little sarah Big World

Amboise

…anyways, all of that bicycling was to actually GET TO a place (though in the end I think I liked the bike ride more…)

And that place was Amboise, where I ate lunch and visited a castle before my camera died. Oops. Poor planning. But look at me! Not even freaking out about it! Not even beating myself up! Whatever, I could have checked the battery before I left, but who cares? You probably do, but you’ll just have to content yourselves with what I’ve got, as far as photographic evidence is concerned.

Amboise - Old Town

lunch at La Cère

walking around

view of the town from up on the hillside

The castle

The gardens

Inside the castle

That fireplace is from a free, guided tour that I took. In French! My French is getting so good. Did I ever mention that I haggled with the bike guy? In French! True Story!

Anyways, that was Amboise, and tomorrow I’m going to Italy to visit my New Cousin. Also a true story. Au revoir!

More Adventurous

Hangover: Round 2 (Electric Boogaloo)

Last night was the institut-sponsored “spectacle,” where students from the institute (where I study) sang, danced, recited poetry, played music, etc. for each other and also the general publique tourangelle. Down at the guingette. And guess what, friends? I totally performed! I totally Bached-out with my you-know-what out! AND did some jazz improv with some of the other students for “Fly Me to the Moon” (Frank Sinatra). And I was nervous! But I did it anyway!

Then afterward we all danced to “Groove It,” by Earth Wind & Fire. And the sky was like this:

I’ve been riding a consistent wave of self-confidence here, feeling more adventurous and independent than I’ve felt in a while. Last weekend I went on a 15-mile bike ride all by myself, and though I didn’t know it it to begin with, nothing could have possibly made me happier. Renting a bike here turned out to be a good choice.

It was a gorgeous day, and I was wrapped-up in a sweet solitude, making plans for the future, thinking my thoughts, enjoying just being by myself. This is from my journal that day:

“…I could not be more content. Happiness is a bubble of light and air in my chest, it is radiating out from me, filling me up, warming my spirit…Glad I came alone. I had wished for company, and then hesitated this morning, because of the overcast sky. But the ride was beautiful–miles and miles of gray clouds rolling heavily above neat rows of gnarled and bright-green vineyards, soft straw-colored pastures…”