See those mad skills? I kicked Blaire's ass.

I mean, really. If you're going to get married in France, this is totally the kind of place where it needs to happen. Am I right?

After the wedding, we had a 4th of July picnic (in France. It was strange, but so nice.) then it was off to Paris! We got there, went out to dinner, then went for a little walk. Oh that? Yeah, that's me hanging out in front of Notre Dame. On a bridge over the Seine. Beautiful, right? (Beautiful, gorgeous, wish you were here!) Except that when I look at this picture, all I can think is, "That stupid bitch has no idea what's about to happen to her." Yeah, don't eat the escargot at the place down the street from my hotel. (What? I was in France! When in France...) I have never been so sick in my life. I honestly wasn't sure I was going to make it out alive. I had a whole lot of crazy brain lying on the bathroom floor of my hotel room, but I did make it. AND! I didn't need to do a post-France diet, so there's a plus. On the downside, I missed a huge chunk of my one day in Paris.

BUT! How funny is this chair? It's so tiny! Why bother even putting it into a hotel room? Is it for little people?

SOTD: Nothin' on You by B.o.B. and Bruno Mars. This song was stuck in my head the whole time I was in France. Why? Not sure. Although, it was a tie between this and the song from Beauty and the Beast that starts with them saying "Bonjour!" over and over again.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How I Spent My Summer Vacation Part 1: Amsterdam

August?! Really? Oops.

So, let me take this time to fill you in on what I've been up to all summer, because it has been pretty stinkin' fabulous. Once school got out, and I did my tri, I hopped on a plane to Amsterdam. My brother Tom is living there now with his family, so I got to check it out. I highly recommend the city- I even recommend taking a quick detour through the red light district, but go during the day and be aware that you are going to see more than you ever want to.

See look?! I'm really there!

A horrible picture, but it's part of why I've decided that I love the Dutch: This is a beautiful piece of art in the middle of the city, and if you could see what it says, you would be reading, in Latin, "Men, don't pee in the wind." It's awesome. I like my art with a sense of humor.

OK, these are all on their sides and I'm too lazy to fix it. But how cool is this sign? The triple X is the Amsterdam city symbol. They do love their bikes there, and it is very cool to see the downtown just crammed full of bikes.

Um, in case you can't tell, that's a urinal, just out in the middle of the street in case you need to stop in all of your wandering to pee. It made me laugh so hard, but I respectfully waited for the dude I spotted over there to finish up before I took this picture. You're welcome, random dude.

I was there during World Cup Madness, and every bar looked liked this. I'm not sure if the extent of the orange really comes through, but it was cool.

The canals. The city is built on canals, so this is what you see everywhere you go. I'm hoping that the next time I go back, Tom will have bought a boat. Supposedly, this are full of bikes. Good stuff.

Next up: France.

SOTD: Amsterdam by Peter, Bjorn and John. If you need an explanation on that one...