A good friend of mine warned me that I would have a culture shock when I got to France--which I have yet to have. The other day, I about thought and wondered why I was missing that common downfall of a study abroad trip; concluding that maybe I have been surrounded too much by Americans to feel the pressure of a new culture. However, after this weekend I am disputing that idea as well.
I think I experienced the Frenchest Sunday possible and I absolutely loved it. I don't know if you have picked this up yet, but I have a really great host family that has done a great job of introducing me to French culture. I mean even if I was a little nervous about eating raw meat last night, they were giving me a great opportunity to try something new, like they always do! I love being here and will be sad to leave them next week!
This past Sunday, they invited me with to a opening of a local winery that included dinner, music and of course wine tasting. It was sooo much fun and completely French. We ate under a tent that looked over the vineyard and we had a live singer serenading us in French. Plus, the food was delicious (it always is in France)...we had bread that reminded me of a pita, except it was made fresh in front of us in a brick oven. We ate the bread with a duck, goose and rabbit pattae for our appetizer; enjoyed it with a ratatuie or white bean mix for our main course; used it with our cheese for the third course and for desert we had French apple pie fresh from the oven! Mmmm...and of course we had each course with wine. Rose for the appetizer, white for the main course, red with the cheese and a sparkling wine with our desert!
After dinner, (which took about 2 1/2 hours) we took a ride through the vineyard in horse-drawn carriage. A friend from school, Taylor, also came with and the picture below is of us on the carriage ride. I really loved the whole afternoon and when Phillipe and Lydie explained that this was a common event in the summer, I got really jealous. It was such a fun experience and I got to taste four delicous wines...and of course, another bottle is now coming home to Minnesota (hopefully)!
It was a perfect way to spend a Sunday in France, in fact, if I could go to a grand opening of a winery I would every day of the week! J'adore Angers!
P.S. Watch for more pictures soon, Taylor took most of the pictures because my camera died and my words just can't do this place justice!