This was my exchange with people each night for the first four nights of our trip to France. Having tried to go into the recesses of my brain to find my French knowledge from 5th grade (teacher: Mrs. Hasselblad – now that I remember!) was trés difficult. Especially given my desire to always say “sí” and “hola.” Ugh. I’m surprised I didn’t just start speaking Hebrew, too. Slowly but surely, though, I remembered things and realized that you say “Bonsoir!” at night. And needless to say, the language issues were a very small part of the incredible time that we had in France.
First of all, we ATE. And I don’t just mean that we ate food. We ate two to three great meals a day. Every day. From little cafés with a small breakfast menu (fresh-squeezed OJ, hot drink and croissant = yum) to stopping at a stand for ice cream to eating at fancy restaurants for dinner, everything was delicious. I tried snails for the first time – sorry, Joey! – and it was nothing like I feared from “Pretty Woman.” Most places already have them out of their shells and into this cute, little dish with six slots for each of those perfect, garlicky, buttery gumdrops of goodness. Delightful.
I also tried cheeses I’d never heard of, namely from a cheese cart where the poor guy tried to tell us each kind in English and I think he almost passed out from concentrating so hard. (I also tried ash cheese – who knew?! Verdict? Not good.) It’s also important to note that said cheese cart was the course before our multiple dessert courses during our three Michelin star meal. My first one of its kind and it was truly spectacular. It costs a shit-load of money but (I think?) it was worth it. The whole thing was orchestrated like a dance with everything coming out in perfect succession, with beautiful presentation and impeccable service. Just world-class.
We also saw all of the big sites in Paris, like the Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, etc. But what was truly magical was doing the other little things that were a little off of the beaten path but still really interesting and special. For example, we went to a modern art museum called the Centre Pompidou. All of the plumbing, tubes, etc. are on the outside of the building and the escalator to each floor of this massive building was on the outside, so you could see everything. The view was spectacular and the art was interesting. (Full disclosure: I’m not an art connoisseur and never have been. I have a hard time appreciating the beautiful from the mundane but I’ll still always try!)
Finally, I learned things that I didn’t know. One, I can climb 300 steps, in a spiral staircase, in a medieval church and not pass out. Two, apparently an above the waist massage is part of a relaxing massage treatment in France. Who knew?? (I mean, it was at the really fancy hotel, so…?) Three, it gets increasingly harder to close your suitcase as each day passes. We moved to a new hotel each night except for the five nights in Paris and the two nights in the Loire Valley. Yeesh. Four, macaroons are incredible. That is all. (#Laduréeisbomb)
The trip was wonderful and Jon and I loved having the time together. Now it’s back to reality and getting all of our crap together before we move to Africa. AFRICA. We have to do our international shipment on Tuesday, get the Craigslist ads together for selling things (including a car), get our stuff ready for storage, put stuff aside so I actually have underwear to wear over the next month and figure out sending two cats across the Atlantic. Just a few things to do. 🙂
So with that, I’ll say, “Bonsoir!” *GOT IT!*
– By Naama