French Church

Whisked Away To France

In a recent issue of Travel + Leisure magazine, I read an article that transported me back to the time my sister and I spent in a little town called Beaune in the Burgundy region of France.

Katie Vineyard

In the article, the author describes the food he experienced in Provence. He artfully, and accurately, depicts the simple gastronomic pleasures of Provence, and through his words and pictures I recalled some of the standout memories from our time in France.

The small, deliciously smelling patisseries filled with yummy, artisan breads and treats. Back in the States I don’t recall experiencing bakeries the same way as we did in France. It seems like bread is such an epicenter of French culture and daily living, and both Katie and I were quite taken with seeing people carry their daily baguette from the local bakery to their home.

Learning simple French words, partially out of necessity but mostly due to us entertaining ourselves. Growing up on the West Coast, I don’t think I heard French spoken a whole lot as a child. Spanish, sure, but not other languages. Every time we took a picture, we laughed as we exclaimed, “Frommage!”

Mary Beaune Coffee

The joy in market day, cooking, and sharing meals with friends and family was an activity enjoyed by all. It seems as if the French, and other Europeans, too, have a deep appreciation for the process of procuring one’s food, and in general the culinary experience, more than we do as Americans. It was such a treat to see the farm-to-table life cycle take place before our eyes.

Market Day

This article prompted me to locate my travel journal from that trip, and here’s an excerpt of what I wrote during our time there:

What a random stroke of luck! By total chance, Katie and I chose (by looking through a Lonely Planet Europe book at our hotel in Interlaken, Switzerland) to come to Beaune, France instead of Cinque Terra, Italy. What a great choice! We’ve been here for four days and are having a wonderful time. Katie and I went to a fancy restaurant tonight, and I had frogs’ legs, escargot, chicken liver patê, and a yummy dessert. I’m so proud of myself for trying these new foods!

Reading this particular article, and my travel journal, transported me back to a moment in time spent with my sister on our first European adventure together. The biggest concern in our lives was, “Where to next?” It was a summer of many memories, and it made me smile to be whisked away to these quite by surprise.

Image credits: Jet Set With Mary

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