On March 12, I leave for France with a group from the University--several faculty members, a board member, and four honors students. Over Spring Break week, we'll spend three days in Paris, three in Normandy, and then two more in Paris. While in the north, we'll visit The University of Normandy in Caen, where we have an exchange program. We'll also rent two cars and drive to Mont St. Michel, which I've wanted to see since my high school French teacher Mrs. Otis recommended it--and raved about the traditional omelets sold on the tiny island.
Besides brushing up on my French, I've been studying French food in the perhaps futile hope that I'll actually be able to read and interpret a menu. Although there are more words in English than in French, the French gastronomic vocabulary is vast. For bread alone, the French have more words than Eskimos have for snow: baguette, ficelle, flute, batard, pain boulot, pain polka, couronne, pain rond, fougasse, pain campagne, jockey pavot, pistolet, Napoleon, pave de campagne, miche blanche, pain lemaire, epi, souswek, and so on. I hope to sample as many of them as possible in a couple weeks.
On March 21, while the rest of the group returns to the U.S., I'll fly to Berlin to spend ten days in Germany: Berlin, Dresden, Nuremburg, Munich, perhaps Salzburg, Austria. Home on March 31.