Paris

Bonjour! Several years ago, for a significant birthday, my husband gifted me with a Patricia Wells cooking class- to be used when I felt the time was right. My kids were much younger and I couldn’t imagine leaving for a week, let alone going abroad without them. Fast forward to a Christmas party circa 2014, and a dear friend and I were chatting about our favorite subjects… food, cooking, and traveling. I mentioned that I had this cooking class and asked if she’d like go with me. With gleam in our eyes, we turned to our husbands and shared the wonderful idea… Joanne and I wanted to go to Paris for a week. On our own.  Reminder- we’re at a Christmas party where everyone is full of spirit(!) and cheer. The answer they gave was a resounding and supportive, “Yes!”

Eiffel Tower at night
View of the Eiffel Tower from our apartment.

A few days later, back in the real world and in the light of day with clearer heads, Joanne and I reconfirmed with the husbands, that yes, they were ok with the plan. With that, we booked our trip for April 2016- a year and a half out.

Sacré Coeur
Sacré Coeur

I returned home a few weeks ago. It was my first time in Paris, and I couldn’t have asked for more. It was absolutely incredible; everything from the apartment we rented, to the cooking class and the amazing women we met, to exploring and experiencing the culture inspired me. My biggest takeaway was to slow down… sit, enjoy time with family and friends gathered round the table. Linger over fresh simply prepared seasonal food and share your stories, thoughts, and ideas. Why do we always feel the need to hurry up and go, go, go? What are we racing towards? Most importantly, at that breakneck pace (to nowhere?), what are we missing that is right in front of us?

playing boules in paris
A Sunday afternoon game of boules.

An interesting observation was prompted by our multiple passes at the Starbucks just down the street from our apartment. Joanne pointed out the window display, “What do you see- or rather, what don’t you see?” “Travel mugs! There aren’t any travel mugs.” The window display had real espresso cups, coffee mugs, and coffee stacked decoratively, but not a travel or to-go cup in sight. No one is drinking coffee on the run; quite the opposite, people sit and actually enjoy the moment. What a novelty! I understand that a blanket statement like “no one” is a very broad generalization, but in my defense the only eating/drinking I saw on the go were a few people at the end of the workday tearing off and nibbling at the heels of the baguettes poking out of their paper sleeves.

rainbow over the Pantheon and Sorbonne in paris
A rainbow over the Sorbonne and Pantheon…

I’ll be sharing much of what I learned in the cooking class in future posts. For now, appreciate the present moment- enjoy what’s in front of you, whether it’s the company you’re keeping or the produce that’s in season in your part of the world. Ideally, you’ll get in the kitchen and find a way to do both at the same time! À bientôt!

Notre Dame at night
View of Notre Dame from our apartment.

 

47 thoughts on “Paris

  1. Oh I am SO happy that you did this. France has so much to teach us (all cultures do, of course if we are willing to listen) but you are absolutely right – the biggest lesson of all is to take TIIIIIME over food and wine and coffee and life. My culture shock here has been the need to speed up. I’m resistent!!

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  2. Hi Jean, Paris is amazing! As a family (my children are young) I do insist a slower pace at the dinner table. They have many activities but all come before or after mealtimes PERIOD! No, it is not always easy, I do not bend to far from the thought rush, rush, rush, for what? Where ya going? Happy you had this opportunity and excited to learn more…Happy Mother’s Day! Cheryl

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    1. It’s not easy trying to slow things down in a culture that thrives on “more, more, more… faster, faster, faster.” Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle. But we start by setting the example in our own homes… keep sticking with it, Cheryl! You’re not alone! Happy Mother’s Day!!!

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  3. how absolutely wonderful!! I “envy” you for Paris and the Class. Look forward to see the results of your “study” :). Unfortunately every time my husband Jo and I are in Paris, it;s never long enough for a class, but ….. Love the photos, especially the rainbow (mazhavillu in Jo’s native language) – it’s somewhat special to us 🙂 🙂 – thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Carina! I envy you that you can start a sentence with “whenever my husband and I go to Paris…”! My week in Paris was an incredible experience for me on so many levels… girls’ trip, first time traveling without 3 kiddos in tow, and being able to focus on one of my passions with one of my food heroes, Patricia Wells. But, as you referred to, there is never enough time for it all… so I am looking forward to going back and exploring more of Paris!

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  4. What a wonderful gift your husband gave you. It must have been a memorable trip for you and your girlfriend. Now you will have to go back with your husband and you can be his guide to all the wonderful spots that you discovered.

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  5. What an awesome experience. I love Paris! Now how can I get your husband to drop a hint about gifts to mine? Lol. Congrats on a beautiful vacation. I’m still stuck on your kitchen ware Instagram post!

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    1. I remember reading your post about Paris earlier this year! Happy to have my husband drop a few hints… anything to support a good cause, especially one involving food and travel! 🙂 The visit to E.Dehillerin made me feel like a kid in a candy store. (Tip- check out their website. The prices are actually much cheaper than buying here- even after taking shipping costs into account!) xo

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