Sunday, January 31, 2010


Also, yesterday before dinner we had some free time, so Ashley and I walked around Saturn (an electronics store). I wanted to look at DVDs. All of the seasons of NCIS (which is what I wanted) were 40 Euros a piece! So stupid! I might have to buy a season or two from itunes. Then they could be on my phone too.

Okay, just wanted to add that.

Welcome weekend

Yesterday and today was part of welcome weekend, put on by United Cultures, a club at ESSCA that helps the international students. It was so much fun! Yesterday we had this tracking game all around Angers, where we had to find our way around, and at each stop we had to complete a task. My team went so fast that we caught up with the team in front of us. Unfortunately they were really slow so we got stuck behind them and lost. Oh well, it was still fun! After that I went in the Castle of Angers, but I couldn't stay long because it was closing. After that we had dinner at a creperie and then went to a pub.

Today, we went all over France. First we went to a town about 45 minutes away (which I slept on the drive...) to visit a winery, Bouvet Ladubay. It was neat to see how they make wine. After that we drove for another 45 minutes to Amboise, where we ate lunch, saw the outside of a famous house and then took a tour of Amboise chateau royal. Leonardo DiVinci is buried in the chapel there! So, that was really neat. This castle is where the king and queen of France lived in the 15th and 16th century. It had such a great view from the top of the towers.

Attached are pictures of me at DiVinci's tomb and on top of one of the towers. After we left there, we just drove back home. I am SO tired. I had to wake up at about 7 this morning. So, I am getting ready to go to bed now.

Goodnight all!

Friday, January 29, 2010

My day

Well I have barely anything to say. Probably not worth blogging about! Today was lazy! I woke up around 11, went to the bank at 2 to pay my rent, then went to school to get my schedule for next week. Won't be too bad. I have my EU in the world class 3 times and French twice. The only problem is how long the classes are! Two of my EU are 3 hours and then my other classes are 1.5. But that is basically it of what I did today. I was just so tired! So we hung out around the apartment and watched movies. I'm going to have a busy weekend so it was nice to sleep. It is welcome weekend, and it is going to be so much fun! It starts tomorrow at 2, so I get to sleep in again. :) Yay! I'll let you all know how it goes tomorrow night!


Thursday, January 28, 2010


I went to the correct French class today! I honestly think I can say it is going to be one of the most challenging classes I have ever had! I only knew what was going on about half the time. It'll be good though. I would much rather it be challenging so that I learn something rather than go to the level below it and learn nothing new.

Ashley and I are getting ready to go out to eat. If there is anything about that to post, I will do it later! I just wanted to let everyone know that I actually made it to the correct class. Haha


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Today was my first international marketing class. I think I am really going to enjoy it! Plus, he posts all the notes on ESSCAnet after class, so that we don't have to take any! I took some today just in case though. My professor is English, so some of the words on the power point were spelled funny. It was quite amusing. Also, instead of 'z' he would put an 's'. For example analyse. The three hour part is the only thing I'll have to conquer. Getting through that was a little difficult! After class (around 11:45), Ashley and I were just going to go home, but there wasn't another bus until 12:33, so we just got on the same bus going the opposite way and rode it all the way to the end and back. It was fun! Much better than standing in the cold, only to get on the same bus. So, that was interesting. We came across a great little park at the end of the route. After we finally made it home, it was pretty much a boring evening. Watched a couple of movies (while dozing off) and made some dinner. Now it's almost time for bed... which will be located in my own room. I'm kind of nervous! I really like the comfort of being in the same room as Ashley, but I know it'll be fine. I'm excited. Though my heater is fixed, it still feels a bit chilly in my room, but I'm sure that's just me. I'm always cold!

I apologize for no title... I couldn't think of one!

Nighty night!


That's all that I wanted to say. :) I can't wait to sleep in my own room tonight!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Not too much

Well, I don't have too much to report today! I paid my housing insurance, got my French bank account set up, and made it to both of my classes today! That last one was a BIG yay! I think I am going to love my European Retailing class! I dropped my international law class for it. After class (I went from 3-5), I went to the grocery store closer to my apartment to get drinks, ate dinner, and just watched some Gilmore Girls. Overall, I'd say today was a pretty low-key day. I found Dr. Pepper today... but no diet or diet caffeine free. Bummer, but still... the first DP I've seen since being in France! Tomorrow I have International Marketing from 9-12. Ugh I do not want to wake up early!! I am headed to bed very shortly. I don't think I have any plans for after class. I need to clean my room up a bit and take the trash out (I have yet to take it downstairs).

Goodnight all! Hopefully I will have more to report tomorrow!

Wait. Speaking of reports, I am in dire need of a subject for my first newspaper article! It is due Sunday, and I have no clue what to write about! I was thinking of just an intro as to who I am and where I am this semester. If anyone has ideas, please share!!


P.S. I will have my heater by next week apparently.

Monday, January 25, 2010


So I had my first class today!! Unfortunately, I missed it... however there is a very good reason!

Everyday when I go to school, I have to check the time table to see what room my class will be in. Well, it is REALLY confusing, and it said French 1 & 3... so naturally I thought that both groups were together. I knew this was weird because group 3 is the most advanced and 1 is the easiest. But I still didn't think anything of it. So... I went to the wrong classroom. I thought everything was too easy, but I didn't realize it until class was over. So... yeah. Missed my first class in France! Whoops! I promise I will definitely look at the time table more closely tomorrow to make sure I go to the correct classroom! I refuse to let this happen again! I spoke to the French teachers whose class I accidentally went to, and she is going to tell my real French teacher what happened, so everything is okay. :)

After class, Ashley and I went back to the insurance place, but the girl wasn't there again. The guy told us she is working tomorrow, so we will go back tomorrow... again. Then we went grocery shopping at carefour. It was HUGE... like walmart.... only bigger! I didn't know that was possible! Ashley and I cooked dinner, and it was yummy. I got some chocolate du pain (my favorite!) to have the next week everyday for breakfast. I can't wait to warm it up in the morning!

Agenda for tomorrow: wake up, go to insurance place, go to my appointment at the bank, class from 3-5, then who knows!

P.S. I still have no heater.

Love, Dena

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Yes today was extremely lazy! I didn't wake up until noon! It was absolutely amazing. Then we went grocery shopping, but the one we wanted to go to was closed, so we went to the smaller one that is right by us. We made pasta with white sauce and zucchini for dinner! It was good, and tasted mostly like what I would make at home. Then we watched two movies, and I fell asleep during the first one. I am sooo exhausted, despite sleeping so late today. I could probably go straight back to bed and wake up in the morning.

I have my first class tomorrow at 1:30. It's French, so we'll see how it goes! After that, I am going back to the insurance place and then grocery shopping.

Now back to my lazy Sunday night.
Goodnight all!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I blew up an adapter

Yes, what my title says is true. :( I blew up the adapter that I usually plug my computer into. It was a very sad morning! I also ended up blowing the breaker, so Ashley restarted it. I now also have to use the adapter Ashley uses for her blow dryer/flat iron until I can get a new one. So that will work fine for now. It is so expensive to buy them here!

After that, the day got much better. We went shopping! First we went to look for a new adapter, but it was way too expensive. We ate at pita burger... it was so good! I loved their French fries. Then... let the shopping begin! We walked SO MUCH today. Like.... seriously so much. I bought boots (don't worry... they were on sale, daddy!), a towel, and some silverware. I found a bag from Mims that I also might go back and buy. It was cute... but I want to make sure that it is "the" bag before I pay that much. Haha.

After a long day of shopping, we stopped by the apartment to grab our passports, and then headed to the English Language Library in Angers (ELLIA). It was so fun! I signed up for a membership, got 3 books, and the woman working even asked if I would like to volunteer at the library! That will be amazing. The only problem is that I have class this week during the children time. :( Hopefully I can go next week! That would be so much fun. I have always wanted to work in a library or book store! The picture is of me with my library card. I feel so special to have it!

Now I think we are going to get a pizza from Speed Rabbit Pizza, which is right down the street, and bring it home and watch a movie. We are planning a night this week to go out to dinner at this new cafe that just opened by us.

Oh, also I still do not have a heater.

I hope everyone has a good day!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Unproductive day

Hello all! Like the title says, today was very unproductive. We started off by going to the bank, but of course they were closed. So we went to this insurance place that we had to go to, and they were closed too. So we grabbed sandwiches, and then went back to the insurance place (they were on lunch break). The guy working didn't have any idea what was going on (I spoke French to him though and knew everything he was saying!!) and said that we had to come back on Monday. So after that we went back to the bank and they said we had to come back on Tuesday! So basically I got nothing done today. I came back to the apartment for about an hour, but then Ashley had class so I went to ESSCA with her. I basically just texted with my mom, dad, and Cody for 2 hours. Haha. It was some good time wasted. On the way back to the apartment, Ashley and I stopped at the grocery store to get dinner. I grabbed some French cookies and chips to try out. Now we are just having a lazy night at home after our exhausting unproductive day!

Hope everyone is having a great day! The picture is of the Castle of Angers. It was my second time seeing it (first time on foot). The first time I saw it was when we were in the van with the welcome team members from the train station.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's the weekend!

I was way too exhausted last night to post. Sorry all!

Yesterday was really good... but I had too much to do! After orientation, I went and bought a bus pass and then went to open my French bank account. Unfortunately, all I could do was sign the papers though and I will put money in it tomorrow because for some reason they wouldn't take traveler's checks until Friday. After that I had about 30 minutes in my apartment until the ESSCA international students met for dinner. It lasted 3 hours! We were all talking so much that we didn't want to leave. There was a party after, but Ashely and I were so exhausted that we just decided to come home.

Today went really well too! After orientation, I decided that I would spend tonight in my apartment. Ashley, Allen (a boy that goes to SLU also), and I watched a DVD of Gilmore Girls. It was so fun. I love that show so much! Then I spoke with my third roommate for a really long time. She is so nice and is wanting to work on her English, so we are going to swap movies. She will watch mine in English, and I can watch hers in French. She is a French student that goes to ESSCA. I think I will be able to learn a lot from her.

I got my class schedule for the week! I don't have any classes tomorrow, but Ashley has one from 4:30- 7:30 (yes on a Friday night!), so I am going to go to school with her. I have to meet with Paola, the international student department head, and then I will go to the computer lab or read a book. Hopefully I will also make it to the English Language Library in Angers (ELLIA) tomorrow before I go to school. I really want to get involved with it. It sounds like a really great place for people who speak English to get a chance to get together and meet. But anyway, my first class is on Monday. I have French from 1:30 until 3. That will be fun and interesting.

Goodnight all! I am excited to sleep in. :)

P.S. I still don't have a heater installed. Did I say that they completely took my heater out? Well they did yesterday, and I didn't have one again today. Hopefully soon!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

First day of orientation

Well, today was my first day at ESSCA! Fortunately, I woke up on time today! Also, catching the bus went smooth as well. I'll get a bus pass on Thursday so that I don't have to pay daily anymore. Orientation went well. I didn't meet that many people, but it was only the first day. There are only 7 students from the United States! Out of about 55 international students. WOW! I expecting more than that. It will be good though because everyone speaks English, though I've tried speaking French as much as possible. We had a welcome lunch, and I tried some crazy foods! I don't even know how to describe them in order to share them with you. Haha. I got completely done with orientation around 3, so Ashley and I came back to the apartment. Later I went to the bank and spoke to the manager of the apartment complex about getting my heater fixed. Someone will have to come in tomorrow because she couldn't fix it herself. Hopefully it will be fixed by the time I get home from school!! It will be nice to be on my computer without it freezing! I wish there were two Ethernet places in Ashley's room. At least it's warm in there! I also bought some orange juice today from the grocery store, so I can have some in the morning. :) That will be nice. I loved my croissant this morning! I might be going to bed soon. I need the sleep, I'm sure! Orientation is tomorrow at 10am. I still need to figure out what time to catch the bus, also. Hopefully it'll be easier to fall asleep at night as the time goes on.

So... I kind of realized that this is more of a diary than a blog. Oh well. :) Everyone will just be well informed of my daily whereabouts, which is perfectly fine.

Goodnight :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bonjour from France!

Hi everyone! This is my first blog from France. Everything went very smooth as far as travel goes. The plane to Philadelphia was a snap. I read my book (Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks) and listened to music on my iPhone. Then Ashely and I had a 4 hour layover (plus a one hour plane delay), so we decided to get a Philly Cheese Steak. I'm sure that it wasn't as good as getting one outside of the airport, but it works! Once we got on the plane from Philly to Paris, we found out that Ashley weren't sitting together. :( But we got the man that was supposed to sit next to me to switch with Ashley. Thank goodness! I would have gone crazy if I were sitting next to him. Let's just say that he was not skinny... haha. I watched The Time Traveler's Wife on my personal video screen, and then went to sleep for about 3 hours. I've been dying to see that movie! We got to Paris at about 10:30 in the morning (France time), and our train was scheduled to leave at 1:16. We both got our luggage fine (thank goodness!) and then went in search of the train station, which luckily was in the airport. We weren't really sure what to do in while waiting, so we just sat. We needed to go to the bathroom, but it cost .50 euro, so we just waited until we got on the train. Then it was free. I'm thinking about making that my first article for The University News at SLU. Any thoughts or ideas?
Once, we got off the train, two students from ESSCA, Caroline and Paul, were waiting for us. We were so excited when we found them because we weren't exactly sure where to look find them. They brought us to our apartment and then basically left us. I won't go into that though. It made me very very upset! I'm also a little sad to say, also, that my first meal in France was at Subway. But it definitely didn't taste as good as the American Subway! We were way to tired and upset that the students left us to venture out on our own to look around and find food, so we just ate there because there is one right by my apartment building. After that we came back to our apartment, unpacked, showered, spoke to everyone on the phone/skype, watched a movie, and went to sleep. We wanted to feel refreshed in the morning.
Unfortunately, we never saw the morning though. My alarm clock that I brought with me got fried, even though I used an adapter!! I'm also afraid that my flat iron got fried, too. :( It made a buzzing noise when I plugged it in so I unplugged it and probably won't plug it in ever again!! Anyway, so we didn't wake up until 3pm! While that was 8 hours after we planned on waking up (wow!), it was definitely good that we slept, and it definitely made me feel better about the whole situation of being here. So we got dressed and headed out. We stopped in Subway for drinks, and he told us where the cheapest electronic store was so Ashley could buy an Ethernet cord. We also bought a new alarm clock for 15 euros. It has a projector! It's really cool. Maybe I'll use it when I get back to the states. Haha. We only bought one. I'm staying in her room right now anyway, so it's fine. Plus I'm hoping my phone will still work as an alarm too. Then we went to a photo store and Ashley used a kiosk to print some photos. Then we got a sandwich (ham and butter), croissant, and drink for only 3 euros! It was so good! My picture is me eating my sandwich. :) Then we went grocery shopping and got a few things for the next few days. On the way back we stopped at a grocery store that was a bit closer to the apartment to get drinks because they would be too heavy to carry from where we were. There was also an H & M by the grocery store and electronic store we went to! We'll go shopping this weekend, maybe. :) Who knew all of my H & M clothes would come in handy?? Haha. I should have Cody bring me the rest of them.
So, we got back to our apartment and just hung out because it was starting to drizzle and get chilly outside. A couple of hours later, we were hungry so we went out exploring again for food. We found a little restaurant, and I had a chicken panini, fries, and a drink... for only 5,50 euros! Everything feels so cheap, but I guess that is close to 7 dollars. I guess I can stop talking about food now, but it's all so yummy! Plus it's just part of my day, and I really want to share everything. It's almost 10pm here, so I'll probably shower soon and try to sleep. Hopefully I'll be able to, even though I've only been up for about 7 hours! The shower will make me tired, and I'll probably take some benadryl. :) That always helps. But I absolute cannot sleep late tomorrow because I need to leave my apartment by 8:45 just to make sure I make it to meet my bus at 9:01. Orientation at school starts tomorrow at 9:30. Oh! I met my roommate. She is French, and seems very nice! She came in and spoke with me and made sure I knew how to do everything to get to school tomorrow.
I hope everyone has a fabulous rest of the day. It's still weird to think that it is only about 4pm there!
Love from France,

Friday, January 15, 2010

Last Night in Rolla

Well, today was my last night in Rolla. :( It started off with some bad news. I woke up only to find out the restaurant we were going to for lunch was closed. Sad day! Oh well. I went to visit my grandma instead. Then I bought some used books for planes and trains (and automobiles haha) that I can just throw away after I read them. Then lunch at Panera. Then back to packing! Actually, I picked Cody up from work first. I got the rest of my things from Walmart. And then finished packing. There was a lot more left than I thought. But I think I've got it all done. Right now, I'm putting all my new music on my iPhone so I can have stuff to do on the plane and during the layovers tomorrow. I still need to pick out the DVDs that I want to take, though. I just remembered that! Shoot! Hopefully I can go to bed soon (and actually sleep). We're leaving Rolla at 7:30 in the morning, so I'm going to wake up early to get one last shower in. I'm going to miss my bed and shower so much! My parents, Cody, and I are meeting Stephanie and Tony at IHOP at 9:30. It's really close to the airport, so it'll be nice to get some time together to just talk.

14 hours till my plane leaves...


More packing...

I have been so busy yesterday and today! I was so tired last night that I had to go to bed instead of sharing what I've been doing. Yesterday, I went to walmart and got most of the stuff I need. There are still 2 or 3 things I've discovered I needed so I'll go back tomorrow. Today, I woke up early to say bye to my grandma in Salem, went to lunch, and then let the packing begin! I took a break to have my last El Rodeo experience until I get back. It was fabulous. :) Marty and Larry met us there, so I could also say goodbye to them. After we got back, I really got to packing. I got most everything together. My mom put everything in those bags where you get all the air out with a vacuum. Now we just have to stuff them in the suitcases and get the little stuff done. I can hopefully get it all done early afternoon tomorrow so I can have a great last night in town!! Cody will be back in town tomorrow afternoon, so I'm looking forward to seeing him for a while, too. I'd much rather hang out with him and my family than worrying about getting all of my packing done.

38 hours till my plane leaves...


Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I finally began packing! Let me tell you, packing for 5 months is not an easy task. Plus, I just found out that I can only check in one bag. This definitely throws everything off. But I'll make it work! Hopefully I can get most of the packing done tomorrow. I want to definitely be done by Thursday, with only the little things left to be packed Friday and Saturday morning. It's getting so close!! Waiting for my visa gets more nerve racking by the minute, though. It's all going to work out. :)

Bon soir!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Getting things accomplished

I think I may have actually accomplished quite a bit today! I made a list of everything I would like to pack (though I may not have room for it all), found my international health insurance card, registered my ISIC card, and did tons of research (mostly about places I'd like to travel to). I think I'm going to get a French phone once I get there. It would make communicating and getting around much easier.

Here's some info about the first few days of my trip:
I am leaving January 16th at 1:55PM.
I will arrive in Paris around 10AM (France time).
My train leaves 3 hours later (I think).
It takes about 2 1/2 hours by TGV from Paris to Angers.
Once I get there, there will be a welcome team from ESSCA waiting for me. They will help me go shopping for things I need and get a bank account set up. Basically, they'll just help me get around Angers my first few days and help me get acclimated.
Orientation begins January 19th, and then classes begin on January 25th.

I feel really ready. The only thing I am nervous about is my Visa getting here on time. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!!

I'm going to St. Louis tomorrow to hang out with my sister. On Tuesday, it'll be back to preparing for my trip. I will most likely get my packing started, but most importantly I need to do my laundry!
Well. It's off to bed. I have a busy day tomorrow.
Sweet Dreams!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

This should be interesting

So I'm not really sure how well I'll keep up with this or who will really look at it regularly, but it's worth a shot. :) I just wanted a way to keep track of everything I experience next semester and be able to keep everyone in the loop of where I am. Hopefully I'll remember to write every time I do something interesting or go somewhere new. And of course post new pictures. I guess the next step would be to tell people that I'm doing this! All for now. :) I'm still trying to work out the kinks.