Great Expectations

or “My Life in Blog Sounds Much Cooler Than It Really Is”

Top Ten List – “What I Love About France”

Posted by mandyhuckins on March 17, 2008

10.)  The language.  French is so beautiful, and yet so impossible for me to pronounce.  Case in point: Once, in Paris, I was trying to find a street on the map.  I asked a very nice looking lady working behind the front desk of our hotel, “Can you tell me how to find ROO DE LA BOO-SHARE-REE?”  She cocked her head to the side and said, “Well,  I have never heard of it, but let me check our map.”  She pulls a telephone-book sized map book from behind the counter and proceeds to flip through the pages.  “Hmmm.  I don’t see it.”  So, I start spelling it for her – B-U-C-H-E-R-I-E .  “Oh!” she exclaims with a chuckle, “Oui, I know where that is.  But, you see, I couldn’t understand what you were saying.  You said ‘Roo de la Boo-cher-ree’ and we say ‘RoodelaBoocherie’.”  Oh, yes, what a difference!  I can see why you had NO idea what I was trying to say.  Plus, the address happened to be for a famous, English bookshop in Paris about two blocks from where we were!  I hope none of you speak French. 

9.) The Eiffel Tower.  The Parisians hate it, but I can’t help it.  It just seems so – French.  Plus, it is so pretty when is sparkles.  What can I say?  I am a tourist.

8.) Veuve Cliquot.  I loved this French champagne before I ever put a toe on French soil.  But, it is still delicious, and I still love it.

7.) The Louvre.  Truly – the most amazing art museum in the world.

6.) The Strasbourg Christmas Market.  Ordinarily, Germany takes the cake at Christmas, but this French city gives Germany a run for its money.  They have several different market areas with everything decorated to the maximum.  Tasty treats, delicious warm drinks, fun decorations to purchase – what could be better? 

5.)  Galleries Lafayette.  This is the major French department store.  Poor Colin.  But, then again, they do usually have a champagne bar and French cafeteria in the basement level.  That can usually keep him entertained for an hour while I run around getting frustrated by French sizes.  What is up with the 1, 2, 3? 

4.) Baguettes.  I have always loved “French bread” and my friend Becky will tell you that in college, I would buy a loaf and I wouldn’t even be out of the store before I was tearing off a hunk and eating it.  (What was I thinking?) But, now that I know that the French are the absolute, undisputed gold medal winners in the bread making Olympics, I have to fight that urge again when I leave the French grocery store with my – sigh – still warm, buttery-crusty-perfection on the outside, soft and delicious on the inside, arm-length piece of deliciousness they call a baguette.  I really would (and do) drive 45 minutes each way just to cross the French border to get one.  Or two.  The only problem with them is that they do not last, so they can’t be saved for the next day.

3.) Sea-Salt butter from Normandy.  I can remember a time when someone would offer me some butter with my bread and I would….REFUSE!  Those days are over.  In fact, this butter is so delicious that I could almost pull it out of the fridge and take a bite out of it.  Almost.  But, it does make anything else in the world taste more delicious than that thing tastes by itself. 

2.) Spreading number 3 on number 4 and adding French ham.  I am normally not huge on sandwiches, but this one – so simple and yet – tres magnifique!

1.) This view – need I say more?

French Riviera

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5 Responses to “Top Ten List – “What I Love About France””

  1. beckyray said

    Stop it! Now I want to go to Paris again. Change all the plans–I’m coming for a month!

  2. Lori Ennis said

    That’s it. It’s official! I WILL visit France when in Europe this summer. It has been on our list of “should we/shouldn’t we?” and you, dear friend, have just answered that question. Done. For the record, John is SOOO with you on the baguettes! You two always have cracked me up!

  3. chrissy said

    Mandy! I’m so glad you have a blog! Now I can live vicariously though you as you go to all of these fabulous places.

    I LOVE that photo! Can I come over and play?

  4. Marci said

    Hello Mandy! I just read Becky’s blog and found yours. I want you to know that I am jealous of you and of Becky. How I would love to have some of your experiences. Don’t stop soaking life up. At least I can live vicariously through your blog. By the way, this is my second comment ever on anyones blog. Hope to see you when you reach the state.

  5. Jennifer said

    Enrique and I went to France for Christmas 2006 and I can say that I agree with #10 (the part about you pronouncing it just fine and the lady not understanding you), 9, 5 (very hot in there, though), and 4 (I remember you coming out of Super K in college eating your bread too). I haven’t experienced the other six.

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