The Truth About French Perception Of The United States

I’ve been living here long enough to adapt, but my first days in the United States were full of culture shock. I thought maybe I’d made the wrong decision in moving here. Who hasn’t second guessed themselves after such a big turning point in their lives, though? I’m still here, and don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon! But here are a few things I was asking my new American friends when I arrived, and most of my French friends have the same questions when they visit.

  • Dating. It’s not the game here in the United States that it is in France. You don’t look at the people you like the same way we do. There are no “rules” in France. But here? Oh my god, if you go out to a movie, you have to label it a date! If you do it more than once or twice, suddenly you have to label the relationship as more serious. You have a new boyfriend or girlfriend! I found it so ridiculous. In France you can do whatever you like without labeling it. “Dating” in France is a casual affair, and we don’t label it or constrict it like you do.
  • Dressing. I’ll follow it up with an aspect of American culture I’ve fallen in love with over time: casual dress, like always. In France you look your best almost around the clock. “Casual” might work for relationships, but it certainly doesn’t work for clothes. French standards are high; American standards are not. But that’s okay! People should be free to wear whatever they like without judgment. Buying groceries in pajama pants? It was one of the most liberating moments of my life, even though a friend had to drag me out to enjoy the experience.
  • Meals. They’re less about socializing over here, and more about needing nourishment. It’s not uncommon to see an American work through their lunch break, or bring a lunch to their desk. We don’t understand that at all! We take our time to eat and talk, and then we rest. We go back to work later, but the French world pretty much shuts down for lunch. You guys can enjoy your half-hour, but I miss my two-hour midday break.

  • Driving. Your standards are a joke to pretty much everyone else. Your driving exams are meant to be passed, even at age sixteen. When I trained to get my California license, I couldn’t believe how easy the test was — and that was in LA, where they’re supposed to be more difficult. It makes me feel more anxious on the road, knowing that there are so many sixteen-year-old kids out driving (while on their phones, of course). As if that’s normal!

History of United States and French Relationship

Mes amies, I apologize for being away for so long. It has been quite busy for me. But I hope that I will not be able to start regularly updating my blog again. For today’s post, I was hoping to talk about how long the United States and France have been friends. After all, France is my first home and the United States is my second.

The United States and France have been allies for almost 250 years! France helped the United States during the American Revolution and they have been allies ever since.

During World War 1, American soldiers came to France without much of their equipment. This was done so America could send more men on the ships. The soldiers used French weapons, airplanes, and tanks. Most of the combat troops were stationed in France.

Although France is across the Atlantic from the United States, the two countries work together to support French territories in the Pacific Ocean. French islands such as French Polynesia and New Caledonia are protected by the United States and French Navy.

France is also an ally when it comes to the United States in their War on Terror especially against Isis. French and American Troops are helping stop Isis terrorist groups in the Sahel, a region in Africa.

Franch is also in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Part of the agreement with NATO is that part of the countries gross domestic product goes towards defense. France has committed the 2% increase by 2025 and is on pace to meet all requirements of European security.

While tensions between President Trump and President Macron are quite high, to say the least, the history between these two countries runs deep. I hope that in the end, the two countries will continue to support each other. It might just take a new administration within the United States to see all that we have learned.

A Dream Cruise From Los Angeles!

I’ve loved cruising the open seas ever since I embarked on my very first ship almost ten years ago, and I’m still shocked how many people don’t realize how enjoyable they can be–or how cheap.

I’m even more surprised by the litany of excuses I often hear. Why wouldn’t you want to go on a cruise, I ask? Because I like to choose my own destinations. Because I like to see different places. Because it sounds expensive. Because I don’t like someone telling me when I have to be back from my daily excursions. Blah, blah, blah. The list goes on. None of these excuses make the least bit of sense!

There are any number of cruises and port cities from which you can plan your trip, and all of them offer unique itineraries. The options are nearly endless. You can absolutely choose your own destinations, you just can’t modify your choices once you’ve booked a cruise, because that cruise’s itinerary is set in stone. Then again, you can always switch out to a different ship with different destinations later.

I hate, hate, hate hearing about how people like to see different places. It’s a cruise. You are literally going to any number of different destinations. Not all of them are the Bahamas. You want to see Europe? Go on a Mediterranean cruise. You want to see Alaska? Go on an Alaskan cruise. You want to see Australia or New Zealand? Go do it! Cruises take you all over the place. They offer exciting excursion opportunities at each destination. You always have choices. You always see new things, many of which are once in a lifetime opportunities because you don’t have to do any excessive planning.

Expensive? Are you joking?! Staying at most two or three-star hotels in a major city for less than a week will cost way more than a seven day cruise! And that doesn’t take into consideration the fact that you’re getting free food! Sure, you have to pay for drinks. And sure, you have to be back on the ship at a set time each day. But that’s a small price to pay for such a great vacation opportunity.

The Port of Los Angeles is about to get a fully refurbished Royal Princess, which will be cruising to places like the West Coast, Alaska, Miami, and Mexico. I know I will definitely be one of the first back on that ship when it finally sails again in March.

My Favorite Trails In And Around Los Angeles

Living in Los Angeles has been one of the best experiences I’ve had in life, but it wouldn’t be the same without all the great outdoor activities available throughout the city. Who would expect L.A. to be a mecca for hiking? Expected or not, it’s one of the greatest spots for hiking, with hills all around! If you’re willing to travel, you can find even more to do. Here are some of my favorite trails in and around L.A.!

  1. No list of L.A. hiking adventures would be complete without a traditional stop at Runyon Canyon. It’s a great place to spot minor celebrities
    The joke is that going to Runyon for a “hike” is more like driving an hour for a glorified walk, but there are still some steep spots where you can get a decent workout.
  2. Wildwood in Burbank is one of my favorite areas to explore. It’s two miles to the summit tower, where you have the option of turning around for the two mile return trip, or heading down the four mile fire road. If you’re in the mood for a (much) longer hike, you can start in Brand Park, Stough Canyon Park, or La Tuna closer to Tujunga on the other side of the mountain. If you’re up for it, you could hang out here all day.
  3. Another deeply connected set of trails will take you as close to the Hollywood sign as you’re ever likely to get. You’ll find it at Griffith Park, another spot where you could spend all day if you’re in the mood for a bit of exploration. Also in the vicinity are Griffith Observatory and the L.A. Zoo.
  4. My absolute favorite trail in L.A. is Temescal Canyon in Topanga State Park, right near the Pacific Palisades. Again, you can spend all day hiking from one place to another. A far-out spot called “the Hub” is miles past “Skull Rock”, and a number of trails intersect at that spot. Most people turn back there. If you do this hike during the rainy season, you might catch a glimpse of a (very small) waterfall.
  5. If you’re willing to travel outside of Los Angeles, check out the Bridge to Nowhere. It’s about a ten mile out-and-back hike in the San Gabriel Mountains. There isn’t much elevation gain, but you’ll have to cross a rocky creek once or twice or eight times depending on how far off the path you find yourself. It can be strenuous, but it isn’t too bad. At the end of the hike, there is literally a bridge in the middle of nowhere, just above a nice swimming hole. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can bungee jump from the bridge.

How To Prepare For A Los Angeles Earthquake

Living near a faultline can be scary, or at least it is for me. They’re uncommon in many parts of France, but here in Los Angeles, you’ll experience an earthquake sooner or later for sure. Scientific predictions of when the next “big one” might occur never seem to be trustworthy, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared. Here are a few things I know I’ll be doing “just in case.”

First, I like to know exactly where I’ll go if the worst happens. If an earthquake starts while at home, it’s best to take cover under a strong piece of furniture. Stop what you’re doing, drop to the floor, find cover, and put your arms over the top of your head.

If there is a building collapse and you can’t get out, you should know what to do. Rescuers will be looking for signs of life, so your earthquake preparation kit should include a few. Flashlights, headlamps, and extra batteries are must-have items. If trapped, periodically knock in order to let others know where you are. Be careful not to make the collapse worse.

Speaking of a preparation kit, it should include several obvious items: food, water, extra blankets. Make sure you have enough supplies to last a couple of weeks. Glow-sticks can come in handy. Be careful with candles. Include a first-aid kit, and don’t forget tools. Last but not least, make sure you have a wad of extra cash.

It’s also not a bad idea to learn appropriate first-aid skills. You might not need them for an earthquake, but sooner or later there will come a time when they come in handy. Learn CPR. Find a local Red Cross station. They usually provide classes on a regular basis to show you how to deal with these situations safely.

After an earthquake, search for potential problems with your home. Is the gas leaking? Are there newly exposed wires? Make sure you know how to quickly disconnect the right utilities at the right time. It could save your life.

If It’s Not French What Is It? Part 2

One of my favorite breakfast foods, French Toast is another misnomered foods. The first recipe for French Toast dates all the way back to the 4th or 5th Century, found in a Latin recipe book called the Apicius. But they opted to use honey as maple syrup wasn’t a thing back in Ancient Rome.

The next reference to French Toast wasn’t found until the 14th Century in Germany. Called Arme Ritter or poor knights. And it wasn’t until the 15th Century until recipes for Pain Perdu (what we know as French Toast) began to surface. Pain Perdu translates to Lost Bread because in France it is typically made with bread that has already gone stale. However, in America, we consider French Toast a breakfast item whereas, in France, it’s eaten as dessert or as a snack.

French Toast is made by taking a piece of bread and soaking it in an egg mixture (eggs, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg). Then bread is then pan-fried in butter until brown and cooked through. In America, it is traditionally served with a generous helping of maple syrup on top but it can be served with jam, honey or fruit.

So, based on this research, it seems that French Toast or bread soaked in egg and then fried first originated in Ancient Rome, therefore, making this delicious breakfast or snack item – Italian.

 

Helpful Tips For Finding A Job In Los Angeles

Los Angeles is one of the most exciting cities on the planet. With a population of nearly 4 million people, the city itself covers over 500 square miles. Within that area, there are so many things to see and do that you never have to worry about being bored.

One of the biggest downside to LA, however, is that the cost of living is quite high. If you plan on living in the area, you need a good paying job. Otherwise, you may have a hard time finding a place that you can afford to rent or buy.

Fortunately, there are some ways that you can improve your chances of getting a great job. Check out these helpful tips for finding a job in Los Angeles to get started on your job search today:

1. Decide what it is that you really want to do. Sit down and think about your dream job. What type of company do you want to work for? What days of the week do you want to work? What duties do you want your job to entail? What kind of work would you find emotionally satisfying? Answering these types of questions can help you figure out which positions you want to apply for.

2. Write your resume. Make sure to draw particular attention to any skills that are a good fit for the positions that interest you the most. There are plenty of helpful online guides that will take you step-by-step through the process of putting together a well-written, eye-catching resume.

3. Reach out to your personal network. Talk to all of your friends, family members, and acquaintances to see if they know of any job openings in your desired field. Many of today’s employers rely on referrals rather than advertising jobs to the general public. If you already have a contact at a company, it is a great way to get your foot in the door, improving your chances of getting hired.

4. Fine-tune your interview skills. Even if you have the best resume in the world and are the most qualified candidate, you may not get hired if you don’t perform well during your interview. The best way to ensure that everything goes smoothly is by preparing in advance. Look up common interview questions online and figure out how you would answer them. The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to get tripped up during your interview.

Whether you’re in Los Angeles or New York, using these tips for finding a job will help you land the position of your dreams.

Harvey Weinstein’s Impending Legal Battle

As an actress who is trying to make it in the Hollywood industry, I’ve been following this case very closely. I am excited to see that some justice will be served.

Harvey Weinstein, the fallen from grace movie producer turned himself over to authorities on Friday and is being charged with first and third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sex act. Since the beginning, Weinstein has vehemently denied any non-consensual sex and his criminal defense attorney, Benjamin Brafman plans to plead not guilty.

If he plans on pleading not guilty, then why did Harvey Weinstein turn himself in? Many people who know that they are facing criminal charges will surrender themselves rather than deal with the brouhaha of being dragged away from his or her home in handcuffs.

Breaking Down The Charges

First Degree Rape – the rape involves violence by actual force or by threat of death or bodily harm

Third Degree Rape – the rape is performed with lack of consent but without the threat of violence

First Degree Criminal Sex Act – engaging in a anal or oral sex with another person by forcible compulsion

There are over 80 complaints against Weinstein, why is he being charged with crimes for only two of his victims? 

Several agencies including the Southern California police are still investigating and will eventually file charges. He will also face civil lawsuits against his accusers that are separate than the criminal charges filed against him. Also, some of the statutes of limitations might have expired.

What do I hear about the Hollywood Casting Couch defense? 

Weinstein’s lawyer Brafman plans on arguing that many women would want to sleep with the media mogul to advance their career and therefore the sex was consensual.

How long will this take?

Years if not months. As more and more charges get compiled it will slow down the trial processes.

3 Best Spots To Go In A First Date In Los Angeles, California

There is no city like Los Angeles, California. With so much to do, it can be hard to figure out where the best spots to go on a first date in LA are, even for the locals. Don’t worry because we have put together a short list of the top spots for first dates in LA.

1. Drive-In Theater
One of the best spots to go to for a first date is the Electric Dusk Drive-In. This is a great place to go because you have the chance to do a classic date, which is to watch a movie. However, the twist is you can purchase BBQ items while there, as well as an array of snacks, candy, beverages, and gourmet baked goods. If you want to make a great first impression on your date, then make sure you bring them to this drive-in theater, but do check what film/films are playing before you go there. All you have to do is pull your car in and you’re all set for a flashback to the good ‘ol days. Do not get into a hit and run accident.

2. The Venice Canals
If you want to do something unique for your first date, then you can bring them to the Venice Canals and take a romantic walk through them. They are three canal-lined blocks and the scenery is breathtaking. Be prepared to spot things such as charming homes, ducklings in the water and arched bridges you can walk over. If you have a non-motorized vessel, then bring it along and take a tour of the area via the water. The Venice Canals will leave a lasting impression on both you and your first date, which is exactly what you want it to do.

3. The Getty Center
The Getty Center is a place where you can easily spend a few hours and it is one of the best museums in the entire state. There are collections such as European art, post-Renaissance decorative arts and so much more. Make sure to check out the Central Garden while there because it is a sight to behold. If you get hungry, then grab a bite to eat at either the restaurant or cafe at the west end of the plaza. Also, you take a tram ride up to the Getty. This will offer you the chance to take in the surrounding scenery. The Getty Center is definitely a must-do for anyone, especially those who are on a first date.

If you have a first date coming up, then you can’t go wrong with any of the above spots. Feel free to bring your date to any one of them. Each spot has their own unique aspects about them.

 

Best French Candies

Every country has their own history of sweets. Some are for enjoyment, others are carried on by tradition, and others are expensive cadies. All of which have been around for years and years. Most of the candies on this list can only be found in France. However, in today’s day and age, I’m sure you can have them shipped to you no matter where you are in the world. The taste of good food and wine is cemented in the French culture and we love it.

The Best French Candies

Calissons d’Aix

Calisson d’Aix is on the of the more premium type of candy. The Calissons are said to date back to the 12th century. The candy is made from a mix of ground almond meal, candied melon, and orange peel that is covered in royal icing. The candies are labor-intensive, therefore they are not cheap.

Nougat de Montelimar

The nougat de Montelimar is one of the most traditional candies in French culture. The cadies history reaches back to the later 17th century. Traditionally, they are one of 13 candies that go along with Christmas Eve Dinner. In order to be considered a nougat de Montelimar, the candy must have at least 30% almonds and natural ingredients like sugar, honey, egg whites, and vanilla.

Anis de Flavigny

Anis de Flavigny has ties to the royals, Henry IV in the 16th century and King Louis XIV. These candies are small and hard. They are made of a coat of sugar that covers an anise seed. The candies come in varieties of flavors including licorice, mint, rose, and orange.

French Dragees

French Dragees are another French candy that is buried in the traditions of French culture. If you ever attend a French baptism, communion, or wedding, expect to receive five dragees. Why five? Well, the reason that five dragees are given out is that each symbolizes something different. The five meanings are health, happiness, fertility, longevity, and prosperity. The candies are an almond that is covered in a sweet, sugary coding.

If you are ever at a wedding and you are enjoying alcoholic beverages and French dragees, take a cab ride home. If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, it can only lead to problems in your life. That being said, if you are arrested for a DUI, contact the Gwinnett County DUI attorneys today.

Salt Butter Caramels

Like any other caramel chew, these cadies are sweet and a combination of sweet and salty. The town where these candies originally come from is known got their start making high quality salted butter. Henri Le Roux tried and tried for three months to perfect the sweet and savory treat. Finally, he perfected the process and the treat quickly became a national sensation.