June 26, 2015
“Paris is always a good idea.” — Audrey Hepburn
The City of Lights and one of the greatest fashion icons of our time – to know me at all is to know how much I love them both.
Since before I can remember I have been drawn to all things French – the food, the art, the culture, the people, the language – everything! I even started taking French lessons during elementary school in the summer – what kind of kid does that?! And to me, Audrey brings that all to life. Her LBD, the sophisticated way she carries herself, the Breton striped top – of which I likely have no fewer than 15! – and the skinny black pants – all so French.
My passion grew to a whole new level when I was given the chance to live in France for a semester in college. After traveling to amazing places like Paris, Biarritz, Strasbourg, Cannes, Arles and the beaches of Normandy, I settled in with the most amazing family in Vallauris, near Cannes, where I was able to experience the Cannes Film Festival, tour the inside of the Carlton Hotel, where the celebrities were staying, and create a relationship with a family that has lasted for years — with our daughters now staying with each of us during the summer.
It was hands-down the experience that had the greatest impact on me, and cemented my resolve that learning a different language and meeting the people (not just seeing the tourist attractions) are critical. As a pretty great example, I learned that the French language has no phrase to say “I’m full” when eating a meal – the only thing close would be slang for “I’m pregnant,” which is clearly not the same thing. It reinforces that the French live to eat rather than eat to live. So now my three kids, whether they like it or not, are enrolled in foreign language classes – one in French, one in German and the other in Spanish.
I have had the great fortune of visiting Paris, Cannes and Vallauris three more times since, and I love them more each time. So if we get a chance to meet, I would be thrilled to tell you about all of my favorite places in France — and don’t be surprised if I’m wearing my favorite LBD or a cute striped top!