Some time last year the realization that I was turning thirty washed over me like a stomach ache after too much beer the night before, the hangover of my twenties. Perhaps the moment of reality, of sobriety, came when assisting a client with a new database he is building. There, on the Excel sheet in front of me, buried thousands of names deep were several of my former classmates – there were those with whom I had been close, those whom I had (and still do) admired others with whom I had barely ever spoken, and those with whom my only relationship now exists via “liking” photographs of their children on Facebook. Read More »
Earlier this week I promised to tell you about our favorite away-from-home stay over the past year. Of course, as it turns out, the Frenchman and I cannot agree on our favorite stay, so we’re going to have to do this in two parts. We’ll go with the Frenchman’s choice first – the quirky CitizenM in Amsterdam.Read More »
A lot of bloggers spend a lot of time writing about the minutia of their trips, doing “trip reports” where they talk about hotels, airlines, etc. Though informative, I’ve always found such entires to be rather odd, as if they are reviewing the hotels to get a free night in the future or are trying to show other hotels how great of a review they can write so as to get invited on a publicity trip, or, alternatively, to stroke their own traveling egos. Thus, generally, though while I may Read More »
This past year, after our experience with Prague’s gruel, we discovered the joys of fine dining with amazing meals at Drouant in Paris, Kapari in Santorini, Le Cheval Blanc in the Loire Valley, Les Brisants in Brétignolles-sur-mer, and Konoba Nikola in Croatia. Upon moving to the Netherlands in August we, thus, made it a point to only eat out if it was going to be on par with these restaurants, saving our money and our paletts. Read More »
<<Ça se fera.>> It will happen.
Since I was sixteen years old my daydreams have been filled with thoughts of frolicking around Europe, camera in one hand and a bottle of rosé in the other. In my dreams I picnic in front of castles in perfectly chic summer frocks while discussing philosophy or art or theater or something cultured. <<Ça se fera>> I thought at sixteen, and again with each summer I spent in Europe. It will happen. I will live here.
But, of course, they were dreams and not solid plans, so, after a decade of dreaming, I had regulated them to the shelf of good intentions and put off ideas. Sure, every once in a while I would look up work overseas and apply for a few positions here and there, never hearing back and never pursing opportunities further. <<Ça se fera>> I thought: it will still happen, when I get around to making it happen.
Each January as a new year came and I turned a year older I would tell myself that this is the year my European dream would come true, but there were always men whose dreams I waited for and a career as an attorney that would not look kindly on girlish dreams of Disney fluff and reasons that, by February, it was always evident that it was, in fact, not the year. << Ça se fera.>> Maybe next year it will happen.
And then a dashing, wonderful, loving, amazing Frenchman whom we really should call AmeriFrenchman came into my life, and before I knew it we were talking of marriage and the future. He was determined that his was to be graduate school, and I was still hoping for Europe though a bit less so: happiness and contentedness and security are settling. As he researched graduate programs one in particular caught his eye: a traveling master’s program around the European continent. Not only was it one of the very few programs in the world dedicated solely to his speciality of engineering, but it would allow us to opportunity to explore several different countries, cities, and regions of Europe. <<Ça se fera>> we told ourselves. His admission into this program, it will would happen, hopefully.
Unlike the other dreams his admission into the program did happen, and, as I write this we are living in Europe. We have been married for four months, together for two years, and living in Europe for three weeks. We will be here for a minimum of two years. We have sold or donated virtually every possession that we owned, condensing our lives to two suitcases each and a few boxes of personal, irreplaceable items stored at my parent’s. I have put my law firm career on hold, choosing to freelance instead; the Frenchman has begun graduate classes; and we are exploring every new thing about our new lives abroad.
Only our first year itinerary is known: honeymoon in Italy; Montpellier, France, for the month of September; Toulouse, France, from October through January; and Prague from February through June. We have several side trips explorations planned as well that are unrelated to the Frenchman’s study locales: London, Barcelona, Vienna, Pakistan, Paris, and the States. And that is only August 2013 through June 2014!
I have been promising myself, and many of you, that I will start a blog about our adventures. <<Ça se fera.>> It will happen, when I have Internet and nothing more exciting going on. Today, tonight, it is happening because we have experienced much too much to not share, and the photo files are growing, unattended to, daily. So here we are. This, too, has happened.
It is my goal to incorporate many of the postings from my previous blogging attempt into this blog as it goes along. I may edit them a bit, repost them, or sneak them into the blog history. But this is where I will begin, with Europe. It did happen. We are here, and it is time to explore as many castles and museums and cheeses and wines and places as I can. I promise some seriousness, too, as life is not just about my European princess dreams, as the Frenchman would call them, and I share that in all seriousness and no mockery. (He truly is the perfect husband, wanting nothing more than for me to put on a pretty dress and go and look at a different castle each day, come home and tell him about my adventure over a bottle of wine and some stinky cheese as long as I am absolutely, blissfully happy.)
I am still defining a research goal, a “what” I want this blog to be, a purpose for this time in Europe. <<Ça se fera.>> It will happen, in time.
I hope you will join me on my explorations.