Pre-Departure #5: Caen, sweet Caen

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Notice the trend? My first Pre-Departure travel list was all of Europe, then all of France, and finally, things I want to see in my own city!

While a lot of people know about Paris, not very many people know about the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, the Northern region of France. After the movie Bienvenue Chez les Cht'is came out in 2008 which highlighted the stereotypes of the Northern French, but also showed that those stereotypes are not always true, a lot more people became interested in this place-less-travelled to.

It's about to become my home for four months, and I could not be more excited. I read this article from Lonely Planet (also my favorite guidebooks, and I definitely have one for France), and it made me even more excited. Did I mention that I was excited?

Anyways, here are some parts of Caen that I cannot wait to explore!

1. Caen Mémorial

Are you surprised that the museum is the first thing on my list? Neither am I.


Image Source

Image Source


The Caen Mémorial is a Memorial of WWII, as well as a museum, and one of the best when it comes to the history of WWII (it even won a prize for excellence in 2014). The war truly devastated much of Europe, and the museum is located in a town that was integral to the Invasion of Normandy and D-Day. While it is known because it is the city of William the Conquerer, much of the old, historic city was entirely decimated during the war. The museum takes the visitor through the events that led to France's involvement in the war, from events at the end of WWI all the way through WWII and the period of reconstruction. It is also close to the landing beaches, which are vast and expand for miles. It is a sobering reminder of the atrocities of war, and serves as a way to learn about war and hopefully how to prevent it in the future.

2. Abbaye aux Hommes and Abbaye aux Dames

Abbaye aux Hommes
Image Source

Abbaye aux Dames
Image Source
3. The landing beaches

A lot of people think that there are only a few beaches where the Allies landed during the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day, 1944). In fact, there are several miles worth of beaches that stretch across the northwest coast of France.

A vintage photo of the invasion.
Image Source

A map of the different beaches and the routes of the Allies. Also, you can see Caen on this map!
Image Source


4. Musee de Normandie

Yes, another museum. However, it has a more broad overview of war, covering more wars than just WWII.

Image Source

Image Source


5. Université de Caen, Basse-Normandie

Last, but certainly not least, the University where I will be studying (it is called studying abroad, after all).

Image Source

Image Source

So there it is folks! Obviously there is a lot more to do in Caen than what I have written about here (one single blog post could never do it justice). However, my favorite part of traveling is just walking around a new place and discovering things as I go. Don't worry, I'll post all my discoveries on here.

Is there anything I should look for in Caen?

Thank you for reading!

xo,

Zoe

Liebster Award

Tuesday, July 29, 2014



The Liebster Award is an awesome way to discover new blogs and engage with others in the blogging community. I was really excited to be nominated by Ellen over at A Pop of Pink

First, here are the rules:

1. Post eleven facts about yourself.
2. Answer the eleven questions provided by the person who nominated you, and then create an eleven-question set for the next group of nominees.
3. Choose eleven people to nominate and link them in the post.
4. Let your nominees know they've been tagged - and no tag-backs!
5. Nominate blogs under 200 followers.

Read on to learn a bit more about me and see who I nominated. :) 

11 Facts about Me:
1. My favorite cookies are oatmeal raisin, or red velvet from The Dirty Cookie.
2. I used to be terrified of dogs. Sometimes I still get scared, but I'm a lot better now. 
3. I always wear a watch! I feel naked without it.
4. I'm a rising junior at the University of Denver, studying history with minors in Leadership and French. This fall, I'll be studying abroad in Caen, France (it's in Normandy, not to be confused with Cannes!)
5. I want to live in Washington DC and work at the Smithsonian Institution (life goal!) after grad school. But I don't know where I want to go to grad school yet.
6. I am addicted to Pinterest. If I'm bored, I'm on Pinterest. I wish I could earn money to pin things.
7. I am awesome at organizing my schoolwork, computer, books, planner and life, but I am hopeless when it comes to organizing my closet/clothes/room. I'm pretty messy!
8.  I love elephants. They are so cute and perfect! I have clothes with elephants printed on them, elephant jewelry and accessories, and my friends buy me elephants. I tried to convince one of my sorority sisters to bring a baby elephant back from South Africa for me and he could sleep in our back yard and we would call him Hector, but I don't think she was into that.
9. I have watched every episode of BBC's Sherlock at least 3 times (which is easy because there are only 9 episodes... commence sobbing).  
10. I love breakfast foods, even though I'm not a morning person! My order at Starbucks is a caramel macchiato or a London Fog, and their classic oatmeal (surprisingly delicious!).
11. I love quotes. My life motto is: "She believed she could, so she did." 

Questions from Ellen: 
1. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring three things, what would you bring? Sunscreen, a notebook and pen (that counts as one!), and a Harry Potter book!
2. How would you describe your style? Effortless Prep/Casual Prep - I like preppy clothes like button downs and cute accessories, but I'm also really casual and my favorite outfits are sweaters and jeans with boots or sneakers.
3. Coffee or tea? Probably tea... I love Earl Grey (London Fog lattes are amazing! Or as me and my little call them, Foggy Bottom lattes). I also like chai, and chai lattes, and chamomile tea. So probably tea (although I do love a good cafe au lait). 
4. What is your favorite book? That's like asking someone who their favorite child is! Also, it changes based on my mood. My go-to is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but I just finished The Monuments Men and loved it because it really helped me realize why I love history and art so much, as well as why museums are so important, and one of the books that inspired me to pursue work in education and inspired my passion about educational inequality was Just Like Us by Helen Thorpe. My favorite book from high school (which I've probably re-read at least 3 times) is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and my favorite Austen novel is Emma
5. What is your favorite pattern to wear? Stripes. I love navy blue stripes, and my favorite shirt is a striped white-and-blue 3/4 sleeve shirt. But I'm also a fan of polka dots, especially if they have glitter! 
6.  If you could only eat one kind of food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Bread. I am a sucker for good bread, and I'm basically French because I eat it with everything. That is one of the things I'm looking forward to in France - good bread (none of this store-bought-mass-produced cardboard). 
7. If you were a professional athlete, what sport would you play? Definitely lacrosse. It seems like so much fun! 
8. Vanilla or chocolate? Chocolate. Is there any doubt? 
9. What is your dream job? Director of Education at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. More realistically, a museum educator at an art or history museum. 
10. Who inspires you? First and foremost, my parents. My little, Autumn. My best friends, and my favorite teachers/professors. My famous inspirations are Malala Yousafzai and Emma Watson. My blogging inspiration is Carly Heitlinger from The College Prepster and Heather Clawson from Habitually Chic
11. You just won $1 million, what would you do? Pay for college and grad school. Then buy a nice tote bag. Then probably save the rest, or donate it to some of my favorite organizations. 

Questions for my nominees:
1. What is your biggest fear? 
2. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? 
3. What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you? 
4. What is your order at Starbucks? 
5. If you could be a character from any book, who would you be? 
6. What is your favorite movie?
7. If you could have a meal with any famous person - living or dead - who would it be and what would you eat? 
8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go? 
9. What is your guilty pleasure TV show? 
10. If you could have any celebrity's wardrobe, who would it be? 
11. What words do you live by (favorite quote, etc.)? 

Below are my nominees. If you choose to participate, please list who nominated you and comment on this post with a link to your own Liebster Award post! 

1. Alyssa at Keep It Simple
2. Desiree at Love Desiree
4. Kyle at Chic and Defined
5. Hayden at Haute Table
6. Milly at Free Milly
8. Ashlee at Dearie Lovie 
9. Autumn at A is for Autumn
10. Frances at A Dash of South
11. Allison at All Shook Up

Thank you for reading, and supporting La Vie en Zoe!

xo,

Zoe

The Little Things...

There's a saying, "la vie est faite de petits bonheurs..." Life is made of little pleasures (although in my head, I always read it as "life is made of little happinesses"). When you take a moment to look at your life, you notice that those big things, the big events - like a trip, or studying abroad, or even getting an award for something - they consume a very small percentage of your total happiness. The rest of your happiness is made from the small things, like a hug from a friend, or a smile from a stranger, or cuddling with your puppy. The little things are the things that make life big.

Therefore, I have a rather large goal to honor the little things. I don't always take the time to honor the little things. I might notice something, smile, and then move on, usually to worrying about whatever is making my day go not right.

I signed up to do 100 Happy Days on Instagram (follow me!), and I'm going to make it my quest to honor the little things. To start things off, here are some little things that made me happy in the past few weeks:

1. My trusty Chacos covered in paint.



One of my jobs is doing a project called Arts for All, which is a mobile arts studio designed for people with all abilities, which means it can be used by people with disabilities including cognitive, physical, and developmental disabilities, and we set up a giant mural on the floor and use big rollers to paint on the ground. We did a project with about 15 people who use wheelchairs, and it was so much fun. My favorite part of these projects is getting covered in paint (I should have taken a picture of my shirt or the bottom of my shoes) and seeing the beautiful designs people come up with! 


2. This butterfly joining me for lunch at the Denver Art Museum.




At one point, in landed on my hand, and I like to think it wanted to share my salad.

3. Making tortillas with my mom (my dad, the photographer, being super helpful and taking pictures).


YUM. Just yum. No tortillas could ever compare to my mom's.

4. Finding beautiful flowers at Whole Foods. 


I mean, can those flowers be any bigger or more beautiful?


I was obsessed with these peonies. They're one of my favorite flowers (second only after daisies).

5. Eating lunch at Civic Center Park with my dad.


Every Tuesday and Thursday during the summer, the major food trucks of Denver converge on Civic Center Park for Civic Center EATS, and it's my favorite way to eat lunch in the summer. I had lunch with my dad one day, and I got an awesome view of the Denver skyline. After being inside the office all day, it was nice to sit outside. Plus, the people watching is fantastic

6. Writing Letters


I had a pen-pal this past year who is also a Delta Zeta, and it was so fun to take the time to write letters and get letters in the mail (old school, right?). Since I've been home, I've been working a lot so I haven't spent as much time as I should have or wanted to writing letters to my friends, but this past week I carved out an hour and wrote some letters to my pen-pal, and some of my sisters who live in other states.

7. Café Max




There's this wonderful little café on Colfax in Denver owned by Max, a friend of the family. My mom is a huge fan of the shortbread cookies that Max makes, but I'm a fan of just about everything. It's so nice to just sit sometimes and look through the books that Max keeps by the register, and enjoy a cookie or cup of tea. It was even named one of the best restaurants in Denver by 5280 magazine!

What little things make your life big?

Thank you for reading! Have a beautiful day!

xo,

Zoe

Make it Happen Monday! #4

Monday, July 28, 2014

Another Monday means another week full of even more things that must get done! 

That means it's time for another roundup of my goals for this week!

The Nectar Collective

Join the link-up at The Nectar Collective!

To accomplish!

1. Get my watch resized. I bought a new watch in LA, and I got it sized when I was there, but I think it's just a bit too snug. So I have to find some time to go and get my watch re-sized, again.

2. Finish up a project at my internship! This week we have an event that I've been working on since the first week of this internship. I'm excited to finally see it happen! I just have a few more little things to do before the day of, but it's almost there!

3. Take the French Language Placement Test for my University in France. It requires about 2 hours to complete, and I never want to do it when I get home from work because I'm usually just too tired! However, I have to get it done. It may be worth it to get up early and go to Starbucks to do it before work... #venticaramelmacchiatowithanextrashotplease

4. Finish organizing my closet and bookcase! I did a massive overhaul of my closet this weekend, and it felt so good! There are a few more things I want to get rid of so I just need to finish that up.

5. Research packing lists and tips for studying abroad. The next big thing I have to worry about on the SA front is definitely what I'm actually going to bring with me. Any tips? :)

What do you need to get done this week? How do you keep track of your goals?

Thanks for reading!

xo,

Zoe


Museum Love

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I always talk a lot about how much I love museums, but I don't think that I have ever explained why I love them so much. It's not really a secret, especially not to my closest friends, but my ultimate career goal is to work in a museum, ideally in museum education. I have been lucky enough to have two seriously wonderful internships in Denver this summer, and I'm so sad that they're coming to an end.

The basic story behind my decision to pursue museum work as a career goal really started out with my decision to switch major at the beginning of this year from International Studies to History. I couldn't be more happy with my decision, and the different passions that it has allowed me to pursue. However, when I was considering whether or not I should change my major, I consulted my advisor. I asked her what career I could have, besides teaching, with a degree in history. She asked me what I liked to do, and I said writing (of course), traveling, and going to museums. I think there was a lightbulb moment there: Museum work is a career, and it's a career that I would love.

Without further ado, here is my list of five reasons I love museums!

1. Informal Learning Environment
As much as I love school, I find it to be stifling at times (which is one of the reasons that I started this blog). However, my parents took me to museums all the time when I was a kid, and I think that it really fed my curiosity about the world and my place in it, and I was able to learn the way that I wanted to learn instead of how it was dictated to me in school.

The elephant in the rotunda of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.


2. Authenticity
There is something so overwhelming about standing in front of an original Van Gogh, or an original da Vinci, and thinking about the incredible people who made these objects. One of the most overwhelming experiences that I've had that falls under this category was when I visited the National Archives in Washington, DC and visited the Rotunda and saw the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. There was something that was so amazing about standing and looking, being so close to those documents that we hold in such high esteem here in the US, and are really keystones in our history (also, my history major senses were tingling, big time).

The National Archives


The Louvre in Paris


I read this article, which my supervisor at one of my internships shared with me, and I was really struck by how accurate it was. I've also been reading The Monuments Men book, and I really think that there is a reason that we need to protect the authentic products and evidence of our existence. We see ourselves, our experiences and our lives in the objects that we see in museums. They help us to connect to who we are, who our families are, and how we have come to be. I get chills thinking about how truly awesome that is!

3. Record Keeping
Kind of going along with #2, museums are repositories of information and achievements. They pay homage to the greatest scientists, writers, and artists of history. They show us where we've been, and help us figure out where we are going. They remind us that while we have achieved amazing things, we have also made some terrible mistakes, and not all history is good history. These records and lessons are invaluable, and museums are leading the way in teaching us these things.

My touristy photo of the Mona Lisa.


4. Connection
Local museums connect you to your home - the history, culture, and importance of your surroundings. Museums you visit in other places help you connect to other people - their history, their culture, the things that are important to them. Whenever I travel, I visit the major museums in whatever place I'm going. I always feel connected to the people that the museum is about, but also connected to other people who also find meaning and wonder in the objects, artifacts, and stories told in museums.

A ceremony in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, celebrating the Star Spangled Banner, the actual flag that the National Anthem was written about, on display here. 


5. Action
Some of my favorite museums not only tell a story, but they encourage visitors to think about the stories they tell and how it impacts our future. There is a social action piece to some museums, a dialogue created, that I think is incredibly powerful. Museums can no longer afford to be temples in the park, places to think about the amazing things we find in our world. They must challenge us to think differently and critically about what we see, to engage in conversation about hard-hitting topics, to address the hard issues, and to challenge what we think we know.

History Colorado in Denver is doing this through their exhibit called Living West, which explores the hard decisions that have been made throughout history regarding water, a scarce and valuable resource, but also how we have to make decisions in the future about water, especially because of climate change.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum does this by telling the millions of stories of victims of an unspeakable tragedy and loss, and also telling the stories of people who are suffering the same way today, challenging visitors to take to heart what they saw, and have courage to speak out against cruelty, racism, and hatred.

Do you love museums? Do you love them for different reasons? Let me know in the comments!

As always, thank you for reading.

xo,

Zoe

Pre-Departure #4: When in France...

Friday, July 25, 2014

My last Pre-Departure post was about all the places in Europe that I want to see, but none of them were in France. Coincidence? Nope!

While there are a lot of places that I want to see when I'm studying abroad, I also want to stay in France and get to know my town better, and build some seriously awesome relationships with the people I meet there. I am so excited about living in Caen. It looks so beautiful, and everyone who I have talked to who have been there has told me only amazing things about how nice the people are, and how wonderful the town is. I can talk about how amazing Caen looks for hours, and spill out all my research about this little town that I am so excited to call my home in just 49 short days!

But France is a country full of romantic destinations, exotic locales, and seriously amazing cultural and historical landmarks. While I'm in France, I definitely want to see as much of the country as I can!

Here are my top destinations in France that I want to visit while studying abroad.

1. Paris, France - duh.
So I may be cheating just a little bit with this one. Part of the orientation for my program is in Paris, so I will actually get to see Paris as soon as I arrive in France! I've visited Paris twice, both times when I was in high school and I went one those EF Tours/general travel overview trips and we went to France and Spain. However, both times that I was in Paris, I was only there for a few days which is hardly enough time to explore. I know I won't be there for much longer than a few days for orientation, but while I am in France, I really hope to spend some more time in Paris, and learn about it more from a cultural perspective, instead of a tourist perspective.

The Louvre, from my trip in 2012.

Locks of Love Bridge, from my trip in 2012.

La Tour Eiffel, from my trip in 2012. 

L'Arc de Triomphe, from my trip in 2010.

Sometimes, the Eiffel Tower sparkles, from my trip in 2010. 


2. Reims

Reims is located in the Champagne region of France, famous for - you guessed it - the beautiful, bubbly concoction known as champagne. Monumental cathedrals, charming chateaus, vineyards that grow the most perfect grapes for the most perfect drink, and beautiful little pink cookies. What could be better? Well, in addition to the famous champagne, Reims is also steeped in history, as several kings were coronated there, and would then throw a party (ain't no party like a French King party) at the Palais du Tauhemis, now a museum.

Image source
Image source

Image source

3. Mont St Michel - Normandy, France

So, I'm cheating a little bit. I know I'm going to Mont St Michel, because it's part of my program. BUT just look at it! It's like a castle, on a hill! It is so beautiful, and so inspiring. 


Image source

Image source

Image source


4. Bayonne - French Basque

Again, Basque culture fascinates me. I was in the French Basque region for about a day during my trip in 2012, but we did not go to Bayonne. It's the capital of the French Basque, and is home to quintessential Basque architecture, and is right near the coast. Perfect place to learn about the Basque culture! It is also close to two other cities that I have been to: Biarritz and St. Jean de Luz, also in the Basque region! It is also close to Spain, which is also wonderful. 

Image source

Image source


This is a lighthouse in Biarritz (Photo by Zoe Diaz-McLeese)


St. Jean de Luz (Photo by Zoe Diaz-McLeese)

5. Marseille - Provence, France

The glamour of Provence and Southern France is not lost on me. On the other side of the South from the Basque region, Marseille is home to sunbaked beaches, an edgy city chock full of museums and cultural sites. Its famous port has been welcoming ships for 26 centuries, and being by the water is a dream. 
Image source

Image source

Image source
This is by no means an exhaustive list of everywhere I want to go while in France, but it hits at least one place, or major site from various parts of France. Is there anywhere else I should go? 

Thanks for reading! 

xo,

Zoe

LA for a Day

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

So I spent approximately 33 hours in the city of Los Angeles, but I feel like I did a lot! All of the best trips are like that: super short, super sweet, and a lot of things accomplished. I even crossed off two of my goals for this week!

The main reason that I was in LA was because you must appear in person at the French consulate in order to apply for a long-stay visa for your studies. As I am going to be studying abroad in approximately 35 days (eek!) it was time that I applied for said visa. The process of applying for the visa took a grand total of about 20 minutes, and was only a little bit interesting. You can read more about that later on in the post.

That left me about 32.5 hours in LA to do what I wanted to do. What else would a museum lover like me do besides see some awesome museums? I know that museums are not everyone's cup of tea, so I also threw in a pedicure at an adorable little salon I read about in the New York Times, just for good measure.

I arrived in LA in the early afternoon on Monday, and went straight to my hotel, a mere 0.7 miles to the consulate, and decided to take a little bit of time to relax. Then, I headed off to the La Brea Tar Pits! 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (or LACMA, pronounced lock-ma) 
I was only a little bit overwhelmed by LACMA. There are several different buildings, each with different types of art. I spent the most time in the Ancient Near Eastern gallery, as LACMA has a wonderful collection of Ancient Near Eastern art, from Assyria and Babylon, all those wonderful places. I took a class about Ancient Near Eastern history this past winter, and it was probably one of my favorite classes I've taken so far at DU (although I say that about most of the history classes I've taken). 


From the top of the Modern Art building, you can actually see the Hollywood sign! It's in the distance, so my photo is really zoomed in, but it was neat to see it from a different vantage point than I've seen in the past.


Page Museum
The Page Museum is in the La Brea Tar Pits area, which is exactly what it sounds like: massive tar pits. The Museum houses the archaeologists who excavate and clean the remains they find in the tar pits (hint: there are a lot of remains).


The most impressive remains were those of the mammoths that they had, as well as some of the giant ground sloths. There was also a wall of hundreds of wolf skulls that they found in the tar pits.




My favorite part was being able to see the actual lab where they clean, document, study and store the remains they find. I am fascinated with the behind-the-scenes views of museums, and I love how it was just part of the museum at the Page! 

The Getty Center
After my appointment at the Consulate on Tuesday morning, I took a taxi to the Getty Center, which is in the hills. When you arrive, you have to take a little tram from the parking lot/taxi-drop off area to the actual campus of the Getty. After the anxiety of my consulate appointment, seeing the amazing buildings of the Getty Center rising out of the hills on the tram was seriously magical.




Once you arrive at the center, there is so much you can do. I grabbed lunch at the café, and had a really yummy quesadilla with an even better view from the patio. Then I went into the museum! There are actually five main buildings that comprise the campus, and then they have the Gardens. I spent a half-hour in the Gardens, it was just so relaxing. There were some great views of the city from the Gardens as well.





The Getty Center was a little oasis in an otherwise overwhelmingly active city. The air seemed cleaner, the people happier, the atmosphere calmer. It was a wonderful few hours.


Of course, the Getty is known for its amazing collections, with highlights such as Van Gogh's Irises, which I definitely saw. I am in love with Van Gogh and Impressionism as a whole, so I was in an artistic wonderland! 

Pedicure at Olive June 
Most museums close pretty early - around 5. So that leaves me rather bored after a day full of museum love. Luckily, salons are open past that time. :) 

I love getting pedicures. I walk a lot, and so I'm hard on my feet. When I work at the history museum, I have to wear close-toed shoes so I wear my Keds sneakers, which I love, but it really takes a toll on my poor toes. Plus I had these terrible blisters on my feet from my attempt to wear a pair of nice shoes to one of my internships at the art museum on a day where I ended up running around like a crazy person (leather wedges + five flights of stairs up and down, twice = misery). 

I went to this salon I read about on the New York Times, called Olive & June in Beverly Hills and it was amazing. Not only was it beautiful on the inside, it was impeccably clean, the technician was so sweet, and let me just relax! I got a beautiful red shade on my feet, and I just got my fingernails buffed to a shine, but she filed my nails and made my hands look pretty.  

The Consulate
This part is more for my friends who are considering applying to study abroad in a program in France, or for those who are super interested in the whole process of studying abroad. If this seems boring, don't fret. You're at the end. For everyone else, read on!

The hardest part of the visit to the consulate was leading up to the actual visit to the actual consulate. They require a lot of paperwork. It was easiest to just make a list of all of the documents that I needed and then go from there and check them off one by one. You will need some documents from your program or university, so make sure that you request them with plenty of time before your appointment so you can make photocopies for both your own records and the consulate. DOUBLE AND TRIPLE CHECK EVERYTHING! It will feel absolutely awful to have to go through the whole process again just because you didn't photocopy one sheet of paper. 

The security guard got a little bit snarky, but other than that it was efficient and an overall positive experience (or as positive as anything dealing with paperwork and government can be). The man who processed my application was lovely, and I think that I have everything squared away! One step closer to France!

Good Karma
So this is actually just a story that I have that I think demonstrates the power of positivity, and the importance of being nice. 

I am incredibly type-A, and I plan everything (seriously, you should see my planner). I am usually early anywhere I go, and I prefer it that way. If I'm running late, I tend to get really anxious and feel terrible. 

I booked a Super Shuttle to get me from my hotel to LAX for my departure flight back to Denver. I booked it to pick me up in the 4:45-5:05 window, anticipating a 45 minute drive to the airport, which would leave me plenty of time to go through security and get a bite of dinner before my flight. My shuttle didn't arrive to pick me up until 5:50. Then we got caught in a major traffic jam (LA is famous for more than its movies). It was looking like I would miss the 6:35 check-in deadline for my 7:20 flight, and there would certainly not enough time to eat anything. I texted my dad from the shuttle, informing him of the situation, and did an online check-in with Frontier. I was sitting in the front seat of the shuttle, looking out of the window and panicking quietly to myself. The ladies in the back of the shuttle were some of the rudest women I've ever met. They were yelling (seriously, yelling) into their phones about how they were going to miss their flight, and how mad they were at the driver (which the driver could totally hear, he kept just shaking his head), and obnoxiously asking how close we were in regular 5 minute intervals. I was worried I would miss my flight, but there was nothing this poor driver could do to fix that. In between their outbursts, I calmly asked him how far we were, and how many airlines we had to stop at. I also asked him how his day was, trying to keep the other people from yelling at him. When we got to the airport, Frontier was one of the last airlines that we would drive by (it was in the farthest terminal), and it was a dangerous 6:30pm. 

Things then went uphill, very quickly. My driver did something incredibly nice: He drove straight to the Frontier counter. I thanked him profusely and gave him the last $3 I had in my wallet, in addition to the pre-paid tip from when I booked the shuttle. Luckily, my online check-in for Frontier from the shuttle went through, and I was able to get my boarding pass in 30 seconds flat, and I was randomly selected to go through the TSA expedited security, where I didn't have to take my shoes off or take out my laptop. Plus, there was no line. I made it through security and was at the gate, Burger King in hand, ready to board the plane by 6:40. 

I stayed kind, positive, and calm, and the universe rewarded me by taking care of me. No matter the situation, there is no reason to ever be rude to someone, and I think what happened to me was just proof of that. 

For 33 hours in a city, I feel like that is a lot accomplished! I finally applied for my visa, so that is a HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders.

What would you do if you only had 30 hours in a city? Would you spend it shopping or sight-seeing?

As always, thank you for reading.

xo,

Zoe