A magical trip is about to begin. Four friends will soon embark on a journey to an exciting foreign locale, a wonderfully romantic and dreamlike place – France!
We will stay four days in Paris, then head south, spending time in Aix en Provence and Nice.
We are all married. It may be difficult for our hubs, but they will survive. We will come home to mounds of laundry and disheveled homes, but that is a minor price to pay for our overseas journey. In addition to four husbands, we leave stateside ten adult children, six sons/daughters-in-law, 11 grandchildren with one more on the way, two Moms and one Mom-in-law.
The idea began with my girlfriend Nancy. Looking for a special way to celebrate her 65th birthday, a trip to France evolved. An art devotee since a little girl, she wanted to tour museums and see the places where wonderful French painters – especially the Impressionists – lived and worked.
Her husband was not enthusiastic about spending hours strolling around Paris and exploring museums. She turned to her girlfriends. Always ready to help a friend in need, three of us agreed to share her journey.
Nancy carefully planned the trip in conjunction with her Travel Agent cousin and Museum Director brother.
And now it all comes together – for real. We leave on a US Airways flight to Paris this evening, Tuesday, October 22.
One of the things I did to prepare for the trip was compile the following list. Actually the list is the result of an exercise completed in a writing workshop I took a couple of weeks ago, but I think it is a good way to begin our ten-day adventure.
So here are the Top Ten Things I Want to Do in France:
. 1. Buy unbelievably delicious, and probably expensive, chocolate.
2. Sit at a café (preferably outdoors), linger over cappuccino and watch Parisians go by.
3. Window shop at designer boutiques offering merchandise at sky-high prices. I would never buy anything, but it will be fun looking.
4. Buy unique holiday gifts for certain family members, especially the grandkids.
5. Enjoy luscious, leisurely meals without feeling guilty about the calories.
6 6. It is too late to study French. But I want to learn a couple of unusual, unique things about the places we will be visiting.
7. Not an art aficionado, I want to understand what our museum guides are talking about. I have a feeling I will be pretty lost in the lingo.
8. Take some pictures that turn out really, really great.
9. Savor the company of three girlfriends in a land of artistic vision, culinary delights and history.
10. Not overspend and not be overly worried about the dollars deflating my pocketbook.
Of course I will not accomplish everything.
An 82-year-old friend of mine gave me a coat for the trip. I asked what I could bring her from France.
She thought a moment and said, “A Frenchman. Preferably a young one.”
Oh well. I think she is going to have to settle for something else…