Thursday, June 23, 2011

Last Minute Plans

Hi all!

In the spirit of keeping these posts more regular, I thought I'd stop in with an update!

The last week or so has been quite the whirlwind.  Since last I posted, I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off - finishing up my last week in the office for a while (I'll be working from home this summer), packing my Columbia life away, moving back to Lincoln for most of the rest of the summer, and trying to get ready for my upcoming trip to FRANCE!!!
Montpellier is in South Central France

That's right...  I'm going to France.  Next week.  I still sort of can't believe it, but I suppose when I board the plane next Tuesday, it will sink in!  Here's how it all went down...

A few months ago, I submitted a presentation (my thesis work - the polyandry stuff) to two major anthropology conferences - one in Montpellier, France this summer, the other in Montreal in November - and was accepted for BOTH conferences.  Imagine my excitement!!!  However, once I saw the prices of airline tickets to France, I gave up hope on going and set my sights on Montreal.  When I returned to Columbia, a few weeks ago, though, my advisor told me she found a flight I might be able to afford (and also told me she had an extra bed at the B&B she would be staying in, which would help save on hotel costs).  I was PUMPED... until I realized I had already mailed off my passport for renewal.  No passport = no trip to France and there's just no telling how long it will take to get a passport back.  I was able to call and have the process expedited (for some extra $), but then, it was all about the waiting game.  If I got the passport back in time, and if the ticket prices were still low enough, I would go.  But, I wasn't getting my hopes up.

Montpellier square at night
Lucky for me, my passport came in last Friday AND the ticket prices were still manageable.  So, after some internal debate about my $$ situation, I booked my flights!  This will definitely put a dent in my savings account, but it will be a FANTASTIC professional opportunity (my VERY FIRST professional presentation!!!), and seriously, who in their right minds could pass up a trip to Southern France and a chance to see the Mediterranean?!?!?!?!  Not this girl.

Last minute plans for a trip this big are WAY out of my comfort zone, so I'm a little wigged out - worried I won't be prepared, will forget something important, will get horribly lost when I walk off the plane in Marseilles, etc., etc.  I'm also a little nervous about my presentation.  I want to be 100% confident in what I'm going to put out there before I stand in front of a room full of people (I hope!) and tell them how important my research is.  Mostly, though, I'm SUPER EXCITED!!!  At this time next week, I'll be strolling around Southern France...  CRAZY!  (<-- sorry for all the shouting...  I'm excited.)

Don't worry, I'll take tons of pictures and be sure to post all of the good ones on here.  I'll also tell you all about the trip when I get back.

In the meantime, I've been getting some work done, thinking about what to pack (and bought a new outfit that I'll wear for my presentation), and spending some time with this guy:

How cute is he???  I'm a lucky aunt.  :)
Have you ever been to Europe before? (I've been to England, but never mainland Europe!)  Ever planned a big trip on the fly?  Any recommendations for what to pack/wear/see/do would be welcomed!

Have a great weekend!


  1. Yea for Katie! Exciting!! I've been to France twice, and my advice would be to pack light and bring clothes that can layer and mix and match. I also found that French women dress quite nice, and the few times I wore jeans and sneakers I felt like a dorky American. Skirts, slacks, dress shorts, and nice shoes are what I would recommend. But that's just me! Have an amazing time, Katie! Your presentation will rock and I think you will love the French B&B. We've adored every French B&B we ever stayed in.

  2. Very exciting! And ditto Ciscos' comment on the clothing picks, though I think jeans would be okay (I spent most of my time in jeans while there studying abroad, and didn't feel out of place, even though jeans seem to not be the default/popular choice like they are here in the US). Also, a quick search came up with this blog post--the first few dealing with clothing and are pretty spot on I think:
    Have fun!!

  3. Thanks all! Since I'll be dressing for Southern France + an anthropology conference, I'm planning to pack mostly skirts and dresses, as well as a nicer outfit for the day I present. I'm aiming for the "professional/comfortable/regionally-appropriate" look. haha
    Anne, THANKS for the link to the blog post! I read it start to finish. :)