As you will all too soon come to find out... I love everything French! I love the French Language, French Food, French Culture, Design, Music....the supposed "French Attitude"....I truly adore the things that make the French so very... French. Although I have high hopes of calling France my home at some point, I am happy to say that I have been able to travel to France a fair amount of times.
I traveled to France for the first time immediately following my graduation from SDSU in 2001. I spent 30 days in Europe mostly by myself and had a Eurorail pass and freedom to go where ever I wanted! Not surprisingly, I spent 10 of those 30 days in Paris. I also went to Nice and Marseilles and Lilles on that trip. I immediately fell in love with the romantics ways of the French....they pay so much attention to all of the details, don't they? I just love how they wrap their food and deserts in such pretty packages.... and how they put so much care and presentation into their store displays, and gardens, and scarves...I could go on and on. I loved the lights in Paris, the cafes, and the people! I speak enough French to get by and people were much more apt to talk to me. I met many lovely French people...some even welcomed me into their homes! Unfortunately I did not have a digital camera in 2001, so I won't be able to share pictures from that trip. It was a wild time...being a 22 year old free in Europe! I might share more about that adventure later...or not. :)
My next trip to France was exclusively to Paris...my mother lived in Paris for about 3 months in 2006...what a life, huh? Well, I went to visit her for a week and stayed in her luscious little 1 bedroom apartment in the 13th arrondisment.
Here is a picture of flowers at a Parisian Flower Market.... see what I mean about the attention to detail?
I obviously love French Flowers too!
On this particular trip one of the biggest joys was having access to a full kitchen where we could cook real French food from their glorious farmer's markets, grocery stores, fish markets, and boulangeries. It was absolute heaven! The apartment had a very modern kitchen that was fully stocked with the essentials like olive oil, etc, for cooking. I don't remember everything we cooked but I do remember wonderful homemade pizzas, and a horrible attempt at fresh sardines. I have had sardines before that were fresh and just wonderful...mine were not so lucky. They were full of bones and inedible. C'est la vie. It was fun cooking anyway and eating on the little outdoor patio in such an amazing city.
I also recall a great traditional fondue dinner at a little hole in the wall on my mom's street... "Rue des Cinq Diamonts". Fondue as most American's know it with swiss cheese is actually swiss! The French take their fondue as hot oil and it is served with raw vegetables and meats. You actually cook the meats and veggies in the hot oil. It was wonderful (this was before I was afraid of meat). We also were served cheese fondue with amazing fresh baked French Bread. The little restaurant had no more than 5 tables and was run by this robust French woman and her husband. Neither one of them spoke a word of English, so needless to say it was interesting. But I managed and had a great fondue dinner.
Isn't it amazing how dinner like this can really stand out in your mind?
My last trip to France was much more recent, and I would like to post a lot more pictures about it. I will do that at a later date. I really need to figure out the formatting of the pictures on this blog! Any suggestions are much appreciated! Is there a book about Blogging for Dummies?
For me... my feelings on France are always feelings of longing...longing to be there, getting a nice hot baguette, buying a lovely bottle of wine to share with a new or old friend, taking a long walk along the Seine, visiting all the gorgeous restaurants and museums and shops. Trying my best to speak French....sunbathing in Luxemburg gardens with a good book, riding the trains, taking photos of all the beauty the country has to offer.