My Last Day in Paris
Thank you so much to everyone for all of your lovely messages about the baby. We are all thriving and doing very well. Our baby girl is changing so much every day I am savoring every moment and am filled with gratitude.
Many of you have asked what we named her. I have decided to not announce her name publicly as baby connoisseur knows only too well the importance of maintaining an air of mystery. I will say that we chose a very traditional, whimsical and good old fashioned English name for her… and I must say it suits her very well!
On to other news…
This week I found a large envelope on my doorstep. It was from Madame Sportif and inside was a copy of French Elle à Table (pictured above)- a magazine she had told me about during our many cooking sessions together. It is a cooking magazine filled with beautiful recipes for everything from strawberry tarts to carbonaras. Included with the magazine was a note saying she had asked one of her friends from Paris to bring over the magazine especially for me. Then she told me news of her travel plans and informed me that she and her family will be sadly going back to France next week.
My heart sank at this news. I knew the Sportifs were only here for a year but during that time I forged a great friendship with Madame Sportif. She is truly a wonderful and thoughtful lady. How kind and considerate that she had one of her friends bring me that magazine all the way from Paris! I wrote her back to say that I will miss her greatly and if she ever finds herself in California again, to be sure and look me up.
The sadness I felt when I read Madame Sportif’s note was similar to the feeling I had on my last day in Paris. I’ll never forget it. Famille Chic was on holiday in their country estate in Brittany and I was alone in their 16th arrondissement apartment. My heart was filled with such conflicting emotions. On one hand I was excited to travel back home to California to see my family and friends again and start to live my new life as a daily connoisseur of the French philosophy. On the other hand I knew that I would never have this experience again- living in Paris with a French family- learning their secrets, exploring the city- exalting in life as a student without any major responsibilities. The cafés, the art, the food, the dinner parties, the new friends, the romance of it all…
On my last day in Paris I did not walk by the Seine or go see Notre Dame for the last time- I did not take a solitary stroll down the Champs-Élysées, instead I stayed inside the apartment of Famille Chic. That rich apartment that I had so grown to love. I made myself a small lunch, I played the record player, I drank a glass (or two) of port and I packed my bags. I left a note in the hallway for Famille Chic, thanking them for an experience most magnifique.
My last day in Paris was bittersweet but I also knew it was a turning point in my life and that I (much like the famed character Sabrina) would return to California a completely different girl.
And so I did…