le manoir

June 29, 2011
doors to my room (temporarily)
the driveway
le manoir
dordogne river
the cutest
french doors
the family home
It's my third night here in Coly and every time I leave my room in the morning I always think, "Am I really here?" After the 10 hour flight to London, a slight mishap getting from Heathrow to Gatwick, a quick flight to Bordeaux, and a two hour drive, it's still hard to believe I'm here.

The family I'm staying with owns a hotel here in Coly (see gigantic manor house) and on the property, there's also another house (what I'd then refer to as a.. mini manor) where they live. The property/houses have been in the family for 327 years, and it was only turned into a hotel about 20 years ago. A branch of the Dordogne river runs through the property and there are little ducks everywhere.

I wasn't sure how I was going to fair as an au pair, and even now I'm not quite sure where I'm at. But, the kids are all sweet (even if they do like to test me) and hearing them go on and on in French is just about the cutest thing in the world.

More to come, bien sûr.

scenes from home

June 26, 2011
rim ram
avo-mushroom-jack veggie burger
aqua fresca
Just a few things from my last days at home. Some of the things I missed the most when I studied abroad last year were veggie burgers, Mexican food, and my nieces (of course). On Friday, David and I drove all the way to Santa Cruz just to eat my favorite avocado-mushroom-jack-veggie burger (on fresh sourdough) with sweet potato fries for lunch. And about an hour before I left for the airport, we took a quick trip to La Morena for ceviche and aquas frescas. It was perfect.

Right now, I'm sitting at SFO, waiting for my flight in a little less than an hour. The next time you hear from me I'll be in Coly, France!

santa cruz

June 24, 2011
palm trees
Before moving back home, I spent a day at the beach with David in Santa Cruz. It was right before all of the graduation craziness started and it was nice walking to the beach (yup, he lives within walking distance), getting burritos from a tiny green taqueria, and just laying on the sand.

I have no idea how long we napped. (In reality, it was probably only 30-40 minutes). But now I'm thinking- when are we going to be able to do this again? I leave in just two days and there won't be an ocean within a 2-hour radius of me. I won't be able to walk home. I won't have David.

Maybe it's the pre-travel jitters, but I'm no where close to packing. My room is a disaster, I keep losing my packing list, and there are so many loose ends to tie up. I've spent the past two summers in Europe, but it never felt like this. I've never known what was laying ahead, but this time I don't know what'll be waiting when I come back.

san francisco (and 6 years)

June 20, 2011
little cafe
smoked salmon eggs benedict
in our room
yerba buena
in the park
fresh flowers
arugula + avocado
elizabeth by andy
bay bridge
ferry building
Not only was the city's weather sunny and perfect, but our two nights in San Francisco also happened to fall on our 6 year anniversary (!).

Our first night we strolled through Chinatown and then caught a late showing of Midnight in Paris. It was weird sitting in the theater and seeing the Parisian landmarks on screen when just a year ago we were there ourselves. (But it made me even more excited for my forthcoming French adventures!)

Seeing the movie was even more coincidental because the next day we went to the SFMOMA and saw the Steins' collection (lots of Picasso and Matisse) after "seeing" Gertrude and Picasso in the movie.

It was strange being a tourist in my own city (whenever I need to go to San Francisco, I usually just drive over and drive back). Being there as a "tourist" didn't have the same sense of urgency I normally feel when I travel. Instead, we were passive and lazy: laying out in the park and wandering and eating at our leisure. I think I'm going to revert to this approach for future reference.


June 19, 2011
(My favorite photo from all of last weekend's chaos.)

Here's what been going on since I've been internet-less for the past few days:
1. A guest post about children's books over at Chelsey's blog!
2. A few nights in downtown San Francisco with David.
3. ONE WEEK until I'm on a plane to France!

Happy Sunday!

(graduation) weekend

June 14, 2011
the menu
by David Gonzales
i'm classy
the boys
This past weekend seemed to go by just as quickly as these past four years.

The senior class had a beautiful dinner on the main quad right in front of Memorial Church. There were so many people I didn't know (there are 1600 of us!) but everyone was dressed so nicely.

It wasn't only Stanford's graduation weekend, but UC Santa Cruz's as well. I got to see David graduate while also meeting up with my roommates (all 5 of them!) from sophomore year. I still remember our tiny apartment with no kitchen and I can't believe that was almost two years ago.

And last, you might be wondering why Anna and I are dressed up as housewives. Stanford has a really fun tradition where senior dress up (in costumes, with banners, etc) and walk into our stadium during our "Wacky Walk." Among the hilarious costumes were tetris, pac man, the house from Up, and Wall-E. Anna and I decided to dress up as housewives because we'd been "domestic" all year in our little apartment.

Then I packed up the rest of my apartment, had a beautiful dinner in San Francisco complete with a gin gin mule, and promptly went home to pass out from exhaustion.


June 13, 2011
49 essays
23 finals
5 countries
3 languages
9 jobs
12 roommates
5 schools
and 4 years later...

I'm a college graduate!


June 10, 2011
lilac and red
bees and things
In the past week I've taken my last college finals, submitted a final project on food photography, booked my flight, spent a quick 24 hours in Santa Cruz, driven through San Francisco in a limo, gone salsa dancing, worked, attempted to pack, dressed up, under-slept, and made risotto.

I still need to attend graduation, move all of my stuff, go to David's graduation, learn French, write thank you notes, and conquer my "to do" list.

Sometimes, you just need to stop and enjoy the wildflowers.