I recently returned from the city of lights; Paris.

The history and culture of this fine city was incredible. I made this trip with my 18 year old daughter and it was interesting to watch her reaction to the different sites. It reminded me that appreciation sometimes requires maturity. There is no replacement for experience and education.

The expansion of art and architecture was unmistakable. The sidewalks had brilliant mosaics and doorways were anything but square. I left for Paris with great anticipation in regards to the food and I would not be disappointed. 

The first place we ate at ended up being our favorite. Angelinas.

If you have been blessed to try this eatery you have enjoyed the savory confection of sugar, cream and chocolate. While this tea room restaurant is known for its African Hot Chocolate, we tried many of their cheesecakes and cookies. each bite was delectable.

We also met a delightful lady there on our last night in Paris. She was a native to the area and absolutely wonderful. She told us she was a well-known patron and each restaurant employee greeted her with a smile and several kisses.
She shared with us that he birthday was coming up however she also told us she was “20” in her heart and mind therefore any other number simply didn’t matter.  One can only hope to have this same level of optimism as our exterior matures. 

Our encounter with her was a delightful last chapter to our Paris adventure. We had a lovely time during our vacation however the old adage still holds true – there’s no place like home!  I am grateful for the experience of Paris.  Travel provides a tremendous opportunity for growth and appreciation for many things.  Have you had a summer adventure?  Bask in the glow of the final days of August…..where summer gone? 

I wish you the spirit and decadence of a great cup of cocoa!

Have a great day.

My Daughter in front of Angelina’s in Paris

Gratitude in a Taxi!

I had a miraculous taxi ride in Portland this week.  The taxi driver and I had an enlightening discussion about simplicity.  This gentleman has 4 children, a wife, a mortgage and drives taxi for a living.  He scrimps and saves however he is dedicated to his family time.  When his work is done, he is done.  He does home and helps to parent the children.  He said he doesn’t have much extra but his children have what they need in the way of material goods and above all else, they have his time.  He doesn’t miss family functions and was positively content with his schedule.

He said that he would have plenty of time post-children to save money and travel.  This is one of his passions however he enjoys living vicariously through the stories of all of his taxi cab passengers.

This was a fabulous reminder regarding gratitude.  The gratitude in the simple things.  A smile, a giggle, a fabulous sunset or the cheerful greeting from my puppy.  I forget to savor some of these moments.

I hope you will find a few moments to savor with each day.  Gratitude is all around us!

Road Time and Prom Dresses

Recently, I took a road trip with my teenage daughter. The destination was my alma mater – the University of Wyoming. I did not complete my degree at UW but it was the first step of my post-high school chapter. I also played volleyball at the school. I hadn’t been to the school in nearly 20 years.

We were both eager to visit for different reasons. We logged over 1100 miles in 72 hours to spend about 8 hours on campus. It was indeed a trip.

A road trip with a teenager prompts all sorts of interesting conversations and emotions.

We laughed, we squirmed and we sang. We also argued. It wouldn’t be normal if we didn’t.

Have you ever noticed when you are on a road trip as you get closer to your destination you become more agitated and impatient?

This is where is can get real interesting.

I decided on our return drive home, it would make sense to stop on the way home to look for a prom dress. The illusive prom dress. If you have not had the privilege of partaking in this search…you have no idea what you are missing. Can you hear my sarcasm?

Back to the trip. We have been cooped up together for 3 straight days, felt a wide array of emotions and now we are looking for the perfect dress. I had to pause during this search and laugh inside. I didn’t dare laugh out loud.

I realized that this would indeed be part of the fabric of stories for our future. I was grateful for our time together and am so hopeful for my children. I hope I have instilled the courage in them to pursue their passion. I know this is how they will make their greatest contribution.

It is with a full heart that I have written this piece. We did not find the dress. We survived our trip. I wouldn’t change a thing. Wyoming is one of the schools in the running right now. The future is SO bright.