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March 14, 2014

Dreaming of France

I woke up this morning dreaming of France… granted there aren’t many days that don’t involve at least one day dream of some part of that country!  But I think with a few friends heading over there soon, it’s just on my mind more today!  Granted, it could also be that the historical fiction series I’m reading right now is set during World War II and it’s at the point where Germany is preparing to invade France, so the main characters are all in France at the moment (it’s this series here and I highly recommend it!!).  So yes, there are several excellent explanations as to why France is on my mind today!

But why do I love it so much??  I’m not actually sure that I’ve ever tried to put words to it, but I’ll give it a try.

I’ve mentioned before that my mom is a French teacher and so part of my love stems from her and her love of Paris and France in general.  And I remember before my first trip to Europe in high school with the orchestra that several people kept telling me how dirty Paris was and how rude French people were.  Thankfully, I shut my ears to all of that and decided I wanted to find out for myself.  And for me, it was pretty much love at first sight.  Part of it was the disbelief that I was finally in a place that I’d been hearing about ever since I could remember.  Part of it was that I was finally able to use the language I’d been studying for 6 years in a place that used it all the time!  And another part of it was that it was on this trip that my mom introduced me to pain au chocolat (aka “chocolate croissants” in the states).  Clearly, France was a slice of heaven on earth!

Paris has a romance about it that not many cities have… the language alone is enough to make you fall in love.  Whether you understand a word of it or not, it’s just beautiful.  Put on top of that the river Seine that runs through the center of the city to divide it in two, the dozens of bridges that connect both sides, the amazing food, the chocolate (oh the chocolate and pastries!), the old buildings and architecture that have seen more than any of us can imagine, and throw in a sunset and the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night and it’s a perfect equation for romance.

But as I discovered in 2009 when I went to Provence, in the south of France, it’s not just Paris that has this magic about it.  If anything, I think Provence is more of a fairy tale than Paris is… you mix the romance of Paris with the charm of the culture you find in the southern United States and stir it all together with the history and dreaminess that comes with a country that is older than we can imagine and it really feels like you’re walking into a dream.  The old buildings, the winding streets that just beg for you to get lost in them, the people who are so kind and helpful and aren’t jaded by life in a big city…

Lex Baux France

It truly is like walking into a dream… or at least taking a step back in time.  My mom has always joked that she would retire to the south of France and as soon as I stepped foot in Provence, I understood why!  It’s beautiful and charming and has so much to offer.  I think all of this is why I want to shoot a wedding over there so much.  Doing my dream job in a dream location like that… I’m not even sure that has a word for how incredible it would be!

I’m SO thankful for all of the opportunities I’ve had to travel.  And I’m so thankful that I get to do something for a living that I love.  It blows my mind that I also get to combine those two things as often as I do.  God has blessed us, for sure, and I pray we never take that for granted!

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