Grappa and God

Bonjour mes amis! C’est samedi soir, or should I say Sunday morning! It is 1:08 here in the city of lights. What a day!!

Class round-up was at noon, so there was plenty of time to sleep in and get ready.  First we went to lunch at one of Dr. V’s favorite places in the Vincennes neighborhood, Pizza del Castello.  It is an Italian restaurant.  I had some delicious spaghetti balognese (How do you spell that? In my defense, I am learning French, not Italian!) and raspberry gelato.  The waitor, who serves the Creighton group every year, brought out some Amaretto and Grappa for us to sample, on the house! Grappa is a liquer made from grapes.  It tastes like soy sauce and ethanol mixed together, or as my classmate Laura put it, ” it tastes like an electric old-persons home!”.  The waiter then surprised all of the girls with roses! How nice and charming.  We then sauntered on over to one of the oldest military forts in France, Chateau des Vincennes.  Louis the 14th lived there for a while, before his famous Versailles chateau was built.  We then walked over to the horse/equestrian show put on by the French equivalent of the Royal Mounties.  It was very interesting, as well as very hot.  (Today was “skirt samedi”, as we girls dubbed it, so everyone got some sun on their legs!)

For lecture today, we sat in a wonderful park (not quite as good as yesterday’s park, but still awesome!).  We learned about the Carolingians and the Middle Ages.  Favorite topic covered? Abelard and Heloise, and their son Astrolab.  It is quite a story, read it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helo%c3%afse_(abbess).  Then it was back to the hotel to freshen up! The traffic was terrible, as per usual.  (Lesson Learned: The French are in such a hurry because all of the stores close so early!) Dinner was frugal- carrotts and bread with nutella. Yum!

We took the metro (yay!) to Pigalle, or the Red Light District.  Don’t worry, it was in the daytime! We saw the outside of the Moulin Rouge, and I had some pain au chocolat.  Our class then made the rather long trek/hike up the stairs of Montmartre to see Sacre Coeur.  It was very beautiful, and there were some amazing views of the city.  I went inside and looked around, and then we stayed for 10:00 mass.  I did not participate in mass, being as I am not catholic, but I sat in the back and paid attention.  I was surprised to find that I could understand most of what was being said.  I recognized the creeds, as well as the scriptures and the general gist of the sermon.  After church got out, our group split up and walked around Montmartre, as wandered by where the society of Jesuits was founded! (Creighton students- !!!).  We then walked around and found a bar, and stayed for a few hours and had some beverages.  It was a great time, but now I am SUPER tired.  I will probs upload pics tomorrow…I need to sleep tonight!

Amanda

p.s. the parisians do not have screens on their windows. The maid apparently thought our room was stuffy, so she opened the windows. We didn’t get back until 1 a.m…there are gnats! Terrible!

The Moulin RougeThe view from the top of MontMartre. It was truly magnificent! In front of me is the Sacre Coeur.
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