Although details of this journey may fade from memory over time, I will not forget what made this experience so exceptional. Or, I should say, “who.”
Scott and Alex
Those who know my son, Scott, and daughter-in-law, Alex, know how special they are. I am so proud of them both and feel so lucky to be part of their lives. However, it is one thing to spend family time together on holidays and visits, but to invite me on their annual six-week trip to France … well, that was unbelieveable! I would not have considered such a trip on my own, or extended my time to three months like I did, without their love and support. Thank you Scott and Alex!
Time spent with the Noiret family, especially the grandparents, gave me such a wonderful education on French life (and cuisine). I appreciated their kindness and generosity in doing all they could to make my visit memorable — even making accommodations for me when I took ill. Alex’s father and her siblings welcomed me, unconditionally, which made me feel part of the family. Thank you, my new French family!
I was so pleased to be able to take Scott on a side trip to Lithuania to meet his great-grandmother’s family. They welcomed us with open arms and did all they could to make Scott’s visit memorable, sharing family history and culture. Thank you, our Lithuanian family!
The People of France
When I generalize by saying “people,” I am referring to everyone along the journey who I came in contact with — even if not French. (Including the Lithuanian people.) Whether a waiter, tourist, tram rider, massage therapist, hair stylist, salesperson or British pub owner … they all were part of my trip and experience living in France.
I have to mention my AirB&B host Jasmin who is a professional musician. What I most appreciate about Jasmin is that he was willing to rent out his place for seven weeks, while others would not. Although he was often on tour and out of the country, he did manage to stop by the first week with a new espresso machine for me!
Before this trip, I had heard French people don’t really like Americans. However, that was not my experience. EVERYONE was so kind and helpful to me. The people are proud of their country and want you to appreciate it as they do. When I had to ask if someone spoke English, often the response was a head shake, “non.” But, as we continued the conversation, they were soon talking in some limited English, just like my limited French! Communication was not a big problem; they appreciated my trying to speak their language. The most common question asked was what I thought of Trump. My facial expression was always easily understood — in any language!
Finally, it is impossible to recognize each person who played a role in this journey (I should have taken more pictures!). Here are just a few of those folks. Merci! A bientôt!