|Oh La La!
My love for all things French started with my first bite of a croissant amande, when I was ten years old. We were visiting family friends who lived in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, in an utterly fabulous apartment. I remember that the kitchen was a city block from the dining room and the butter sat out on the kitchen counter and never spoiled. It was magical. At that age, I was a shy tomboy, who refused to wear the carefully chosen outfits that my mother had packed for me. Instead, I wore my very faded, too large jeans, that were held tight around my waist by a purple hair scrunchie. The look was completed with my favorite bright gold Brazilian soccer jersey. I was not chic. I was painfully shy. But, I walked alone, every morning to the boulangerie to to purchase my beloved croissant amande, which I ordered in my best French and paid for in funny looking coins. Thirty-plus years later, this is still a precious memory.
That initial trip to Paris, made me want to return there as often as possible. Luckily, I had several more opportunities to visit the city of lights during my teens and twenties. Then life happened. Job, marriage, kids etc… Thus, twenty years have passed since my last visit. Where has the time gone? Now, I am the mother diligently packing suitcases for my children and hoping that they will wear the cute and appropriate outfits that I have selected for them. More importantly, I hope that they will fall in love with this magical city, just as I did thirty years ago.
Certainly, I am a bit nervous, just as one always is when visiting an old friend who you have not seen in years. But if you are truly friends, you will feel immediately at ease, once reunited. I think my first bite of a true croissant almond, will be the perfect reunion with this special place. I just hope Paris, did not hear me go on and on about how much I enjoyed Venice a couple of years ago. It is never a good idea to temporarily toss aside an old love for a brief fling. I hope Paris can forgive me for that brief indiscretion. I feel certain that my love affair with this city will be renewed with fervent passion and continue to have a place in my heart for the rest of my life. For this is a place that I am truly passionate about.