Je suis sans internet pour le moment.

There is no wi-fi, or really internet at all, in my apartment. Which wouldn’t be a big deal if the only way I could contact my friends or family was NOT the internet. However. Nothing I can do about that so…cyber café it is!

So. My adventures of the past day. We went to “Les Gorges du Verdon.” It was absolutely beautiful. Regardez!

Really though, it was awesome. I even went on a little adventure by myself to the bridge to see the gorge. That was cool. It went way back into the mountains. The water was a green-blue (you can see that, obviously) and apparently this is mostly because of the clay found in the region. The lake itself is actually man-made so that they could build power-plants along the way. Apparently the Verdon river is really, really strong and fast. Normally I might complain about damaging the landscape and such, but a) the French seem to be generally much more environmentally aware than we are in the states and b) that lake is frickin’ beautiful. Sorry. Just is.

And the clay is good for your skin.

The clay is also good for pottery. We went to a town called Sainte Marie that is well-known in the area for its pottery production. And ALSO, for a chapel near the summit of one of the mountains that back the town. Now there are a few interesting stories about this chapel. HOWEVER, to be honest I’m really unclear on exactly what’s cool about it. Because the lady guiding the tour was speaking in somewhat accented French and using a bunch of fairly obscure words. And I was tired. Might have a lot to do with that last one.

ANYWAY, apparently it’s a place for miracles and a bunch of really cool things. Barren women have been known to conceive after praying there (or at least one woman who went on the tours ha). Anyway, it was awesome. In all seriousness. I feel like I’ve gotten much less religious in a traditional sense over the years, but there was definitely something powerful about this place. First of all, it was quite a hike.

Second, it sits almost at the top of some of the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen. They’re really incredible.

Third, it’s designed like a cathedral, as in the same style. But it’s a lot simpler. Like, it’s not built to awe in the way a cathedral is. I don’t see someone pointing to the awesome power of God who made this gigantic, towering building. No, it was something so much purer than that. It was a quiet space. It embodied what a place of worship should be: something quite, beautiful and thought-provoking. I’m not catholic, but I did buy a candle and say a prayer. And that’s a lot for me. I feel like it’s something I’m not supposed to do or shouldn’t because I’m just a tourist, but the sheer beauty of that place stripped me of all that. And I took one moment to calm myself.

After that we went to where the great Provencal lavender fields are. It’s all been harvested already (thank you abnormally hot summer), but we learned about how lavender is grown and processed. I bought a bar of honey soap and a honey sucker. Yeah, not very lavendery I know. However, the lavender stuff was fairly expensive. I spent a little over 2 euro for my delicious sucker and absolutely fantastic soap.

Oh. And some other mini-adventures for the day. I bought ½ kilo of candied ginger. For any of you who don’t know how much a half kilo is. IT’S WAY TOO MUCH GINGER. I’ll be eating that stuff for a year. Oh well.

And finally, on our way to the gorges, we passed an experimental thermonuclear reactor.

…um…what?

Really though, it’s fine. It’s supposed to be just like all-around better. So I guess that’s good. But still. THERMONUCLEAR.

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Getting Closer!!

Five days left!! Boy it’s an adrenaline rush. My strategy of not thinking about it so I can sleep at night is beginning to fail epically. HOWEVER, once all the stuff I ordered comes in the mail, that’s it. I got the rest of it. Well, aside from contact solution, but that’s a ten minute Marsh trip. You should SEE my new wardrobe though. It’s legit. Not gonna lie, I have never really made it to “fashionable” in my entire life, but I think I may be well on my way to earning that title now. They told us not to worry about dressing up to match the locals, but considering the fact that after I did my closet clean-out, I had only a single pair of presentable pants left, I felt the time was appropriate.

Actually, I sent my mom and best friend to shop for me and then went back to the stores with my mom yesterday to get everything to fit right. It was awesome. And got a lot harder as the day went on. I really hate trying on clothes. Haha. Much to the chagrin of anyone who has ever clothes shopped with me. HOWEVER, it can and has been done.

Today commences packing day. I don’t think I’ve ever in my life started this early, but then again, I’ve also never been away from home for a year. SO, perspectives.

As I begin to round myself up to leave, here my friends is another song for you (it even has a cool music video!):

ONE WEEK

Well my friends, the time is winding down. All my various “upkeep” appointments are done. The time for online shopping has more or less passed as the item might not get here in time (unless I want to pay for crazy fast shipping). By the end of today I will have pants (cleaned out my wardrobe leaving me a single pair of cargo pants, which I still hold are awesome. However, I am very likely making a large transition into a new part of my fashion life) and even some new shirts. Actually, I can’t decide which I’m more concerned for. Those choices I have left in the hands of my best friend and my mom. I do trust them.

Usually.

Anyway, it seems just so weird that there is so little left to do. After a visa application requiring hours of prep and more thought than I really wanted, it just seems strange to have so little left.

  • Bank: called.
  • Required reading french book: Ha.
  • Talk with my boss to figure out what the heck I’m going to do with my life: done.
  • Friends: not quite done with them yet, thank God.

And now, it is time to leave you with a song for today.

All I Really Need…

…is a song in my heart, food in my belly and love in my family.

I learned this lesson last year. It’s simple, but all the truth is there. All you need is: water, shelter and food (assuming all of that fits your body’s basic needs); love, even if it isn’t someone you’re related to by blood; and a “song” in your heart. You need something to step to, something to beat to, something to motivate you. And the freedom to move to that song. All the extra stuff: money, mansions, cars, games, toys, whatever. It’s all extra. All you really need is a song, love and basic bodily needs met. That’s it. Those three things and you can change the world. Those three things and you have the freedom to be yourself. Those three things and you have what it takes to whether anything.

The challenge is to help everyone else to have and hold them.

Haha, sorry that got really sentimental. But it’s one of those days.