I knew for years I would make a trip to France one day, one day. I planned the trip in 2016 originally and had to cancel due to my health. I always held the dream inside my heart and talked about my trip to France as though I was truly going. I never let go of my dream.
Along came Matthew. My love. My fiancé. He found out in December that he would be taking a trip to France for work. So we agreed I would go with him. The reality happened when he got scheduled the dates and made the plane reservations and started asking me what I wanted to do and where I wanted to stay. In my mind I did not want to get excited in case the trip got cancelled or something came up health wise and I was not able to go anywhere. So I coldly responded to his questions with answers such as, “I don’t care” or “That sounds fine.” When in reality I was so excited but afraid to let my mind feel the emotions because I did not want another heartbreak. The only situation that would change our plans was my health. The trip did get cancelled for his work, but we were able to take two weeks of vacation time instead and see more of France then we could ever have expected.
My health has been getting better with the proper medications and I felt that as long as my Doctors approved I would be on the right track to get on that airplane and cross the Ocean. And I sure did. However, I forgot my bottle of Dantrolene that helps my legs work at home and ran out of pills a couple days ago. Thank god for my desire to want to climb stairs and hills because I am able to do it. Today, not so much but the days I needed to do it, I did. I saved my last dantrolene I had on me for Versailles tomorrow. If worst comes to worse we get a wheelchair.
When we arrived in Paris, I was amazed at the sights, the sounds and the sheer fact it smells like Bread the moment you walk off the plane. I smiled in amazement at Matt and we both said, “It smells like bread.” And bread it sure was. The entire area of Paris smells like bread, croissants and coffee. Mostly bread. Which we have eaten way too much of. I was amazed at the buildings and love of flowers in the City. Every terrace and apartment and corner street has an area for flowers and most people take advantage of that. They hang planter boxes with all kinds of flowers and succulents, just like I do at home. The gardens are beautiful and floral areas are immaculately designed and planned out like any good architectural project should be.
In France breakfast is my favorite part of the day. You eat a croissant, mostly warm out of the oven with tea or coffee. I have eaten so many croissants I now crave them. Going home and detoxing from croissants will be easy, by no means do they taste anywhere near the same as a French croissant. Another staple in my diet in France has been tomato, mozzarella, pesto and bread sandwiches on a baguette or panini. Literally, I may have consumed ten so far since we have been here. We also have had the luxury of fine dining. Sea Bass twice and dinner on the Mediterranean with lunch on the beach in Nice as well. Luxury dining is a favorite of mine and Matt shares that love of food and good service as well. We also fell in love with the small bakery next to our hotel in Villefranche-sur-Mer. Breakfast and lunch mostly came from there.
The food could have its own story line but that will wait for another day. As food is usually the enemy of my body and now on day eleven of our trip my body has said no more bread or cheese or food in general. It was so amazing while it lasted but unfortunately the pain is back. Also, my liver is telling me it wants no more wine as well. I’m glad we only have three more nights left!! It’s torture being in France and not being able to eat.
Speaking about my health on this trip, it has been under control. I am tired, exhausted and in pain today but I also have been climbing stairs and hiking around medieval towns and wandering through castles and churches and Chateaus. All the things I was not supposed to do to cause my heart rate to go too high, but I did them and I enjoyed them. I may have complained and gave up a few times on myself but I would get myself back into the rhythm of movement and begin to breathe and just keep climbing. We went on a 18 mile bike ride with half of it all up hill in Nice on motorized bikes. However, these motorized bikes you had to pedal to make the bike go so hence you still had to pedal. I may have been the slowest one but I still made all 18 miles! And it was worth it.
Once you got to the top of Nice we met a winemaker who runs his vineyard on his property. We tasted four wines and found that even the Rose was a well rounded wine and we wanted to buy a bottle as well as the white wine and the red wine. Now in France, there are different grapes and I can not even get into that now because I do not have all the correct info in front of me, but certain grapes here are just fabulous and you can not even replicate the taste and flavor and body of the wine. Plus we were getting to meet a famous local Nice winemaker, it was the best reward for biking uphill for two hours!
Overall, our trip has been fantastic. Small village towns, lots of wine and good food. We even paddle-boarded in the Mediterranean Sea around Villefranche-sur-Mer, Matt’s first time. It was heavenly. Picturesque. Beautiful. I needed this trip as much as I need to continue to work on myself. This opened up my heart, soul and my mind to the possibility of being able to live life.