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Au revoir, St-Laurent.
by Student, Addie M.
I went into this weekend knowing I had less than a week left in France

…and determined to make the most of it. Three weeks have gone by WAY too fast and I’m certainly not ready to leave. Lesson learned: more time to learn the language is always better.

Saturday morning we left for Cannes by train and then walked from the train station to the top of a hill to take a group picture. Afterward, we made it our priority to find a restaurant and eat way too many crepes, as we were all starving. Once we’d done just that and taken a bit of time to digest, we walked through Cannes to buy gifts for family and souvenirs for us.

As we were exploring the city, we discovered a bustling little flea market going on by the port. There were tents selling everything from vintage pins and clothes to old postcards and silverware. We bought a few incredible old postcards, yellowed with age and crowded with unintelligible French cursive. After picking those out, we found a tent covered in hundreds of vintage enamel pins. There were some from the 1992 Summer Olympics, a few advertising camera brands, one each from McDonald’s in New York, Quebec, and Mexico City, and tons more. The best part is that they were €1 each. (an enamel pin at a boutique goes for $10-15)

We left Cannes on the train and headed back home to dinner with our families. At our house, our host mom prepared Ratatouille for us to try. My housemates and I were quite surprised when the actual dish looked nothing like it did in the movie. Spoiler alert: it’s not as animated and brightly-colored as Disney wants you to think it is. However, it tasted amazing no matter what it looked like.

Sunday morning we got the best present anyone could ever have given. Can you guess what it was? If you guessed THE ENTIRE MORNING to sleep in, you got it right. I slept until 11:00 am and it was wonderful. We then had a huge and filling brunch of crepes, pastries, fruit, bacon, eggs and copious amounts of Nutella with our host mom before heading to St-Paul-de-Vence.

There, we ate more crepes, visited the Maeght Foundation, and explored the gorgeous hilltop town. The Maeght Foundation is a modern art gallery showcasing sculptures and paintings from artists like Chagall. There, we split into groups and each chose a piece of art to research and present to the group in French. Once we’d done that, we headed down the hill and peeked into more art galleries and adorable little stores.

That night after dinner we went to the port at Cagnes-sur-Mer to watch some of the most brilliant fireworks I think I’ve ever seen. Maybe they were amazing because I wasn’t expecting them, maybe it’s because I was with the new friends I’ve made that I’ll love forever, and maybe they were actually just really cool fireworks. Who knows?

This was my last week in the south of France, and as of right now I only have tomorrow morning left. I’ve learned far more than I expected and made friends that I know I’ll keep for a lifetime. If you see me crying tomorrow, don’t be surprised.

 

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