Monday, July 16, 2012

c'est sympa

at the beginning of june, i had the chance to go an an adventure. 
a big one.
well, as far as my life goes.

i was asked by dabble magazine to join them on a jaunt through france.
and take photos.

just me and my camera. 

and while i am not saying much about the trip, or sharing many photos until the articles are published, ( which for all of you who know me well KNOWS how this is killing me )
i will say this...

i love france. 

all of it. and i saw a good little bit.

now, i am not a huge world traveler. 
my first trip outside of north america was three short years ago. paris and london with a 9 month old. british nappies and parisian playpens did nothing to dampen my excitement of being there. i have been waiting breathlessly to get back ever since.

and travel by myself? 
then we have to reach back to 1991 when i did a stint in beverly hills and banff for roots canada. 
that is a LONG time ago. i was young then. 

so when i found myself, comfortably ensconced in an Air France plane ( which is the only airline i think i wish to travel from now on), lifting off from montreal, alone, except for my camera bag...well, i was a little excited. 

even when i made it to my final destination and my bag stayed in paris while i did not...
even when i managed to develop the blister of all blisters...
even when 8 days in to a 10 day trip i ran out of memory on my brand new laptop..

nothing could take the smile off my face:)

even my pseudo franco anglo accent went over just fine in france. 
even when i made mistakes and it was pointed out that i *must* be from was done with genuine affection and humour. none of the rejection for my less than perfect parisian french i was warned about ever happened. in fact, i was fascinated by the difference in accents within france that i discovered! from the south to the north, the differences within the french language i came to hear was lovely. 

my travel partners and i covered some serious ground in france. 

the first leg of my trip was shared with the lovely victoria from dabble magazine. her absolute joy in being in france was palpable - and addictive! i can not wait for you to share in our adventure when the issue of dabble comes out. you will get to *meet* victoria as she was too cute not to capture along with some delicious french treats.

( in a normal post, i would now include the adorable image of victoria about to enjoy the  above mentioned treat...but you will just have to wait!). 

okay. i need to quantify that. 
not "some delicious french treats". that makes it sound as though we picked delicately at a croissant over the days we were there. 
that, i can say in all honesty, did not happen. 

we INDULGED in some of the best food i have ever experienced. every meal. every day. 
i have never eaten so well. 
france, you spoiled us with your offerings. 
just to be clear. 

and when i had to say good bye to victoria, and continue of to the next part of my trip...well, i was so very sad. it was amazing to discover a country the way we did...and discover a new friendship at the same time. she is the bravest driver ever...and always ready to stop on a dime and capture a moment. 

le sigh:)

for the second leg of my trip, i was a little intimidated. i was set to travel with three travel writers, all women who venture far and wide regularly for their careers.  how would they react to a newbie? not even a writer! someone so fresh to their world that i did not even know where to begin with my questions ( and boy, did i have questions...).

i should not have worried. 
along with our absolutely lovely *handlers* melanie and  edouard, my travel mates anita, carole, robin and julie were fabulous. these women made me laugh and shared their experience and insights honestly and without reserve. they were wonderful. 
this, combined with the many, many, many sites we saw? it was almost overwhelming.
and in one case, even death defying!  

and oh! the food.
as pretty to look at as to eat. 

and the alcohol.
who knew there could be so much goodness in a fruit?
and not even the fruit you are likely picturing! 
(although me made good use of that one as well)

( insert imaginary image of the most unique tasting, regional drink, which of course, i am not yet sharing, here )

okay...i will share this. but that is all. 
this may be a very, very, very, very old wine cellar.

i returned from france brimming with excitement...and in need of sleep. many hours of photo editing later and my images have been handed over to become something more. hopefully the depth and enjoyment of what i was feeling while taking the photos will come through. 
france was completely unexpected. beautiful and simple, fresh and detailed, welcoming and demanding of my complete attention.  

i would go back tomorrow. 

i want to go back tomorrow. 

the sight of a sunrise, glowing orange over green hills, serenaded by the early morning cry of a rooster... i am surprised i even came home.

( and yes, that photo exists as well )

oh, i would have sent for the husband, children and dogs of course.

thank you dabble. for giving me this opportunity. 
it was tres sympa:)

 when the articles appear in dabble magazine, i will share.

until then, enjoy some of the other amazing places dabble has been!

and of course, please discover the travel writings of my travel companions!

anita draycott
robin robinson
carole perehudoff
julie kalan

and if you have any questions about travel in france, do not hesitate to contact any travel bureau in any city - there is an incredible network of people just waiting to help you discover france. they really do know where all the best food is;).
start here:)


charlene said...

I know right? France has totally captivated me. It took me 44 years to get there the first time and I can promise you it won't take me 44 to get back. Can't wait for Dabble to publish your shots!!!

Chantal said...

The closest I have been to France is Charles DeGaulle airport on my way to Cameroon for work. I will agree that Air France was the best airline i have ever traveled on. Looking forward to seeing your photos :)