Friday, October 14, 2011


For the past several weeks (ok, two years), I have been France-asizing.  I was a French major in college, studied abroad in Versailles, and taught English in Metz for seven months after college.  While my teaching experience left some things to be desired, I have nevertheless been fantasizing, or France-asizing, about the day I will return to my home away from home.  I say that I will be returning with confidence because it's going to happen y'all.  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it's going to.  I have been fortunate enough in my travels around France to see a bit of everything - some things are better than others, let me tell you.  And while I would love to wake up to a view like this every day:


or this:


or this:


there's nothing like Paris!

I have never in my life, short though it may be, heard someone say they didn't like Paris.  It is an impossibility.  Granted, there are times when you may just want to scream at the train station because the TGV employees have gone on strike.  Luckily, it's pretty much the most gorgeous city in the world, so you don't mind walking.  Whilst on your walk, you will no doubt fall in love with at least five men in five minutes.  And then, as you turn a corner, you see a veritable Apollo wearing plaid, and you will swear that you will never, NEVER leave this city.  At least until your visa expires.  Until then, you have to make the most of your time.  Go see a ballet at the Opera, and drink in the Chagall-painted ceiling.  Go take a cooking class at the Cordon Bleu (I highly recommend it!).  Go get a crêpe nutella.  Go to the Louvre!  Just drink it all in! 

Left to right: The Paris Opéra, the Cordon Bleu, a crêpe nutella, the Tuileries Garden

You will inevitably become homesick for either the English language or food, but Paris already has a safety net waiting for you.  For all of your English book needs, look no further than Shakespeare and Company.  It is conveniently located across the street from Notre Dame, so you can take your newly purchased book to the park behind the cathedral and read in peace.  If you want English-speaking companionship or vent session, listen to Katia and Kyliemac and go to some of their events.  You won't regret it.  You'll even burn calories from all the laughing, and who doesn't love that?  Speaking of food, when you need to get your Dr. Pepper or Lucky Charms fix, go to Thanksgiving in the Marais district.

Depending on how long you've been away from home, you may cry at the sight of a box of Pop Tarts and start thinking that 12 euros for a box of cereal is a steal.  

Of course, you will then come to your senses, and realize that any pastry worth having does not come out of a box.  It comes from a bakery.  They are on every corner in Paris, and they sell the most magnificent baguettes and pain au chocolats that you will ever taste.  You will be ruined forever, but it's so worth it.  Word to the wise: sometimes bakery windows are so clean that you may run into one thinking it's the entrance.

I could continue to guide you on your tour of Paris, but there is not enough space on this blog to share all of my favorite haunts with you.  Besides, Paris is something different to everyone.  You have to experience the city yourself, and every experience is unique.  But I have a sneaking suspicion that you, like everyone else, will leave Paris with a promise of return in your back pocket, a tear in your eye, and "Paris, je t'aime" on your lips.


  1. WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO MEEEEEEEEEE?!?!?! The view out our windows at Mme Chauchat's? The Opera? THE FRIGGIN CREPES?! Le Cordon Bleu (TA!)? Boulangeries? Thanksgiving? PARIS?! OH PARIS! OH MON DIEU!!!!!!!!!!! I HAVE OFFICIALLY DIED! Take me back, France! I know things got a little tense and I said some things I didn't mean (oh but I did), but... forgive me, lover! JE T'AIME!!!! Sarah! Gosh darn it! This post nearly had me in tears. I have to move back now. THANKS A LOT.

  2. I WANT TO GO. Can we add this to our trip of VS group trips? Please. I'm dying. I have to get out of the country, ASAP. My little wanderlusty heart can't take it anymore.