This is a love letter to one of my favorite countries, the culturally rich, geographically diverse, and vibrant France. It’s where the old blends with tomorrow with vision and wisdom. There is a unique sensibility, and from what I can see, an appreciation of the best things in life. Did I mention the food? The art?
I have traveled extensively in France, starting with my first visit when I was fifteen. Paris was the last stop on a tour with other high schoolers and my roommate, who had spent all her money, stole a slip from the maid’s room in our hotel to take home as a gift. The maid caught her when cleaning our room and started screaming at me in French since said roommate was soaking in the bath. The hotel manager made me stay and watch her until our tour chaperone arrived, or they would hand her over to the police. So, I missed part of Paris and always wanted to return.
As if gearing up for future visits, I studied French over the years, but finally accepted that I will never be fluent, but I can make myself understood and even understand a lot if the speaker is kind enough to speak slowly. And I can live with that. I’ve seen a lot of the country, but oddly have never been to Versailles, Cherbourg, Strausberg, or Marsialles, which I hope to visit as well as my favorites; Normandy, Aix en Provence, Avingon, and of course, Paris, Monmarte in particular.
Besides my high school intro, I have traveled there with my late husband, by myself, and on a couple of group tours. The following video will take you through the charming streets and countryside, and through parts of Paris, Normandy, Avignon, Arle, Carrcessone, the South of France, and more. Please enjoy.
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She arrived at the hotel in the morning, three hours before me. She donned her pink and white striped pajamas, pulled the shades, and sprawled on her bed for a nap. The problem was that when the bellboy unlocked the door to our room that afternoon, I found a tiny, dark space with clothing thrown everywhere. The twin beds were pushed flush together, and a sleeping woman lay comatose across her bed, looking as if she’d escaped from Barbie prison wearing a pink and white uniform. The bellboy inched my suitcase into the room, while my new roommate removed her eye mask, and sat up with wild hair, looking like a crazy person.
“I can’t do this,” I told the bellhop and promptly went back to the front desk where I learned that there were no other rooms. I pleaded my case, even offering to sleep in a maid’s closet, but the answer was no. They managed to move the beds six inches apart, not nearly far enough, especially considering the wall-shaking snoring that emanated from the next bed. My roommate was a good sleeper. Unfortunately, I am not.