I remember my first trip to New York City. All I did was look up, at the buildings soaring up into the air and people walking everywhere, bumping into you. It was my first experience in a metropolis. It was overwhelming, powerful and incredibly foreign to me. I grew up in a small town in Illinois…picture farmland, no traffic and the late 1970’s.The contrasting differences flooded my senses and I knew then that I was a city person. I have since lived in Denver, Hawaii, Chicago, Connecticut and New Jersey. Each place has meant something different to me. The first time I traveled to Paris, however, everything fell completely into perspective for me. I must learn the language, and get a cute apartment here. I need to dress French (chic, stylish, one nice pair of shoes and a beautiful scarf). I recently quoted to my friend “I don’t wear shorts in Paris, it goes against everything I believe in.” I did not move to Paris, but hey, I’m not giving up on that yet. I did, however, learn the language when I turned thirty. Deciding to learn French at that age was interesting, difficult and very rewarding. The learning process is somewhat different. There are many approaches you can take. I started at a community college to get a grasp of the basics, then onto The Loire Valley in France for a month immersion at school in a Chateau, because who doesn’t want French lessons combined with wine at lunch? After that, another year with a tutor and then finally I was qualified as a language speaker with the airline. I accomplished my goal and for the next two years only worked the flights to Paris…next best thing to actually living there! Over the years as times changed in my personal life I wasn’t able to travel to Paris as much. I lost some of my language skills, however, I told myself I would speak only French to everyone during this trip. Easier said than done with jet lag, yet I held true to myself and took the plunge as soon as we arrived at the airport. When I think of Paris I still want to admire the Eiffel Tower both during the day and sparkling at night. I want to enjoy a warm, buttery croissant at a small cafe, sitting outside in a chair facing the street watching the world go by. Also, I need to indulge in a crepe avec du sucre, et citron (sugar and lemon) and at least once I need a chevre chaud salade (goat cheese salad with delicious simple dressing). Anything else that happens in Paris is a bonus!
Croissants for breakfast and souffle’ for dinner