Giverny & Normandy

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There was so much green I wanted to die of joy. Having been in the hustle and bustle of Paris for so long, walking into the lush greenery that filled Monet’s home in Giverny felt so refreshing. I had been anticipating this day trip to Giverny ever since I visited the Musee L’Orangerie and fell in love with Monet’s Water Lilies, his infamous painting of the water lilies in his personal garden. I couldn’t believe I was standing on the bridge, overlooking the very sight that inspired such a captivating piece of artwork.

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Then we headed to Normandy. I didn’t take any pictures inside the D-day museum because I was too focused on trying not to cry while reading through everything. It was quite an emotional experience. Seeing the actual soldiers’ faces and reading their stories about how so many soldiers refused medical help when injured to complete important deliveries or save others’ lives, or others who died in battle leaving behind widows and newborn children they never got to meet.

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My favorite story was of a soldier who, amidst the raging gunfire, stayed on the beach to hold the hands of dying soldiers and listen to their last wishes. So many of these soldiers were young men in their early twenties, and I can’t help but relate that back to the fact that this is the age range of all of my guy friends right now. The amount of bloodshed and death that occurred that day is quite hard to picture now on the beautiful beaches that we walked across. So much history and too many feels. IMG_6031-3
The beaches and the grassy hills were gorgeous though. The place was crazy windy, but the beach sand was the softest I had felt in a while. My little tired feet were quite happy. Wheeee!

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Ciao Bella

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A group of us decided to take a weekend trip to Italy (thank you Professor Raquel for the three day weekend). I didn’t realize how full of history and exciting Pompeii would be. I definitely enjoy the paintings on the walls of the ruins that were still intact the most. We then traveled to Postiano, Italy the second day to fulfill that beach craving everyone had. The train ride there was crowded, hot, smelly, and my roommate fainted. It was that bad, but the scenery was gorgeous and the water was clear and refreshing and we unanimously agreed that it was worth the crazy one hour train ride.

 

A Katie Lin Day

During orientation, we were told to pack some sweaters for Paris’ bipolar weather. However, on this particular day, Paris was burning hot. We dipped over to a cute little shop in the 3rd arrondissement called Boot Cafe. The place was run by a sweet English lady, and we ordered what she remarked was her most popular item of the day, a cool cup of classic iced coffee. The place apparently used to be an old cobber store! It was super cozy and so cute. We then walked through Musee D’Orsay, and pretended to be art connoisseurs, attempting to interpret and analyze all the Monet and Degas impressionist artworks. The best part about the entire day though, was being able to see a familiar face. Great way to combat the homesickness. IMG_4860IMG_4861 IMG_4919IMG_4900IMG_4883

Iced Coffee Please?

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On our way to the Picasso museum, we wandered all the way to an amazing coffee shop named Ob-La-Di. Everyone was dying for some iced coffee, and this place definitely did not disappoint. I went crazy over the patterned blue floor. Lloyd, the man working there, turned out to be a friendly Australian who just travels around the world making coffee. What a life. We needed to cool down from the heat so we sat down, wrote in our journals, and did some reading. The only downside was this fan by the cash register that blew up a total of three girls’ skirts that walked by. Maybe they should move it…
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Americans In Paris

Every single summer in the past, I have done internships or worked jobs that were productive for my future career. But this summer, I decided to do something that was fun, just for me. I joined the UC Davis “Americans In Paris” comparative literature study abroad program, and I am now going to be living in an apartment, 3 blocks away from a gorgeous view of the Eiffel Tower sitting above the Seine (see the picture below) for the next month. Sure it includes taking classes but… there’ll be plenty of time for adventure. Our professor’s assignments are all about getting to know Paris deeply and personally, which just sounds like fun to me. We’ll see how it goes!

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