Paris, when you think of Paris we always tend to imagine Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire singing and dancing in the misty romantic scene of France. Well, all I have to say is that it was just like the movies. It is beautiful during the day and just as beautiful during the night. Everything was clean and well taken care of. And it is a trip never to be forgotten.
When it came time to start our trip, we were excited just thinking about traveling to France. I had taken French classes from 7th – 11th grades in school plus my freshman year in College. Hoping to use what I had remembered from those earlier days I was exciting. But on the practical side I brought a French/English translation book and made sure I need a lot of research. Upon arriving in France, I quickly learned speaking French or at least attempting to speak French (Franglais) was the best thing I ever did. The mistake many English speaking people make is to try to force Frenchmen to speak English. I had heard many negatives about how the French feel about Americans from workmates and interestingly I did not feel that way at all. By at least trying to speak their language it proved beneficial.
My proudest moment came when some French friends who I made acquaintance of a few years prior in the United States had come to our hotel to meet this American couple only to be told there were no Americans in that room in the hotel. It turned out that because I tried to speak French each day to the maids, hotel clerk and even at the restaurants, no one thought I spoke English. Of course, I was not trying to hide the fact I was an American ( I thought they knew since I would catch myself after the fact , saying phrases backwards) My point in speaking French was my opportunity to use what I had studied so many years prior and also impress my spouse. You see some years ago while on a cruise vacationing in the Caribbean while reclining on the beach on the Island of Martinique, I was approached by an attendant speaking French and it took me so long to respond in French, he asked it again in English.
I was determined this time to speak French no matter what.
Food and dining experience was far beyond compare. Dinner is at least four courses. You have to be prepared to have Duck, lamb and foie gras, food that we as Americans aren’t used to having on a regular basis. They are very particular about how things are done. When going to a restaurant there is no just getting desert, like you would at home. But eating in France is more than a meal – it is an experience! Meals were never rushed or quickly packaged. It was an experience in fine dining we will never forget- the presentation, the taste of the food and of course the wine.
Nevertheless, the beauty of France was in its people, its history and noted landmarks. The historic architecture such as the Eiffel tower is just mind boggling. We cruised the Seine, travelled the metro, and toured the countryside. We made sure that we toured Versailles, Mont. St. Michel, the Louvre and definitely toured the most romantic city in the world – Paris. Like I said before i Knew French from high school, so seeing Mont saint Michelle it looked just like what I remembered from my text books. Getting to see something that I never thought I would see just made me feel a sense of accomplishment.