I can’t believe it’s been six years since studying in the one and only Provence, France (time really does fly when you’re having fun!). I want to reflect on one of my most memorable days in southern France: our field trip to Sénanque Abbey.
My roommate-turned-bestie and I had professors who were actually married (hers was an art professor and mine was the creative writing expert), which led to a joint day-trip to one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever visited.
We started our journey by hiking around quite a bit, which would’ve been fun if it weren’t for the fact that we had to wear fancy clothes and dress shoes… still, we had great views…
The abbey itself is incredible; an order or monks still reside in this charming, yet powerful architecture. And obviously the lavender fields don’t hurt!
Despite the long, hot day Carolyn and I endured, we had a great time (even though the below photograph suggests otherwise)!
Yesterday I decided to take my dog, Linley, up north to hang out on the beach and do some hiking. Luckily my mom was able to join us and we had a fun, all-day adventure!
Linley and I picked my mom up early and we headed north around 7:00am. Before we headed toward the beach, we found a unique cafe where everything was gluten, dairy and soy free. We had to sip some iced coffee, indulge in morning pastries and take some photos on the butterfly bench!
Once we replenished, we ventured toward Empire Beach. This took as longer than we’d thought, however, because our GPS didn’t take us to the dog-friendly area like I’d hoped. We may have lost an hour of time, but we made up for it elsewhere.
I may be a prepared dog mom, but my mom is the prepared human mom! She brought us so many snacks and even some matching hats. I would’ve traveled north with Linley myself, but it’s always better when she’s around, too!
Linley had so much fun in the sand! We found a cool place where he had plenty of shade and could dig to make himself even cooler. We were on the beach for about an hour or so; we even put Linley’s life jacket on so he could swim a little!
After my mom and I had enough of the heat, we headed toward Empire Trail where we could all experience some shade. The trail is tucked back in the woods and once you reach the end, you’re in the midst of pristine sand dunes. My mom was intrigued by markings in the trees, where as Linley was busy leaving his mark on all the trees!
I didn’t capture many photos from yesterday; simply being with my mom and pup meant the world to me. Thankfully my mom took a sweet photo of Linley napping under our bench…
After we rested on the bluffs, we headed back down the trail, enjoyed a nice dinner in downtown Traverse City, and were back on the road again. Linley was fantastic in the car, on the beach and during our hikes; I can’t imagine going on these adventures without him (or without my mom for that matter)!
Lyon, France was a must-see weekend destination for Carolyn and me because my husband actually studied there before we met. He had nothing but good things to say about it and we knew we had to explore!
One can be adult get consumed by Old Lyon’s charm! Wandering the streets is a great way to spend an afternoon.
I believe it’s obligatory to visit cathedrals when visiting Europe, and this one certainly delivered on beauty and history.
Parc de la Tête d’Or
This park is another great way to spend an afternoon. It provides you with ample people-watching and photography opportunities!
I saved the best for last! There’s no shortage of good food here in Lyon. With tons of bakeries, candy shops and markets, you won’t leave the city hungry.
With the COVID-19 chaos among us, all I can think of is traveling. Last Monday I was supposed to venture off to Banff National Park for some solo adventuring, yet here I am soaking up some sun on my couch…
While I may not be educating myself on wolf-dogs, tubing down mountains or glacier hiking, I am currently lost in past travels. I recently spoke with one of my best friends who I met while we studied in France, so I’ll continue my French-inspired posts for now.
Carolyn and I spent one weekend in Paris during over summer abroad; for both good and bad reasons, it was a weekend we’ll never forget. I can only explain our weekend mishaps by sharing a piece of my matron of honor speech from September 2019:
“During our time in France, there was only one moment when I feared that Carolyn wouldn’t want to be my friend anymore. We were lost in Paris for a while, wandering the outskirts in the middle of the night. Let’s just say that it brought out the worst in us. Our phones weren’t working and we had no clue how or when we would find our way back.
For once, there were no stories about our significant others, no rants about Veronique and her subpar cooking, and most importantly, no laughter. Thankfully, things went back to normal once we found our hotel, and I’m incredibly thankful for that.
In fact, we’ve had a reunion every year since that summer, and in 2015 we were also lost in Chicago late at night. We laughed while we struggled to find our way back to the hotel, and it brought me back to that hectic night in Paris.”
I hope you’re all staying safe, healthy and happy with your loved ones (and favorite TV series!) ❤️
I officially started this blog in 2015 by being forced into it as a class assignment. I thought, “no one is going to care what I have to say,” but thank you for reading and following my journey anyway.
With this gratitude, I will be sharing my first study abroad experience with you: Aix-en-Provence, France (2014). I have shared some photos way back, but it’s time you saw and heard about one of my favorite countries to this day. I’m feeling just as grateful for my summer in southern France as I am for all of you!
Thank you for all of your love and support, always.
Katy, who is three years younger than me and lives miles away, has been a sister to me for a very long time.
I’m not close with a lot of my extended family members (for reasons I won’t mention here), so having a third-cousin who is more like a sibling means the world to me. Every single time we reunite, we pick up right where we left off.
Words can’t express how much I love this lady! Katy, if you’re reading this, I’m blessed to know you and call you a friend and sister. Happy birthday!
We’ve had many amazing memories over the years, and we’re guaranteed to have many more 🙂
Two weekends ago, Juan and I flew all the way to Oakland, California for a one-day music festival. One of our favs, Lane 8, performed at an all-day event in the middle of the city (I can’t emphasize how rad this was)! No phones were allowed and it was a truly immersive experience.
The only photos I have from our weekend away aren’t even from Oakland: they’re from San Francisco.
Juan has never been to the Golden Gate Bridge, so obviously we had to take a detour. When I visited two years ago, it was clear and sunny outside (see below):
When we visited two weekends ago, however, that wasn’t the case…
Regardless, we still had a great time and made the most of our foggy day!
Pro tip: do not get the croissants at the visitors center (Juan said they were hella stale).