FRANCE

by Lydia Webber

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Some memories from France.

Paris. We stayed in the 10th Arrondissement, near Canal St Martin. We soon learned there was a bit of a blossoming food scene in the 10th with a *gasp* North American/New World vibe. Filtered coffee at Ten Belles! Thick cut bacon and baked beans at Holy Belly! I admit, I loved it. It was homey.

I developed a strong, strong yearning for near-freezing coke this pregnancy. I will remember Paris evenings spent drinking Coke Zero (sorry! I know!) and watching Elementary. Don’t take this as a recommendation for Elementary. Listen, it had its moments. Sometimes you just want something pulpy.

Isn’t there a bit of an expectation to do stand-in-line things on trips like this? We decided to visit Musee d’Orsay. This memory makes me chuckle. Brandon was so appalled at the lineup. We were there in November!

Biarritz. My first breath stepping off the train was pure relief. The ocean air and misty rain. It was late and we headed straight to bed but I was so happy to be there.

We kind of had Biarritz to ourselves. We embraced the slow pace. It was the small things – sitting at the farmer’s market cafe with a cafe allonge, green leaves, and watching grannies go swimming in the ocean (it was barely 5 degrees!).

Uzes I found Uzes by staring at google maps. I was looking for a specific size of town. Easily walkable but still reachable by train/bus. We stayed in the neatest townhouse. It had one of the loveliest parks with Roman ruins strewn about. It was a bit hilarious. Roman ruins sitting around, blasé, like a bench or garbage can.

Nimes. Our last couple of days we sprung for a bed and breakfast. Our host was Miriam and she brought us local bread, jam, and fruit for breakfast. And a cafe allonge with hot milk. Breakfast really is the stuff, hey?

Nimes has some incredibly preserved Roman structures. Miriam told us that the amphitheatre was still in use “for big rock star concerts, like Sting”. We did a self guided tour (again, place to ourselves) and once my brain couldn’t hold more of the audio tour, I followed Brandon, found the sun and closed my eyes.

We flew out of Paris. In what was likely a staff mishap, there was only one border patrol booth open and hundreds of us were packed in a snaking line for hours. I was about one second away from passing out at all times. I was frantically fanning myself, pumping my legs, and stuffing oranges in my mouth. Mentally, I started feeling like a toddler. Am I the only one who wants to flop down and start crying?

The last gift of travel is coming home. The Toronto airport felt like the land of milk and honey. I delighted in the clean bathroom, turned my phone off airplane mode, and soaked in the comfort of easy.

*shot with Kodak Portra 160 and Fuji 400h*

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