Thursday, June 14, 2012

Paris is waiting. France 2012 Travelogue (1)

Note to my readers: For updates and fun photos of my summer 2012 travels, "Like" the French Girl in Seattle page on Facebook. See you there!

Parc Floral, Vincennes (2011)

A few more hours, and Junior and I will be landing at Charles de Gaulle airport. The wait is almost over. 

We wrapped up a busy week, capped by the 6th grade Graduation ceremony. We said our goodbyes to the wonderful Upper Elementary teachers' team at the school. In September, Junior and his friends will begin their secondary education in a different section, and a different building. But that is another story. We said our goodbyes to school and neighborhood friends. We tidied up the house and stocked the freezer so Le Husband (who is staying,) will not go starving. The bags are almost packed, almost being the operative word. Junior's is easy to put together (as long as I don't have to worry about his electronics, cell phone and well stocked camera bag.) 

I, on the other hand, take more time, you see. This French girl likes to pick her outfits carefully; one does not pack for Paris the way one packs for a week in Nice's Old Town on the French Riviera, after all. I am going to both locations, and this took some careful planning. Oh, and let's not forget accessories. A few scarves. A few pins. Some costume jewelry. A couple of favorite handbags. Shoes. It's been fun being "a girlie girl" for a few hours (I know some of you can relate...) 

My parents said the weather may or may not cooperate after we arrive, at least for a few days. Welcome to my world: Seattle. Paris. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

No matter. Getting really excited now. Going through checklists one more time. Paris is waiting. 

They are waiting...

Meeting Mutti at the Luxembourg Gardens. (Summer 2005)
Junior and Mutti.  (Summer 2008)
Meeting "Papy Zinzin" at Charles de Gaulle airport.
(Summer 2008)

With Theo, "Papy Zinzin," "Mamie Lyne" (2005)
Cousins in the subway (2009)

Cousins racing. Château de Vincennes (2009)
Le Brother, his wife, and Les Américains
(Deauville, Normandy 2000)

Paris is waiting... 

No matter where our summer travels take us around Europe, we always come back to the French capital.

The Eiffel Tower will still be there. The elegant gardens, with their instantly recognizable benches, chairs, ponds and fountains.

Future sailor...
Jardin des Tuileries

Summer 2006

Les Tuileries

Junior and Dad. Les Tuileries. (Winter 2009)

There will be beautiful squares; world-famous museums; stately buildings.

A l'Opéra Garnier

Musée d'Orsay (summer 2007)


Place des Vosges, Le Marais

Once again, we will wander for hours around the city, on foot, or in le Métro... Just as long as I don't have to drive - or park - in Paris, I will be fine! (No, little brother, I will NOT ride in the front seat with you this year, as you speed around L'Arc de Triomphe three times in a row at rush hour!) 

Les Abbesses, Montmartre

"Plus rapide que le métro!" (faster than the subway)

There will be delicious meals in small bistros; espressos enjoyed leisurely at a café terrace watching the world go by; friendly banter with garçons de café (waiters;) Kir Royals to whet our appetiteScrumptious desserts and snacks... Bon appétit to us! 

Santé, Mutti!

With Christelle, my sister in law

Once again, it will be tremendous fun playing tourists in a city we once called "home," while rediscovering familiar sights...

Visit chez les Bouquinistes...

Fighting a "Colonne Morris"

"How many postcards do we need?"

We will make time for several shopping sessions, bien sûr. This year, we will be among the lucky few to hit the famous Paris bi-annual sales! MonoprixComptoir des CotonniersLe Bon MarchéAntoine et Lili, here I come (and not necessarily in that order.) Oh, and I will pay Mademoiselle a quick visit. Traditions are traditions, you know.

Department store or museum?

I must leave now, there are bags waiting to be closed (Will someone please come sit on the suitcase while I pull on the zipper?!;)  two airplanes; a long night, and, when this is all over, we will be à Paris, settling in the old familiar routine; savoring Nutella crêpes and baba au rhum; and partaking in a few French (and sometimes inexplicable) traditions.  

I will be in touch, and I apologize in advance to the fellow bloggers who have contacted me over the last few weeks if I can't meet you all during my travels. I will do my best, I promise. 

Until next time, 

A bientôt.

Inexplicable family tradition: What was that about?!

Promenade parisienne
One of the finest pleasures in life:
Pouring rum on your own "Baba au Rhum"

From one French Girl to another:
"Bienvenue à Paris!"

Special thanks to Le Husband, our favorite photographer. We know you would like to come with us. We will miss you. PS: Do not forget to cook the frozen entrées before eating them!

All photos by American Frog Photography.
Please do not use without permission.

France - Summer 2012 Travelogue: Read the other stories here!

Part 2: Paris is Still Paris 


  1. OH V HAPPY AND SAFE TRAVELS!! Looking forward to each and every moment-until then -my very best to you and jr. Enjoy all the time spent with your family and all that your mother land has to offer...i truly cannot wait to hear all about it!

  2. Oh Veronique, I thought you were already here! Bon Voyage and have a wonderful time. X

  3. Hello Veronique

    It is so beautiful to hear your speak so passionately about the land of your birth. Enjoy every moment and let them all spoil you.


    1. ... Who would not find "Baba au Rhum" inspiring, right, Helen? :-)

  4. Your pictures are delightful and I'm SO excited for you. Have a wonderful time!!

  5. prepare umbrella!!! the weather from seattle arrived before you!!!! gros bisous on vous attend . the brother

    1. C'est déjà dans la valise... avec des sandales estivales, au cas où...

  6. Short, tongs, bob.. (Joke, comme un message secret!:o))Ici ça va, beau temps fixé.Et ça sera donc facile de te reperer dans la foule! :o)
    Bon voyage, (a part CDG, birk!)

    1. Je serai celle qui est couleur "cachet d'aspirine," ou plutôt gris un peu terne, la couleur des habitants de Seattle :-)

  7. I wish you a wonderful time - with family, with friends, with Paris!

  8. I'm so excited for you! Bring your umbrella, although so much rain is falling this morning hopefully it will be all gone by the time you arrive!
    Bon voyage!

    1. I have just checked the forecast, and things are looking much better over the next few days, thankfully-- but I am prepared. I am ALSO a Seattleite now, you know! :-)

  9. De bien belles photos de famille! Celles de la Côte d'Azur, encore dans l'appareil,pour notre automne?
    A bientôt, Véronique!

    1. Salut Richard. Celle de la Côte d'Azur, prise l'été dernier, n'existe plus que sur le blog, puisqu'elles ont été volées (avec mon portable) l'automne dernier. Je suis impatiente d'en refaire une série, comme tu peux l'imaginer!

  10. Just posting these lovely photos must have made you even more excited! I look forward to reading about your travels. Bon voyage et à bientôt!

  11. CHÈRE VÉRO!!!!!

    BON VOYAGE ma belle! Et merci pour tes gentils mots.....on a eu une "fête" virtuelle chez moi et c'était fabuleuse....quelle jolie famille tu as!!! Alors, je te souhaite un bon voyage et DE BONS SOUVENIRS.....bises! Anita

    1. Merci Anita. Souvenirs et photos (et quelques billets sur le blog) ne manqueront pas à l'appel!

  12. Bon Voyage, Veronique! Please have a baba au rhum for me (or two). I hope you have a magical time rediscovering your old friend, Paris. Looking forward to hearing all about it! Good luck getting that suitcase zipped! XO

    1. Will do Jeanne. I will be eating pastries for two, just like when I was pregnant :-)

  13. Dearest Véronique,

    You GO and just enjoy yourselves. The time will be passing like sand slipping through your fingers.
    Love to you,

  14. These photos put a smile on my face! I'm not just saying that, they really did. :) I love all the photos of your son. He seems like such a FUN kid! Your mom also looks like she would be a blast to hang out with. Everyone looks so happy and friendly!

    Oh, and I just found out there is a French crepe place 20 minutes away from my apartment. I need to go there asap!

    Anyway, have a safe trip. I am really excited to see photos and hear about how it went. xoxo

  15. So excited for and envious of you, Veronique! I loved seeing photos from your past trips. As for this trip, I'm sure you will have a fabulous time "playing tourist", as you said, and visiting family and old friends. And of course, the food, the fashion, the shopping, the ambiance! I can't wait to hear all about your Parisian adventure! xo

  16. I am amazed that you could put together this post before you left with all that you had to do and all those post-it notes to be written! We are on the same wavelength as I posted a sailboat with pink sails today also!

    Just drink it all in... J'adore baba au rhum and banana nutella crepes and baguettes and macarons and madeleines and ....


  17. Veronique have a wonderful time with your family...which I can tell from these photos you will!! Enjoy!

    Artist Series 2012
    Art by Karena

  18. Bon voyage! I hope you have a wonderful time in Paris and whereever else your travels take you in France. It sounds like you will not have much down time when you are in Paris so maybe Nice will be a little more relaxing. Have a great weekend.

  19. Have a wonderful trip when you get there....

  20. Je vous souhaite tous un séjour inoubliable et archi-plein de superbes souvenirs.

    Comme chantait Maurice Chevalier..."Paris sera toujours Paris." Heureusement!!!!

  21. Je vous souhaite tous un superbe séjour à Paris.

    Comme chantait Maurice Chevalier, "Paris sera toujours Paris." Heureusement!!

    Bon séjour et bon retour.

  22. Just fantastic...makes my heart smile. I'm a little jealous of course! Enjoy.=)

  23. I suddenly got a strong wish to head down to Paris again...
    Have a nice summer!


  24. just love your charming, heartwarming photos. All delightful....I'm especially fond of chic Mutti who reminds me of my beautiful Mummy. Safe trip! You do know how to live, French girl!

  25. Have a wonderful trip! It's such an amazing city and full of so much life. Love your pictures!

  26. Exciting! I see you're already there, enjoying your trip! How wonderful!

  27. How gorgeous!! Do you think your chic Mutti would consider adopting me? I am available. She is the absolute epitome of "soignée." And, yes, I agree. You definitely must dress differently for Paris than for the provinces, which is why I always take a bit (probably too much!) extra when I pack for France. You can't go to the opera in jeans, no matter how chi-chi they are, n'est-ce pas?


Bonjour! I love hearing from you, my readers. To quote a fellow blogger, my friend Owen, "Comments are the icing on blogcake... Comments are the UFO in the twilight sky bearing news from other planets... Comments are raspberry vinegar in salad dressing... Comments are the cool balm of after-sun moisturizing lotion... Comments are the moment the band comes back out onstage to play an encore... Comments are the gleam in the eye across the room in a smoky bar... Comments are the rainbow after the rainstorm..." Merci for your comments! French Girl in Seattle