Sadly, my time in Paris is over but I'm happy to be back home with my family. I want to thank each and every person who supported me on this journey whether it be emotionally, financially or otherwise. You know who you are. This experience has been beyond incredible and I have learned so much about both the world and myself. I feel soooo lucky to have been able to live in Paris and travel around Europe while finishing my degree (and having the easiest semester of my life). It's definitely going to be a harsh reality to go from freedom in Europe to entering the real grown up world. But that being said, I feel more prepared than ever to make this transition. Again, I am elated that I was able to have this experience and be challenged in a way that could only be done by forcing myself into a completely different culture.

Thank you to everyone who followed my blog and enjoyed the updates!



Thanks to my wonderful parents, I was able to squeeze one last weekend euro trip in. My roommate Minh and I headed to Rome early last Thursday morning to meet my friend from SF, Hannah, and her friend Jessica who were coming from London. Even before checking in to our hostel, we got amazing pizza and gelato, which you can find on every corner in the city. Then, the four of us figured out the little Roman metro system and went to check out the Colosseum. Being there was pretty unreal because of how old it is and how much history it holds. After, we took a scenic bus route back to our hostel and got familiar with the area. That night was karaoke and beer pong at the hostel bar and don't you worry, I showed the world my vocal talents.

The next day, we went to Vatican City to see the museum, church and surrounding area. On our way there, we stopped by Pinsere pizza and got theeee most amazing pizza I've ever had. I highly recommend it. Going to the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica and seeing the Vatican was really cool, again for the history. The church was huge and so impressive because of all the fine details. After exploring the Vatican, we decided to walk to the Trevi fountain. Along the way, we found cool markets (indoor and outdoor) and beautiful buildings. The Trevi fountain was super cool and way bigger than I imagined. Legend has it that if you throw one coin in, you'll return to Rome and if you throw two, you'll fall in love. We all threw our coins in and then trekked back to the hostel. After a long day of walking, we welcomed a huge plate of pasta and glass of wine with wide arms.

Sunday, we walked to the Spanish steps and found another incredible pizza place to obsess over. The food in Rome was definitely what made the trip so amazing, along with the super fun hostel and historical vibe of the city. We walked a ton throughout the weekend, ate awesome food and met so many cool people from all over the world. I am so glad my first hostel experience was this good and can't wait to try out some more in the future! Rome was such an incredibly fun, fast paced, exciting trip and I'm so grateful that I was able to go. Thanks again mom and dad!

Also, I felt inspired to record pretty much everything we did in Rome - here's what came of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfgxfcc6B3A

Best gelato in Rome! (Romana)

Best pizza in Rome! (Pinsere)

After throwing my coins in

The Vatican Museum

Spanish Steps

Vatican City/St. Peter's Basilica

Just outside Vatican City

Pretty Christmas Lights!


time flies

In just under 3 weeks I will be back home in cozy little Danville, ready to celebrate Christmas with my family. I really cannot believe how fast the past 3 months have flown by, especially the month of November. This entire experience is beyond words right now - I can't simply or clearly explain how much it has affected me yet. I've always been someone who appreciates the little things in life but being here, so incredibly lucky to be supported by my family and friends, takes my gratitude to a whole new level. I get excited over the tiniest things now and am totally in the moment. This city never stops taking my breath away and I'm always seeing something new and beautiful. It's going to be so weird leaving.

On the school front, not much has changed - things still aren't challenging, it's more just a matter of showing up. Which is pretty perfect for me since it's my last semester and I'm far more interested in spending time outside in the city anyway. All last week I was super excited for a friend to visit and finished a few assignments early so I could relax while he was here. On Thursday morning, Ryan arrived from San Francisco ready to take on Thanksgiving with me. We did a fair amount of sightseeing then headed to the grocery store for some last minute items to make dinner as authentically American as possible. Cooking a turkey in a tiny french oven was a daunting task but we (he) managed to roast the bird to perfection. It was accompanied by mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie for dessert (obviously). It was such an awesome meal, fun to cook together, and cured any sort of homesickness or FOMO I might have had 100%. The rest of the weekend consisted of sleeping in late (my favorite), wandering Paris and trying out a new bar/club each night. It was super nice to have a familiar, handsome face around.

Now I'm in the process of wrapping up classes by presenting and preparing for final exams/projects, which are nicely spread out through the next 2 weeks. It's really mind-blowing to think I only have 3 more weekends in Europe. I'm super anxious to get home but I'm also sad to be separated from this place I've made home for the past few months. It'll be hard in some ways to go back to Danville. I have so much freedom and curiosity here - My hope is to land an awesome job in San Francisco so I can keep this sense of adventure in my own city. Regardless of my mixed feelings, I'm an incredibly happy girl and can't wait to share even more of my experiences. The European traveling and fun are not over yet!

Nighttime in Paris is my favorite

Loving evening runs lately

After a lovely Parisian thanksgiving!

Seeing the sky is a rarity recently

Ryan & Me

I'm in love with the sky

Another beautiful sky during an evening run at Jardin du Luxembourg


Miss Dior

Today was the final day of a two-week-long Miss Dior exhibit at the Grand Palais. To my new knowledge, Christian Dior had a deep and well-established relationship with many artists. Before he became a designer, he ran an art gallery and knew all kinds of cool artists like Salvador Dali. Miss Dior, a fragrance inspired by love and romance, is arguably Dior's best perfume and represents all things girly... so naturally, I love it. The exhibit showed the work of many modern artists all inspired by Miss Dior, representing what it means to them in their own art style. Here's some of what happened:

The Show

Miss Dior ads on repeat

You could get inside this thing

les lumières

As I've mentioned before, Paris is in full force Christmas mode. There are decorative, elaborate lights everywhere you go in the city - it's beyond charming. In my last post I said I was looking forward to having a relaxed week/weekend and I'm proud to say that's exactly what I did! We celebrated my roommate Minh's birthday Wednesday with a fun fondue dinner out in the Latin Quarter and the following day, we saw the lights turn on at the Champs Elyseés. Now the long strip is covered with shiny, sparkly colors and decorations. (I don't have a picture because my phone died while we were out). The rest of the weekend consisted of having a look around the famous Operá Garnier, trying  the delicious Pierre Hermé macaroons, getting to taste the new Beaujolais wine and hanging out at home a lot. The Beaujolais wine is a huuuge deal apparently because the night it debuted, everyone was celebrating with music and at almost every restaurant or wine bar, they were promoting it. Anyway, now I'm relaxed and ready to go for this weekend: A Parisian Thanksgiving and fun with my SF friend Ryan!

Ferris Wheel at Place de la Concorde
Tempting Treats at the Christmas Market
An example of there being lights everywhere you go
chi chis! (churros)
The best macaroons EVER from Pierre Hermé

Le Operá Garnier

Inside the Opera

View of charming Paris from inside the Opera

The new Beaujolais vin!



How is it already the middle of November? Time is seriously flying by. Since getting back from Greece two weeks ago, school has been super busy. I had two midterms last week and two oral presentations today. I also had a friend visit this past weekend so I'm ready for a low key week. The past two weeks have been really fun and filled with all my favorite things - good food, good friends and fun times out in this wonderful city. Paris just keeps getting better and better... and exponentially more Christmas-y. Since they don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, Christmas is in full mode already. It's fun though and makes the cold feel a little more appropriate. My roommate Minh's birthday is this week so I anticipate a nice celebratory week/weekend and then next week I have another friend visiting! Exciting stuff. I'm keeping this short and sweet.... Another update soon but for now, here are some photos. (Blame my iPhone for the lack of clarity).

Natural History Museum

Before braving the cold for a night out

Eclair Heaven!


Musee d'Orsay
Love Lock Bridge

Best Burger in Paris - Le Camion Qui Fume Food Truck

Macaroons at the Christmas Market!

Cool Clouds at the Christmas Market

Sacre Coeur

Notre Dame Made of Chocolate....