Nicole is blogging...

I'm a college girl (University of Texas at Austin– Hook 'em) who drinks too much coffee & has lot of ideas. I love meeting new people, and if I have sent you a picture of my cat, you can consider us friends. I believe in the sharing of ideas & experiences, so I thought I'd put them here. Most content is self-generated, but I enjoy sharing the work of others as well. So get ready for some day-to-day novelty.

Parisian views! Top photo is on top of l’Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Élysees. Everything else is from la Tour Eiffel. Yes, I went to the VERY top!

Took this photo on my last morning at my dorm, Résidence Vivaldi, in Paris. It’s a pretty sweet view from the top! I’ll never forget my time here.

These pictures from Rome are long over due– and unfortunately there are not many of them, as my phone was stolen my first day in the city– but I’m so happy to be able to share them!


The top photo is from my visit the Colosseum on the first day. I travelled with three other girls from my program, and we also saw the Roman Forum & ruins, the Spanish Steps, Piazza Novana, Trevi Fountain (which was unfortunately undergoing renovations, so a lot of scaffolding and no running water), the Pantheon, and Piazza Venezia, where we got to watch the Italian World Cup match on a big screen that was set of in the center of the square. The middle left photo is from Piazza Venezia with my roommate during halftime! We spent the entire next day touring Vatican City, which was so incredible (middle right photo). That night, I met up with one of my really good friends who is also studying abroad in Italy! I got to meet her host mom, see where is has been living, and eat some amazing Italian gelato! We went out later that night to explore the lively streets of Rome (bottom right photo). One of the most fascinating things about the city is the fact that people live out their everyday lives amongst these ancient buildings & ruins– alongside thousands of years of history. So, despite being pickpocketed, Rome was truly an incredible experience!

More from Versailles Gardens–

Top photo is the group of girls I went to Amsterdam with, bottom photo is the group of girls I have been spending most of my time with in the program! In addition to our program being overseas, I love how culturally diverse we are! We have girls representing for India, Nicaragua, Peru, Costa Rica, Mexico, and all over the United States! (It also makes watching the 2014 FIFA World Cup a ton of fun!)

Le Château et le Jardin de Versailles! There will definitely be more photos of this to come– my favorite cultural excursion in the program so far! The best part was just getting lost in the gardens. There’s nothing else like it in the world. 

More from around Paris!

Top right photo– L’Arc de Triopmhe. I have yet to climb to the top!

Top left photo– the fountain from the scene in The Devil Wears Prada where Ann Hathaway tosses her phone into the water! One of my favorite movies!

Middle photos– La Basilique Scaré Coeur. Yes, I climbed that hill. Yes, it was so worth it! The views of Montmartre from Sacré Coeur were wonderful, and the tiny cobble stone streets winding down that hill are absolutely magical. It’s like being in another world.  

Bottom right photo– the infamous Moulin Rouge of Montmartre! 

Day trip to Amsterdam over the weekend {2 weeks ago}!

We explored the charming city streets & canals from sun-up to sun-down. We went on a boat tour and enjoyed some local cuisine– I even tried a beer and liked it! My favorite highlights were probably Dam Square and Vondelpark. And of course all of the tulips from the countryside that are brought into the colorful markets in the city center– mom, I have something special for you when you arrive in Paris! 

So sorry about my lack of recent posts…

~ UPDATE TO THIS POST ~

I was able to locate all of mobile photos in my iPhotos application thanks to iCloud synching! You’ve got to love technology!!! Photos coming soon! 

ORIGINAL POST: 

I love being able to share my study abroad experience on this blog, so I am devastated to say that my photo posts will be very limited for the rest of my study abroad experience. Unfortunately, I was pickpocketed in Rome and my cell phone was stolen right out of my bag. That was my main source of photos for this blog, as I use my Canon DSLR camera to take large amounts of photos that would be very difficult for me to sort through and edit quickly (and I am not in any of those photos anyways). I will download, sort through, and edit those pictures to post eventually, but for now I am focusing on continuing to enjoy my time here, take more photos, and of course focus on school! 

That being said, please do not text or call my old phone number. I will be getting a new one in a few weeks! 

Regardless of that unfortunate incident, I am still having an incredible time in Europe! Last weekend, I flew to Rome for 3 days, and the weekend before I took a bus to Amsterdam for a day trip. Back in Paris, I took a train out to Versailles for a lovely afternoon. I will try to scavenge around the web for pictures from my friends to post here! 

As I mentioned in my previous post, it has become so very easy to loose track of time in the magnificent city of Paris! From now on, I’ll just post a collection of my favorite shots from each week {or as frequently as I can}! I’ve also been putting the camera/phone down more and soaking in this once-in-a-lifetime experience! 

The top photo was a shot from one of the windows of my school {ESCP} overlooking the city.

Underneath that is a photo from a wine & gelato night with the girls on the lawn in front of la Tour Eiffel!

And finally, I had to show some love for the incredible food I have gotten to indulge in here!

Top left: The most beautiful cappuccino I have ever been served from our favorite café in our neighborhood.

Top right: The famous Amorino’s flower-shaped gelato!

Bottom left: une tarte au citron {lemon tart}. One of my favorites! 

Bottom right: The most incredible cheese ravioli I have ever had, also from our café. We are very loyal to that café and have made friends with the waitstaff there! 

It’s officially week 3 in Paris! I have lost track of the days, and the next few posts will be a little late– I’ve been so busy! Here are some photos from my visit to the Louvre. We were there for over 4 hours a just saw a small part of this incredibly large and equally impressive museum, including Napoleon’s apartment, the paintings, including the Mona Lisa {Bien sûr! / Of course!}, and sculptures. 

Trip to Le Musée d’Orsay! Some of my favorite art in the whole world! I especially enjoyed the sculptor Rodin and all of the French Impressionism, including the Degas ballerinas. 

{Top photo is dinner & drinks on the banks of the Seine with the girls!}

La cinquième journée {Day 5}

Today was sunny and a bit warmer, so after class my group and I went out to do some more exploring! We visited Notre Dame (top photo) and got to see it from every angle (middle two photos). The architecture was astounding, and each façade was so different, I don’t know if I could pick a favorite. I can’t wait to go inside! Afterwards we walked along the banks of la Seine and found the lock bridge, Pont Neuf, and many other beautiful bridges (I loved the one with my initial on it!). I locked my love for the city on that bridge, along with the locks of thousands of other lovers (bottom left photo)! Underneath my name, my lock reads “Paris, je t’aime” (Paris, I love you). 

La quatrième journée {Day 4}

This morning was miserably cold and rainy (I had to buy a few sweaters and scarves!) so we were so excited that the rain stopped and the sun came out for a little bit for our program’s bus tour of the city (although it was still pretty chilly)! Side note– when packing for Paris, pack for everything, because that is exactly what the weather does!

We visited several of the arrondissements (the administrative districts of Paris) and major sights! We stopped and got out of the bus at le Panthéon (top left and right photos) and of course la Tour Eiffel!  Every hour, on the hour, for 5 minutes, the Tower twinkles with beautiful lights (bottom two photos). We got there just as the sun was going down, and it was a spectacular display.  

La troisième journée, continue {Day 3, continued}

The architecture in Paris is breathtaking. I seriously can’t stop taking pictures of it– the attention to detail is phenomenal. Everything here feels like it has a place and a purpose and is just saturated with rich history. I especially love Parisian doors, as you can see in the top photos! And there’s me with l’Arc de Triomphe above! We also explored the area around le Louvre (bottom center and bottom right photos) & Tuileries (bottom left photo). 

La troisième journée {Day 3}

Today was my first day at l’École Supérieur de Commerce, Paris, or ESCP! They provided a wonderful welcome breakfast for us and then a faculty member introduced us to the school, told us a bit about the city, country, and European Union as a whole (top 2 photos). I am so excited to experience the culture here!

In the afternoon after class, my group of girls went to Champs Élysées (middle photo) to see l’Arc de Triomphe  and check out all of the famous shops! I got to cross something off my bucket list when we stopped by the famous Ladurée to get macarons! I will never forget the experience– the store feels like a palace, everything is so beautiful and colorful, and the macarons were the best I have ever had (bottom 4 photos).