Can someone explain to me how we've already reached the end of March? It is mind-boggling. We've had midterms, we've had our fair share of excursions, and all of it is a not-so-subtle indicator that our semester here is almost over. And rather than get that traumatizing, suffocating feeling that I normally get, I'm just going to recount some of the highlights from March.
I'm very happy that I've gotten to get to know the south of France through these day trips. Saint-Tropez was beautiful, despite the day starting off rather wet and gray. I'm glad we took that chance, because really, eating gelato while gazing at all of the shiny boats is pretty nice. Also: I think I'm finally starting to fall in love with natural paths narrow streets.

The IAU trip to the Luberon region was pretty fantastic, too. At Lourmarin we saw a castle, mingled in the market, and visited the cemetery where Albert Camus was buried. Amanda, Desirae, and myself read the first page of L'Etranger, along with a short biography on Camus (that was written by our own lovely Desirae). Admittedly, I had a bit of anxiety over reading in French in front of all of my classmates [because 1) I need to work on my accent and 2) I need to work on my accent], but I'm glad I did it. One day, I will master that French "u." After buying some lunch stuffs at the market, the bus took us to Lacoste, where we had a petit pique-nique near the castle, which had a statue dedicated to the marquis de Sade. Very interesting stuff. The castle was quite a ways up, though. I can't say I'm sure if I'll ever fully love cobblestone steps.

To close off the day, we went to Roussillon, and that was absolutely beautiful. The ochre is this intense reddish orange, with shades of yellow and purple scattered about. My simple point-and-shoot did not do those colors justice.

And as for last week, a couple of us went to the Vaucluse region. Yet another place that was beautiful, despite the rain.

Open-air markets and picnics are wonderful. On Saturday, a couple of us went to the market at Place des Precheurs, bought some food, and walked to Parc Jordan to have a picnic. The weather was perfect. I'm half-tempted to invest in a blanket just for picnics now. I'm also more than half-tempted to try and bring this habit back with me to the States.

I'm happy that I now know how to greet people... for the most part. I mean, sometimes I go for the wrong cheek, but it's good knowing that I've built up that relationship with the French people I talk to on a more regular basis.

Anyway, I'm excited (and slightly nervous) to see how April will turn out. I have presentations, papers, and a birthday coming up. Bring it on.

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