Salut! The last few weeks here have gone really well! In the last month I have been to Bordeaux- which is famous for its wineries, an island called Noirmoutier- known for a particular type of salt called “fleur de sel,” Mont St. Michelle- an astounding chateau built on the top of this rocky island in the northern part of France, right between the borders of Bretagne et Normandie, and took a random day trip to Paris with the Dad in my host family who works there often during the week.

The last weekend in September, I set out for a trip to Bordeaux with eighteen international students (5 Germans, 3 Columbians, 1 Scott, 1 Czech, 2 Russians, 2 Spanish, 1 Filipino, 2 Canadians and 1 American- me, to paint the beautifully diverse picture :). We spent the majority of the first day touring a nearby town called St. Emilion, which has tons of little wine caves where you can taste the wine they bring in from local vineyards. The town was most definitely the epitome of a historic, colloquial French village, set in a valley with no access by car, narrow cobblestone streets, and the best macaroons I’ve ever tasted. After doing a little wine tasting, we headed back to the city and found this great salsa club where one of the Colombian guys taught me the mamba… thankfully being a girl you don’t have to lead because I had no idea what I was doing! The next morning we split up and toured the city for a few hours before heading to Les Dunes du Pilar, which are these enormous sand dunes on the Atlantic Coast. When you arrive, you climb at least 100 steps to reach the top of the dunes where all you can see is ocean. Feeling brave, my Scottish friend and I decided to run to the bottom and go for a swim, not thinking through the part where you have to hike 400 yards uphill in the sand (not to mention after a night of salsa dancing :)… Continuing on the road, we stopped off at a vineyard in the country side that one of the locals had recommended. We got to take a complete tour and learn about the entire wine-making process from this great old French woman who said the vineyard had been family run for several generations.

Bonne semaine et à bientôt!