“Paris is always a good idea.” -Audrey Hepburn
I’m a sweet tea drinking southern gal, but my inner self—the private me responsible for the nudging of fingers across keyboard—longs for the opportunity to sip red wine at an outdoor café in the heart of Paris, France.
I’ve never been, but I took an extra-curricular French language class in the fifth grade, and I’ve been quietly longing to be kissed at the Eiffel Tower ever since.
My home is filled with French Country décor à la Charles Faudree. I have the National Geographic Fotopedia apps for Paris and France on my iPad. My favorite novel is Chocolat by Joanne Harris. (It’s one of the few fiction titles I’ve been able to read more than once, and my copy is autographed by the author herself.) My high school graduation gift was a framed and matted 8×10 photograph of the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris, France; a photo captured before the 1990 fire and following renovation.
It hangs above my writing desk.
For various reasons, I’ve kept the degree of my “Francophilia” mostly private. For one, I’m a reluctant traveler—mainly due to my fear of flying—and explaining my Parisian desires to those who are well aware of my phobic tendencies isn’t something I care to do. The list goes on, but the main culprit for my previous lack of sharing remains my not wanting to hear that a future trip to Paris is unlikely to ever occur.
Needless to say, when I saw the @BookEndBabes tweet congratulating author Karen A. Chase for winning a Silver Medal for best non-fiction travel essay in the eLit Awards for her memoir Bonjour 40, well, I knew I had to read it… so I did. An armchair adventure delight, Bonjour 40 is a title I will revisit and relish until the day comes when I’m finally able to pen my own Paris travel journal.
Love, love, loved it!
If Karen A. Chase absolutely had to turn 40, she decided she could do it gracefully in Paris… for nearly 40 days. What began as a blog to communicate with friends and family became a travel journal filled with over a months’ worth of daily details of her Paris adventures, each of which could be read in about 40 seconds. Peppered with Karen’s own photographs, she also weaves in longer stories that reflect upon her experiences with Parisians, travel, food, photography, writing, and love in the City of Lights.