I was extremely excited to go to Île de Ré, a small narrow island just fifty kilometers, or thirty-one miles, from La Rochelle. My host mom had only great things to share with me before we left and I could not wait to experience it myself. Just as she said the villages we drove through were those cute European towns I always imagined. We drove past rows of houses with matching sea green shutters and doors. Our first stop was my favorite! We learned about the oysters that are cultivated in Île de Ré. The tide was very low when we arrived that we could actually see the oyster beds in the water and we were able to watch as a trailer went out to collect some of the oysters and bring them closer to shore.
The best part of this excursion for me was eating the oysters! I came to France ready to try new things and I did not want to leave Île de Ré without trying some of their locally grown oysters. However, I became a little nervous when our tour guide presented each of us a plate with six huge looking oysters. Now for the eight of us, including Dr. Edwards, who do not eat oysters regularly this seemed like a lot of oysters for one person! I did not want to regret this later so I dug right and tried my first French oyster. All I could think was that it was a bit chewy and really salty but overall it was not that bad so I kept eating them and before I knew it I had eaten five oysters! I will always remember Île de Ré and this moment!
– Monica Ware ’11