46.2276° N, 2.2137° E: France

When I look back on my trip to France I think about playing my grandma’s favorite poker game, follow the queen, as the two of us sat in the sunbathed courtyard of the Inn we were staying at in the countryside.

For about 10 days my mom, step dad, grandma and I explored France, from Paris to the countryside. We ate authentic french onion soup and took in the brilliant view of Champs Elysses from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.

Waking up with the sunrise over Paris, I’d stroll to the coffee shop near our abode. Sipping cappuccinos and scribbling in my journals, I was only interrupted by the greetings of friendly french men.

We passed the days eating and touring, touring and eating. We stopped by Shakespeare’s books and leisurely cruised the river Siene. We took in the beauty of the stained glass and absorbed ourselves in the history of Notre Dame.

After our adventures through the acclaimed city, I’d return to the small balcony of our hotel room, where I would write letters to home and eat macarons.

It seemed as if our time in Paris peaked as we ate dinner at the top of the Tour Eiffel. We drank crisp champagne and ate soup whose broth most literally brought the dish to life. Emerging from our dinner content with the food and each other’s company, we were greeted by the bright lights that illuminate the tower at night.

We moved from Paris to the french countryside as my step dad nervously got behind the wheel of what we’d normally think of as the passenger side of a car. The trip was long, but the enchanting towns and rolling green hills made the trip worth while.

We dabbled in the wine offerings of the country. We found ourselves in the home of a unique mind at DaVinci’s house museum, and spent a humbling day on the beaches of Normandy.

The charm of France is fresh in my mind, from the lovely, quaint countryside to the glamour of polished Paris. But most importantly, I had the chance to explore such a place with my family. As we were gathering around to see the Mona Lisa in the Lourve, packed close together in the overwhelming crowd that surrounded the painting, I knew that having the chance to go out of the country with my family was something special. These memories will forever bring me to them.

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