Day 13 - Emily’s Entry - October 7 - 5:03pm - City Square, Lyon, France

I’ve heard French people love to protest. One guy in a loud group told me, at first in French, then English that they were the left side protesting the right side. In another language with people I don’t know, it all seems so silly, left vs. right, compared to the problems in the U.S. right now. I shy away from being political. Corey and I saw a group march through the street, for what? They yelled toward them fists up, for what? I’m not sure I really care.

A few girls came up and interviewed me about what a monster is and who I thought was a monster. I told them I don’t like to say because any answer would make me a monster to someone I love on either political side. I told them monsters are made by perspective.

Day 13 - Corey’s Entry - October 7 - 5:50 pm - City Square, Lyon, France

Lyon is so different from Paris. There wasn’t much police presence when we arrived in Lyon yesterday afternoon, but police are everywhere now. There are at least six officers on each bridge covered in riot gear with massive protection and police vans patrolling all the streets. It’s strange, because the overall atmosphere is calm.

Emily and I were walking downtown when a small group of people began to run down a street. Soon after, a larger group appeared following them. Sirens went off. They group began to yell and run with raised fists. We held hands and made our way away from the groups towards the river.

We were told the French really like to protest. The train station was nerve racking with a loud protest marching around creating a large scene. I’m not sure what they were upset about, but they were banging huge drums and made it hard to focus on our surroundings. I know the train stations in France have been terrorist targets lately.

Last night I ate a pig’s stomach at this amazing restaurant.

Lyon is such a beautiful city. The light here falls perfectly onto the architecture.

Emily and I hit up an Art Store for sketching supplies. Then we sat at a cafe and sketched various scenes. It felt right.

Walking around Lyon, I’ve felt like a local, besides not understanding what anyone is saying. I just feel like if I had to hide away or get away. Lyon would be nice.

Day 14 - Emily’s Entry - October 8 - 11:16 am - Train from Lyon to Nice, France

Something keeps taking hold of us on this trip. Maybe it’s all the espresso or wine. Oh, we’re definitely not getting tattoos on this trip.

When we got to Lyon and settled into our cozy AirBNB, I wanted to draw. I had to draw in college and it stressed me the hell out but that day felt different. We found an art supply store. There must be in art school in Lyon. I bought a sketchbook, large rainbow pencil, and sharpener. Corey got the same with a charcoal pencil. I sketched scenes all day as a study of form. They are rough, some quick, some slow, but I like them. You can see how long I spent somewhere by the detail. For work, I constantly set up scenes with food, objects, and people. Sketching helps me pay attention to what natural is.

Dinner in Lyon is an affair. The 1st night, we went to Restaurant Chez Mounier. The best restaurants are always packed. We wandered into a place I had heard of. We somehow got the last table near the door. I should have made a reservation! Our waiter Julian was charming! The head chef ran in and out of the kitchen. She seemed to know most of the people dining. It seemed only the coolest people dined there. We couldn’t understand anything on the menu so we had Julien order for us. Corey was adventurous. I said no liver. I ended up with a sausage, egg, cheese type souffle for an appetizer, so delicious. My main entree was a gorgeous and mouth-watering quenelle, a poached creamed fish mixture quickly baked into a creamy red sauce. I’ve never seen or had anything like it. Corey’s main dish was a pig stomach. He ate it all, but no way I’m that adventurous. Then cheese, we weren't ready for this cheese. Maybe one day our palettes will develop but not quite yet. Chocolate brownie in a white sauce to die for.

Last night, we ventured hungry through the windy, small streets. We smelled our way past dozens of incredible, cozy restaurants. I picked a spot we could get into. We were sat at a small table on the street a foot away from the neighbor table. So French! We dined on Salade Lyonnaise, delicious mystery soupe du jour, sausage, salmon, wine, more wine, bread, bread pudding, and chocolate mousse. The older 4 people to my right were lovely. I asked if one lady was a model in French (one of the few schmoozie phrases I know). English speaking Corey even made them laugh. I still had my rainbow pencil and sketched on the paper placemat. I drew Corey between courses. Corey drew me. We made friends with Elo and Natalie, the girls 1 foot away. Elo spoke a little English, I spoke a little French. Corey no French, Natalie no English. We were a funny 4 talking broken Frenglish. The jokes took a while to land.

I felt like Anthony Bourdain, wandering the delicious, windy streets of Lyon, eating too much incredible food, drinking never enough French wine, and somehow making friends despite language and cultural barriers.

I hate speaking in definatives, but it’s true that if you can’t feel inspired in France, you’re not creative.

I expect Nice to be a relaxed, wealthy beach town with sunny skies and great seafood.

This was part of a 23 day journey through Iceland, France, and Spain. Didn't catch the rest? Click below to explore with us!