Hi! I'm Jenna, and my life is Eventurous.

I am currently living in Paris, working as an Au Pair. In July, I am planning on hopping on my bicycle and going where ever the wind takes me. As I see the world, I will write about my favorite things:

Events/ Adventures/ Art/ Travel/ Floral/ Nature/ Hair/ College/ College 2/ Cycling/Maps

Places: San Francisco/ Denver/ New York City/ Paris/ Around France/ London/ Scotland/ Italy/ Ireland photo ScreenShot2013-06-23at94052AM.png

Beach, Bus, and Bayonne

(Omg this title…what am I doing with my life?!? Americans will get it I think…)

So today I had time to see a bit more of Basque Country (Pays Basque) before catching my flight back to Paris in the afternoon. I thought I would continue to just “basque” in the sun at the beach in Biarritz, but I had heard about how nice Bayonne, a nearby town is, and my curiosity got the better of me. I also didn’t think I could have emotionally handled going to the beach again. It was way to hard to pull away from the ocean yesterday. I had to make a quick, clean break.

I said goodbye to the beach in Biarritz, hopped on a bus for one euro and landed in Bayonne.

The town certainly is cute. It is much more basque-y than Biarritz. There is definitely a different vibe than other parts of France too. It isn’t totally Spanish, but you can tell Spain is pretty close and is a huge influencer. (In case you’re wondering, Basque Country is a region in the north of Spain and south of France, around the Pyrenees mountains.)

There was a Foire au Jambon (Ham Festival) going on for the week in Bayonne. Apparently this is a pretty pig (wow I accidentally typed pig) big deal for Basque culture. My goal was to find a cool Basque vegetarian lunch at the ham fest. I walked through, tasting samples of the few non-hammy things I could find (mostly pie). But they also seem to really like chili peppers.

Eventually I had to head to airport. I said one more sad goodbye to the coast as we flew over the beautiful strip of calming blue on our way to Paris. And now here I am in Paris for one day…before I leave again for part two of my “Discovering France” adventure!

La Nive et l’Adour à Bayonne, France

La Nive et l’Adour à Bayonne, France

Beach

Beach

Beach

Beach

I spent 14 hours at the beach today. Well, multiple beaches.

I strolled around Biarritz, went to a beach, walked through the water, sat in the sand, read my book, ate yummy things, turned my skin red, got up and went to find my next piece of paradise. I repeated this activity all day.

Usually when I am traveling, I want to cover a lot of ground exploring and walking for miles through a new city. I don’t know if it was because I was really into my book (“Divergent”) or if I was just too entranced by the ocean…but I could not stay away from the water!

The ocean was such a huge part of my life, growing up in a California beach town.

I can count the amount of times I have been to a beach in 2014 on one hand. This is not okay.

Being at the beach again made me feel like I was right back in California. It made me really miss people and parts of my life back home. But the ocean is a piece of my home and I am glad I am able to find this part of me all over the world…except for in Paris, of course. I am quite literally a “fish out of water” in Paris.

I ended my day under the stars as a the four beams of light from the Biarritz lighthouse circled and danced across the sky and rhythmic waves breathed in and out against the sandy coast.

Bon jour Biarritz

Bon jour Biarritz

Bordeaux to Biarritz!!

This morning, I started my day with a lovely walk all over Bordeaux.

I crossed the river La Garonne via Pont du Pierre and wandered around the botanical garden. I stared at the beautiful flowers for a long time.

Then I walked along the riverside. The sun was shining, the impeccably groomed walkway was covered in runners, skate boarders, and fellow walkers. I sat on a bench and stared at the river for a long time.

I made my way to Jardin Public, a beautiful park in the downtown area of Bordeaux. I brought with me a baguette, some chocolate, cheese, and fruit. I sat in the grass with my book. I stared at more flowers for a long time.

One thing I noticed about Bordeaux is that people are SO much more approachable and friendly than in Paris. Every time I went anywhere today, or sat anywhere for a significant amount of time, someone would approach me and start a conversation BUT not in a creepy or harassing way like the drageurs of Paris. These were just curious and kind people looking to chat. I carried myself very well in French during all of these exchanges, so I was feeling pretty dandy.

Except there was one realllllly weird occurrence at the Jardin Public. I was really tired and very much looking forward to relaxing in the grass with a quasi-picnic and my book. But there was this man with a bike…

At first I looked up from my book and he was standing at the edge of the grass staring at me. It was weird but I went back to my book. Then I looked up a few minutes later and he was no longer on the edge of the grass, but sitting on the other side of me…staring at me again.

I looked back at my book. Some time passed, and I looked up again. He was still staring at me. Weird, but whatever. He didn’t look threatening.

About 10 minutes passed and I looked up again. He was once again back on the other side of me at the edge of the grass…staring.

I accidentally made eye contact with him. He came over to ask me what time it was. I told him. It was exactly noon. He said thank you and then disappeared.

THEN about 15 minutes later, I was having a very beautiful moment with some chocolate I had bought. All of the sudden, there he was again! He sat down in the grass on the other side of me but closer this time. He started talking to me. A mouth full of melted chocolate, I tried to be nice and respond but damn…I did NOT care what he had to say. And my chocolate was melting! It was a race against time. The sun was turning my chocolate into soup.

At this point I was getting annoyed and tried go back to my book.

Eventually he left.

What the fack was all that about???

Aside from that strange event, my walk around Bordeaux and sitting in various places enjoying the sun was a great time.

I then hitched a ride via blablacar, a carpooling website, to Biarritz with three strangers. Why not?

The ride was nice. I chatted with the driver a bit.

When we arrived in Biarritz, I was dropped off at the beach. I was so excited to see the ocean! I streamlined it through the sand, right into the water. I was in a trance.

I shed all of my “Paris” (black boots, closed off mentality) and sat in the sand. I stared at the ocean for a long time.

If there is one thing I learned today, it is that….I really don’t belong in Paris. There are so many great, fun, beautiful, easy-going, wonderful cities in France…and I live in the most uptight and least natural of them all…

Oh well.

I ended the day by watching the sunset over the ocean.

It was incredible. I stared at the sunset for a long time.

There was a lot of speaking French today.

And a lot of staring.

As far as mirror selfies go, I am not ashamed of this one with Le Phare de Biarritz and the Bay of Biscay at sunset.

As far as mirror selfies go, I am not ashamed of this one with Le Phare de Biarritz and the Bay of Biscay at sunset.

A bird in flight at Jardin Public à Bordeaux

A bird in flight at Jardin Public à Bordeaux

Au Bord à Bordeaux

Today I had an absolutely magical day in Bordeaux, France. I arrived this morning by TGV train from Paris. The train passed through endless fields of yellow flowers and adorable towns.

Once I arrived in Bordeaux, I stopped at the Office de Tourisme to get a map and see if anything interested me. I knew that while I was in Bordeaux, it would be really important to me to have some sort of experience involving wine because this is a huge wine region. I found information for 34 or 85 euro afternoon wine tours to a few chateaux in the area. I decided to walk towards the center of town, so I would be at the meeting place for a tour when it began.

On my way, as I passed cool architecture and a lot of touristy shops, I decided I didn’t want to pay even 34 euros for a tour. When I reached the center of town I also realized that I really wasn’t in the mood to wander around Bordeaux and look at old churches, statues, and museums. People joke that once you have seen one European city, you have seen them all. Even though I do not entirely agree with that statement, it is how I felt at the moment.

I sat in some grass and played with daisies meanwhile intentionally missing the tour. I realized that all I really wanted was to see wine country and be in nature, but not from the inside of an expensive tour bus. I went to another tourism office and spoke with their “wine specialist.” He arranged for me to take a city bus to Chateau du Taillan for a tour and tasting for 6 euros.

I took the bus a half an hour out of Bordeaux’s city center not knowing what to expect, and I ended up on a country road that led to a gorgeous chateau and wine cellar.

No one was there. The other people who were registered took the wrong city bus and never arrived. I got my own private tour and wine tasting in Franglish -well I requested that the tour be in French and I DID understand most of it! I mean, unless I heard wrong, wine is made with grapes and the reason some wines are red or white or pink is because of food coloring. So yeah my French is getting prettttttty dang good!

Then the nice woman at the chateau said I could explore to grounds if I wanted. I spent an hour and a half wandering around, staring at flowers and trees and listening to the birds. It was so perfect.

After treating myself to a chocolate pastry, (because why not make a perfect day more perfecter?) I headed back into town on another city bus.

So instead of a 34 euro tour, I paid 10 euros including transportation and not only had my “Bordeaux Wine Experience” but I also spent a tranquil afternoon dancing amongst the trees, which is my favorite activity. I also bought a bottle of my favorite wine tasted to give to my couch surfing host, but I later found out he is Muslim…so he probably won’t drink it. Crap. Lesson learned. I will bring chocolate next time.

After arriving back in the city, I wandered along the river and through the center of town as dusk fell. And I fell in love with Bordeaux.

The city is filled with college students roaming around and drinking wine in the parks. Can I go back to university? And can it be in Bordeaux please?

The city is beautiful and full of character when lit up for the evening.

I finished the night off with a lovely dinner and culture exchange with my couch surfing host.

Simplement Parfait.

The gate to my happy place.

 I spent all afternoon here at Chateau du Taillan, in the Haut-Médoc region of Bordeaux, wine tasting, touring the 16th century wine cellar, exploring the grounds and rolling around in fields of wild flowers. 
I was the only one there, so it was essentially a private tour for 6 euros! Can’t get better than that.

The gate to my happy place. I spent all afternoon here at Chateau du Taillan, in the Haut-Médoc region of Bordeaux, wine tasting, touring the 16th century wine cellar, exploring the grounds and rolling around in fields of wild flowers.

I was the only one there, so it was essentially a private tour for 6 euros! Can’t get better than that.

Bienvenue à la Gare de Bordeaux-Saint-Jean

Bienvenue à la Gare de Bordeaux-Saint-Jean


Large Visitor Globe