Sunday, December 23, 2012

The most wonderful, beautiful, crazy, insane time of the year

I suppose it's been since the election since I posted, oui?

Well, that went well didn't it? I must say, election night was one of those memories I'll tell my kids about. I was watching it on the news while pretending to write essays and study for a midterm, and then after Obama one (yay America!), the local news started showing that gay marriage AND legalizing weed were passing in good old WA state! Then they showed a massive party in the streets just a few blocks from my house on Capitol Hill.

Needless to say, my friends and I ran over. Unfortunately we couldn't stay too long because we had midterms the next day, but it was one of the most amazing, beautiful, and purely joyful sites I have ever seen.

The next few weeks were basically filled with a combination of school and helping high school kids with college apps. I tried to get as much as possible done in time for Sara to come! It was one of the best weekends ever, and one of my favorite things about having Sara visit is how she brings our EFS group together!


I don't want to get too repetitive, but Sara and I had all kinds of fun from dinner Friday, to hanging out downtown Saturday, to yoga and exploring the UDistrict on Sunday.


Saturday while Sara was with her cousins, Anna and I went to our last Husky game as UW students! We even got our photo taken with Harry the Husky!


The next night Sara and I had dinner (delicious soup made by Sara) with Jeremy and Brad, and watched numerous girly movies in addition to playing Christmas trivia!
Jeremy wore my roommate's snuggie:


After Sara left, things got a little crazy again with school and whatnot but Anna and I and our friend Arianna managed to sneak away for a weekend to relax. We went to a family friend's house on the sound and had delicious meals and plenty of red wine. Definitely something we should do more often.

The next week Laura and I headed home for Thanksgiving, which was lovely, and Black Friday shopping, which was crazy. It was lots of fun though, and when we got back to Seattle, Laura and I hung up our wreath and decked the halls of our tiny apartment.


I wrapped up November with trip to the Botanical Gardens with Anna and Aaron and one of his friends. It was all lit up and pretty, but also pretty rainy. We made it a pretty quick walk around the gardens, but it was beautiful and festive, and we got to wear ugly christmas sweaters!


The next day Jeremy and I put together a Christmas package for Sara, and then all of Sunday and basically the entire following week consisted of studying. I took a break the next weekend for my family Christmas party and for my friend's birthday, and then I did some shopping with Chris, but other than that it was study study study. And by that I mean half studying, half drinking red wine while watching Love Actually 4 times in one week. 

But seriously, who wouldn't watch this movie four times during finals week?

I think I'll leave it at that for now. Laura and I just had our Christmas party, so expect photos of some delicious and awesomely decorated treats coming up!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!

xoxo
K


Monday, December 17, 2012

Holidaze

It's been over a month I think since I posted last, but I've been so so busy! Here's my life seen through my iPhone/vague memories.
Thanksgiving was spent in Orange County with my cousins and grandma.
We brought quinoa stuffing, yams, brussel sprouts, and an apple berry pie. And cupcakes from my work. 
On my birthday, I went to a morning yoga class and then Sasha, Audrey and I went to Santa Monica to get lunch and walk around and shop. 


I got this awesome homemade mug from them! And this glorious balloon:
Since I don't really like cake, my dad made me a pumpkin pie.
I had dinner with my parents, ate pie, opened my presents (a sweater from Brandy Melville, a thermal from Madewell, and a cat ring from Madewell) and then went to Laurel Tavern with Audrey and Sasha. I ordered a peach bellini even though it's typically a brunch drink.
We were there from around 10:30-2! Needless to say, I was very tired at work the next day. 
A couple weeks ago, was our friend's annual harvest dinner. We brought pumpkin soup (quite spicy!), quinoa stuffing (again) and another apple berry pie. 
At school, I had to write a 7-10 page paper on Superbad (my choice of movie so it wasn't too bad), study for a test in the same class, and perform 2 monologues in theater. AND I was cast in a one act play, so I had rehearsal every day for 2 straight weeks almost! But the play was a success! I got many compliments, which I'm not sure I believe all of them, but it's still nice to hear people say good things about you.
I've also been enjoying this holiday season with nonstop Christmas music on the radio and my newest addition of the John Travolta and Olivia Newton John holiday CD. We don't have a tree but I made spiced apple cider so the house smelled amazing anyways.
Just Williams Sonoma mulling spice and TJ apple juice.
Last week my mom made chicken soup and matzoh balls for Hanukkah!
Pretty legit. Especially after being sick a few weeks ago and working so much because of the holiday crazy season. But I took an order for Kenny G and wrote cards for Jon Cryer this evening! And met Haylie Duff yesterday. It's definitely not boring!
And how cute is this dog? His name is Ollie and I want one so badly. Too bad I'm leaving for NY soon.
I went to the sample sales on Friday with my mom but found no gifts for anyone, sadly. However, I did get a Pressed Juice ($6.50, really?) and some fruit salad in Little Tokyo. And I got a kimono for Lena! 
This week, I'll be preparing for NY, doing some last minute gift shopping, hanging out with my sister (she's home tomorrow night!) and working up a storm. Happy Holidays everyone!! I'll update in the new year probably, and keep it around for my adventures in NYC!

xx S

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sara's Version of the Weekend in Seattle

I can't believe it's been a week since I boarded an airplane for Seattle! I was very lucky that the sun was out for my arrival, although it was a chilly 46 degrees. I'd forgotten how many layers are necessary in places other than Southern California.  Katey and I shopped around U Village in the evening before meeting up with our EFS group (+ Spencer) for dinner. 
The beautiful weather continued to Saturday so we had a nice walk to Pikes to get breakfast and Starbucks holiday cups. 
We also visited the gum wall, the ferris wheel and the brand new Target! 
I got pho with my cousins at night and Katey and I were so exhausted from walking in the cold (me going from U District to Wallingford; Katey being outside at the football game) that we came home and crashed. 
But Sunday, we got up and went to yoga at U Village! A nice workout and stretch that made us sore for days after. We drove to the new market in a new dorm for breakfast afterwards. And I was incredibly jealous of the fancy provisions that the students get now! There was a full on fish and meat market, an Asian section, lots of baking essentials, a deli, and a produce section! How unfair! Since I still had $35 on my Husky card, I got us food and hot beverages and met up with Jeremy to take a walk about campus. 
It was absolutely beautiful. I've been waiting for a real autumn and it's coming a bit late for us in LA, so this was just the thing I'd been dying to see. Most of the buildings were closed but I got a nice peek at some of the HUB, the business building and of course, Red Square and the Quad. We made another stop at the market so I could use up more money and bought some deli salads, fruit, popcorn, and a bag of Cuties. We also stopped outside of where Lander was for a moment of silence. 
We took a trip to Trader Joes so we could dinner ingredients and for old times sake. 
While we watched 27 Dresses, Jeremy wore a snuggie and I started making soup. 
Sara's Veggie Soup
1 onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
3 zucchini
5 small yukon gold potatoes
1 bag of frozen peas
1 bag of frozen corn
2 boxes of vegetable stock (or whatever stock you like; this time I used 1 box of veggie, 1 can of chicken and 1 can of water)
salt, pepper, paprika (or any other spices/herbs that you like) to taste
1. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil till soft. 
2. Cut zucchini into half moons (or just rounds) and add to pot. Cut potatoes in quarters and also add. Season with a little salt and pepper.
3. Pour in liquids and simmer over medium/low heat until everything is soft. Stir occasionally. Check for seasonings and add more. 
4. When potatoes and zucchini are tender, add corn and peas. Add more salt and pepper if need be. Once corn and peas are warmed, it can be served. 
* This recipe was made up and had no directions, so I apologize for the vague instructions. But you really can't mess it up if you base it off your own preferences. It's best to make the soup early so it has time to naturally thicken from the potato and corn starches. But basically, whatever you do is fine!

Katey and I switched places and we put in The Princess Bride while she made the prettiest little pumpkin cookies. 
Aren't they gorgeous? And they smelled just as good!
We played the hardest Christmas trivia game ever invented and then Brad came over for dinner. We had soup, sweet potatoes, and baguette with the cookies for dessert, while it was rainy outside.

Monday was my last day so we walked around Capitol Hill and stumbled upon Oddfellows Cafe. Katey got a big biscuit and jam and I got a latte to go with my granola bar. 
It was a pretty restaurant and I would definitely go back to try their food again!
I landed too late to go see Anna Karenina and Keira Knightley sadly. Especially sad because apparently the movie was stunning. I guess I'll have to cough up the $13 to see a movie or wait for it to come out on Netflix. 
That arrow is quite right. I want to emulate this hairstyle/headband accessory use. 
I got very sick on Tuesday, must have caught a cold on the airplane or from school. Wednesday was horrible too and it didn't help that I didn't get much sleep due to the fact that I couldn't breathe. 
Thursday was the annual KOST FM holiday party so my mom, dad, Justin and I went to California Adventure from 9 pm-1 am. Our first ride was the swinging ferris wheel, which was the scariest thing I've ever experienced (because I hate ferris wheels and heights) but I'm glad that I went on because it was also hilarious. Cars Land was definitely the best thing. They created a lifelike version of Radiator Springs and it was just adorable. 
The Racer ride was roughly a 40 minute wait (the longest I've ever waited on a ride at one of these events) but was worth it because it was the best ride. Little Mermaid was also cute and got extra points for the gay sailor suits that the employees wore (not my words, I know one of the employees and that's how he described them to me). 
It's supposed to rain all day today, which I'm happy about. However, that might also mean that not many people come into work today, so it may be quiet. I'm listening to my Rain playlist a friend made me, am drinking tea, and wearing cozy slippers so it's worth it to me. 
All I want to do is snuggle up and watch Coco Before Chanel, Hart of Dixie, and the Thanksgiving episode of Grey's Anatomy. Enjoy the fall! I know I will celebrate today with a rainy day latte! 
Thank you Katey for being the most incredible host! I miss you and it's only been a week :[
Oh and Happy almost Thanksgiving! And countdown to my birthday began yesterday!

xx S

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Elections, Pumpkin, and Christmascups Oh My!

Well, as many of you probably already know, Starbucks holiday cups made their annual debut today! Normally this would warrant a post in and of itself, but since I have yet to post since I got back into the country two months ago (my bad), the Christmascups will have to share space with some other updates.



Things have been madness since I got back, but I think the only terribly exciting highlight from before school starting was wine tasting in Walla Walla. It was absolutely gorgeous, and we had fabulous wine.

After that things got suuuper busy again, school started, and life became a delicate work-hard, play-hard balance. 

One thing I've been making more time for is baking! I've been on a serious pumpkin kick lately too. I wasn't exactly an expert on pumpkin things though so I bought this 4 pack of mix at Costco to experiment with.


It was alright, and it actually made really good chocolate chip bread, but it didn't translate well to cookie form, and my mini muffins were a little on the crisp side. I still have one thing left, so maybe I'll make more chocolate chip bread. I also made some pumpkin bread from scratch, but I really think it needed more spices. 

Anyway, I have lots of pumpkin still so I want to make this recipe of Martha Stewart's:

Ingredients

  • For The Cookies

    • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (14 ounces)
    • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For The Icing

    • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
    • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Make cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla; mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; mix until combined.
  3. Transfer 1 1/2 cups batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #806). Pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops spring back, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.
  4. Make icing: Put confectioners' sugar in a large bowl; set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Immediately add butter to confectioners' sugar, scraping any browned bits from sides and bottom of pan. Add evaporated milk and vanilla; stir until smooth. Spread about 1 teaspoon icing onto each cookie. If icing stiffens, stir in more evaporated milk, a little at a time.
I'm not sure when I'll have time, because this week is absolutely crazy, but I was thinking next friday or Saturday might be a good time. Sara, would you be up for a little baking? Maybe we could even sell the cookies :)

That's right, readers. Sara is coming to visit!!!!!!! Next week!! I can't can't can't wait! And she's just in time for some wonderful holiday fun so be ready to hear about some adventures!

But back to pumpkin-related things, I celebrated Halloween last weekend by dressing up as Pippi one night and Madeline the next night.


It was pretty incredible if I do say so myself. And then last night Laura and I weren't quite up for going out, plus I had a lot of school things to do, so we did a Halloween night in. We got pizza and candy and Christmas beer because they were out of pumpkin beer, and then we watched Hocus Pocus, which is pretty much the best disney Halloween movie ever. Thackery Binx, anyone?

I hope you all had a lovely Halloween and that you're enjoying the holiday season. But most importantly, I hope you all VOTE!! It's very important, especially this year. Sara and I hope to one day be like these two old women:


They're two "sassy liberal broads" as Sara put it, and I hope one day she and I can have such an entertaining and informative blog. 

In the meantime, I just want to share this with you all, because it's awesome and has lots of amazing people in it:


Happy Halloween, happy holidays, and don't forget to vote!!

xoxo
K

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Almost November, whoops

I haven't posted in a while, my bad! I'm sure everyone else is busy though, too, right? Instead of recounting all that's happened in the past month, I'll just mention some highlights or current events. 
My parents left this morning for San Luis Obispo to meet some friends in the spirit of birthday celebrations. Meaning I get the house to myself for the rest of the week! Uhhh let's see, what else is new? 
I baked a honey cake for Rosh Hashanah from this recipe: http://koshercamembert.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/5773/

I accidentally stuck my thumb in it when I took it out of the oven but it tasted good anyways. Try it out, I really liked it! I also halved the recipe to only make one loaf but if you are confident you'll like it, then go for whatever it says. Oh yeah, and I made it vegan by using flax for the eggs. 
I went hiking with my mom in Malibu in search of a waterfall. It was too dry/hot in the seasons so all we found was stagnant water but I plan to go after some rain to truly see it. 
I spent a lot of time working on my mixtape project (scene to Fiona Apple's Criminal), which was performed and my cold read song (The Supreme's You Keep Me Hanging On) which was scary but I also did. Now, I'm working on a scene from Rabbit Hole and a monologue from Oleanna. Later this evening I have my first midterm of the semester! 
I've spent my free time doing yoga, going hiking (when it's cool enough!) and hanging with Audrey, Sasha, and Kara. 
We had a girls night about a month ago complete with wine, strawberries and other little goodies. 
And more recently, Kara celebrated her 21st!
I wanted a picture with Jack of course. 
The weather has been fluctuating from pants/sweater normal Fall behavior to breezy 80's. It almost rained last week but for the most part, it's been quite sunny and lovely. 
This was on the way to school a couple weeks ago. 
Ah, I almost forgot! My dad made a vegan pumpkin pie that was to die for. So amazing and pretty simple, apparently. 
It's from the book, Vegan Pie in the Sky by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero
I fully recommend this book, there are so many delicious sounding desserts that I haven't tried yet! In March, my dad made a berry pie from it and Katey can confirm that it was a winner!
The crust is probably the hardest part because you have to freeze the olive oil but even that can be done with relative ease. The recipe is enough for one 9 inch top and bottom but we clearly only made the bottom. 

Olive Oil Double Crust
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup olive oil, partially frozen
4-8 tbsp. ice water
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1. About an hour before beginning the recipe, place the olive oil in a plastic container. For best results, use a thin, light container. Freeze oil till it's opaque and congealed but still somewhat soft (like melted sorbet). If it's over frozen, that's fine, just thaw it for a bit. 
2. Sift flour and salt. Working quickly, add olive oil by tbsp., cutting it into flour with your fingers or a pastry cutter, until flour appears pebbly. 
3. In a cup, mix 4 tbsp. ice water and apple cider vinegar. Drizzle 2 tbsp. of mixture into doubt and stir. Add more water, 1 tbsp. at a time, till dough holds together to form soft ball. Don't over knead.
4. Divide dough in 2. Press each half into a disk about an inch thick and place each disk between 2 14 inch long pieces of waxed paper. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece into a circle about 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate till ready to use. 
And now for the filling!
Pumpkin Pie
3 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup plain unsweetened soy milk (we used sweetened almond or soy but I think anything, including dairy, will work as well)
4 tsp. canola oil
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. agar powder
1. Preheat oven to 350. In a blender, pulse pumpkin, maple, milk, oil, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, cornstarch, and agar till smooth. Pour filling in pie shell.
2. Bake the pie for 60-65 min, till center looks semi firm, not liquidy.
3. Remove the pie from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack for 30 min, then chill at least 4 hours before slicing. 
Make it and enjoy! I'm thinking of asking for that instead of a birthday cake!
I can't believe Halloween is already here! It seems like not that long ago Katey and I were exploring pumpkin patches and dressing up as Ke$ha and Britney. This year I'm going as Suzy Bishop from Moonrise Kingdom and I'm very happy with my costume! I'll post a picture afterwards. 
And not too long after Halloween I'll be in Seattle!! I can't wait to see everyone and smell the fresh air! And finally wear a freaking scarf!
Happy Halloween, Happy Fall, I hope everyone is enjoying the pumpkin season!

xx S

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September

Week 2 of school. And Happy September! First off, welcome back to the good ole USA, Katey! I saw that you've already had a pumpkin spice latte and I need to get on that. It's still really hot here, so I guess I'll have to go for the iced version. 
School's fine, I hope to learn a lot this semester. 
Last week I helped Anna prepare for her departure by going to Target, getting a last Menchies, buying a backpack and taking a trip downtown, where I bought new sunglasses and she got a kimono. 
I had the house to myself for the weekend, which was quite relaxing. I got coffee with Sasha and Sami, worked, went to yoga, did some shopping at the farmers market with Audrey, and re-watched a lot of Glee. 
Today was tiring because I got my monologue picked apart by my teacher. I can't tell if I suck or not and it's very frustrating. 
I rewarded myself with a salad and kombucha from Whole Foods and feel a little better!
Also I saw this on tumblr and this was the main reason for this post actually:
xxx S

Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Paris is always a good idea"

Thank you Audrey/Sabrina for these words of wisdom. I have to agree that Paris is indeed always a good idea. I think I would also say that it's a good idea to go more than once and for at least one of those times to be an extended period of time. It really only gets better the more one gets to know the city, and I definitely think I've gotten more out of it while understanding the history and speaking the language. Although it would be really cool to just travel with a French friend and speak French all the time but let them handle the hard words and awkward situations. That would be optimal.

Anyway, this is probably my last post re: the city of lights. Sad right? It's currently my last night, but I wanted to post about the last week from the city itself, so here it goes.

Saturday 8/25 was possibly my favorite day yet. It's easy to forget how important it is to treat yourself once in a while. Saturday was my treat to myself :) I slept in and then started my day with a walk through the Luxembourg gardens. They are simply beautiful. 


Hard to see, but this woman has a pigeon on her arm and is feeding it.
Definitely one of my favorite things I've seen in Paris.
I meandered on over to the Latin Quarter, getting a little lost along the way. It is really a nice place to get lost in actually. I couldn't quite decide what I wanted to do first, but my stomach made the decision for me, and I decided to cross back over St. Michel and go to Les Deux Magots.


This is the restaurant my aunt and uncle and I went to when I was 13 where I had some wonderful chocolate cake. We had some confusion over the name back then (magot typically means cigarette butt), but I believe the name references two chinese men of some sort (political or religious leaders maybe?). This time I had a croque monsieur and a café crème. The waiter was a little snappish when I was confused about why he brought me my coffee and a bill for just coffee, but when he brought my croque monsieur and its check we sort of joked about it, so I think we were cool. It was a delicious meal, and I was glad to have revisited the café. I actually just googled it to check on the name's meaning and look what I found: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Deux_Magots

Who knew Hemingway frequented it?? Looks like I was all over good old Ernest's stomping grounds that day, because my next stop was Shakespeare and Company. 


I love love loved Shakespeare and Company. I could spend all my time there. It's the kind of place that reminds you why you love books. I browsed and picked up Hemingway's A Moveable Feast and read it in the top room for quite a while. It was incredible to be reading about the very place I was sitting at that moment and to know how much it meant to Ernest Hemingway and other great minds. I bought the book and can't wait to keep reading, fondly remembering the places he talks about. 

After that I bought some souvenirs and gifts for people while making my way in the direction of St. Sulpice...which also happens to be the direction of the Longchamp store...where I bought a Longchamp bag. It was a good day. After walking around a bit I met up with friends and we all hung out. Good day, good night, good weekend. 

The next morning I was a little alarmed to be woken by a call from my parents, but it ended up being a good thing, because it got me out of bed to enjoy the day. I met up with Kelsey and we went to the Orangerie to see Monet's water lilies. You can't take photos of them (I think this is a recent rule...), but they are phenomenal. You can take photos of the other paintings there. Here's Kelsey looking at some: 


After we were done (which was fairly quickly because it's a very nice, non-overwhelming sized museum) we got some coffee and took a nice walk to the Notre Dame area where Kelsey was meeting her family. I've never seen Paris, especially the Seine, as beautiful as it was that morning.


The rest of the day was mainly homework and studying (it was the last week of classes too) plus a nice kebab break. When we were done with work, however, we headed to the Eiffel Tower and began the climb to the top. It was beautiful up there, but one of the coolest things for me was that the lights flashed while we were walking up and while we were walking down! Also we got nutella and banana crêpes after :)


Monday we had class and then worked on our papers and studied for the final exam like most of the afternoon minus having couscous for lunch, which was good. Tuesday was sort of similar minus going to visit the Bibliotheque Nationale and studying in the park. Then we went to see the Pantheon and do a little book shopping!

Open book building!
The library is made up of four of these.

Yesterday was our last trip as a class, and we went to Versailles. It's so huge I couldn't get a picture of all of the front of it without being so far away that it was hard to see. 



 The gardens are incredibly beautiful, but huge and easy to get lost in. Also we saw a swan! 


Per usual, a highlight was dessert :)

This morning Stephanie, Kelsey, Kelsey's friend Kelly, and I went to breakfast at our favorite crêpe place. It was a fantastic deal: crêpe (nutella - duh), oj, café crème, and tartines. Breakfast formules comme ça are definitely one of the things I'll miss most. 


Then Stephanie and I ran some errands and got last minute gifts. We also did some shopping with Julie and stopped for a tart! I wont mention where we went/what we bought in case any readers are recipients to be...


We did end up on the Île St. Louis in the course of shopping, and I took a photo of what I thought was the apartment my aunt and uncle and I stayed in when I was 13, but now I'm not sure it's right. I'll ask them. I took photos of a couple others in case this is the wrong one. 


When we were through shopping, Stephanie and I went to see the grande arche with the intention of eventually getting to the Eiffel Tower. Instead, very shortly after taking this photo we were caught in a terrible downpour, ran for the metro, and got stuck in a series of very crowded metros that kept stalling. We decided to head home. 


We did head out to dinner with Chelsea to a place where some friends had told us they got a delicious meal. The food was very good, but our friends had said there was a lot of it and that they had shared, so Steph and Chels wanted to share too (I'm an only child so that's not so much my style; Also, I'm like terrified of offending the French). Anyway, the waiter seemed to say that it was only ok if they got drinks, so they did. But then he was just super rude, and he and the other woman working like very blatantly said they had to stop sharing like while they were eating. It was a really odd situation (especially because the girls that had been there earlier had had no problem) that would have been avoided if he had just said from the very beginning that they both had to order. All around confusing. Mostly the people just weren't very nice. Probably my worst experience with cultural misunderstanding just because there was no real effort to explain what they wanted but no hesitation to yell at the customers. I've generally found any and all places I've been in France to be patient with Americans who don't get the eating customs, even if that means explaining that they have to order something or can't order a certain way. It was unnecessary, and exactly what I usually try to tell people isn't true of the French. I suppose stereotypes, whether French or American or anything else, all come from somewhere.

Anyway, as unpleasant as that might have been, it was a nice reminder of the things I love about America (customer service, friendly people, less stress over unspoken rules), and I'm excited to go home. I will, however, maintain that Paris is always a good idea. The more I get to know and understand French culture, the more I love, hate, and am stupefied by it. But Paris, Paris is incredible, beautiful, wonderful, and enchanting. And always a good idea.

À bientot back in the states!

xoxo
K