Tuesday, April 17, 2007


oh my... paris was probably one of my favorite trips if not my favorite. it was so much fun and paris is absolutely beautiful. sooo here it goes..

day 1:
wednesday was full of traveling.. we took the train to pattington, underground to waterloo, and waterloo to paris on the chunnel.. it was fun and it didnt seem as far away as it is.. once we got to paris we dropped off our stuff at the hotel and headed to our bike tours. we were doing fat tire bike tours and it was on of my favorite things... it was night time and we had a tour guide that took us around paris and showed us all the major things and while it was night everything was lit up and just gorgeous. we stopped to get ice cream and it took a about 3 hours but it was a real leisurely ride and we had a blast after traveling all day-- it was a perfect way to get some energy out. after the bike tour was over we went on a boat ride around the river and it showed us major spots of paris while just chillin on the boat..once it was over we headed back to the subway station but who knew the subway station closed? not us. soo we ended up having to get taxis and that was stressful but it was fine. we made it back safe and it was a good first night.

on the chunnel
getting ready to bike around paris! cool vests huh? we thought so.
roomies with notre dame in the background!
the louvre at night lit up
on the boat afterwards being goofy
the rest of the group on the boat!

day 2:
thursday was a good day.. we didn't have anything planned because our whole group went to normandy but elise, meiko, ashley, and i didn't want to so we decided that since we had so much fun on the bikes and paris is so much easier to get around on bikes, and cheaper bc it was only 2 euro an hour, we would just bike around all day and see some spots. we rode around and it was so much fun, unfortunately i don't have pictures but they say once you learn to ride a bike you don't forget but after this trip i swear thats not true. so biking in paris is a only a good idea if you know how to ride a bike.. we ate lunch at les deux magots and it was goood a little over priced but not bad at all... there is a strip that has a ton of shops so we just parked our bikes and walked up and down the strip for about an hour.. it was fun and relaxing. we decided to return the bikes and then go take pictures around the eiffel tower. so once we were at the eiffel tower we were trying to get a group picture but bc we dont speak french it was hard to ask so we just took turns taking pictures until someone came to ask if we wanted a group picture obviously observing that we were having difficulties. it turns out the guy that came over worked for fat tire biked tours and after chatting with him for a bit he invited us to sit on the champs de mars (the lawn in front of the eiffel tower) with him and some of his co workers. they were all from the states and all went to OU, UT, or aTm.. it was crazy but fun to chat.. turns out one of the guys that was there i graduated with his little brother.. so that was fun they told us things we really needed to do and things that wern't really worth it.. it was good to get some good pointers from people that had actually been living there. so after they took us out for pizza and it was amazing, so good and so cheap and they were all nice.. with all of them we had a connection knowing them with a mutual friend which was crazy and random being in paris.. anyways it was a good first day and by that night we were exhausted.

meiko and i at les deux magots
elise and i after lunch!
elise and i in front of the tower
at sunset with the tower lit up!!
taylor, one of the guides who showed us around!

day 3:
so friday was fun, we woke up around 6am and left for versailles.. we got there in the morning and were there all afternoon. we didn't leave till around 4pm. it was gorgeous.. ridiculously huge but it was fun to see everything. we spent the day walking through the palace and then headed towards the back of the property to see marie antoinette's cottage and house. we got done with all this about 2 hours early before the meeting time so we went to grab lunch and crepes and just laid out in the lawns. people were everywhere having picnics on the lawn and taking boats out on the canal. it was such a beautiful day i dont think i could have asked for better weather. once we met back with the group we hoped back on the train and headed back. we went in the louvre because students get in free on friday between 6-9 or something so we got to go for free and see the mona lisa and lots of other stuff. it was fun but we were exhausted we ate dinner and just hung out at the champs de mars almost every night. it was so much fun and relaxing.. the phrase of the night: "can you believe we are sitting in paris?" "who does this?" "we are looking at the eiffel tower.." "we are in paris..." among many others.. basically we were kinda shocked we were really in paris.

beautiful versailles
having fun at versailles!

day 4:
so this was our last day and we wanted to make the most of it. we had seen pretty much everything we wanted to with the exception of a few things that we planned on seeing that day.. we woke up around 10 and got breakfast at a french bakery and then grabbed some american coffee at mcdonalds while we ate our breakfast. after we jumped on the subway we headed towards the musee d'orsay. by far my favorite museum so far. they had degas, monet, van gogh, all the impressionists and it was amazing.. the louvre had the mona lisa but this was just all my favorites so it was a million times better. after that we headed back to the champs de mars to meet up with the group for a picnic and to talk about what we wanted to do for the rest of the day. we ended up splitting up and renting bikes again.. we got bikes and rode around for a little bit, went back by the louvre, and we decided we wanted to bike to the arc de triomphe.. not a good plan.. in order to get there we had to bike the champs-elysees. horrible idea. one of busiest roads in europe. its full of major designers and huge sidewalks packed with people. we were the only ones on bikes for sure and we got off after about the 12th honk in about 3 seconds. not a good idea at all but luckily we are alive. after that we had had plenty of excitement about to die more then once. we weren't having the best luck with the bikes either and my chain popped off in the middle of going across the street. we decided it was about time to take them back and grab food because we were starved. we took them back and hung out for a while waiting for everyone else to show up. we grabbed some food for a snack.. everyone was exhausted but some of the group went up into the eiffel tower and i didn't go but we just played frisbee, soccer, catch and stuff on the champs de mars.. once they got done we all went to a nice dinner together and then hung out on the champs de mars to watch the lights. at the top of every hour they sparkle and then for the finale at 1am they turn the orange back lights off and just sparkle the white lights. some people went back to the hotel because they were tired but we decided to stay cause i mean its paris..
picnic on the champs de mars
kissing the tower
group shot in front of the tower
pinching the tower
chilling with an elephant outside the musee d'orsay
after we bike the champs elysees and looking at the arc de triomphe
roomies with the tower at night
trevor, katie, me and meiko!

day 5:
we headed back, that morning we went to get some souvenirs and one more crepes before jumping back on the chunnel to head home. it was such a fun relaxing trip. some of the other acu students that came before said they did everything in paris in one day, versailles in another, and then they left and went somewhere else for a 4 day weekend. there is a lot to do in paris but since we spread it out over 4 days it felt more like a vacation then a rushed time trying to see everything else. it was sooo much fun and it was fun to meet up with some other americans who showed us around and some fun stuff to do!
waiting for the chunnel

Monday, April 9, 2007

easter in oxford!

so easter was absolutely fabulous here! probably one of my favorite days i have spent while i have been here!! friday night we went to st. aldates anglican church and participated in the seder meal which is a typical jewish meal. the next night we went to our favorite restaurant in oxford called smollenskys.. its delicious! but on sunday is when the real fun began.. the day started early for an easter sunrise service. we walked to port meadow and had a bible study/church/devotional that was led by our peer worship team for the week. we had an amazing lesson and it was just gorgeous sitting outside enjoying the amazingly beautiful sunrise and fabulous port meadow. we hung out there for a little after and janine made hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls. it was an amazing morning but thankfully it was only the beginning.
my table at the seder meal
kate and i in front of the best tree in oxford on a gorgeous saturday afternoon
elise and kate at dinner saturday night
meiko and i at smollensky's!
the sunrise devo in port meadow!

after the sunrise devo we came back to the houses and the girls had an easter basket exchange, sort of like secret santa, and it was so much fun! i had brianna allen and mimi barnard had me. i got a mug, a huge cadburry chocolate egg, some tea, and more chocolates! it was so much fun..
exchanging gifts!

after that we had a cookout in the backyard! it felt like we were back home but it was such a beautiful day and it was fun being surrounded by my oxford family! we had hotdogs, hamburgers, crisps, fruit, ice cream and cake!
colin, me, elise, sarah, doug, and wayne in the back, at the cookout!
eating lunch in the backyard! (the people next to me and meiko are janines friends who came for the weekend) and janine is at the head of the table
another table of girls!
easter bunny kate with trevor and courtney
me, sarah, and laura

after the lunch cookout elise and meiko and i headed to university park to read and hangout outside.. we didn't get much reading done but we had a blast just hanging out and goofing off. everyone else came to the park a little bit later and we played outside for the afternoon. we played a game of football then ultimate frisbee, and some rugby. after we were exhausted some of the kids had set up easter eggs all over the park and we had a little easter egg hunt! it was so much fun and it was just a gorgeous day outside! after this, we were all dead tired so we came back showered up and then everyone watched a movie!
one of the only good pictures we got trying to balance the camera on a timer in the grass
playing football!
one intense game of football
elise and kate before the easter egg hunt
ready, set, go! the beginning of the hunt!

it was amazing being outside and enjoying all of God's creation all day and just loving life in oxford... i hope everyone else's easters were just as fantastic!
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