Monday, September 2, 2013

Second Weekend in Montpellier

Mardi, 2 septembre.

Last Friday was my second, and the rest of Montpellier's second-to-last, Estivales of the summer. Like last week, it felt like the whole town showed up on the Esplanade to celebrate the end of summer, the beginning of fall, and -- because this is France -- wine! We were a little more prepared this week and arrived with a game plan that began (and ended) with one word: EAT.

Molly went with seafood, while I tested out les tourtons. After some basic Googling, I've learned that they're sort of like beignets and can be made both savory (with cheese or meat) or sweet (with fruit, kind of like a turnover). However, I prefer to describe them as little fluffy pillows of perfection. You'll have to settle for a picture of the sign because the tourtons themselves disappeared a little too quickly. Into my belly. Because I scarfed them down. YUM.


We arrived at Estivales a little early and stayed much later than last week, so the evening is kind of a happy blur of friends and photos and food. (In addition to my little yummy pillows of happiness, I got a delicious -- and super cheap -- scoop of sorbet!) Still, it was a ton of fun to spend the evening with a lot of our new friends. Here's me with several of the kids from SUNY Geneseo, a school in upstate New York. They're all a lot of fun and super down-to-earth, which is refreshing here.


The best part of the night was, hands down, the entertainment. The band that played is called Bachibousouk -- I'm not sure quite how to describe the music, but according to the band's Facebook page, they're a French group with influences from reggae, zouk, Ska, and swing. Either way, it WORKS: they were SO. MUCH. FUN! Molly and I started off watching from the back of the audience, but by the end of the night we'd edged our way up to the front, where everyone -- including a couple other kids from our program -- was dancing and jumping around! We even got to form a conga line (I told you, it wasn't your average band) and dance onto the stage.


The view from the stage.
After a late night out at Estivales, I woke up bright and early Saturday morning for breakfast ... and then two naps. Saturday afternoon was a little more adventurous, as we went out to our first real French restaurant to celebrate Brooke's 21st birthday! We sat outside, across from the Prefecture, and scarfed down delicious pizzas and desserts.





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