Tuesday, July 29, 2008

la fin s'approche...

Monday, 7 July

Since I didn't have to work Monday, I spent a few hours in the morning putting the finishing touches on my putain de rapport de stage. Luckily I had enough done at this point that what was left, formatting etc, was not tooooo onerous. (just rather onerous). When I finished, I went for a walk through the third and into the fourth.

I love the juxtaposition here of old in the foreground and modern in the background :



For lunch, I returned again to rue des rosiers :



But no falafel this time! Much at the end of the street, 3 rue des rosiers, is my favorite restaurant :



The name, if you couldn't guess from the picture, translates to "The dormouse in the teakettle." The interior is as homey and intimate as the name would imply :



The tables are very close together (as in any restaurant in Paris), the furniture doesn't all precisely match, the walls are painted and plastered with posters for events around the city. I had been here once before, a few weeks earlier. Today, I decided to go with a tarte salée au chèvre, au tomate et aux capres (a savory tart with goat cheese, tomato, and capers) :



It came with a small side salad (it's interesting - the word "salade" not only refers to salad, but also to greens, and frequently, when you get a side salad in Paris, you get the latter interpretation of the word.... just greens, with a vinaigrette, generally) and a basket of bread, which is the norm in pretty much any sit down restaurant, from what i have seen. This tarte was good, but not as good as the oignon rouge et tomate (red onion and tomato) tarte I had had on my first visit.

Of course dessert at le loir dans le théière is a must (actually, for me, it's a must at pretty much any restaurant...) I ordered the clafoutis aux abricots :



A clafoutis is an eggy, custardy dessert, with pieces of fruit strewn within it. Delicious.

After lunch, despite the fact that it was my day off I didn't have a lot of time because I had my final atelier de rapport de stage... I was glad to finally be done with those! I had about an hour or so between the end of my atelier and the beginning of my class, so I walked a few blocks to get to another bakery recommended in my patisserie guide, le moulin de la vierge. I had a "clafoutis" aux cerises, but it wasn't really much of a clafoutis... Much more like a cake, not nearly so eggy. Still very tasty... And much easier to eat on the go than a real clafoutis!

After class, I headed back to chez moi to put the final touches on my rapport de stage and begin studying for my final exam on Thursday.

Tuesday, 8 July

With only a week left in Paris, I wanted to make sure that I didn't miss out on any culinary experiences.... So I came here for breakfast on the 8th - du Pain et des Idées (With Bread and Ideas) :



I had been here before. It is only a 7 minute walk or so from my apartment, but in a direction I never would have gone without the recommendation by Jamie. I hadn't noticed this sign in the window before :



Evidently he has won the award for the best baker in Paris. I have no idea how this is decided, but it certainly must be quite a feat. And I must say, this bakery is worthy of the title. They make the best croissant I have tasted, and their chauson à la pomme (a pastry filled with a baked half an apple) is crispy yet light and flaky and absolutely unparalleled. Everything that I tasted from the shop, in my several visits, was incredible. It may be a little out of the way, mais il vaut la visite! (It's worth the trip)

For lunch, on my last lunch that was on my own for work, I visited another favorite bakery, Au Lavain du Marais, and got this quiche lorraine :



So good. Also I got a flan, which was also delicious. For my last week or so I was definitely all about the flan and clafoutis... Now I just have to figure out how to match the texture here so I can make it for myself!

Walking home from work, I passed this little group :




This is the Paris I love... the Paris of the reoncontre inattendu... the unexpected encounter. You never know when you're going to pass the Marché des enfants rouges and see a film crew working with a mime...

Tuesday evening, I had my last dinner with my host family. My host mom had spent the weekend at the beach, and there she had picked up spreads made of several different fish, so we had small biscuit-like cakes spread with salmon or sardine or tuna, as well as cucumber sandwiches, and salad, and pains aux poivrons (small savory muffins with bell peppers) and cake au poulet - chicken "cake", a savory loaf with pieces of chicken. A rather diverse spread! The pains aux poivrons were especially good. For dessert, Lili, the youngest daughter of Catherine and Jacques, made a cake with chocolate frosting on the outside and a layer of her mom's home-made gelée aux grosailles - currant jelly - as the inside frosting. It is called un gateau d'août - an August cake... I'm not sure why. Lili just graduated from college, and is now living with her parents while she looks for work. She does not want to stay in Paris; instead, she would rather head to the country to get work with a parks or gardens service.

So you could certainly say I ate well on Tuesday.... And this was a trend that was certainly to last the rest of the week! Hopefully I will write about all of my fabulous culinary adventures soon.

A bientôt,

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dimanche le 6 juillet

Sunday, 6 July

The 6th was a lovely day.
I went to the market, of course. They have such an incredible range of produce and foods for sale! I think this is the most expensive thing I saw while I was there - langoustine vivante :



That's just over US$100 / 4.5 lbs for "living" (maybe just uncooked? they don't look very alive to me) very oversized shrimp. I mean, does anyone actually buy that??? I suppose they must, or they wouldn't sell it.

And here is a staple in all of my cuisine :



mm, pig snout.

I don't remember if the last time I wrote about the market I mentioned all the herbs and spices they have for sale as well :



And the vegetables are all just beautiful.



Now here is something unusual, that I had never seen before :



What is it? It looks a little like an orange tomato, but that isn't it at all.
According to a little booklet they had with it at the market, it is a "sharon fruit" - evidently, the sweetest of the persimmons. The booklet was in german, so while I took one, it doesn't actually do me much good as far as instructing me about the fruit. I am not familiar with persimmon, to be able to judge whether this was sweeter than a regular persimmon, but I can tell you that it is very, very sweet - almost too sweet. And with an odd, firm, pulpy texture. Not my favorite fruit, but pas mal.

In addition to food, there are also clothing vendors, kitchen supply vendors, even dvds, books, and magazines, that evidently appeal to all ages :



That was pretty much the cutest little girl I have ever seen, calmly reading her newspaper while her dad next to her picked out what he wanted.

I got my usual fruit at the market (no date offers from my vendor, this time, luckily!) as well as salami and ham (which you can, and should, buy by the slice - which is good because the ham was apparently some special kind and cost about 40E / kilo! Good thing I only got 4 slices...) and red pepper and tomato and mozzarella for a picnic later that evening. I visited chez moi to drop off all my food, and then it was off to buy more from this scenic area :



The Madeleine, a beautiful church in the 8th, just North of the Place de la Concorde. This is a very upscale, wealthy area (the shops on the street are the likes of Gucci, Prada, etc...) as well as fabulous food district - Fauchon, LaDurée... The latter of which I decided to visit :



They claim to have invented the macaron, but Isabelle told me that Pierre does it better and I will take her word on it so I got a réligieuse instead, which I will discuss in more depth later. The shop is beautiful, 19th century with painted ceilings almost as pretty as the pastries behind the counter. Unfortunately, they don't allow pictures either of the shop or the counter, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Leaving LaDurée, I went south to the Place de la Concorde, and then turned East walking alongside the Tuileries on the rue de Rivoli until I got to another favorite spot :



Angelina! Today, however, the hot chocolate wasn't for me... Instead, I got a kilo of their hot chocolate mix for my dad's souvenir.

After leaving Angelina, I made a short pitstop in the states to visit a carnival... Paris just isn't fun or classy enough for me :



There were games, and rides, and food stands, just like any carnival or amusement park in the states :



But wait... Aren't those enormous tubs of nutella on the counter? And I do mean enormous. Even bigger than the 1 kg ones I showed you from Chartres! So maybe we aren't in the states after all...



Nope, I should say not, with the enormous Barye next to the crepe and gaufre (waffle) stand (gaufres, by the way, are delicious)... We must still be in Paris.

Despite the landscape.



Note the ride in the back left, the poles connected to the ball in the air. Here is a close up of the ride :



The ball was actually a round frame with seating for two, and the cords attached to the ball would stretch out, and then the ball would release and the cords worked like bungee cords. So the people would soar up into the air, and then fall down only to be caught by the cords and bounce upwards again.

So where was this unusual Paris fair? Did I go up to Montmartre, or far from the city center?



Nope. I don't know if you recognize it, but the building you can see far in the distance is... the Louvre. This fair is in the tuileries.

After walking through the carnival, I went back to my apartment, where I wouldn't resist getting straight to business :



Everything about LaDurée is elegant and lovely.

Especially the food!



Voila, my réligieuse à la rose. The interior was filled with a cream and raspberries. The pastry dough itself was light and delicious, and the icing and cream filling were both a light and delicious rose flavor, not as intense as Pierre's rose but still refreshing and wonderful.

I definitely miss the pastries!

Around 6, I met Killian and another friend from the program, Eddie, for a picnic in the Parc des Buttes chaumont. It is a gorgeous park in the 19e, on the North side of town. I discovered it when I went there for a run a few weeks earlier. Unlike the usual French style of gardening, where everything is laid out in neat, orderly rows - man conquers natures - this park was based a little off of Central Park in NYC, and is on the slope of a very steep hill, which it must accomodate in its planning. We had our picnic on this slope, at the top, from which you can see the northern skyline of the city :



From this view, you look down the hill to a pond that is partly hidden by the trees, and you can see the tall buildings of the Northern banlieux (suburbs) just over the trees. It was a beautiful evening and we had a lovely picnic. I roasted one of my red peppers, and brought the end of a jar of pesto to make sandwiches along with the tomatoes, salami, and ham I had gotten from the market. I picked up a baguette on the way from the metro to the park in a small bakery recommended in my book as being one of the few in Paris to use a wood burning stove. This is supposed to render the breads wonderful and the pastries a bit bizzare. The bread was very, very crusty... I'll stick with whatever kind of oven is usually used today for bread baking. Killian had asked me to pick up the mozzarella to make a mozzarella and tomato salad... A relatively difficult choice for a picnic, but then I suppose we are talking gourmet picnic here. For dessert I had made crepes, and ate them with Sharon fruit and nectarines from the market. We couldn't have asked for a nicer evening, and the food was all wonderful.

As we left the park, we passed this view, and had to stop for a moment to soak it in :



The bridge on the left leads to the rotunda you can see at the very right. I am sorry to say I never made it out to that rotunda, because I bet the view was just incredible. However, we were in a bit of a rush to get to the metro to get here :



The Comedie Française, a theater built in the 17th century, just next to the Palais Royale and the Louvre. (I am sorry this is not a better picture, I actually took it a few days later and it was raining fairly hard so I didn't want to take a lot of time to position myself perfectly to get a good shot). We went to see Cyrano de Bergerac, which is a play I knew beforehand well enough to follow most of what was happening even when I didn't quite understand all of the dialogue. I liked it better than the Cantatrice Chauve, but it was long - a 3+ hour play, with a 15-20 minute intermission - a real play this time! I must say, it was tiresome to try to understand three hours of literary French. And, of course, it would have been better if it had been a musical. The theater itself was beautiful, with multiple balconies and many individual boxes... Unfortunately, as usual with beautiful theaters, they did not allow photography.

At the end of the show I hurried home again, to not miss the metro before my month long pass expired. I made it home just past midnight, thus ending a long but very fulfilling day.

Today I started working again at the ICPSR summer program, so I have many hours to fill... Hopefully I will get through the entries for my last week in Paris very soon!

A bientôt,

Monday, July 21, 2008

La vie quotidienne



Wednesday, 2 July


I had hoped to visit a new area of the city after the work on the 2nd, but it was raining and I had a paper due the next day in my class, so unfortunately I didn't have a very exciting day. For lunch, I visited a small bakery and for once, I ate in to avoid the rain. I had my first flan, which was incredible and lead to many more flans over the following week. I am sorry to say that as I am writing about this day more than two weeks after it occurred, I do not remember it very clearly.


Thursday, 3 July


Since it was Thursday, of course I went to the market for lunch! I visited my favorite vendors for cherries and peaches, as I always do. Evidently, we had become quite good friends by this time, because not only was I greeted with a smile of recognition, but on a fait la bise - that is, we did the 2 kisses on the cheek. The vendor who you can see in my original market entry, the one with the cherries over his ears, evidently decided that now that we were such good friends, it would be a good idea to ask me for my number, and to get a coffee..... Oh dear. I tried to play the dumb American who doesn't understand much English, and in fact as he spoke rather softly and with an accent, I really couldn't make out a lot of what he said. I don't know if he was offended that I turned him down... at any rate, I still got a great discount on my fruit, just like they always give me.


After work was class, and after class I don't recall having had any big plans for the evening.


Friday, 4 July


Happy fourth of July! The fourth is celebrated about as much in France as we celebrate Bastille day, July 14, in the states.


My boss was gone for the weekend to Salzburg for an exhibition featuring one of the artists the gallery represents, so it was just me and the assistant, Lou. Now that we're getting into July, business is slowing down as Parisians are leaving town to go to the countryside. We had a slow day, labeling hundreds of envelopes for invitations for the next exhibition in September.


For lunch, I visited le marché des enfants rouge - the oldest covered market in Paris. There are a handful of different ethnic food vendors - Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Moroccan... I had couscous with chicken and vegetables, and a mint tea which was sweet and delicious, and a baklawa. There is shady outdoor seating, but not a great deal of it. Here's another cultural difference - people don't care about sharing tables with strangers. It is not at all uncommon to have two completely different parties sitting at the same table not only at an outdoor venue like this, but in restaurants as well. Even when tables are separate in restaurants, they are very close together, so it is very easy to join the conversation of the table next to you.


The fourth was an absolutely beautiful day, about 75 degrees and mostly sunny. After work, I took a walk down to the park I discovered on the 16th of June, after my visit to Notre Dame. On my way, I stopped in a patisserie, Pain de Sucre. I had my first Parisian guimauves :




Or, as they are known in English, marshmallows! French marshmallows are not like their American counterpart - old and hard on the outside, and sold in bulk in bags. They are square, as above, and sold individually, and, most importantly, flavored. Above is fruit de la passion - passion fruit. I also had a rose flavored one. The are delicious - very sweet and moist. And fun!


I sat in the park for a couple of hours, copying recipes from my host mom's recipe book that she has been compiling for decades. I copied dozens of recipes and I am very excited to try them out now that I'm back here. Eventually I walked home, and ate my other purchase at Pain de Sucre : a pepino :




It's a pastry shell filled with cream and covered in fraises du bois : tiny wild strawberries that are very sweet and must be found in nature in season. The strawberries were good, the pastry was a little odd - the cream tasted peppery to me.


Saturday, 5 July

Saturday, with Eric gone for the weekend, it was just Lou and me again. I only worked a couple of hours, until lunch time, and then walked through the 3rd to the 2nd to visit Les Halles - a district filled with tons of specialty stores. I went to a kitchen store, and bought myself a few souvenirs : a tart pan, four mini individual tart pans, a grease splatter cover, a silicon pastry sheet, and three cookbooks. Pas mal, eh? On my walk home, I stopped in a Piccard, which is a chain grocery store where absolutely everything is frozen. It's actually really cool (no pun intended) - they have all sorts of fruits and vegetables as well as meals and pastries, cakes, ice cream, macarons... Everything you would hope to find in the freezer section of a grocery store. I got some frozen rhubarb. For the summer, when most of these vegetables and fruits are in season and so good from the market, it seemed a little silly to me to buy them frozen... But when they are out of season, it must be a great store.

I spent the afternoon working on my internship report. In the evening, I made my way over to the champ de Mars to relax with a few friends under the new, blue, tour Eiffel. For the next couple of months, the tower is lighting up blue due to the presidency of the European Union being in France. On the other side of the tower there are also stars, so that the tower matches the flag of the EU. The tower has never lit up blue before, and apparently people are coming from all over Europe to see it, so I just got lucky enough to be there at the same time.



It still sparkles every hour, on the hour, for 10 minutes :



I am trying to get caught up with the rest of my trip asap... But Baltimore has certainly kept me busy! I've got just over a week to go! So, hopefully,

A bientôt

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

rue des rosiers

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

At work on Tuesday, we were preparing for the mailing of the invitations to the next vernissage (opening) which is September 6, for the german painter Martin Kasper. It would seem that July would be a little early for this invitation, but the gallery closes at the end of the current exhibition, July 26, and remains closed until about September 2. There would be no reason to stick around - the entire city packs up and leaves for vacation for the month of August so there is no one around. Not a bad way to live, really, with a month off every August.....

For lunch, I returned to my favorite street and this time I took pictures...

I ran into a friend, along the way :



I'm not sure why he was hanging out in this glasses store, but it made me smile.

So, here we are :



This sign is at the beginning of the road just next to rue du vieille du temple.

This next shot was taken from the other end of the road :



It is a narrow road, with cobble stones, and it winds just a little bit while staying mostly straight. There are flowers all around, and it is just beautiful.... but a little hard to capture on film. This is absolutely the heart of the Marais... :



The Marais is the oldest neighborhood in Paris. When Haussmann redesigned the city in the 1860s, he did not change the Marais, so the streets are still narrow and not perfectly straight. It is also the heart of the Jewish community in Paris, so there are a ton of temples all around, and, as seen above, Kosher stores.

Rue des rosiers is also home to pretty much the best falafel ever...



There are about 4 or 5 falafel places all within about 10 meters of each other along the road. Just across the street from this one is another, and the next two buildings to the right are falafel places too. This one always has a long line at lunch time, so with no other factor to really base my decision on, I went for my first falafel here... And it was amazing, so I got my next one here too :




They are big, and delicious, and only 5 Euro. Go! Eat some!

Walking back to work, I stopped in au Levain du Marais, a wonderful little bakery just down the street from the galerie, and I got a tarte au citron (lemon tart) :



Delicious, as expected.

After work, since it was tuesday, we had family dinner again. Catherine made ratatouille again!



It doesn't look that exciting, and really it's not - just vegetables cooked together for a very long time, but it is wonderful. We also had papillotes - chicken and taragon cooked in packets of parchment paper with crème fraiche. For dessert, a clafoutis à la rhubarbe. Suffice to say, I now love clafoutis. It is a very eggy dessert, a little like a custard I supposed but very light and with pieces of fruit mixed in. Hopefully I will master it soon myself.

A bientôt

retournée

I got back to Baltimore yesterday afternoon. I have not forgotten about this blog, I have just been incredibly busy in the last week with the end of my internship and class, a final exam, an oral defense of my 30 page internship report, and trying to get every last minute thing in for Paris!! But now that I have a few days to relax, I will try to finish up the posts from the last week.

A bientôt,

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Joyeux Anniversaire, Grandma!

Happy 81st birthday, Grandma !

It's no Alaska, but here are a few images you might like from Paris....

At the foot of the Eiffel tower...



In the tuilerie gardens...



Just below tour Montparnasse :



At Place des Abbesses, in Montmartre :



And finally, again at the tuileries, where they have an entire Place du Carrousel!




I hope you are having a wonderful day! Joyeux Anniversaire !!!

As a slight side note, there was a photo contest for the BU program, and we were allowed to submit up to 2 photos for consideration. I submitted the first scene of the Seine at dusk (a few entries ago) and the picture of my espresso in the previous entry. I don't know how many photos were received in all. It was a contest for the best picture representing Paris....

... and my coffee won!
I got a digital photo frame for it. I hope I can fit it in my luggage.....

A bientôt !

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Galerie Vivienne, Montmartre

Sunday, 29 June

I am sorry to say the 29th was not a very exciting day. I visited the market in the morning, and I brought my friend Julie, who is also in the BU program with me. We got plently of food - cherries, peaches, watermelon for her, and ingredients for a pretty serious dinner for me. Killian and I had been talking about making salmon for a while, especially now that we're seafood experts, so I got salmon filets and lemon and green beans for dinner, and rhubarb for dessert. It was Julie's first trip to the market, so we spent probably an hour wandering around, being flâneuses, trying to compare prices and pick the best looking fruit. I of course went to my favorite vendor, who I am pretty sure told only charged me 1 E for my 1/2 kilo of cherries and peaches. I am a little bit in love with this man.

After the market, I spent several hours working on my rapport de stage - my internship report - which I have probably mentioned previously, perhaps in rather colorful terms, is the bane of my existence. (Tomorrow morning, to cut to the present day, I will have a short oral presentation on my rapport, and then it will really be DONE, merci à Dieu.) Ah well, c'est la vie.

For dinner, Killian and I had planned on having a few friends over, so I got food to cook for 4... And then the others were lame (and idiots) and bailed so we ended up with a lot of food. We did baked salmon filets that had been marinated in olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Delicious. To go with that, we had rice and green beans, and I made a rhubarb crumble for dessert. It was all incredible, and I must admit I rather overate, but it is hard to regret that.


Monday, 30 June

Since I had done enough work on my rapport the day before, I was able to take most of my Monday, before I had my atelier de rapport de stage (my report workshop) to see a little of Paris. I walked down to the BHV - the Bazar de Hôtel de Ville :



I had heard they had "everything" here.... This is not an exaggeration. The lowest level is perfumes and bath products and some clothing. The next floor is... books, and art supplies. And then above that, bathroom and bedroom furnishings. Then kitchen utensils and appliances. I did not go further up, but I believe there was a restaurant at the top and presumably at least one more fashion level as men's fashions were housed in an entirely separate building. It was kind of incredible to find so many diverse products under one roof. Such as this serious piece of hair equipment :



I would almost be a little afraid to put that to my head!

For lunch I strolled over the Galerie Vivienne, one of the passages I had visited with my class. I am not sure how good of a job I did describing the passages, as I didn't take any pictures during class, so here is perhaps a better job at explaining them - built during the first half of the 19th century, they are hallways through city blocks roofed in glass and iron, with shops on the ground level and apartments above. Galerie Vivienne is today the most beautiful and best preserved of the passages, of which there are about 30 in Paris. Here is the view from the entrance on rue des Petits Champs :



Galerie Vivienne is simply lovely, with its mosaic floors and the relief ornamentation across the surfaces of the walls. There is a dome between a few of the "rooms" of the passage. There used to be a statue of Mercury, the god of commerce, in the middle of this round room :



I had lunch at A Priori Thé, which was recommended by Isab you can see in the distance here :



I got the tarte salée du jour (the savory tart of the day) for my plat principal :



I am not sure what type it was precisely ("Niçoise," I believe, whatever that implies. Beyond, of course, the fact that it comes from Nice.) It was more or less like pizza, but on a pie crust - covered in cheese, with tomatoes.

For dessert, they offer half portions, which was great. I tried their crumble aux fruits rouges, which was impeccable, as well as this café :



Comme c'est joli ! (Isn't it pretty?)

After my lunch, I went over to the BU center for my atelier. Afterwards, I have class on Mondays. However, last Monday was another visit, so I headed over to Montmartre a little before class to check it out a little on my own before our tour with the class. Montmartre is one of the few neighborhoods I knew a little about before I arrived in Paris - mostly because of the movie Amelie. But there are actually several reasons that most people are probably familiar with Montmartre, such as Pigalle and the famous... :



Or this beautiful church, built at the top of the butte de Montmartre (there's a reason it's named a "mountain"!), Sacré Coeur :



Or maybe also the view that you gain from climbing up to see this church (note this view is from standing in front of the church, not from up in the towers of the church) :



Now it is easy to understand why Sacré Coeur is always the easiest monument to pick out when you first gain a little elevation in Paris - it really overlooks the entire city!

There are, however, less well known reasons to love Montmartre, such as, say :



Or this truck, just chilling in the street :



And this restaurant, for my art historical friends :



While Montmartre is an area very linked to the artistic world, Durer was a prominent figure on the art scene about 300 years before Montmartre's significance.

In case you get tired of climbing all of Montmartre's many, many hills, you can always take the little tram :



This was probably my favorite of the visits we made for class. Going through the city with Lionel was great, because he was able to point out so many great places and passes off the beaten tourist track. Montmartre was really the site of the avant garde in Paris at the end of the 19th and early 20th century, and during our tour, Lionel casually pointed out, you know, Renoir's house, Picasso's favorite café, and the apartment where Picasso painted the Desmoiselles d'Avignon. You know, no big deal.

It was really cool to have more of an insider's view of the area. And I loved when suddenly a breathtaking view of the city would appear between the buildings :



Lionel told us that, while Montmartre was a favorite of the artists because it was inexpensive (you know, very undesirable (or desirable?) to live near those Pigalle prostitutes), today it is very, very expensive to have an apartment here due to their incredible view of the city. All in all, with all of the hills, it would certainly not be where I would choose to live. It was, nevertheless, a wonderful visit.

After class, Killian and I finished our leftovers from the night before, which was yet again delicious. Afterwards, I returned home to work on my paper that was due in class for Thursday. Only three pages, but all in French and with very little motivation... This whole school work in summer thing is getting a little old. I really enjoy the content of the class, but this whole pesky writing and exam thing.... (I have my final on Friday, and then that will be over too!)


While my internship and class are over as of today, I still have, as I said, my oral presentation for my rapport du stage tomorrow and my final exam Friday. (wish me luck!) Then I have the weekend and Monday to get as much in as I can and enfin, je pars mardi! : ( Le temps se passe assez vite! (I leave Tuesday, the time goes by quickly!)

I am sure I will be able to catch up and finish everything with this blog once I am back in Baltimore on the 15th.

En tout cas,

à bientôt !