When I went to France in 1989 to study abroad, I never expected to meet my future husband there, let alone meet him the first day I arrived. And yet that’s exactly what happened. For the next five years, we survived many obstacles: one year of trans-Atlantic separation, another 18 months commuting between Paris and Talloires in the French Alps, and perhaps most crucially of all, a couple of years cohabitating in a 200 sq. ft. studio apartment without a TV (much to my grandparents’ horror and dismay). We married in 1994 when we were 25 years old. Today marks the milestone of our 20th wedding anniversary.
Today was a day devoted to nostalgia. We took the girls on a pilgrimage to Talloires, the enchanted place where I met my husband 22 years ago and where I lived and worked immediately following graduation from college. My employer was my alma mater, Tufts University, which owns a European Center in the center of Talloires, bequeathed by an alumnus of the university in 1978. The center is housed in a centuries’ old priory, pictured here. Not a bad place to live and work – we literally lived in the rooms in the eaves, above the conference center facilities located on the floors below.
At this time next week, we will be flying Swiss Air on our way to France. After all the planning, it’s hard to believe that we’ll finally be packing our bags this weekend. I cannot wait to be in Europe again – after a five-year hiatus, I feel a little like I’m returning home.
This is what daydreams are made of. Except in four short months, this reverie of mine will become reality, as we board a plane for a month in France. This is a photo of Annecy, the storybook town in an Alpine valley that will host us for the first two weeks of our trip.
As my faithful readers know, I don’t have anymore current photos of my girls to post to this blog.
These pictures, as the observant among you may have already noticed, are old. In fact, they date from Christmas 2006, when we spent the holiday with my husband’s family in Paris.
Chloe was a lot shorter back then. And Sophie didn’t yet have curly hair, and had just started to walk.
Sophie discovered potato chips in Paris. Of the thousands of culinary delights to be discovered in France, potato chips in Paris. It’s shameful, really.
It was a wonderful trip, though – not easy traveling with little ones, but fun nonetheless. I’m not sure when we’re going to make it back. Certainly not this year, but maybe next. And when we do return, I want to take the girls to Talloires, a small town on Lake Annecy in the French Alps. That’s where my husband and I first met almost 19 years ago.
I think they’d like it there. It’s beautiful. Nestled in a valley, surrounded by mountains and pristine water. It would be the perfect place to go to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary (!) in 2009 , not to mention our 40th (!!) birthdays.
On the other hand, why in the hell would we bring the girls with us to celebrate those milestones? We’ve never had a real vacation, just the two of us, since the girls were born. That’s seven years!
Mom – mark your calendar now. We’re dumping them with you for a week next year.