The Perfect Holiday Pt. 2: Le Carnaval de Nantes

The highlight of my spring break in Nantes was the Carnivals parade, which had the theme “Around the World.” The floats in the parade represented different countries and cultures and were accompanied by many dancers and performers. These floats were the most amazing ones I have ever seen! You could tell that everyone involved with the parade dedicated a lot of time, energy, and money to make it great. There were so many families out, confetti was everywhere, and everyone was enjoying the festive atmosphere. Despite a little rain, it was the perfect weekend to visit. Here are some pictures from the day for your enjoyment 🙂

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The float to begin the parade; let’s go on a trip!

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Ireland!
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Spain
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I wasn’t sure what this was… there was also a toaster on the back with toast and bacon? lol

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Dancers for Brazil
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Satirical Cuban float

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I can’t imagine how long it took to make all these floats, but they did an amazing job. I was glad to be in town for the parade and had a great time. I hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I enjoyed this cotton candy 🙂

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xoxo,

Briana

The Perfect Holiday

Hey there 🙂  The craziness of study abroad has come to a halt because I am now on spring break! Or as Europeans say Holiday. I love to travel and learn about new places but for spring break I decided to return to where I studied last spring; Nantes, France. Sometimes in the midst of all the new it’s nice to take a break, I wanted to go someplace I knew I would enjoy and I knew Nantes would be that for me.

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A few of my favorite things. Maybe I love France so much because it has macroons?

Chelsey and I left Berlin at 4am for our flight to Paris where we would take a bus to Nantes. Long story short, it was a rough journey, but it was all worth it when I arrived in Nantes again. I was a bit nervous to visit Nantes again; What if I romanticized my experience so much in my head and I was disappointed when I returned? That fear quickly left when I was greeted by the shining sun, the French language and the city that I love.

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A pro of terribly early flights are the beautiful sunrises 🙂

We stayed with my French host family and it was so nice to see them again, although it was a little strange for me that I was just a visitor now and they had a new host student, but that’s life : ) We made traditional French galettes (salty crepes) and crepes for dinner and it was just like old times.

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Looking ratchet but happy after a day of traveling with my galette.

I took Chelsey to my favorite places, some being a beautiful park that my friends and I would have picnics at often, a little town right across the river called Trentmoult which has the best crepes, and the park that has a life-size wooden elephant that you can ride and sprays water from its trunk. We spent all day going around the city eating plenty of delicious French pastries and practicing my French. I was so relieved to see I hadn’t lost it! Visiting Nantes, it was like I never left.

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Colorful houses in Trentmoult 🙂
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The Elephant! A must see in Nantes.
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Jardin de Plantes

The highlight of our visit would have to have been the Carnival of Nantes which theme was “Around the World.” I will dedicate a whole blog to it because I loved it so much so look out for that next. 🙂

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The Japanese float at the Carnival

Overall, my spring break in Nantes was great. It was the perfect weekend to visit. I got to see old friends, visit my favorite places and see how Nantes has changed since I left. Even Chelsey loved it, telling me I have to get a flat there so she can come visit. : ) it’s great to love many places and I encourage you to find those places that you love as well.

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This city will always have a special place in my heart.

À plus tard!

Homesickness

It´s incredible what you don’t notice when you are caught up in yourself. I have been feeling a little melancholy recently for two completely opposite reasons: because I am homesick, and because my time in Chile is approaching the end. On the one hand, I am happy to be going home soon; I miss the familiar people and routines. On the other hand, I am sad because studying in Chile has been a wonderful series of adventures, and because I will have to say good-bye to my family and friends here.

However, while I’ve been sad, spring arrived.  The weather is beautiful, flowers are blooming, and there are more ships in the harbor. It is shorts and t-shirt weather, which I love. The birds are singing, and everybody seems happier. Sometimes their happiness is contagious, and it can be a lot of fun hanging out with everyone. But sometimes, I enjoy being alone. It is what I do with that alone time makes all the difference.

I like people watching. I just go to a café and get some coffee and observe the busy people. It is fun to watch the crazy old men wander by, asking for change, or the grandmas with their grandchildren who are begging for an ice cream. I like watching the girlfriends drag their boyfriends to a movie or all the people casually smoking a cigarette before they have to go back to work.

I like observing the flowers. I love flowers, and so many of them just grow around here, wild and uncontrolled. There are daisies and petunias that grow by my house. Everybody seems to have roses. There are wild purple flowers and pretty red flowers. I like wearing flowers in my hair. It makes me feel confident and pretty.

The sea is very blue right now. It’s been remarkable to live this close to the ocean during my time here. I feel I could stare at its vastness forever. I like writing poetry and staring at the sea. I feel content.

When there is so much to do in a busy city like Valparaiso, sometime just stopping and spending some time alone is the best way to understand the people and the culture.