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At the of the quarter, and my college career, we had a Vernisage for the students. There were photography and writing students so most of the art for sale were gorgeous photographs. I ended up painting some postcards at the last-minute to sell.

A funny little house from one of our day trips.

This was from a day trip to visit Louis Jou‘s studio.

Above is my favorite tree in all of Lacoste.

This is a terrace attached to a classroom. It’s a pretty big testament to my teachers that I paid attention in class.

A view from the Lacoste soccer field, looking up at the Marquis de Sade’s castle. A fitting image to end my watercolor sketch memories on.

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Last fall I went to France but was too busy prancing around in my underpants* to blog about it. The next couple of blog posts will be some watercolor sketches from my quarter studying abroad at SCAD‘s Lacoste campus in Provence, France.

Here is one to set the mood:

More to come.

*And all subsequent layers of clothing.

The thing about flying is that it is awesome. I love it. You can travel at 500 miles per hour without having to do anything but sit and do idle tasks––yet you feel like you’re being productive. When you get off the plane people say things like, “You must be tired,” and you get to rest even more.

For me it is especially nice since although I have motion sickness riding any other mode of transportation (train, car, bus, boat, horse, piggyback) on an airplane I feel nothing except for when we land.

At least that is what I thought until last Wednesday when I flew Southwest Airlines from Florida to Oregon. I had a layover in Denver so I was prepared for two unsavory bouts of nausea during my day of guilt-free vegging out.

But by the time I realized we were landing in Denver we were a foot from the ground. My stomach was not queasy but my mind was blown. That was quiet possibly the best landing I had ever experienced in my life.

I wanted to congratulate someone, give him or her an award. They wanted to shuffle me out of the flying apparatus in a succinct and timely manner. Luckily for me the cockpit door was open when I exited the plane. The captain was leaning nonchalantly against the door.

“Great landing,” I said incredibly sincere. (I may of even given the thumbs up sign.) But the pilot (or co-pilot or some dude just chilling in the cabin in a uniform) looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Have a good night.” I realized I may have sounded sarcastic, but seriously Southwest Airlines Flight 330 on Jan. 11, whoever was flying, thank you.

For the sake of science I thought, well, maybe this smooth landing had something to do with Denver’s elevation.

I paid special attention to the landing when I arrived in Portland. Usually the same tailwinds that get you in 20 minutes early when approaching from the east make it a bumpy ride. Although not as smooth as the last one I felt no nausea at touchdown.

Not wanting to freak this pilot out I said nothing but goodnight on my way out of the airplane.

Are the pilots of Southwest Airlines just that much better than the rest? Maybe. Am I inexplicably cured of my motion sickness for life? I wouldn’t sit behind me on a roller coaster if I decide to find out.

All I know for certain is that I got to sit down for about 9 net hours to read, relax, listen to music and enjoy one hell of a beautiful landing.

Well, I’m back in Savannah after some rather lame travel malfunctions that I could blame on the architects of the Washington Dulles Airport, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was all my fault.

I was way too cocky about my airport travel skillz.

A friend and I were on the same flight leaving Portland– except his final destination was the decidedly cooler than Savannah, Budapest, Hungary.  AWESOME, I said, just my luck.

I checked my very heavy non-personal item carry-on baggage at the gate and thought, SCORE I won’t have to haul all my heavy shoes around.

Then, I discovered I was sitting in economy plus­, free of charge, GREAT, I thought, my life is awesome.

Four and a half hours later we landed in Washington Dulles and decided to get lunch during our overlapping layovers. After riding in a convoy type vehicle that was a hybrid between an alien spaceship docking device and what they carted prisoners off to their deaths in during WWII and then a train to the right terminal because we were apparently on the wrong death-mobile, we were eating Five Guys at my gate.

The odd shuttle-bus-tram-death-mobile-alien-spacecraft we rode in.

And by my gate, I mean the gate my flight was sharing with six other flights, across from another gate with an additional six flights.  (This is where my beef with the architect comes in.)  Every person in a 50-foot radius speaking on the intercom echoed loudly everywhere–it was hard to decipher anything.

I heard the call for boarding of Savannah once, and assumed (wrongly) that it was first class, platinum, gold, silver and other precious metal carrying passengers only.

And that was it. I sat there as Savannah boarded and took off, catching up with my friend and enjoying every minute until I realized my flight was closed and couldn’t fly out until tomorrow morning.

I hugged my friend goodbye and assured him it was not his fault.  (Really, Bogdan, it was not your fault.)

Then here is the really embarrassing part. I went to the bathroom and cried.  And I’m not the kind of person who can hide when they are crying.  My eyes turn bright red and puffy, my voice quivers.

No really, this is what I look like when I cry (add that to your reasons not to make me cry). Plus traveling makes me extra disheveled.

I wasn’t crying because I missed my flight and it was my fault entirely but because really the only good part about leaving Oregon is seeing all the awesome people I’ve met in Savannah.  So without the immediate gratification of seeing them, I was pretty defeated.

My parents kept calling to suggest things to do (go to a hotel, ask to be re-routed through Chicago, etc. etc.) but every time they tried to comfort me I would cry more because there I was, 20-years-old and totally immobile because of incredible homesickness.

Then there was that total derailment where once you start crying you can’t stop because you’re upset that you’re crying over something stupid. That’s what I like to call an endless cycle of shame.

So I was walking, cycling the shame, when a woman flight attendant asked me if I was okay.  And here is where I probably should’ve made something up that was more worthy of crying over than a missed flight.  I don’t know, something harmless but more acceptable like “my fiancé called off the engagement because he’s in love with my step-mother,” or “I just found out my dog died after eating an endangered frog I devoted my scientific life to.”

Instead I told her I didn’t want to leave home and I missed my flight and not to worry because I was just a mess.

I have to admit, this chandelier did make the hotel look pretty classy.

Eventually, I did go to a hotel, as did two girls around my age who had also missed their flight.  But instead of being morose or annoyed they were having the time of their lives.  They were taking pictures, excited about staying in a classy hotel and embracing their adventure.  Which, suffice to say, made me feel even lamer.

In the morning I woke up early, went through security–was the token blonde white girl put through the full-body scanner after a bunch of men with darker complexions and more facial hair sauntered through.  (I wonder if they could see my very very very long leg hair that I haven’t shaved ALL of winter break? I hope they were impressed.) Then I waited VERY ATTENTIVELY right by the loading zone and got on standby to Savannah on an 8 a.m. flight only after reminding the attendant who I was and chanting “be aggressive” in my head.

Sorry for the long post, it was a long trip. Now time to shower and wax those legs.