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21 February 2015


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well this is difficult because if you mean smell-I would say the lemon citrus perfume I had to have because it was all I could smell when I was there. but if you mean France before having real travel there... it was Babar the elephant- it was Madeline -it was the color grey, damp sidewalks-overcast skies- before I could read or articulate it -I knew France-it was familiar-I would take the same books out of the library week after week and look at the pictures it seemed so familiar- now what says France-overcast skies grey, damp sidewalks-coffee bread cigarettes shoes-no sneakers-love-

Vintage ticking, wrought iron outdoor furniture, Geraniums in pots, Lavender, old enamelware, Mercury glass, the Tour de France, red tape, old wooden cotton reels, monogrammed linen, baguettes, berets, onion soup and Tongue in Cheek blog!!

Long lunches, crumbling old buildings, grocery store dairy aisles that blow the mind, plane trees lining the roads, chateaux hidden around the curve, lavender fields, cheese!

Baguettes, mais oui!

The beautiful sound of the language, great cheese, the sunlight on the buildings in Paris-are they limestone? They glow with a golden warm light that I have never seen anywhere else. Chickens turning on rotisseries outside the boucherie, fat melting onto chunks of potatoes laying at the bottom-yum! Laduree, strong coffee, and croque monsieur.

ochre buildings with shutters, cobblestone, hard bread, trains across the beautiful countryside, ancient fountains, and most of all...Brocante!

Beautiful old buildings, cobbled streets, the elderly outside their houses sitting passing the time of day, gardening or standing chatting, their weathered faces so full of expression and containing so much wisdom.

The soft beautiful crunch of yellow gravel. Languorously long grasses, plane trees, roses and boxwood. Roasting chickens at the market with a Django-style jazz duet playing. An antique merry-go-round at the heart of every town. Café allongé. Whole towns shuttered for two hours at lunch. Finally exhaling.

Lavender for sure. Bakery delights of baguettes and sweets. Musty cheeses. Sunshine on a cloudy day.

The old roof style seen in Paris-is it called mansard? Well dressed people, beautifully plated food, the smells of old books, buttery and chocolatey baked goods. My standard poodle- even though the breed originated in Germany instead of France. Designer sunglasses. Bisous. Macarons!!!

The sound of the cicadas on a warm July afternoon. The taste of pastis. The lyricism of the language. Lunch under the plane trees that drags on for three hours. The beauty of the lavender fields, the sunflower fields and the countryside in general. And of course - the French people who have every reason to be proud of their beautiful country.

Never having visited there yet, I have been around many French customs, as my ancestors are French. I live in Louisiana, where many French customs are mixed with others. I met a French couple who have an antiques shop in near by town called Donaldsonville. They sold turkish rugs, and French wedding armoirs. They did not bring back many smalls from their trips, but some french linens and soaps. Breads baking in the back of shop, and the smell of the old wood, and soap come to mind. They gave French lessons back there too.

France smells like brocante and marche aux puces.

Gauloises, bien sûr.

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French la Vie Creative Journeys in France. Please join me in 2020 to learn more click here
French La Vie started in 2005, I have the "Brocante Bug" which means antiquing is my cure, France can do me no wrong when it comes to treatment ° 32 years living in France with my French Husband that I met while dancing in San Francisco ° Two children, now in their late-twenties, amour et joie ° Come join our journey either vicariously through my blog, or on a French La Vie Week Retreat in Provence °
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