Ditch the Dining Hall and Study Abroad

So, any perspective college student wonders what a college's dining hall is like.  Honestly, Olin's is pretty good. Friends from other colleges have called it great.  Unfortunately, as much as I would love to encourage prospective students to look forward to the food in the dining hall, I am taking the liberty to tell people to boycott it.

Ditch the dining hall* and study abroad.  If you study abroad, then you can do what I do and go on weekend trips to Paris to enjoy the most amazing food and wine ever.  It is seriously oh-so-good.

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My breakfast in a Cafe in Paris. That croissant on the right puts the
(much raved about) dining hall croissant sandwiches to shame.

*Dear dining hall staff: I love you and everything you do. I am so looking forward to seeing you again in January!  This boycott is a one semester thing ;-)

I spent this last weekend in Paris with my parents who were visiting me
in Europe for the week.  I enjoyed spending time in the city, although I
found it a bit too touristy.  I would love to go back, but not too see
more of the Louvre or get another photo of the Eiffel tower.  I would
love to go back to eat more.  The food was absolutely delicious.  I love French
cuisine (which incidentally has been recently named a UNESCO world
heritage. Who knew?)

On Saturday, we went out to dinner with my dad's cousin Maura and her
family.  Luckily, they were able to translate the menu and order for me
because I can say hello, please, and thank you in French and that is
about it.  I had a French Onion soup (of course!) to start, duck with
vegetables and raisin polenta for the main course, and a decadent
chocolate dessert.  Dinner was phenomenal.  The company was great too.
 I learned that in French culture the men are supposed to pour for the
ladies.  I had no problem with anyone filling up my glass with the
lovely French wines we were enjoying. =)

Paris 061 - Copy.JPGOur restaurant on Saturday evening.  Very

nice and it seemed embody France to me.

On lunch on Sunday I had a croque-madame, which is a grilled ham and
cheese sandwich with a friend egg on top.  It was quite delicious!  For
dinner, I had a delicious salmon with a tarragon sauce.  Last but not
least, I had nutella crepes for desert.  I doubt a trip to Paris would
be complete without crepes.  They were so yummy!

Paris 138 - Copy.JPG     Paris 143 - Copy.JPG
Showing off the Beaujolais Nouveau and the Nutella Crepes. Wonderful all around.

While in Paris, I also enjoyed some Beaujolais Nouveau, which is a
seasonal French wine.  The third Thursday of November is "Beaujolais
Nouveau Day" when the wine is released and it's only available for a
short time.  I quite enjoyed it and felt very Parisian drinking it.  If I
can find it in the US, I might begin celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau day
annually.  =)

Now that we're both really hungry, I'm going
to go update the Leuven vs. Lima scoreboard. Leuven gets 0.5 points for being two hours on the Thalys from Paris.  +1.5 points for all of the glasses of French wine.  +3 points for all of the art (I think in this case each piece of art is worth approximately 0.004 points, but I didn't even see the half of it!), +4 points for the French cuisine (a UNESCO world heritage). And +1 point for the French Revolution (1/3 point for liberty, equality, and fraternity respectively).  That leaves us with:
Lima 35.4 and Leuven 43.9.  We'll see what Erika does with her last few weeks abroad!

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