November 28, 2013

thanksgiving thankfulness

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happy thanksgiving everyone! though i didn't do anything to celebrate today (besides making pumpkin oatmeal for breakfast), saturday i'm having a french/american thanksgiving feast with some people from the church! i'm pretty excited! look forward to lots of pictures coming soon. in the meantime, here are some things i am especially thankful for:
  • my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles… family in general
  • the experience to live in different countries and places {france, new zealand, ohio}
  • my home in california, both literally and figuratively
  • my favorite treats here: lemon macarons at lac, socca, emilie's cookies
  • and my favorites back home: veggie grill and native foods, sprinkles vegan red velvet, portola coffee
  • my cell phone, laptop, internet, etc...
  • wonderful friends: here, home and everywhere
  • travel and adventuring
  • Christmas being right around the corner
  • good books, inspiring movies and beautiful music
  • rituals like morning coffee and devos before bed
  • my health and the health of those closest to me
  • Jesus, the Gospel, the Bible, God's love
    what are you thankful for? 
    //photos of fall around nice//

November 21, 2013

grateful for...

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1. white fir candles
2. meeting (and going to church with) a fellow christian in my french class
3. the magic of christmas music
4. finally finding a great book to snuggle up with
5. the chocolate convention i stumbled into by accident over the weekend (so yum)
6. going home for christmas (t-minus one month)
7. staying warm and dry inside during torrential rain
8. finding yogi tea at a local bio shop (and the free mug with purchase)
9. the dwindling size of my french class
10. what a good mood the lady i live with has been in lately
//photo via pinterest//

November 15, 2013

dusk

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dusk has gotta be the most beautiful time of day in nice. lately, i have found myself out and about closer to this time, mostly because the sun sets around 5:30. i am really learning to enjoy the beauty of this brief time of the day. it is still light enough to see and there are still lots of people out (as you can see from the pictures) but the city is illuminated with signs and shop windows and the final light of the day dances on buildings. nice seems to be most alive at dusk because this is after most people get off from work and right before the shops close. here are a few pictures of my street (the main street in modern part of nice) on my walk home.

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November 12, 2013

c'est un parc

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goodness i love nice! i have never been somewhere that has felt so much like me. it has the perfect mix of everything: cute little shops and big "one stop shop" malls, farmers markets and food superstores, a convenient modern area and a beautiful old town, a beach down the street and hills and mountains a quick trip away, cheap cafes and gourmet restaurants... i could go on and on! but this past week, nice got the one thing i felt it was missing: a park! there are little parks around the city but nothing unified or central and unfortunately none near me. i wondered why there wasn't more green spaces but then i found out that the big eyesore of a construction site in the middle of town was going to be a state of the art park and it would be opening soon! and nice isn't like california so when they say something is opening, it opens on that day. probably the only thing in france that is ever on time... but i digress. it was actually an accident i was in the park on opening day but i'm so glad i was because there was live music and performers and big screens with movies and videos and an opening ceremony with the mayor and city officials. i've learned when something opens in france, it starts with a bang! looking forward to many more outings and visits here.

November 9, 2013

on the town

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my goal for this month was to explore more of nice and find places that are more local and less touristy. while i have been finding some wonderful places, i always find myself back on my street. i live on the main street in the modern section of town and it really is a one stop shop for many things. there is a farmers market a few blocks down from where i live, a really nice market near the turnoff for my school, lots of clothing and book stores and just about everything else you could think of. when i first came to france, i was worried that it would be like new zealand and i wouldn't be able to find many common things i'm accustomed to in the states. but i'm happy to say i've been able to find most things i could ever want and need, with the exception of canned pumpkin and kale but i'll let those slide. i also love walking along the street i live on because there are no cars and only the occasional tram to worry about so its pretty peaceful. believe it or not, all these pictures were taken within 10 minutes of where i live. so many photo ops can be so distracting especially when i'm trying to get to school on time!

November 6, 2013

before sunset

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even though i've lived by the beach my whole life, i've never really appreciated it. at least not like i do here. the beach in nice is wonderful and the perfect place to watch the sunset over the peninsula. sure, it has its problems like topless sun worshipers (thank goodness that season is coming to an end) and sharp rocks (i like the pebbles but they are a bummer to walk on in the water). i think after my time here, i'll appreciate the beach more in california and maybe even visit more than once a year. but till then, i'll enjoy my 'nice' beach here.

November 3, 2013

monaco

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so do you remember that scene in shrek where they go to dulac, the palace of lord fraquat? heres a video if you don't remember or haven't seen the movie. that's monaco in a nutshell. pretty, perfect but almost too much so. i may have been humming this song the whole time i was in monaco. it might have been the overcast weather or how empty many of the streets were but it was a little bit eerie there which was definitely not expected. i went once before when i was young but this time i got to explore many of the places i've always wanted to go. first stop was the casino which on the outside is far less impressive than i imagined it would be. we walked around the gardens and managed to sneak in the casino. or at least it seemed like sneaking in because we managed to make it in without getting our bags or passports checked and without getting turned away like some of the other tourists. inside, it is so stunning but all the modern slot machines really diminish its beauty and are dwarfed by the grandeur of the architecture. here's a picture i found to show just how out of place the modern gambling machines look. it should be a ballroom or something amazing and not a casino but thats just my opinion. after we went to the casino, we meandered our way to the palace compound. it was beautiful there and like the rest of the city, very, very pristine. it reminded me of rodeo drive in la. there are hidden lush and exotic gardens around every bend and everything is so picturesque. this area was probably my favorite in the whole city even though it seemed a lot like an amusement park. we continued to walk around for the next few hours and we looked at some of the luxury stores but they were also much smaller than expected. i think i'm just spoiled with south coast plaza and los angeles stores. overall, monaco was very nice and beautiful but its not somewhere i would be rushing to go back to anytime soon. looking forward to visiting more of the other, less 'hyped-up' towns in the area.

//all pictures from my iphone//
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