Today was such a great day! I managed to unchain myself from my desk and get out of Chauny for a well-deserved break. K and I went to the city of Reims with a few friends from Church, which was fabulous. J offered to drive us, which was so sweet. After an hour of enjoying the scenic countryside, we finally arrived in one of the most beautiful cities to date.
Upon arrival, we stopped in a café for lunch. I had a smoked salmon quiche with a side salad. Turns out, the café was also a pâtisserie, which specialized in incredibly decadent desserts. I bought two huge macarons, one citron and the other chocolat. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos, so you’ll just have to use your imagination. Trust me, I was a happy camper. From there, we all toured the cathedral, which was impressive. It’s very striking, entering these incredibly complex buildings. It doesn’t feel real, like they just “appeared”.
I guess when I see beauty like this, works of human hands, it reminds me of the great creator. This is just a shadow of something greater, something even more beautiful, things that eyes have yet to see in this life. It reaffirms my belief that nothing is by chance, that everything has a link to God and his divine plan. It’s overwhelming, but reassuring.
The stained glass windows are out of this world, so intricate and old! I saw some that were fabricated in 1320! The mere fact that they’ve survived this long is unheard of, especially considering all the wars and iconoclasm that France has seen in the 19th & 20th century. J told me that the windows were actually taken apart during the German Occupation during the World Wars and hidden to preserve them. Isn’t that amazing?
After visiting the cathedral, we all made our way into the shopping center of town. There were so many shops! One cool thing about the city of Reims – it’s the champagne capital of France, smack dab in the middle of the champagne producing region. That means that buying bottles of champagne are substantially cheaper than the United States. I decided to get myself a little something something for later.
I treated myself to the little beauty, a bottle of Perrier-Jouët champagne. Worth well over $100 stateside, I bought this bottle for a cool €27. What a bargain, yes?
I have a little tradition behind my bottles of champagne too, just in case you’re curious. I never buy them “just because”. Whenever I apply for something big, like a program or a school, I buy myself a bottle of champagne. When I get the results (positive or negative) I open it with friends and we enjoy. It’s been my “tradition” for my applications to UCLA and this France program. So far, I’m 2 for 2. This bottle is in anticipation of my grad school apps. When I get the decisions back (April-ish), no matter what the result, I’ll break open this bottle! Hopefully, it will be in celebration!
Do YOU have any fun traditions for big events in your life?
Edit: I am posting more pictures on my Flickr site, so please stop by to see more!