Saturday, July 28, 2007

Peru Independance

This morning I woke up unhappily at 8 am. I can only imagine my friends that went to out last nite who had to work with me this morning what they are feeling like. Anyway...I got dressed quickly and left my house by 8:45 to get to the 17th district by 9:30. I got there early. I was helping out for the independance day for peru. Like 10 people from school were helping with the function. I try and volunteer as much as I can to get as much knowledge as I can. It's actually a lot of fun...just not that early :) So...when we got there we did a lot of setting up. Then we went for coffee for a break while mass was going on. Then we came back and I was the soda girl. I said a lot of "de rien"s and passed out cokes and fantas. It was nice to meet a bunch of peruvians...but i couldnt speak french or I was just confused. We finished that around 12:30. After that I went on a mad pastry shop hunt. Ok...well I went to 3 of them. I was going to go to them to buy some pastries from each and compare to see where I want to do my internship. The names of the places were given to me from school. Well, in Paris it's vacation time for good stores, so they are all closed. So all 3 of them were closed. And the 4th one that I was going to go to was closed as well..but I found that out before I even attempted to go there because Manuel texted me. So when I finished making my rounds, Manuel and Rodolfo called and asked if I wanted to do lunch. I met up with them around 2:15 and we went to a great place that is actually in NY as well. I had a GREAT salmon salad and they had 6 different kinds of spread for your bread (that rhymed!) on the i feasted! We then walked around for 30 minutes and Rodolfo decided he wanted to go home and change. (he was still in his suit from the nite before from sleepin at Manuels....LONG STORY....Madame's son came home, so he couldn't sleep here). So he came back and picked up a bag of stuff to go back to Manuel's house. I then proceeded to do nothing. I answered some emails, I talked to Liz, I did some laundry, i organized my room and photos on my computer. Eventually I layed in my bed and watched Bend It Like Beckham. I've seen it before but not all at one time. I really like that movie. I fell asleep around 1ish.

July 27, 2007

FUN FUN FUN day! I had class at 8:30. Rodolfo woke up and told me he wasn't going to go to class today, so he slept in while i went ;) So at 8:30 I had a CP. We made the Brill with veggies and fennel. It was a pretty easy and there was a TON of brunoise...which i really like to do i realized. As far as plating, the plating was simple...but when I was thinking of what to do the night before and i decided to add the pepper batons and zuchinni diamonds. Chef said my plating was very beautiful. Same chef as the day before and he once again said my food was excellent. He said my fish was cooked perfectly, my sauce was good, my fennel was good and the one thing is that my veggies could have cooked a second longer. But I was glad my fennel was cooked for long enough because that's the tough one! So overall i did a good job!

During break I sat and talked with some people in the admin dept about the internships. That took a while :) But it's all settled now. More to come! At 12:30 we had a CD. We learned eggs stuffed with truffle with a port sauce, a lamb roll with veggies (turned ones...poop!), and lemon grass cream with strawberry jelly. Nothing that was outstanding. Could have been the chef...could have been the food. Not sure today. After class I went to the gym with Manuel. I met his trainer. Supposedly during his training session he asked about i may have to have a session with him :) After that I came home and Rodolfo and I got dressed for the class dinner at Ledoyen. (you'll see our prom picture later!) We left at 7 and met up with Kaitlin at the Metro. We got to the dinner at 7:30 on the dot. Dinner started late as usual. Food was pretty good. I mean it is a 3 star restaurant. Right before we left, one of my buttons popped off so i sewed it on quickly. During dinner one of my buttons popped off...luckily they had thread and a needle. Sheesh...are my boobs THAT big?!?! DONT answer that :) So, i left dinner at 11:45 and I went home because I had to be up SUPER early the next morning but everyone else went out to the club. I had a REALLY great nite though. I sat at a GREAT table where I talked to a bunch of people i don't normally talk to and it was SOOO nice! I went to bed around 12:30. Enjoy the pictures....I didn't take them...I gave someone else my ooops!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

July 26, 2007

I had a day off today because I went to that other class it was pretty nice :) I woke up at 9 and went to the gym. I came home and was so lazy I couldn't believe it. All i wanted to do was sit at my computer. I did that for quite a while...and good thing i did because around 12:30 my phone was ringing off the hook. My friend Rodolfo was sadly kicked out of his place for no reason. So he asked if he could come to my place and i gladly said yes. He came over...i comforted him and then we did what any gay and fag hag would do when they are depressed...GO SHOPPING! So from 1 pm to 5 pm we were shopaholics! I was looking for a graduation dress...but sadly I had one in mind that I saw already and when I couldn't find it, it just ruined my whole shopping experience :( We went from store to store and no one had the right dress! At 5pm we took the metro home and I sent Rodolfo back to my house (he wanted to go home to relax and sit on the computer) and I went to meet Manuel for dinner and a movie! We made these plans before i left form madrid. Dinner was special. We ate McDonalds. yes you heard me correctly. We've been planning that for a while now. I have not eating it in paris since I got here (jan) so i thought it was time to suck it up and EAT IT! So we went all out :) After dinner we walked and had some gelato. Then we went to see my first French movie. not really french...but Jewish. It was in Hebrew and the subtitles were in French. And i understood it :) I got the whole thing. I know more than I think. Anyway, the movie was called The Bubble. The premise was an Arab man falls in love with a Jewish man...tragic but beautiful story. I LOVED the movie. When I got home at 11 Rodolfo was waiting up for me because he had my keys. I went to bed around 11:45.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

July 25, 2007

What a great day!!!! I first had a PD at 8:30 where we learned Chocolate boxes. Pretty boring. I tried to study for my wine exam and I actually left at one point to get a cup of coffee because I was falling asleep! At 11:30 I had a mtg about a program in Nov. (more to come on this subject) Then at 12:30 I went to someone else's class. I mean it's a long story. (shortened version following) But someone had a conflict with their class today, and mine was for tomorrow so the administrative dept let us switch since her conflict was school related. So i got to take my CD with a new class today! It was a BLESSING!!!! a PLEASURE. I can't even begin to describe the class. I felt relaxed, calm, and enjoyed myself immensely. Everyone was so helpful and nice and no competition! And I guess it showed in my work because chef said my dish was excellent. He said my sauce was excellent and my flan was excellent. He said I could use a bit more salt on my fish, but it was cooked perfectly! So overall i did a great job! It was the atmosphere I swear!

Then I had a CD. We learned a crabmeat salad with cilantro pesto. One of the best dishes we've learned. I almost licked my plate clean. This will be made next week in my house because i loved it so much. The main course was brill with fennel and a fumet with veggies and then dessert was an apricot millefeuille. Class ended super early, so I sat in the wintergarden with some people and we attempted to study for wine class, but we gave up after 10 minutes :) Wine class from 7-9. I dont think i did well on my exam...but Im sure i passed which is what matters! Tonite we also learned about port, sherry and one of my new favorite wines...Muscat! I came home and I am catching up on my blogging right I apologize for the long wait...but thanx for reading!!!!

July 24, 2007

Well, I set my alarm for 6:45 as usual, but my body told me not to go to school today. So i didn't wake up! OOPS!!! So i slept for a few more hours! When I got up I blogged a bit, but gave up because it wasn't what I wanted to be doing! So I answered a bunch of emails, finished unpacking, and got ready for school. (i HAD to go to the demo!) So I left around 11ish to go to school. At 12:30 we had a cuisine demo. We learned mushrooms with leeks, red mullet with a potato scale crust and broccoli flan, and puff pastry with pan fried cherries and basil ice cream. Dessert was out of this world. One of the few desserts that I have asked for seconds of...believe it or not!!! After class I went to the gym. Nice to be back :) I then came home, showered, talked on the phone and played catch up with my friends, and attempted to blog again. Not working! At 8 pm I left my house to meet Sarah for dinner. She is leaving Wed for the states for a no more dinner partner for a while :( We did dinner at the restaurant Bellisaire which is right next to school and she helps out there when she has some free time. I had a langoustine ravioli with lobster sauce, their homeade foie gras, filet with mashed potatoes and bone marrow, and dessert was a molten cake and peach ice cream. All of it outstanding! And CHEAP! We also shared a bottle of wine together. It was a great dinner but lasted SOOO long. I didn't get home til almost 12:30 and that's why i didn't finish blogging. Went to bed shortly after that!

Madrid dia 4

I could NOT sleep. Not only was it hot (partially because i had so much sun in me) but because one of the girls who was leaving at 5:30 in the morning (and deaf) was packing to go, packed for an hour straight and had no concept of how loud she was. I guess I could forgive her a little. I know this because I kept looking at my phone! She kept crumpling bags and i just couldnt sleep. Anyway, I officially woke up at 8:30. Got dressed, had breakfast, checked my email and left for the bus. I took it to Gran Via where I went shopping for 2 hours and all i purchased was some aloe for my skin and a chocolate donut from dunkin donuts for breakfast in paris the next morning :) I then took the bus to Temple de Deblod (went here already) and just relaxed. I layed on a bench for a while to take a nap. I then took the bus back to the hostel and got my bags. I then decided to get as touristy as possible. I went to the hard rock cafe :) I had a GREAT drink in a souvenir glass, a burger and onion rings that i couldnt even finish! I guess they do eat small portions in france!!!! I also finished my book! good book!!!! It was 4 pm when I took the bus to the metro stop and then took that to the airport. When I got to the airport I checked in at 5:30 and we boarded late as usual. And I slept a little on the plane. But I wound up eating my donut because i needed something sweet. Well...we didn't take off til late so we landed an hour plus later than we were supposed to. Then when we landed our luggage came later than it was supposed to. I FINALLY got on the RER and the metro and got home around 11ish if not later. Well I get home and i plug in my code to get into my door, and then when I went to open the second door with my key there was no key hole. I was like...what?!?!? So i ring the doorbell upto my place. No answer. I called my roomate. Nothing. it's like 11:30 and i dont know what to do. So i wake up my concierge and tell her in french I can't get in. She tells me that my roomate has my new faab thingy. I said well she isn't there. So she kindly let me in. I was so pissed. Anyway, I went to bed around 12 after unpacking a bit.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Madrid dia 3

Woke up at 8:20 and got dressed. Ate breakfast and went to the bus. I took it rather far to Rastro. This is the flea market that is only open on Sundays. I got there and was so grossed out but I kept walking. I got a bit lost, but eventually found my way. I didn't buy anything. I got back on the bus and took it to the wax museum where I first had lunch at the Cafe Gijon. It was said to be a famous cafe where celebrities used to eat back in the day. And the prices definately reflected that!!! But I had to eat there :) I ate gazpacho and calamri! It was andaluza calamri which when I ordered it I had no idea what kind that was, but when I got it, it was friend and I was so happy because it reminded me of home :) The two things i ordered were on the cheap side of the menu, but most of theEnter away message text here. stuff was over 20 euros! I then walked over to the wax museum where I proceeded to laugh my ass off the entire time i was there! The first thing you do is take a train of terror. HORRIBLY funny! The next thing I refused to do...not cause I didn't want to, but there was a line and it wasn't something i felt i could just bypass. So i went straight to the Wax Museum part. They wax figures were so bad I just laughed. On my way out I noticed a bunch that I missed. I dont know how, but oh well. I didn't care that much because they were so bad to begin with, that it was ok that I didn't see them all :) I then walked to Retiro Park. The biggest park in Madrid. When i first got there I plopped and read my book and then napped and listened to music in the shade. I eventually walked around and got MAJORLY lost. Finally I had to go to the bathroom and the park had NONE so I had to leave. I found my way out of the park after a while and found a mcdonalds. I just used their restroom...bought nothing. I then walked to starbucks to get a drink and journal a bit. Then i decided to take the blue bus all the way though which was about 45 minutes. The blue bus is the historical route. On the way back we passed a theatre that said 1/2 price tickets on sundays for Carmen the Flamenco Ballet. So when I got off the bus I walked there and bought tickets. It was by then 6:30 and the show started at 7, so I just hung out. The show was 1hr 1/2. It was really good and perfect timing because the restaurant I wanted to eat at opened at 8:30. I walked to the restaurant but it was way too fusion for what I was looking for. So i walked to a fancy hotel and asked them for a restuarant suggestion. They told me a place called Los Huevos de Lucio. I ate their specialty fried eggs over french fries (one of my favorite new foods!!!) and for my main dish I ate monkfish, shrimp and garlic. Then dessert was a traditional Pan Perdido. I was SO stuffed i practically rolled home! I got back and just sat on the couch and journaled and checked my email. I went upstairs and met one of the other roomies who actually lives in St. Charles, IL. Her sister (who was also with her, but not there at the moment) goes to IU and works at funny!!!! I went to bed at 12!

Madrid dia 2

What a horrible bed! It wasn't just hard, but the pillows were so flat that there was no neck leverage! It hurt tremendously! I woke up at 8:30 and got dressed in my new cute dress from H and M!!! Went downstairs for my free breakfast. It was coffee and a croissant. (there were other options, but that's what i chose). I checked my email and around 9:15ish I left. At 9:30 i started my day at the Prado museum (not the prada museum...i only wished!) Nice, but not mu cup of tea. WAY too many paintings! I then hopped on the bus. I got off at Templo de Debod where I walked around and then just sat down for a while. Got back on the bus and then got off at the Palacio Real. Now THIS was a real palace. It is said to be the best preserved palace in Europe. And it was amazing! The other ones I have seen were so so, but this one was gorgeous! I wish I could have taken pictures. I took one illegally...but then got introuble :) From there I walked to the gardens next door and then to the Catedral de la Almudena. I then got back on the bus and got off at Plaza Mayor. Walked around there a bit and then walked to Plaza del Sol. It was a bit touristy, but no one seemed to speak english! Strange! They had some good shopping around there as well. I sat down for my lunch at around 3pm which consisted of Starbucks :) I then got back on the bus and got off at the Thyssen Museum. Much better than the Prado. From there I walked to the Reina Sofia and that beat them ALL! I loved it. So inventive and so creative! After that, around 6, I walked to the Botanical Gardens which were the worst BG that I have ever been to. I sat down for a while there and journaled and to soak up some sun! I got back on the bus and took it to the Palacio Real stop which is where I was going to dinner. A book I had gotten suggested it. It was called Cafe Vergara., I had a tomato mozarella salad and then a plate full of tapas. Most of the tapas was stuff I could make at home. Pretty boring! For dessert I had a chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and I think it was soaked in apricot juice with chunks of apricot in it. There was also a caramel sauce on it. I also had a great glass of sangria at dinner. My waiter was super friendly and at the end of the meal asked me if I wanted to dancing with him. I told him i had to go home to bed :) ooops! I mean, he barely spoke english, he was older than me, and it just would have been weird! So i left him a tip, which you dont do in spain. I went to the bus stop and waited 30 min. I got frustrated and eventually walked home. It only took 15 min. I checked my email, journaled and tried to pick up guys! With my worked not too shabby ;) My roomate that I had met came over and we chatted for a while. At 11:30 I went upstairs and went to bed around 12.

Madrid dia 1

I woke up on Fri at 9. Got all dressed and ready and then did some mad cleaning of my room and i even used cleaning products!!! I did some last minute laundry and then last minute packing...which luckily i did because I forgot shower shoes and pajamas! The important stuff :) At 11:30 I left and took the metro to the RER to CDG airport. Ofcourse when I got there ontime at 1pm for my check in, my flight was delayed by 1hr and 15 min!!! So I checked in and got to my gate which was SOOO far away. But the time I got ther, we were boarding the plane which worked out well. We were supposed to take off at 2:10 and we took off around 3:20. Arrived at 5:30 instead of 4:20. How annoying though! The plane was fine until the end. I tried to sleep but was on an end so my neck hurt. The end of the flight was very bumpy so I got a bit nervous. When we landed I took 3 metros and walked a little to my hostel and actually asked someone in spanish directions :) He thought I spoke spanish also! I check in, dropped off my stuff and walked to buy a bus ticket. I got a Madrid card which meant for 3 days i could get on and off the bus as many times as I wanted and got into all of the museums for free :) Well not for free...but it was included in the price (59 was a bargain!) I came back to the hotel to get a dinner suggestion and at 8 pm I was starving because I hadn't eaten since 10 in the morning! I went to the restaurant where i proceeded to eat pigs ear (pictured below) and bulls tail...both specials in madrid and both very tasty!

However, I got full so quickly i barely ate anything! I came back to the hostel at 9:30 and sat in the lounge to people watch. I checked my email and then went upstairs and met one of my roomates from Lisbon, Portugals. We talked for a bit. At 11 I went to bed!


So, first things first. I liked spain for a few reasons. 1) i was considered a goddess of beauty out there. I couldn't go anywhere without getting hit on, whistled at, or picked up. Now i KNOW you are thinking...duh....creepy spaniards! NOT ALL OF THEM. They think woman of size are beautiful...and they are :) 2) BEST part of spain (which is a reason i hate france) is regardless of who you are, they speak spanish to you. I hated it there because I couldn't speak spanish (i forgot it all...whoops!) But it was nice because they assumed you weren't a tourist! Here in france, they speak to you in english because they just assume you are a tourist. They don't even let you try which is what i want to do!! Atleast in spain you have the choice to say, I dont want to speak spanish. ARGH!

One more thing....My hostel had tons of deaf people. I read there was a museum for the deaf which was touchable, and i saw there was an international deaf play festival (but i didn't see the dates) but I thought it was interesting. Maybe someone knows more info on this?!?!

But overall, Madrid was beautiful and i had an AMAZING time :) Read on and enjoy the pictures ;)