Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tennis Junky

Well, when I woke up this morning, I never would have guessed that by the end of the day I would realize that I am a Tennis Junky. I don't know if that's the correct spelling, but let me explain...

So, my friend Shelly and I, both love tennis and purchased some cheap tickets to the BNP Paribas Masters Tennis Tournament that is going on right now in Paris. I thought it would be cool, and that our nosebleed tickets would give us a fun story to tell, that's all.

After class, we hopped on the metro to the Bercy Tennis Courts and by 12 pm, we were at our seats. The courts our indoor, and actually, the stadium isn't that big. So, we could actually see the court super well. And boy oh boy, I can't believe how much fun I had.

The arena is dead silent while the ball is in play. Back and forth. The sound of a ball being hit correctly, is like music to my ears. The players make it look so graceful. The judge in the middle says the score in French and then in English. Ah, and the audience is just so cool. I loved hearing them start the slow clap, and doing the wave. I guess those signs are a universal thing. They would yell for their favorite French player, and then every time, perfectly, the whole arena would get completely silent.

The judge would politely say, "Sil vous plait." And mass silence spread instantly. Then he would follow with, "Merci!"

Ah, it was the best. My favorite was when the score was at Deuce. In French you say, "Egalite" (with an accent on the e.)

First I watched Michael Llondra (FRA) verses Grigor Dimitrov (BUL). After three sets, Dimitrov won.

I was so into it, that in between matches we went and bought more tickets for tomorrow. I have lost my self-control with money and I love it. First time in my life. I worked hard for a reason though, right?.

Then, I watched P. Andujar (ESP) verses Vasek Pospisil (CAN). And again after three sets, Andujar won.

Now, by this point, I thought I would have been bored. I mean, I don't even really know these players at all, but quite the opposite happened. I was mesmerized by the ball, and the atmosphere. I was doing the good ole Tennis clap, and ohhing and ahhing with the audience. And when the third match started, with the light show, and the music playing to welcome in the players, I was just jittery with happiness.

This match was Fernando Verdasco (ESP) verses Richard Gasquet (FRA). I was actually a little bummed that this was the last match I would get to watch because I had to make it home in time for dinner with my host mom. The whole crowd started getting more wild with more and more people filing in. They kept shouting, "Richard, Richard, Richard."

After 6 hours of watching tennis straight, I was not ready to leave. It surprised me. I felt like I was addicted to tennis. And the whole time, I was fantasizing about two new goals I have:

1. Save enough money one day and take my parents to a major tennis tournament somewhere in the world. I want it to be my treat and to enjoy some good ole tennis.
2. I want to become a ball girl. Yes, I know you have to be twelve. They just look so cool with all their hand signals and dancing on the court. They are like a little Tennis Army.

So, I promise, that one day, I will do at least one of these two things. And a promise is a promise.

I am sorry if I sound crazy, and irrational, but everybody needs a little crazy once in awhile. I just feel like something awakened inside of me. Something that never wants me to be sad again. Or maybe, it's something that will let me turn back the clock, so that I can be the best 12 year old ball girl the world has ever seen.

P.S. Even the birds love Tennis...

(One of them flew into a huge cord and the match stopped....haha feathers were flying everywhere. And yes, to answer your question...the courts were inside. )

Monday, October 28, 2013


Being back in Paris is weird.

It's different this time. At first I was unsure why, but I finally figured it out.

I only have 2.5 weeks left in Paris.

Filled with 2 papers, one presentation, and 4 finals. Disneyland. BNP Tennis Tournament. And I guess whatever else my heart desires for the last little while.

How did this happen? It's like I came back for my last little vacation in Paris. It's time to make sure I do everything I have wanted to do. To repeat my favorite things. To take it all in.

A month from today, I will be back in Utah.

5 weeks from today, I will be called Sister Frampton.

How am I supposed to feel? What is the right answer? What is the right response?

These questions have always been going through my head. I am always worried about saying the right thing and doing the right thing. So, I am always trying to figure out what that right way is.  I didn't think it was a problem until I went to Art History today. We were learning about Abstract Art and the motivations of the artist behind the painting. And because Abstract Art is so hard to figure out, I kept asking myself, "What am I supposed to feel? What am I supposed to be getting from this?"

I expressed this to my teacher, and we had also been talking about how the education system is structured to teach students to pass a test. The goal is to get them to think in a certain way, so that they can pass a certain set of questions.

And it hit me. Why do I care about what I am supposed to feel? Or what I think other people think the right way to be is? Or what I should say to appease those around me?

I can't live my life constantly worrying about what I am supposed to be thinking.

I just want to look at a painting and feel what I feel. Be what I am. Completely experience it for myself.

And that is how I want to live my life from now on. I need to let go of what everybody else thinks, and just be myself. Seriously, how can I add to the world if I am so busy trying to be like everybody else?

And for my last 2.5 weeks in Paris, I am going to live my life in this way. Or maybe, for my last month in Europe, I am going to live my life in this way. Heck, what am I saying? For the rest of my life I am going to live my life in this way.

It's time to look at a painting and let it just be. To just enjoy. To just take it all in.

It's time to look at life, and be happy. No matter what it is. Good or Bad. It doesn't matter, because I don't need to worry about what the right answer for the rest of the world is. I just need to decide what the right answer is for me.

With that said...Fish and Chips anyone?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Love Affair with London

My friends nicknamed our trip, "London Love Affair" because of how guilty we feel that we LOVE London so much! It is kinda hilarious, part of me feels like I am cheating on Paris. But the other part of me is like, Screw it!

I really did have the best week of my life. Not everything was perfect. But everything was hilarious and memorable.

For example: the hostel blew chunks. Really truly, I got the complete dirty hostel experience. The last blog post I wrote was downstairs where the Wifi is, and had to endure a bunch of drunk Russians drinking and eating smelly food. It was the WORST. But all of us just laughed. Nothing was going to bring us down.

And we relished in the fact that we never wanted to be there, so it made us get out and do more things around the city. Yes, we did name it the Hyde Park Hostel of Heck.

Where do I begin to start?

Do you want to see some pictures from Thursday?

Tower Bridge

Stake happiness. 

The Globe Theater

Best food market out there!

Christopher Wren's Monument. 311 steps

The top!!

The stairs!

The classic red telephone booth photo before Les Miserable.

China Town

The blue rooster

The cool lion of hugeness

My Les Miserable Ticket!

Inside Queen's Theater

Krista, Noelle and I

After the show!

Best 4 pounds I ever spent to get this thing! Best day EVER!!!

This was Day 3 in London. I started out by walking over to Hyde Park by myself, and finding a nice quiet spot to hang out on. I found the perfect tree that was molded to my back miraculously. I was sitting on grass (which is not allowed in Parisian parks) and leaning against a sweet tree writing in my journal. I felt like it was a movie moment. It was so surreal. And to top it all off, I even had this random Italian man approach me and ask to take my picture because the scene was so cool looking. BEST TREE MOMENT EVER!

(awkward Selfie trying to document the moment)

After that, I met up with my friends and we hit up Westminister Abbey and Big Ben in the day time. It was awesome, and there was such a safe and exciting tone about the area. I just ate it up. I was constantly laughing and appreciating and feeling grateful and smiling. Oh man, best vacation ever. We walked back down to the London Eye.

When I walked down the London Eye the night before when it was super late, the street was dead. We actually met some British high schoolers who practiced their American accents with us, while we tried our British accents with them. They said we spoke "So Po-sch!" Such a great moment.

Anyways, during the day, this Street is alive! Millions of people. Tons of street performers all along. I love giving away money to people whose talents make me excited. Ah, it was sweet. Such a cool vibe. And the best part about it was that there was no one trying to sell me anything, which made me want to give them money. In France, every cool site has millions of people in your face trying to sell you things. It was just fun to be free of that for a change.

Then, we crossed the Thames and ended up in Trafalgar Square. Did I talk about Trafalgar Square. It is in Soho, where I saw Les Miserable. It is a square filled with a giant blue chicken and huge lion statues. Also, it is right in front of the National Art Gallery Museum, where I enjoyed more Monet, Van Gogh, Van Eyck.

For dinner, we went in search of some good Fish and Chips. And boy, did we find it! It was perfect! Huge fish and delicious chips. We got to sit in a nice place, with sweet music. My jam right now is Pompeii by Bastille and I have heard  that every day in London in random places. I feel like London is sending me good vibes. I was so full after that meal...it was prime.

After that, we were so pooped, that I just ended the night on buying some souvenirs at Primark for my family. 

Day 4: Saturday

Since, the hostel breakfast is really bad, we were really motivated to eat a real English Breakfast. It was delicious! Oh man, I only made it to the menu, before I realized my camera was going to die. But I will get pictures from the other girls. 

And then we hit the place of joy and all happiness. 

Also the fall of my bank account. 

Portobello Road

It's basically the English equivalent of the Hawaiian Swap Meet. Except with English vintage/tourist stuff.

Sewing Machine Heaven

Guys, look. My new Portobello Road hat. I love it. I had to get myself an English hat. 

I also bought....wait...that's embarressing. Too much. Let's just say, it was too much fun. 

Close by, I found Frampton Street!!!!!!

And look where it is:

Shout out to my brother Wyatt!

It was so cool to see a street with my last name on it. That has never happened. I have never been in a place where I had ancestors from another country. It was really fulfilling. I felt close to home. 

I got carried away with all the love. 

But, I was still able to leave and make it to the famous Abbey Road. It was pretty cool. I know you guys want to see the famous cross walk picture, but hey...there was a rainstorm and my friend tried to rush one. I might show it later. 

Then, we finished the day off at St. Paul's Cathedral. We walked around the outside and just chilled for a bit. 

Oh and that night, we just tried hopping on random buses to see where we would end up. The first bus was awesome! We sat behind all of these Italians. They are so crazy awesome. Two of the guys started talking to us. One wanted to be a director, and he had the best twisted up mustache of all time. You know what I mean? It was marvelous. They invited us to go clubbing too, but I resisted. It is only the British that I can't say no too. When we exited the bus, all of them, like 15 people started clapping for us. It was a big party! How cool is that?

I made more friends and talked to more people than I have in France. Communication wins all. I met people from Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Australia, India, Austria, France and other parts of England. It was so cool to have them try and speak English to us for once. 

It was weird to see English signs, English people, English anything. It made me miss home a little. I was just having so much fun because of the conveinces of life that I forgot about. Even just ice in cups.Or public bathrooms. Or not having to avoid dog poop all the time.

Anyways, I am rambling:

Day 5: Sunday

Ended at the same pond we started off the trip at. I love this park. Worlds greatest park in my book. 

We had to lug all our stuff around with us today, which was kind of a pain. But we still had a few places to hit up. Like Harrods. Pretty cool place. 

Then, Buckingham Palace during the day. There are so many more people during the day. It was gorgeous and really fun to see all of the excitement. 

Self-timed photos in the park

It is real! They do exist!

Ah, I hated leaving. Hated it. I have never been so sad to leave a place before. It treated me so well. Below is the train station we hit up to go home. Ah, we were so sad. So SAD!!!

At least we got to see platform 9 and 3/4 at Kings Cross before we took off. 

My Love Affair with London is unfortunately over. But I am more grateful that it happened than anything. Fastest days of my life. It feels like a dream in many ways. I feel so different inside than before I came. More free, maybe. 

Well, Cheers for now!