After our Paris trip, Nick and I flew to Venice, a place I (and he) had never been before! My parents and I wanted to go during their trip here but it just didn’t work out time-wise; it was way too far from Rome for us to do on our limited schedule. So I was happy to have an opportunity to go there!
Most of the time in Venice we were just walking around. The sidewalks and canals with no cars were a nice break from the busy-ness of Paris, although the winding “streets” did cause us to walk in circles more than once! We saw a lot of beautiful sights and neat old architecture. Again, I don’t have a lot to say about these places, so enjoy the photos!
We saw a lot of churches (forgive any spelling errors I make!)…
Campo Santa Maria Nova
Tags: campanile, canals, churches, clock tower, gondola, Italy, Piazzle San Marco, Ponte Rialto, St Mark's Square, vaporetto, Venice
Okay, I know Versailles isn’t technically in Paris, but we went during our Paris trip, so I say it counts. First of all, a tip for you: if you go to Versailles, DON’T go during the coldest part of the year. Inside the palace was fine, but we basically only toured the grounds right around it because it was SO cold, and there’s a lot more to see than that! We spent all of our time outside (which totaled probably 30 minutes) bundled up like this:
Happy, but freezing cold.
Although I’ve been outside the Louvre many times, I’ve never actually gone inside! It’s SO huge it’s daunting to think about going inside to see everything. However, Nick and I decided to go on our second day in Paris and got there in the morning right as it opened, so we didn’t have to wait in line, and could devote as much time as we wanted (until we got way hungry for lunch!).
We saw a lot of the museum, and all of the famous stuff in there; I’d say we spent about 3 1/2 hours in it? I was happy with how much we saw in the time we were inside. I didn’t take a ton of pictures, just of the most famous stuff, and they don’t really need much explaining! This post will be mainly photos; you’re welcome, people who don’t like to read 🙂
You all remember what the Louvre looks like, right? I mean, we’ve all seen the DaVinci Code.
This was the day before, when there were a ton of people waiting in line. No thank you.
When Nick was here, we took a trip to Paris: my fourth! If you’ve been keeping up with me since the beginning, you remember that I flew there when I first arrived in Europe (two posts), I went again with my parents, then again right after they left to see my friend Chelsea. However, this trip was basically a new experience for me because while we went a few places I had been before, we did a TON of stuff I hadn’t done yet! None of my trips there have been very long so it was nice to have four days to really see the city and go some of the places I hadn’t been yet. First up: going up in the Arc de Triomphe!
There is a TON of stuff up in the Arc de Triomphe that I had no idea existed. Full disclosure: the first time or two I was in Paris I didn’t even know you could go up in it. I guess somehow I missed seeing the people on top when I took my pictures… Anyway, first, a reminder of what the Arc de Triomphe looks like! It’s the big arch at the beginning of the Champs-Elysees.
Tags: Charles de Gaulle Etoile, Eiffel Tower, France, l'Arc de Triomphe, La Defense, Montmartre, Montparnasse, Paris, Paris business district, Place de Charles de Gaulle, Place de l'Etoile, Sacre Coeur
Every winter, Nice has this festival called Carnaval for three weeks. There was a lot of hype leading up to it, but none of my assistant friends, nor myself, really knew what it was. All we knew was that there is a big warehouse down the street from my apartment that had a ton of Carnaval decorations and stuff in it, and that huge bleachers were being put up in la Place Massena and along the Promenade des Anglais (along the ocean).
My boyfriend got here on the 14th of February and as we were walking to my apartment after the bus from the airport dropped us off, we turned onto my street and this is what we saw:
Welcome to Nice!!
Hey all, I’m back! Hope you weren’t too bored stiff by that series of posts. No worries, next will be travel ones about a couple places my boyfriend and I went 🙂 Until then… an update!
As stated in the title, there have been a couple of changes in the life of Kelsey (la vie de Kelsey…bahaha). One of the biggest is that I changed the date of my return ticket to the US. Like I mentioned here, I bought a round-trip ticket, and I chose the arbitrary return date of May 23. I knew my contract ended on April 30, and I wanted to have a few weeks to travel before I came back to the US. However, what I didn’t know was that I would be done teaching April 12 (HOLY COW THAT’S A MONTH FROM TODAY); French schools happen to have a two-week break at the end of April! Technically I should have to teach April 29 and 30 but I don’t have any classes on Tuesdays, and I doubt they’ll make me come in on Monday; they always need me less the week after breaks, but even if they do ask me to come in, it’s only for a few hours.
This is my random “other things I’ve had to do for life in Nice” post. First up: bank account!
There are lots of banks in Nice: Banque Populaire, BNP Paribas, LCL, Societe Generale, HSBC, and Caisse Epargne are some of the big ones. I went with Banque Populaire because my roommate did and he said they were good with technology (they have an app), and there is one close to my apartment. As you can see, a super-informed decision!
I’ve been really happy with Banque Populaire overall. I didn’t have any problems opening my account, my debit card came fairly quickly (1-2 weeks, if I remember correctly), and they do have an app that works well, although I only use it for checking my account balance. My only complaint is that I asked for a checkbook when I opened my account, and was told I would receive something in the mail when it was ready to be picked up at the bank. Nothing ever came, so I emailed the woman who opened my account asking about that as well as receiving sign-in information for online banking. She didn’t respond, so I resent the email. Still no response, but a few days later a piece of mail came with my online banking information, but no checkbook. I decided it wasn’t worth the effort, since I don’t think checkbooks are free and transferring money is pretty easy here.
I knew I wanted to give private English lessons in France on the side to help make some extra moolah, since I don’t make tons of money working only 12 hours a week. Shocking, I know. Here’s what I’ve learned about it so far!
All of us assistants, myself included, had high hopes for finding students online using sites like KelProf.com and Cherche-Cours.com. Unfortunately, we were nearly all disappointed. I don’t think any of my friends have found any jobs through those sites; there are just so many English-speakers in Nice that there’s no shortage of English teachers. I did find one student through Cherche-Cours, but after I went on vacation he dropped off the face of the earth… not sure what happened there! I also got an email from one other person seeking a teacher, but in the email the site notified me that she had emailed five people at one time, so it’s not like she had handpicked me or anything. I opted not to message her back because by then I already had three students and she didn’t speak ANY English, so it would be starting from the beginning, which is a hugely daunting task. My disappearing student was starting from the beginning as well, which made for a lot of work on my end, so I’m kinda glad he just stopped emailing me back and showing up for lessons. Hope he’s okay…
Update: Since leaving France, I’ve gotten several emails from Kelprof/Cherche-Cours (Can’t remember which. Maybe both.) with requests from students for lessons. So maybe just be patient and the students will come!
This is a reader-requested post! Someone said in a comment that they are applying for TAPIF for next year and were wondering how I packed to live here for eight months and what tips I had. Unfortunately, most of the advice I have are things I did wrong and learned the hard way. I guess I did do some things right:
- I only checked one bag, which was my free allowance, and I made sure it was within the weight limit so I didn’t have to pay. Tip #1
- I asked a teacher from my school before I left what I was expected to wear to school. Tip #2
- Umm yeah that’s it.
Honestly, I did a ton more things wrong than I did right. Don’t be like me. First of all, I moved from the Chicago suburbs back in with my parents (three hours away) on Friday, September 21, then flew out of Chicago on Wednesday, September 26. That meant I had to pack, move home, unpack in a room filled with my childhood crap and a whole apartment full of stuff, pack again, and drive back to Chicago in five days. Not ideal.