After some convincing that they could do more than just hang out in Paris for two weeks, my parents made their first-ever trip to Europe. After years of consuming all sorts of media involving swords, bagpipes and burly men, we decided that a mini-trip to Scotland would be essential.
Lacking excessive wealth, an expense account or employment as a food critic, I have wistfully looked at the world of haute cuisine as off limits. Thankfully, we have some friends who know how to give a thank you gift that is far too generous. That is what Erin and I received 10 days ago, when we were treated to the meal of a lifetime at L’Arpege.
April was not the sunniest month in our little corner of Paris. I spent most of the first two weeks in bed due to Shigella (my lone souvenir from Morocco), and the weather following my recovery was miserable trash.
In the last week, it dawned on us that we have LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS left in Paris. With return tickets purchased and a lease freshly signed for an apartment in Minneapolis, the end of this adventure is feeling alarmingly close. We’ve started to go into panic mode about the things (food) we haven’t tried yet — or the things we just haven’t tried ENOUGH of.
I’m not going to lie. I’m a bit sick of our little part of France (you can start playing your tiny violins now). Paris is beautiful, magical, blah blah blah. We’re still finding interesting things to do/see. Recent travels, however, have led us to similar looking and tasting cities. Enter Strasbourg.
Nobody likes to feel stupid. It really sucks. But when you move to a foreign country, it happens a lot — at least in the beginning. In the beginning, it feels like you can’t go five minutes without feeling stupid. Whether I tried to swipe my credit card instead of inserting it into the chip reader, or mispronounced a word and received a prompt (and public) correction, or had to explain in really bad French that my French is really bad so I didn’t understand what you just said to me, I felt perpetually embarrassed.
After swapping some of these stories with a friend (also an American – shout out to you, Carrie!) shortly after our move here, she told me that feeling stupid was something you just have to learn how to do and become comfortable with. This turned out to be very valuable advice.
While originally planning another short trip to check out another nearby city — this time Amiens — I realized how close the city is to part of the Western Front of WWI. For this we’d need a car or an (expensive) tour. After finding a good rental car deal, we quickly put together a four-day trip to check out some of the most important WWI and WWII sites here in France.