My Top 6 of Life in France

My memories of the last few years in France are rich with adventure and I will cherish them for many years to come. But there are a handful of memories that are the crème de la crème, days I would relive in a heartbeat. Reflecting on these moments has filled me with gratitude that my experiences in France have been so fulfilling and diverse. Below is a list of my top 6 but such a short list doesn’t do justice to the lifetime of memories these past six years have given me.


Photo of the entrance to The Connaught Hotel courtesy of Milla.

  • Relishing High Tea: Naturally, my favorite memories of life in France are centered around the wonderful people I’ve met here. One of the friendships I am most grateful for is with Milla who writes a renowned luxury dining and high tea blog. Our paths crossed as bloggers in Paris, but our friendship evolved over champagne, scones and clotted cream. Of course I enjoyed the decadent pastries and steeping tea at some of the most acclaimed London and Paris restaurants, but what I remember most about High Tea is the laughter and heart-to-heart conversations that comes with the best of friendships.
  • Driving a Vespa through Tuscany: I almost bought a scooter while living in Provence. While it would have served me well, I was mostly afraid of the crazy French drivers who seem to ignore oncoming traffic and threaten pedestrians for sport. My chance to finally jump on a Vespa came during my recent trip to Florence. Zipping down narrow country roads while surrounded by rolling hills of vineyards and olive groves basking in the yellow tuscan sun filled me with uninhibited joy making this by far one of my favorite memories.

La Colombe d'Or

  • Lunch at the Colombe d’Or: Two years ago during my road trip throughout France, we stopped off for a visit to St Paul de Vence, a little village perched on the rocky hills of Provence. After exploring the rich collection of modern art at the Fondation Maeght, we headed to our reservations at the Colombe d’Or. It was an amazing meal enjoyed in the company of some of the most renowned artists (Arman, Picasso, Léger) who in the early 1900′s had given works of art to the owners in exchange for food and lodging. Without a doubt, this was a day that was especially created for me.

  • Showing up for work at the Grand Palais: Last summer “my” art gallery participated at the 26th Biennale des Antiquaires and how I loved flashing my security badge for direct entrance into one of the most beautiful buildings in Paris during one of the most significant international art fairs. Days were spent selling works of art and for breaks I would wander through the stands distracted by the thousands of glittering diamonds and whimsical custom jewelry. With the set design of the Biennale by Karl Lagerfeld, it was an all-too-Paris experience.
  • Graduating with an MBA from a French University: All my hard work has paid off with a sense of accomplishment and the diploma. The two years at an école supérieure have given me unique and valuable insight into the French as professionals as well as their higher education system. This experience will follow me for the rest of my life; who knows what opportunities it will bring?

  • Dining at Jules Verne: To celebrate the completion of my MBA, my parents treated me to a wonderful delicious lunch at Alain Ducasse’s Jules Verne located on the second level of the Eiffel Tower. The restaurant is appropriately named after the famous French author whose stories take us on unimaginable adventures through fantasy worlds. Gazing out the window at scenes of Paris broken by the beams that make up the beloved monument was certainly just that. And we savored every moment of it.

I also cherish the sentiment of French living which I savored every moment I could. I found them in waking up to a quiet Marais, wandering down narrow streets, taking the Vélib for a ride along the Canal on a crisp Autumn afternoon, the chimes of distant church bells, leisurely evenings at Parisian cafés, sunset along the Seine and celebrating color with flowers blooming in Tuileries early Spring.

14 comments… add one

  1. Virginia August 13, 2013, 12:16 pm

    You have experiences you’ll never forget. What a wonderful wrap up you shared today.
    Best of luck!
    V

    Reply
    1. Stephanie August 13, 2013, 4:07 pm

      Thanks Virginia! It’s been a great journey that will continue back on the East Coast and who knows where else!

      Reply
  2. Mary Fox August 13, 2013, 2:17 pm

    Hey hey! Do you mind if I link to this article in the next issue of Perch? It’s exactly what I’m hoping to highlight – LIVING LIFE. :)

    Reply
    1. Stephanie August 13, 2013, 4:08 pm

      Sure thing! Just credit it properly which I’m sure I don’t even have to remind you.

      Reply
      1. Mary Fox August 16, 2013, 7:18 am

        mais oui!

        Reply
  3. The Wanderfull Traveler August 13, 2013, 3:09 pm

    So sad to see you leave. I remember an Instagram where you showed all the snow fall you received in Paris last winter and how gorgeous it was.
    I especially loved your visit to Versailles and the insight you have within the art world.
    I hope you’ll be doing another close up of art works in Philadelphia! Really enjoyed them.

    Murissa

    Reply
    1. Stephanie August 13, 2013, 4:09 pm

      There are many things about Paris I’ll miss, and the season changes are among them! Day trips too. But adventures will continue in the US – and I’ll always be a little bit French, as my French friends insist ;)

      Reply
  4. Danielle August 13, 2013, 4:20 pm

    What beautiful memories. Best of luck with creating new ones wherever life takes you!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie August 13, 2013, 4:44 pm

      Thanks Danielle!

      Reply
  5. Joanne August 13, 2013, 7:05 pm

    How wonderful for you ! A new day has begun ! C’est un nouveau départ dans la vie. Bonne chance ! Paris will always be there for you.

    Reply
    1. Stephanie August 19, 2013, 3:02 pm

      Exactement! It’s daunting yet exciting. I’m sad to leave but it opens up so many more doors for me in the future if I do. And I’ll be back to Paris soon enough.

      Reply
  6. susan August 16, 2013, 12:02 pm

    What beautiful memories…many I am envious of! Wishing you many more beautiful memories in the years to come, wherever life takes you.

    Reply
    1. Stephanie August 19, 2013, 3:01 pm

      Thank you, Susan! :)

      Reply
  7. Milla August 20, 2013, 5:44 am

    Oh Stephanie, thank you for your very kind words.

    When I think of the highlights of my Parisian life, meeting you always makes the list. You are a wonderful person and as sad as I am to see you leave, I feel giddy with excitement about your future. I’m looking forward to following your adventures both on the blog and in countless letters. Good luck my friend!

    Reply

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