The road less traveled.

Thursday July 16th,

Bordeaux

Everyday life is getting to become more of the normal at the Château, which is sad since I’m leaving next week. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This past week was pretty awesome not gonna lie. It started off with a weekend full of planning travels, helping around the house, and just relaxing. I even got in a long run along some fields behind the property that had an absolutely gorgeous view. Then Monday morning I worked 3 hours in the vines with the rest of the workers whom my host dad likes to call “the team”, then I headed off to Bordeaux. I was so excited to see my good friend, Darcie. We were planning to meet at the train station in Bordeaux around 2 pm so I went with Fabienne to the station in Lesparre to get my ticket and head her way. Once we got to Lesparre, Fabienne came with me and ended up purchasing my train tickets for me. It was such a nice offer; most host families wouldn’t do that so it was very sweet of her. 

After thanking her I had a half hour delay in Lesparre, delays are entirely too common for Europe railways (this one was caused by kids throwing candy on the train tracks). Then I hopped on my train and headed for Bordeaux. I arrived right at 2:15 pm and was hoping Darcie wasn’t left waiting too long for me. This hub had free wifi so I got on right once I was in the station to let her know I was there. After a bit she responded that her ride was running a little late, two hours late, so I set off to explore the town on my own till she got here. I soon figured out that the area by the train station isn’t the best neighbor for a 20 year old girl to be just strolling through so after a bit I walked back to wait at the station. 

This was a great time to call my mom since I still had some time to kill before Darcie would be in. This past week was the Marshall County 4-H fair and was the first time I’ve missed the fair in 20 years. Even at 6 months old I was in attendance all throughout the week so it was hard not being there. Mom filled me in on everything that had gone on so far and how the family was doing which was great to hear. After a short bit Darcie was here and we were on our way to do Bordeaux in two hours. We a map, a slight game plan, and a will to see it all and with that we were off to see the sites. 

We saw several things ranging from the Grand Theatre of Bordeaux to the Monument aux Girondins to the famous Ste-Catherine street lined with shops, tourists and many street performers. Throughout the next two hours we walked around taking it all in, and talking about our host home experiences. It was great talking to another American again after living in a French home for two weeks. Darcie is also going to be a junior at Purdue University in the fall so it’s been awesome getting to become so close with her and knowing we can still keep in contact while at school. 

Since we were in Bordeaux and both on winery internships, it was a must to stop and get a glass of wine. I choose a rosé and Darcie went with a white wine. The typical idea of Bordeaux wine is dry red wine, but in truth the Bordeaux region for wine is so vast that you can make many different types of wines and it still be labeled as a Bordeaux wine. This was something that I didn’t realize until living in the Bordeaux region of Médoc. Now since we only had a couple of hour to do Bordeaux we had to head back to the train station to catch our trains back to our host families. 

  
Vacations and Vines

The next day was Bastille Day (July 14th) which is France’s Independence Day. My host family didn’t really do anything to celebrate this but I was busy the whole day looking up flights, trains and hotels in Austria and Germany for my solo travels after the internship. Throughout that day and the rest of the week I managed to get everything booked, including an amazing tradition hotel in Munich, Germany that is just 2 blocks away from the famous Hofbräuhaus beer hall by the old town hall. The location is perfect for finding great beer and food; two of my favorite things so you could say I’m a little excited for Germany. 

Then I worked Wednesday and Thursday I  the vines with the team again. Wednesday was the usual pulling up wires and adjusting the vines, but we were in a newer vineyard with shorter vines and wires. 7 hours of bending over my back was shot. Thursday we had to prune the vines in the same vineyard. Vines don’t naturally want to just grow up straight out of one main shoot which is needed for optimal grape production and harvest. So we had to prune all of the extra shoots and branches off the woodstock, which was 7 more hours of bending over short vines. Luckily my host family went on vacation this weekend to the Netherlands for a couple days so they gave everyone Friday off, my back much appreciated this. 

My Road

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth. Then took the other as just as fair, ad having perhaps the better claim because it was grassy and wanted wear. Though as for that passing there had worn them really about the same and both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black. Oh I kept the first for another day yet knowing how way lead on to way. I doubt if I should ever come back I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence. Two roads diverged in a wood and I- I took the one less travelled by and that has made all the difference.” –Robert Frost

I choose my road for this summer to take onto Europe and find an internship abroad while all of my friends stayed in the states and found work or internships there. The traditional, right move was to find an internship in Indiana. I choose the road less travelled by. I think so far it has made all the difference as well; my growth and experience would simply not be the same had I stayed and choose the other path. This Robert Frost poem has always been a favorite of mine, talking about independence and choosing a path that’s right for you. Europe was the right path for me, I wasn’t sure at first but now I beleive it. I’m glad this summer had been one for the books. I’ll be able to look back years from now knowing I was young, a little reckless, definitely adventurous, and held my own against the world. 

Preview:

This weekend I am staying at the host home and helping Elise out around the house and winery since her parents are in the Netherlands. We will be celebrating her 21st birthday which is actually not for a couple more weeks, but it the best time for all of her friends (whom all speak english) to come up and get together. Then next week I will be working the first half of the week finishing up my internship. Thursday the 23rd I will be taking an afternoon train back to Toulouse to give a presentation over my internship and host family experience. Then Saturday the 25th Morgan and I will be flying out to Athens, Greece to start our travelling adventures. With everything booked all we have to do is decide on touristy things to do, what food we want to try, and just enjoy the trip! 

-Bre 

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