Paris - again!
I try to remember the feeling of anticipation and sorrow I felt last year as I said goodbye to each of my children and my parents and boarded a plane on January 4.
I had no idea what my new life would be like, but I anticipated challenges and adventures, and we found both.
In the past year, I have seen some gorgeous scenery, eaten some amazing food, and met some incredible people.
|Sunrise at Lake Como, Italy|
Another amazing experience was the Carrières de Lumières in Provence where artwork is projected on the cavernous walls of a quarry and accompanied by music.
It was amazing to see the art evolve as the picture changed, to feel myself bathed in the colors and surrounded by the music. And I got to experience it again at Les Ateliers des Lumieres in Paris in September where a sister exhibit offers the same opportunity with different artists.
|It's like sitting in the middle of the Klimt painting.|
The history and the architecture had an impact too. Everywhere we went there were ancient building built by the Romans or the Cathars or the Medieval French.
A half-timbered building in Cognac built in the 15th century where the carvings on the wood were still visible. How on earth have they preserved those carvings of wood, exposed to the elements, for 600 years?
|I wish we'd gotten a picture on a sunny day, but you get the idea.|
We've only visited one of the Cathar castles in our area of Southwestern France, but it was worth the hike up a steep path. And there are so many more to explore yet.
As for the food, I could post a different picture every day for the rest of my life of all the delicious food I've eaten in France. My favorite is still the foie gras on Cours Mirabeau in Aix en Provence or a scrumptious duck confit with roasted potatoes, and those are delicious almost anywhere in France .
Plus, Earl and I discovered the joy of the café gourmande, a dessert that includes a small cup of espresso and a sampling of desserts from the menu. Why wouldn't you choose a taste of everything?
|Our sons came to visit in April|
But one thing we weren't Puritan about was the amount of alcohol we drank. We quickly fell into the idealized French lifestyle, drinking wine for lunch, having an aperitif before dinner then wine with dinner. Some days, we admitted that we should cut back on our drinking, but since we have arrived back in the States, we rarely drink, so it's not a drinking problem, it's a lifestyle opportunity in France that we embrace.
|We almost always go for red wine, not sure how we ended up with white here.|
It opened my eyes that maybe I should have spent more time enjoying the life I was living in Ohio rather than longing for France. And I have to be careful that I don't spend time in France longing for my old life or time with my kids.
I worry a bit that I could be the kind of person who is never satisfied no matter where she is. Yikes!
As I return to France, having spent ample time with my parents and squeezing my children until they beg to be let go, I promise to embrace the life I'm living wherever I am.