In less than two weeks, Chester and I will be on a plane to France for vacation. I am ridiculously excited. We’ll be spending two weeks there, visiting various places, including Giverny, Aix-en-Provence, Marseilles, Monaco, and Nice, various small towns along the way, and, of course, Paris (where we will celebrate our first anniversary on June 4!).
When we go on vacation, Chester usually ends up doing most of the planning. He organizes each day in a spreadsheet, makes lists of places to eat and maps out the options, and finds the best deals on hotels. If he ever gets tired of his full-time job of analyzing data all day, he would make an awesome tour guide (he definitely wouldn’t be the kind with a huge umbrella though). But mostly, I’m just along for the ride (this is particularly true when we’re driving. I’m supposed to be the navigator, but the truth is I’m horrible at reading a map and usually just fall asleep in the passenger seat).
All of this probably makes me sounds lazy or disinterested in our trips. But I find that when I don’t know exactly what we are supposed to be doing, I get a lot less stressed about getting from place to place by a certain time. I think Chester would also agree that this makes me a whole lot more pleasant to vacation with.
Although I haven’t done a ton of research, there are definitely things I cannot wait to see and do during our time in France. Visiting Monet’s house, hanging out in cathedrals and museums, breathing in the smell of lavender in Provence, hitting a flea market in Paris, driving through small towns to visit chateaus, and people watching in Monaco are currently at the top of my list.
Mostly though—and this should come as a surprise to no one—I’m excited to eat. And, I plan to try everything. It’s a good thing I’ve stepped up my gym visits in advance of this trip, and that we’ve got a lot of walking planned during it.
In no particular order, here are the things I’m most excited to try. Of course, I’ve had some of these things before, but never in France (edited to add: boldfaced items are the ones I checked off my list!):
- Macarons—in as many flavors as possible. Ladurée in Paris is apparently THE place to get them, so I will be making a stop there.
- Cheese—Wikipedia told me 400 varieties of cheese in France, so I can pace myself and try 28 per day for the duration of our trip
- Foie Gras—yes, I know how they make it. Yes, it makes me sad. But, it’s so yummy.
- Bread and/or pastries of all types
- Steak frites
- Croque Monsieur—just like grilled cheese only better
- Escargot—they drown them in garlic butter, apparently, so maybe I’ll forget what they actually are.
- Seafood—from the French Rivera
- Fresh fruits, veggies, butter, and eggs—I don’t eat the latter two in my real life, but they are sooooo delicious and a fun splurge for me when I’m on vacation. I still talk about the butter and eggs we had in the Scottish Highlands when we were there for my BFF’s wedding two years ago.
- Beef Bourguignon—because I love Julia Child, and this is one of her signature recipes.
Ooof. I’m stuffed already.
Have you been to France? Do you have any recommendations for us about things we should see, do, and/or eat? Spill them!