Saturday, August 30, 2014

5 Things I Learned While in France

I'm back!!

And I'm not nearly as excited as the above statement would suggest. France was awesome, as I knew it would be. I wannnaaa go baaaack. Post trip depression is real. I keep thinking, "right now I would be eating lunch on the boat, or right now I would be just waking up". 

I looked forward to that trip for so long, and it seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. Isn't that how it always happens? I don't think I have ever heard anyone say, "This vacation is going by so slow!"

Before we left for Paris I was freaking out over what I was going to eat, wear, how I was going to talk with people when I knew no French, and other equally ridiculous things. So, here are five things I learned while in France:

1. You can wear whatever you want and it will be ok! 
I turn into a crazy person when I pack to go anywhere, multiply that craziness by a thousand when it is a big trip. The night before we were to fly out, I still hadn't really packed anything. Instead I was at my computer Googling things like, "What to wear in Paris? Can I wear shorts to the Louvre? Are jeans ok to wear anywhere?" According to the internet, French women do not wear shorts or jeans but instead wear slacks and dresses. They take their fashion seriously and if you wear jeans and flip flops you are definitely an American tourist. WRONG. This may be common sense to most, but in case there is another person out there like me that worries about what to wear to every little thing in life, let me assure you: there are so many people everywhere you go, all wearing different kinds of outfits.  Whatever you wear will be ok. Jeans, shorts, dresses, skirts, sandals, heels, everything works and you will not get rude stares like the internet suggests.

2. French people do not hate Americans.
This is a stereotype I have heard several times. Once again, according to the Internet, French people do not like Americans and are quite rude to them. This is not true. Of all the people we encountered, not one of them was rude. Some were a little more friendly than others of course, but that is true anywhere. One of our tour guides thanked us multiple times for what America had done for the French people during WWII, saying that French people had not forgotten and were very thankful.

3. French cuisine is very eclectic.
Before our trip, I kept asking everyone, "What is French food?" I was worried I was going to starve I guess. As it turns out, I didn't starve! Granted we ate most of our meals onboard our boat and had a selection of several things each meal. However, when we ate at restaurants I didn't have any trouble finding something to eat. My favorite thing we had there was a Croque Monsieur which is like a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. They had pastas, hamburgers, sandwiches, crepes, seafood, all kinds of "normal" things.

4. You can get by with knowing only a little French.
For the most part, many of the French speak atleast a little English. Knowing certain words like: Bonjour, Bonsoir, Au Revoir, S'il Vous Plait, Merci, and maybe un, deux, and trois for ordering things at a bakery, will get you by. However, I am not discouraging anyone from learning French because that would always be better than having to use your hands to describe needing to go to the bathroom or wanting to get a drink.

5. The French take their bakeries seriously.
And it is glorious! Bakeries in France are almost the equivalent to Starbucks in America. They are everywhere. My favorite bakery that I stumbled upon was in Vernon and it had everything. Macaroons, eclairs, meringues, chocolates, creme brulee, and my favorite thing, chocolate croissants. Anytime I was able to, I stopped and got atleast a chocolate croissant. On Sundays you will see very long lines at the bakeries and it is the French lining up to get their bread.

I'm waiting to get a CD in the mail with all of my mom's pictures on it and then I will start my trip recaps! I am so excited to share our trip with you! I'm warning you now, I am combining my pictures and my mom's so it will be picture overload, but what's new? 

Hoping you guys are having great weekends so far!



  1. I can't wait to see all the pictures and read all about it!! Now I want a chocolate croissant!

  2. I love this post! Definitely informative if you're taking a trip to France (which I wish I was...maybe someday we can go together!). The bakery obsession sounds amaaaaazing...why can't Americans take them as seriously?! I want a chocolate croissant so bad now.

    So glad you had an awesome trip! You deserved a fabulous get-away!

  3. Your trip sounds fabulous!!! I'm so glad you had a great time! :-)

  4. Oh my gosh I ate a Croque too and it was the 2nd best thing I ate in Europe. I only say second because we ate some good Pizza in Italy too. I totally freak out about packing and I have also read all kinds of things about rules for going to France on the internet too. Well, now you know for the next time you go back. There MUST be a next time!! Can't wait to see pics.

  5. love it! it is quite glorious about the bakeries. yummy to all of it! hope you got lots of pics!