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Motorcycle ride to Lyon!

Saturday the 20th of May 2017
I had a great day today! I had been feeling pretty depressed and like I hadn't used my time in France efficiently enough (I'm starting to think about the process of leaving - less than a month) the night before, so I wrote a super long journal entry at like 11pm, because it was raining and I was listening to a sad Spotify playlist. After writing that, I decided to be productive and go out and do something this weekend! I have also been watching this guy "Charisma on Command" on YouTube, and he teaches you how to stop procrastinating and be productive among other things, and all of these things together, caused me to have a great weekend!

First off, Norah, Laurent and I went to the market! I love going to the market - it was a little overcast so there weren't as many people there - which I prefer. After a few minutes at the market, I decided to leave Norah and Laurent and go to the bookstore and try to find a French grammar book that I can work on, to eventually take the B2 or maybe even C1 DELF(DALF) test. I didn't find exactly what I was looking for, but I did find some books that I was interested in reading! I only got one, but I'm happy with the choice I made - I got "La sélection" by Kiera Cass. It's actually and English book, and it was translated into French. I've read about a 4th of the book now and I'm really enjoying it!

Once we returned home, I started preparing the strawberries (2 kg!!!) while Laurent made lunch. I just rinsed them and cut them in half. Then I made some whipped cream to eat them with! I used their hand mixer for the first time, and it turns out that it's not very powerful at all, so I was standing there, whipping cream and sugar for like 15 minutes, it turned out really well though. The trick is to add just the right amount of vanilla extract - the stuff that they had was fake vanilla extract, which was a little gross, but I mean the vanilla flavor was still there once whipped in with the powdered sugar and cream. Vermicelle loves dairy, so she got my whipped cream leftovers!

            We took a 2 hour sieste, and then Laurent and I took the motorcycle to Lyon! This was the first time (I believe...) that I have ridden a motorcycle - it was extremely fun! Once we got on the freeway, the wind really started attacking me, but I got used to it after a while. Since I was on the back, I was a little higher up than Laurent and it was so weird to be able to see over cars! I could look directly above me and see the sky and everything was so pretty! I felt super powerful and like I could boss everyone else on the road around. Also, the motorcyclists that passed us, always waved, or stuck their hand out in like a muted salute, which almost felt like I had been allowed into a private club, and who doesn't want to be in a private club?

Once in Lyon, we stopped by a coin exchange place for Laurent, as he had some old shillings (he doesn't collect coins), but the store was closed, so we walked to a huge 4 story bookstore that also sells electronics,  tickets, music, games and basically everything you've ever wanted. I could have literally spent the whole day there and just perused, which I actually think I will do sometime this week, because I loved it so much. I ended up finding a great grammar book with exercises and a range from B2 - C2. I hope that this encourages me to keep up my French during the summer and beyond and to pass either the B2 or C1 test (or maybe both?). I've already started a bit, and it is definitely challenging, but I understand basically everything.

On the way back to the motorcycle, we walked by a couple boulangeries, and I had to stop and look in the windows to admire the pastries and cakes. I saw this brioche with pink pralines in it, which I had seen before and was curious about, so I asked Laurent about it. His answer was to buy me one! It was not at all what I had expected - the praline bits were pretty flavorless and, I believe, mostly sugar. It was really good though, and I thoroughly enjoyed it on our way back to the motorcycle.
We left Lyon at around 5 or so, and got back to Vienne at 6, because we took a huge detour through the campagne (countryside). It was so beautiful and we saw like no one else on the small road - it was such a stunning drive back to the already stunning Vienne.



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