This is part two of a two-part story of my cancelled trip to France this year due to the pandemic and how my husband and I celebrated from home.
As May approached, I decided to get my #31daysoffrance posts organized. It really got me pretty excited too! I mean, what else did I have to do while sheltering in place, am I right?
My first post on Instagram on May 1st was a photo of four French wines that I had recently purchased. My post stated: “Two weeks from today, Eddie and I were supposed to be on our way to France for our dream retirement vacation – a food and wine river cruise. We knew in early March this wouldn’t happen for us this year. Luckily, we have been able to rebook for next year and I’ve optimistically said that maybe that will give me time to learn some French! (NOTE: I did take French in 3rd grade when I lived in Puerto Rico, but most of that is long gone!) So, for the month of May, I plan to pull as many French items into our lives as I can from the comfort of our home.” I went on to ask for French wine suggestions and I actually got a few!
It became a great daily activity for me as I searched my home for French related items to post about. I started with a can of Café du Monde coffee which I had just started drinking at home along with a coffee mug I found at the thrift store earlier in the year. It contained the famous Audrey Hepburn quote – “Paris is always a good idea.” When I saw it, I felt like it was meant to be! I think it was the universe telling me that I was going to be using it quite a bit for this #31daysoffrance project!
Other posts featured books I was planning to read, including “My Good Life in France” written by Janine Marsh. This was a book recommended to me by my friend Lisa Pruitt who was also mourning the loss of our trip this year. I signed up for Janine’s newsletter and started following her on social media and was thrilled when she acknowledged my photo of her book and the fact that we had to cancel our trip. I soon became one of her Facebook page’s Top Fans.
Some other posts included a wonderful Taste of France magazine, an Eiffel tower necklace made from an old watch (found at the thrift store), an Eiffel tower figurine – again, something I found at the thrift store leading up to my trip, – an Eiffel Tower tray that I used next to my recliner in the family room. There were so many little things that I didn’t even realize I had collected in anticipation of our trip.
On my weekly grocery shopping outings, I looked for French related foods from Brioche bread, French butter, yogurt (Oui), of course French cheeses (I got into a lengthy conversation with the guy at the Whole Foods cheese counter one day), French toast, croissants and naturally French wines! These posts were fun and I loved staging them just right and then enjoying the food and drink afterward. I also loved listening to 60s French music on Pandora as I went about my day. Really great listening!
When May 15th arrived, the day we were supposed to be flying to Paris, I started posting about our trip and what we would have been doing. I had the itinerary provided by Tauck so I knew exactly where we would each day. This made me want to do more research into what we would be experiencing. I began sharing screenshots of places, wines, food and other things we would have been doing. I learned a lot about France from the safety of my home for the next few weeks. Or at least the places we would have been visiting.
I mean, we would have been making dessert at the Cordon Blue, visiting museums like Musee Rodin, and Musee D’Orsey, enjoying a chef demonstration by Chef Anne Sophie, sampling French cognacs at a dinner at the restored chateau and ground of the medieval Duchy of Uzes. The list goes on and the experiences would have been breathtaking and unforgettable, I’m certain!
We were due to return from France on Friday, May 29th. So, in honor of this, I prepared a French dinner for Eddie and myself along with a lovely French cocktail. We facetimed with our friends, the Pruitt’s, during cocktails to toast to the trip that didn’t happen. Then Eddie and I enjoyed a wonderful meal in our dining room with French music playing in the distance and toasted to an inspired #31daysoffrance experience this May 2020, during the pandemic of 2020.
NOTE: Look for my post about the French dinner I prepared for me and my husband in celebration of the end of my #31daysoffrance project.