The Inquisitive Mom Facebook page has been so fun over the past month! I love sharing random observations and seeing the varied responses. I thought it would be fun to record some of my observations on the blog as well and add some new ones.
1. France’s reputation for style is not overrated. A flare for fashion seems to come naturally here and age and sex are not detriments. Mature women wear stylish pants with loud patterns and fancy shoes. The children are often accessorized and better dressed than I am. French women tend to have one definitive piece that makes an outfit work- a fabulous coat (Oh, the coats!), fashion-forward pants, or a to-die for hat. Make-up isn’t required.
2. If you visit the Eiffel Tower, pay to reach the top. Paris is beautiful down below, but something else entirely from above. This will remain one of my travel highlights for years to come, up there with the view from the Grand Canyon.
3. Decadent, 4 Euro pastries are worth it, just once.
4. Peanut Butter is unheard of in France. Nutella rocks, but it is not a substitute. Mention it in France and people will
list all the things that go with peanut butter as substitutes, like jam and honey.
5. Coca Cola rules France, but the two fancy restaurants I’ve been to sell Pepsi. Also, “Limonade” is not lemonade, but a Sprite substitute that doesn’t take like Sprite. Cola tastes better here, often comes in bottles (never cans), and refills are unheard of.
6. Kinder Surprise Eggs are delightful! For anyone growing up outside of the United States or with relatives from Germany to Canada, these sweet treats are a fond memory. My kids discovered the hollow chocolate egg with toys nestled inside and loved them. They also fought and cried over “better” surprises and quickly lost small pieces, but it’s a thrifty, fun treat!
7. Try new foods. Its worth it and all part of the adventure. We tried snails, oysters, mussels in cream sauce, fish with head and tail on display, and crab.
8. Traveling in Europe means walking. Reaching your destination often takes patience and endurance. You walk to your destination, you walk at your destination, then you walk back to your hotel, with metro rides in between. I feel different after a month and I’m loving it.
10. The hardest thing about being in a French tourist town while pregnant? There are no fast food joints, all stores are a 1/4 mile walk at least, and stores close early, so no satisfying late night cravings. It’s probably a good thing, but it doesn’t feel like it at 10 pm. Last night, I binged on potato chips, peanut m&ms, and cherry coke after the kids went to bed. A rare, planned for treat.