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October2010

29 Oct | Nina Schoofs | No Comments

The Turkey Trip | Paros Island, Greece


The first leg of our journey to Turkey was to the Greek island of Samos. It seems the further from the Greek mainland I am the more I like the islands, maybe it’s the farther I am from Athens. Samos immediately had a different feeling than other islands. The architecture is more varied with elements of Venetian and Turkish styles. Although I enjoy white washed buildings with blue shutters, it was refreshing to see more color variation.

Exhausted and hungry from the long ferry rides all we managed to do before collapsing into bed was walking to the waterfront to eat dinner. Our waiter was very enthusiastic about the island and drew all over the tablecloth map, showing us all the best places to visit.

That night the atmosphere spat out a storm with incredible force. Constant flashes of lighting illuminated the streets that were transformed into rushing rivers. The rain fell in sheets, rhythmically pounding on the window as the thunder rattled them.

In the morning the weather seemed to have calmed, so we walked to the Samos archaeological museum and saw among other artifacts, a 20 foot kouros. Then, we all hopped in cars and stared up the mountains for a drive around the island to see other villages and historic sites. We only made it as far as Pithagoria before the atmosphere started stirring again.

We took shelter in a café as the wind whipped the pouring rain and once again turned the streets into rivers. Then came the hail and stronger wind, snapping the awning off of the café. Once the skies calmed we decided to go back to the port town, Vathi, to wait for the ferry to Turkey rather than risking getting caught in the middle of another raging storm.


Breathtaking. The closest I can come to explaining the sunset and my feelings on the ferry to Turkey. Behind the ferry the sun forced rays through the clouds and a double rainbow hovered above the coast of Turkey.

Hotel Canberra welcomed Kate, Patricia, and me with an incredible pink room. That restaurant, run by a Turkish family, hosted our group dinner. All of the people that waited on us were obviously related, and just as equally welcoming. Once the food started coming it didn’t stop. Baba ganoush, hummus, spicy tomato dip, and stewed eggplant in tomato is where I stopped but the servers kept it coming with stuffed mushrooms, mushroom puffs, fried cheese rolls, and skewered meats. The best part was the never-ending plate of steaming flatbread you could see them rolling out and baking in the restaurant.

Sunday morning we headed into the hills to Sirince, and old Greek village. Colorful shops selling with textiles, scarves, and jewelry, old women knitting next to their hand made crafts, and cozy rooms with fireplaces serving as tasting rooms for fruit wines lined the narrow cobblestone paths that seemed to get even narrower and disappeared the further up the hill you got.

Wanting to spend more time with the landscape than taking the bus back to the hotel would allow, some of us decided to walk the 9 miles back. Other than the out of place wildlife we passed fruit orchards and rural Turkey. The walk took about 2 hours, and was worth ever second.

That night in need of some relaxation we hung out at Musa’s drinking apple tea and playing with his costumes before heading out to eat. Turkish pizza and an Efes (Turkish beer), enough said.


A 1 hour bus from Selcuk to Izmir, 1 ½ hour flight to Kayseri, followed by another 1 hour bus to Cappadoccia seemed like nothing given the drastic change in the landscape. As our plane landed the buildings looked like colorful scattered legos, then as we entered Cappadoccia the rolling hills dramatically changed into stalagmites resembling elf houses. Our hotel room was in a cave with the selves carved right into the wall, and a roof top patio where we were served breakfast as we watched the hot air balloons take off.

To celebrate our first night, Kate, Patricia, and I found a cozy corner in Goreme Restaurant. We took off our shoes and settled onto out pillows next to the old man that was singing and playing his oud and violin. The atmosphere would have been enough, but the food made the night even better. Our wine came out in a clay pot, the bread was steaming, and the hummus was the best I have had since going abroad. We sat for hours eating, drinking, and watching the old man play and sing.

Tuesday we explored sites around Cappadoccia. Our first stop was the underground city where people use to take refuge during wars. The city went down eight stories and had everything from stables, to living quarters, to meeting halls, to churches. The farther down we went the narrower and shorter the hallways got, I almost had to crawl to get through. We stopped to taste the wine of Cappadoccia at a small wine tasting room, Kocabag wine from 2008. Then we visited a ceramics workshop where we watched a master spin a pot in less than 5 minutes.

The showroom was overwhelmingly colorful, with each piece differently patterned various colors. Our last stop was the Goreme open-air museum. We walked between various stalagmites that were mostly churches with frescos inside that had been partially destroyed by the iconoclasts. There were also kitchens black from smoke, and dining halls with the table and benches carved right from the rock of the cave.

That night we went to “Turkish night.” I was excited to see whirling dervishes and other traditional dances, but got a tourist show instead. The dinner was bland and some of the costumes looked like Halloween costumes from a department store. We still had a fun night, but next time I’m in Turkey I want to see a real ceremony.

For our last morning in Cappadoccia we drove out to Rainbow Ranch to go horseback riding. Seemed like the thing to do considering Cappadoccia means, “land of beautiful horses.” The horses were beautiful, and very spunky. Some of the horses seemed on the verge of being crazy, and had a lot of personality. I rode an Appalachian, who at one point decided he didn’t want to wait for the rest of the group and would rather roll in the dirt.

At first I thought he was going lame, I managed to get off as her fell over with only a few scratches only to realize that her was gleefully rolling in the dirt. Jerk. Brushed off and hopped back on for the rest of the ride. They took us through a valley under pigeon houses that people had carved into the rocks and through a small village with cobblestone streets.


Back in Selcuk Thursday we went to Ephesus. Even more amazing than the huge stone theaters or the towering entrance to the library is the fact that what we saw was not even 15 percent of the ancient city. The rest of the city lies under the hills next to the excavated section, archeologists still haven’t figures out how to uncover the rest of the city without destroying it or what they have already uncovered. For lunch we all went to a place they called the Tree House. We climbed up into an elevated pavilion where we all sat on pillows and ate Turkish pancakes.

The pancakes are more like tortillas with savory or sweet filling. After lunch Kate and me went to Hamami, a Turkish bath. After changing into towels that felt more like small tablecloths we went into a hot marble room. An old man pointed to a bench for us to sit, dumped buckets of water on our heads, then pointed for us to lie down on the raised marble in the middle of the room.

There were three guys there about our age chatting like they were at a café or bar. After soaking up the heat of the stones I was exfoliated with a rough lufah, I could feel the grime washing away. Then on another marble slab with another old Turkish man I was soaped up and rubbed down again. After a quick rinse in a cold shower I went upstairs for the oil massage. The massage was deep and felt good after a busy week. None of it was awkward or uncomfortable, but it is weird to say that the last time anyone saw me that naked was an old Turkish man.


After over 3 hours on a bus in a week already full of traveling, my expectations for Pamukkale were pretty high.

I was not disappointed.

Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castles” in Turkish, looks like it is covered in snow from a distance. The “cotton” was formed from calcium minerals left by flowing water.

Hot springs and travertines are scattered all along the cliff and have some of the smoothest mud I have ever felt. If I didn’t have my camera I would have smothered myself in it, I had to be satisfied with squishing it between my toes. Yet another surreal experience in Turkey.


Our last day in Turkey we went to the huge Saturday bazaar. There was pile after pile of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and spices lining the streets. Further down were stands with heaps of clothing, scarves, and other textiles. The sights and sounds, the hustle and bustle, the haggling, the vibrancy of the colors, all combining to form a rhythmic harmony, this is Turkey.

To say our farewell to Turkey we had a group dinner at the Old House Garden restaurant. I wanted to keep eating stuffed eggplant boats, not get a real boat and go back to Greece.


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28 Oct | Kara Rutkin | No Comments

The Ireland Entry | Florence, Italy

Before I start to talk about what I consider one of the best weeks of my life, I have to preface my Ireland experience. Needless to say, the trip was out of this world. I had the absolute time of my life. But as I reflected on the experience, I had to ask myself: Why was it so great? Why was this better than all the other incredible trips I’ve gone on this semester? What was it that made me giddy on the inside and out, and made me forget all my troubles and sadness? Why was this place that I never considered visiting now a little piece of Heaven to me?

Then, it hit me.

I was with Irish people the entire time.

Not ONCE during this trip did I interact with Americans. I lived with Irish people, went to their favorite pubs and restaurants, visited the spots they frequented as children, ate real Irish food in a real Irish home, learned some of their unique phrases (ummm did anyone else know that Irish is an actual LANGUAGE?! Call me ignorant, cause I sure didn’t.), and did my best to keep up with their legendary drinking skills. For the first time in my study abroad experience, I was fully immersed in a culture. The Irish are so friendly and fun to be around, and you find yourself always smiling and laughing when in their presence.

So in conclusion? I sure as heck wouldn’t mind living here someday.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way let’s get to the fun stuff 🙂 Brace yourselves for a VERY long, but VERY entertaining entry!

Friday

After 10 hours of strenuous travel, I arrived in Dublin. I took a shuttle to meet my friend Eadaoin (once again…pronounced Ay-Deen), who I would be staying with for the week. She proceeded to inform me that we would be IMMEDIATELY getting on bus for three hours to go to Galway for the night. As if I hadn’t traveled enough that day, right? But hey, it was for a huge graduation party, so I sucked it up and hopped on the bus. We met up with Eadaoin’s friend and my former coworker, Kate. I got to take my first ride aboard Dublin’s awesome transportation system called the Dart, which is very similar to the Bay area’s Bart.

We finally made it to Galway, where we got ready in a bus station bathroom. So classy. Then we headed over to an apartment where we were greeted by oh, you know…a roomful of good looking Irish lads. After downing a whole bottle of wine, we headed over to a pub called Skeff and then a club called Karma. We danced the night away, and I had my first pint of Guinness!

I honestly had no sense of time at the club, and apparently, we left around 4:00a.m. I then downed a whole Quizno’s sandwich, and ended up sleeping on 5 connected kitchen chairs. It was a very interesting but epic way to start off my trip!

Saturday

After a failed attempt to go to the Cliffs of Moher, Eadaoin and I decided to explore Galway instead. Galway is a really cool city, and has a ton of talented street performers. We got lunch at this pub Eadaoin’s dad recommended called the King’s Pub, and then did some shopping on the famous Shop Street (I got boots, in case you were wondering.). We then hung out in Eyre Square, and then took the bus back to Dublin.

That night was probably the craziest I’ve had since I entered Europe. It began with a totally strange ride on the Dart, complete with fireworks, and a bunch of 17-year-old lads, including one named Rufus. Aaand I’m just gonna leave it at that.

Eadaoin and her friend Helen took me to this club called Coppers, where we met up with some of my other Knott’s coworkers. Coppers was absolutely 100% OUT OF CONTROL. In fact, most of my Irish friends thought Eadaoin was insane for bringing me there. Apparently, it’s a place that only a true Irish person could show you, and an American tourist would never even dream of trying it out.

Coppers one of the most bizarre clubbing experience of my life. At one point, we were dancing to the RIVERDANCE song (Disclaimer from the Irish: ONLY at Coppers will they play the Riverdance song). But I loved every MINUTE OF IT! A highlight was dancing to California Girls by Katy Perry, and Helen telling the DJ to give me a shout out during it. Most of all, I had a blast hanging out with my Irish Knott’s peeps. They never let me down at having good time!

Sunday

After waking up, Eadaoin and I went back to her house for a power nap. When we woke up, we took her crazy-yet-adorable-poodle named Sucre for a 3 hour walk around Dalkey village. Some of the highlights were White Rock beach, which reminded me of Laguna,

BONO’S HOUSE (or at least his gate),

The fabulous Fitzpatrick Hotel,

And all the places Eadaoin hung out at while growing up in Dalkey. That night, Eadaoin’s mom made us corned beef and cabbage for dinner! Contrary to popular belief though, Irish people don’t eat it that much 😉

Monday

Monday was a “bank holiday” for the Irish. Hence all of the schools were out, so Eadaion and I were able to meet up with our other Knott’s friends, Jeff and Niall. Jeff suggested we go over to Glendalough, which is a giant lake and historic site down in Wicklow. Jeff was kind of enough to drive, and I was tripping out over the whole driving-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-road thing.

Our time in Glendalough was lovely. My friends did their best to tell me the historical significance of the place, but we had a great time just walking around and talking. And of course, reflecting on our days as Knott’s carnies.

That night, Jeff’s mom invited us all over for dinner. This time, we had ham and cabbage! Hahaha We stayed until about midnight watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall and me getting an orientation on Irish television.

By the way, it is CRAZY how popular the X-Factor is in Europe. Should be interesting to see what it’s like in the United States. I’m over American Idol anyways 🙂

Tuesday

This was tragically my final day in Ireland. So Eadaoin and I went and explored Ireland’s most popular and famous city: Dublin.

First we visited the famous Trinity College. The campus is gorgeous, and what’s even cooler is that Eadaoin was a student there! She is currently working on finding a teaching job, so if you know of any in California, hook her up so she can come live in Huntington Beach 🙂

After seeing the Book of Kells at Trinity, we went to the generic spot where every American tourist is supposed to visit when in Dublin:

That’s right, we went to the Guinness Factory.

It was surprisingly interesting to see. Quite frankly, I thought I was in it for the free pint, but it turned out to be a pretty nice experience. I had no idea how prestigious Guinness was, because honestly, I would never in a million years order one back in the states. Apparently, the Irish find the USA’s version of Guinness to be disgusting. But the real deal goes down real smooth, and each one is carefully made and poured. Even Eadaoin enjoyed it, and she remembered it being really boring when she went as an 8-year-old.

The rest of the day consisted of souvenir shopping, eating another fabulous Irish dinner (shepherd’s pie this time!), and watching that simply awful Miley Cyrus/Nicholas Sparks movie with Kate and Helen.

The next morning I departed at 4:00am, which was normally the time we were leaving the club. And oh my gosh…I was SO sad to leave!!! In case you couldn’t tell by this novella of an entry, I had the trip of a lifetime. This experience was beyond unique, and sure beat trying to book hostels and keeping up with boring tour groups. The Irish all found it so weird that I loved Ireland so much, because they all had a love affair of their own with Huntingon Beach. But they treated me like I was one of their own, and showed me exactly what Ireland is all about: drinking, hospitality, drinking, good food, good friends, and drinking. It’s the little things that make Ireland such a fabulous place to visit. Don’t worry. I will be back some day.

In the meantime, Mommy and Daddy are in Florence! Life is SO GOOD RIGHT NOW. And God is so good for providing me with all this!

I am lucky 🙂

Love,

Kara

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20 Oct | Kara Rutkin | No Comments

Procrastinating on midterm studying? This entry is for you! | Florence, Italy

Well…I guess this entry is for me then, considering I am doing such right now.

The last two weeks have been pretty quiet for me. This is mostly on account of said midterms. I’ve been hanging out with friends, hitting the bars, and doing a little bit of shopping here and there. Last Friday, I went to Eurochocolate with my Food & Wine Pairing class. It is Europe’s biggest chocolate festival, and is held in the lovely city of Perugia. I was definitely chocolated-out by the end of the day, but it was a really cool experience to be a part of. Plus, I had a bomb.com/yourmom crepe.

My midterms have been okay. The two I thought were going to be my hardest weren’t too bad, and then the one that should’ve been my easier I think I bombed. Blah. I still have two more, and they more than likely WILL be my hardest: Food and Wine Pairing and Italian. Yes, you read the first one correctly. So messed up, right?

But once I hand in my Italian midterm, Fall Break 2010 commences! Not gonna lie, the next two weeks are probably going to be the best of my whole trip here (never say never, though). Here is what my traveling schedule is looking like, and also so you can know “Where in the world is Kara?”

  • On Friday, I take a train to Rome, where I will be boarding a plane to Ireland! I am going to be staying with my friend Eadaoin Moore, who I met over the summer at Knott’s. She and about 12 other Irish students came to California this summer to find jobs and have the time of their lives (which is kind of a contradiction, since they worked at Knott’s. Kidding). They all lived in Huntington Beach, so I would occasionally give them rides home so they could avoid HB’s TERRIBLE public transportation system. One day, I was giving Eadaoin (pronounced Ay-Dean) a ride home, and jokingly suggested that I could come stay with her in Ireland when I am in Europe. And she actually said yes!!! So now I am going to stay with her and her family in Dublin for five days. We are going to rendezvous with all of the other former Knott’s employees, and have a reunion of sorts by doing what the Irish do best: partying! Throughout my time there, we will be visiting Galway, the Cliffs of Moor, and the Guinness Factory! I’m so excited to hang out with Eadaoin, and getting to experience Ireland with actual Irish people 🙂

  • I return to Florence the following Wednesday, where I will be greeted by my parents! I’m so excited for them to come, and I get to be their official tour guide of Florence! Together, we will probably go to the Tuscany area, including Chianti. There might even be a little Rome trip in the works 🙂 And I am of course just plain excited to see my parents! I get little boughts of homesickness here and there, so seeing them will be the perfect cure.

  • My parents will be leaving the following Thursday, and so will I…but this time, I’m going to England to visit my old softball buddy, Jenny Driver! Jenny is studying abroad for a whole YEAR (Lucky duck) in Bristol. So I will fly into Bristol to meet up with her, and she will give me the grand tour of her study abroad experience. We are probably going to go see Stonehenge as well. And then on Saturday and Sunday, we are embarking on a little weekend excursion to London!!! Aaaaah! I can’t wait to explore London with Jenny, and it will be wonderful to see a familiar face. This was a total spur-of-the-moment trip, but I have a feeling it’s going to be pretty dang amazing. And then Jenny is going to come visit me in Florence in December!

Phew! These next two weeks are going to be amazing, and I just have to survive two more midterms to get to it! I also plan on going to Vienna, and then my two of my friends and I are going to plan a trip to PARIS the first weekend in December! (pending that potential terrorist attacks and airplane strikes don’t hold us back.)

I processed the other day that I have less than two months left in Florence. This is kind of depressing, because it is going to fly by so quickly. I don’t want to have any regrets about this trip, and want to live it up to the fullest. So with that, I bring you:

Confession Time

There was one thing here that I kind of let become my focus during the first month of studying abroad. I’m going to let the situation remain ambiguous, but this became my FAVORITE aspect about being in Florence, and I was convinced it was going to be the hardest to leave. However, the situation turned in to a total letdown. However, for those of you who know what I’m talking about, I’m NOT going to let it be a problem anymore. It was not worth my time and energy, and just ended up hurting me in the end. But no more of this! I am better than that. And something tells me that 5 days in Ireland, time with mommy and daddy, and a little weekend getaway to England will be just the thing I need 🙂

I promise to take lots of pictures, and to take extensive notes on how the Irish party in Ireland. I saw how the do it in California, so I can’t wait to see them in their natural habitat 😉

I love you all!

Love,

Your favorite European explorer,

Kara

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17 Oct | Hannah Carloni | No Comments

Sunday, October 17, 2010 | Florence, Italy

Weeks keep flying by! This Tuesday, my friends and I went to see Eat, Pray, Love (or, Mangia Prega Ama) in a beautiful old Italian theatre. After, we all went out to gelato (a very common way we end our nights)!

This weekend, we ventured to Perugia to go to the Eurochocolate Festival!


my friends Leigh and Nicole…and
a giant chocolate ravioli man..?

We paid 5 euro to get a card that got us samples at a lot of the stands. A couple of my friends got Lindt chocolate balls the size of a small child’s head. We also all tried chocolate ravioli with strawberry sauce—heavenly.

After we got back from that delicious day, we all started studying for midterms, which are next week. My roommates and I am enacted a “study cave” in our living room. Four of my classes have only essay-based questions, I’ll let you know how they go, and if my hand survives! Hopefully it will, because right after midterms is FALL BREAK!


My friends and their Lindt chocolate!

actual chocolate ravioli

 

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15 Oct | Nina Schoofs | No Comments

Friday, October 15, 2010 | Paros Island, Greece


Even after all of the Cycladic islands I have been to by now, I always end up coming back to Paros thinking it’s the best…until now. Even though I only spent one night there, Naxos has taken over as my favorite. It immediately felt less touristy, even at the port. Then as we made our way through the winding streets its unique character began to show even more.

Our first night we were free to wonder. Walking along the coast we saw the most amazing sunset, better than Ia. After that, our first night we were not very Greek. We went out for Mexican food at Picasso. The food was amazing, maybe in part because I haven’t had Mexican in over a month, but it definitely hit the spot. After eating at least a couple meals worth of food we made our way to a Mexican bar. Pablo, a Brazilian server, tried to teach us how to salsa…tried. When we got back to our hotel, even though it was 3am, me and Kate sat out by the pool for about an hour getting life advice from Moses, a little grey kitten. Sunday we got to see more of Naxos’s vast landscape. First our bus winded its way to the temple of Demeter, the goddess of grain. Demeter and Dionysus, the God of wine and fun, are the most glorified deities on the island due to its dependence on agriculture. Then we visited Apiranthos, a little village nestled inland among the rolling hills. The village was slow paced and peaceful, not at all a tourist destination.

A few friends and I broke off from the group to wonder. On one path we met an old woman carrying some apples. She got really excited when Patricia wanted to take her picture. She grabbed Kate by the arm and lead her up the path so they could sit by some potted flowers for the picture. She was grinning from ear to ear. Then she asked for a pen and disappeared into her house. She wrote down what I think is her name and address. After disappearing into her house again she returned with pictured that other travelers must have sent her, I now have a mission to uncover what she wrote and mail her a picture. Up another path we decided to try some of the grapes that were growing over the path, delicious. Back to the bus, our last stop was to see a giant kouros.

Naxos is definitely a place to return to.

 

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14 Oct | Kara Rutkin | No Comments

Bonjour, French Riviera | Florence, Italy

Last weekend, I embarked on my second LdM school trip. This time, the destination was the French Riviera, where we would visit the Principality of Monaco, Nice, St. Paul de Vence, Cannes, and Eze.

We took off at the glorious hour of 5:00a.m., and I can now say I have perfected the art form of sleeping on buses. Not gonna say that I enjoy it, but you gotta do what you gotta do working on four hours of sleep.

Our first stop was the Principality of Monaco. We were greeted by gorgeous weather as we walked over to our first site, which was the church where Grace Kelly and Prince Albert are buried. The church was really pretty, and Grace Kelly’s tomb had the most flowers on it.

After that, we got to see the noontime changing of the guard. It was held right in front on the palace, which is also the spot where Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier were married.

After that, we got lunch and a chance to take pictures of the amazing views. However, I really wish we could have had more time to see the city. We didn’t get to see the Monte Carlo casino, which was a bummer. I wanted to see how it stacks up to the one in Vegas (haha)! But all the more reason to return here someday 🙂

Our next stop was the city of Nice. And needless to say…Nice is nice! It is positioned right on the water, and is exactly how you’d picture a French city to look like. We ditched our tour group and explored the city on our own. Sitting on the beaches of Nice was a thing of beauty, and I was positive I never wanted to leave.

I explored the city with new friends from New Jersey, who have reinstated my faith in the state. Cause I didn’t want to think that ALL people from that state are like those on Jersey Shore, Jerseylicious, The Real Housewives of New Jersey. They are all normal and awesome! We hit the town together that night…and by hit the town, I mean tried two bars and called it a night. We were sooooo beat down from the long day we had, and we had to be up really early. But one of the girls in the group introduced me to ordering a Stella with raspberry sauce in it. The amazing result looked like this:

The next day can be summarized in one word: RUSHED. We saw three cities in one day, which was not enough time to see anything. Our first stop was one we were not expecting, which was to the medival city of St. Paul de Vence. While the city was kind of adorable, we were in NO MOOD to see a place where pretty much nothing was open. And for some odd reason, we got two and a half hours there, when we could easily cover the city in an hour. But we explored anyways, and went to a street fair where they were offering free samples of cheeses, olive oils (the city is noted for it), spreads, and wines. But St. Paul really is a cute little town, and I probably would’ve appreciated it more had I not been such a tired grouch.

After St. Paul, we headed out to Cannes, where I’m sure we have all heard about the famous Cannes film festival. However, the building where the festival is held is extremely underwelming.

Nothing special, right? But much like Grauman’s in Hollywood, there are handprints of people in the movie industry who have visited the film festival. Other than that, Cannes is a pretty nice city with lots of yachts parked in its harbor. I’m sure my rich husband and I will be cruising through this area on a whim one day.

After boarding the bus for the umpteenth time, we departed for Eze. Eze was a MAJOR letdown, because our guide said that we had ONE HOUR there. Yes, one whole hour in this wonderful city in the French Riviera. Even better, we had a choice of either seeing the Fragonard Perfume Factory of the actual village. And you all know what a body lotion-lover I am (not), so guess which one I picked?

Sigh. I went to the perfume factory.

But it really wasn’t that bad. Making perfume is fun-with-chemistry, and the people who test-smell the perfumes are called professional “noses.” Their job is to smell EVERYTHING that factory produces. They can’t drink or smoke or eat spicy food, but I guess they get paid a ton of money. I will pass on this job opportunity though, because after smelling six different perfumes, I got light headed. And I like two out of three of those things two much.

Here’s the next surprise: I actually BOUGHT French perfume. Yes, I, Kara Rutkin, am now the proud owner of Juste un Baiser (Just a Kiss), straight from the Fragonard factory. It smells lovely, and we got it at a factory discount. Aaaand our guide showed us where the “sexy spots” to put it on are 😉 Tehehehehe.

So as you can tell, we saw a LOT this weekend. It was sooo much to take in, but fun nonetheless. I hope to return to France later this semester….my friends and I are in the works of a Paris trip 🙂

Well, that’s all I got for now. But this week is midterms, so pray for my soul. Yes, I have to go to school here! Fall break is the light at the end of my tunnel, and I will be going to IRELAND!!!! And then Mommy and Daddy come 🙂 Life is good. La vita è bella!

Je’taime!

Kara

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