I have finally had time to reorganize and resettle after returning from my trip a week ago! I finally got 100% unpacked, put everything away, uploaded photos, and have had a few minutes to sit and reflect on the trip. So what I’m going to give you over the next couple of posts are food pictures, some fun pictures, and also a little bit about what I learned in each city I visited.
I truly believe that every time you travel someplace where the customs are so different from what you’re used to, you learn things without even trying. (And if you don’t learn anything, maybe you just need to pay a little bit closer attention to your surroundings).
With that being said, let me begin by taking you on a mini-food tour of my three days in Paris…
First, there were the crepes:
The first morning there, I had a lovely crepe with ham, cheese, and a runny egg. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of that one, but this one with Nutella and Banana is a pretty good substitute!
There was also quite a bit of cappuccino and espresso involved…
Sitting and enjoying these at little sidewalk cafes was most certainly one of my favorite parts of the trip!
And then of course, the pastries:
A delicious, delectable, chocolate croissant
And yes, in between all of these sweets, carbs, and caffeine, I did enjoy some real meals as well:
Our picnic dinner beneath the Eiffel Tower on the last night. I was craving veggies at that point, so I picked up a little carrot-slaw to accompany my fresh baguette, goat cheese, and champagne 🙂
There were other meals too, but I’m sure you guys don’t want to see every single thing I ate for a week (that would get a little boring, no?)
Beautiful sculptures inside the Louvre.
Now on to the other part of this post: What did I learn from the French?
This one is easy, and is something that you can probably gather from all of the food pictures. And it’s actually rather simple:
Indulge, enjoy, and savor (life).
On the surface, this applies to food (bread, wine, cheese and pastries in particular), but it also goes a lot deeper than that (more on that in a second). In essence, it’s ok to indulge in decadent foods and savor every bit of it. The french eat bread like it’s their job. They walk through the streets carrying baguettes home to share with their friends and families for dinner. They savor a meal with friends, enjoying not only the food, but the company and the experience of it all. They have picnics beneath the twinkling Eiffel Tower at 10 pm on a weeknight, and they sit at sidewalk cafes taking an hour to enjoy a tiny cup of espresso. There are lines out the door of pastry shops during lunch time; young professionals in suits lining up for an eclair (yes, really).
But beyond the food, they seem to savor the experiences that go with it. There aren’t a whole lot of paper coffee cups being carried around the streets, nor are there fast food joints at every corner. It’s less about on-the-go, how-fast-can-you-get-where-you’re-going-while-eating-that-bagel, and more about enjoying the moment that you’re in. Doesn’t that seem like a great way to live (and eat)?
I’m not suggesting that we all sit around and eat pastries every day, but I AM saying that when we do eat a pastry, or some fine cheese, or indulge in a little bit too much wine, that we don’t have to beat ourselves up over it. Enjoy the experience you had, linger in the moment, and then move on. It’s really very simple.
And chocolate croissants are delicious.
Another thing I learned from the Parisians? Always wear your leather jacket and scarf. I swear, even when it was 70 degrees outside, almost everyone was still in their leather jacket and scarf. Tres chic 🙂
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go back and drool over that goat cheese/mint/pastry picture. I’ll be back in a couple days with some thoughts and pictures from Barcelona. Enjoy!