As I have been working on these last several posts on great destinations for family travel like Las Vegas and Carmel, I had an epiphany. Sure, I have been to some great places, but there are still so many places that I want to visit! I have caught the travel bug and it is an itch I actually want to scratch! I began brainstorming a travel bucket list of places I want to take my daughter.
People say that when you become a parent, you see the world through new eyes. This is so true. You see things as if you have never laid eyes upon them before.
To look at the world through the eyes of your child is like going back in a time machine where everything is brand new and magical. BrittanyAnneF
Thus, there are places that I want to visit again, if only to gaze upon the sights with a new set of eyes. There are also places that I have always wanted to visit, but now I have a renewed purpose to achieve my travel dreams.
My Travel Bucket List: The Places I Want to Visit with My Daughter
I am going to go ahead and let you in on a little secret. Okay, maybe it is not a secret because anyone who knows me, knows this. I am obsessed with the country of France. I am a Francophile, if you will. I dreamed about traveling to Paris since I was probably my daughter’s age. Although, I did not actually think I would ever be able to do it. Paris seems really far away when you are growing up in Michigan.
When my husband and I eloped, he offered to buy me an engagement ring after the fact. We pride ourselves on being just a little bit backwards. I turned him down. One, I am a total klutz and who knows what I would do to an expensive piece of jewelry. Two, I figured that the money could be spent towards better things.
Just before our one-year wedding anniversary, my husband received an email special from Air France. It was a deal to fly from Los Angeles to London for $400 each and the promotional dates happened to be right around our anniversary. It was a no brainer. We purchased the tickets and began planning our first European vacation.
The first stop was London (loved!), then Belgium (beer and chocolate!), and finally…Paris. We arrived on one-year anniversary. Dressed to the nines, we headed straight to Le Tour Eiffel. After a trip straight to the top, where we gazed upon what I believe to be the most beautiful city on Earth, we were ready to head to dinner and feast upon our first French meal.
It was a Sunday evening before a bank holiday and Parisians probably know where this story is headed. Nothing, and I mean nothing, was open. I was dressed in a black cocktail dress and my husband was looking rather dapper in his suit. We were the fanciest dressed customers at the street vendor’s cart, the only place open and serving food.
Back in our tiny, yet charming hotel room, we dined upon savory jambon et fromage crepes, followed by the dessert gran marnier crepe. We paired our fare, wrapped in aluminum foil, with a delicious Bordeaux served in plastic cups. It was the perfect first anniversary.
Years later, we returned to Paris for some much needed emotional healing. We decided to rent a flat and live as locals. There was no need to dine out, as we hit up the local markets and made our own meals at “home”. The city had lost none of it’s magic for me, but this time we did not bother with the sights. It was all about the food.
If you need a good healing, there is nothing better than French wine, cheese, and chocolate! BrittanyAnneF
This is why France is amazing. The small things in life are celebrated, food is savored, and wine, cheese, and chocolate are enjoyed in copious amounts. These are things I would want my daughter to experience. Sure, I want her to soak up the art and culture of a country like France. However, mostly I want her to fall in love with the food and people, as I have. She can always see the Louvre, but I want her to sample an enormous cheese plate while people watching at a local café.
France is magical. I swear, there is something in the air that makes you fall in love with everyone and everything you see. The light makes everything sparkle and glisten, like something out of a fairy tale. After being told by numerous experts that I would never have children, it was no surprise that we returned from the City of Love with a little souvenir. Coincidence, mais non.