Month: September 2016

Bon Voyage

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When I got the email that I had gotten into Columbia’s graduate program in Paris, I was at my job at a fine dining restaurant in LA. I literally almost cut my finger off, I was so shocked. I had submitted my application a week before, and the program was set to start in six weeks.

Six. Weeks.

Six weeks to quit my job and learn a new language. Six weeks for my unwaveringly supportive new husband to convince his boss to let him work remotely. Six weeks to pack my house, my dog, and my life.

It was garbage.

Change is a difficult thing for me, I tend to overthink, and when I overthink, inevitably I think of everything that can go wrong. I don’t know how I survived the process, but somehow I did, and after an eleven hour flight with a dog in my lap, I made it to Paris.

Best decision, ever.

I am so proud of myself, so thankful for my husband, and so excited for what is yet to come. I had a lot of people ask me what made me decide to leave, and it really came down to the fact that I would regret it forever if I didn’t. The universe provides you with opportunities, and it is up to you to take them. I could have gotten in my own way and convinced myself that this move was too hard or too impractical, but I didn’t.

This is all to say, this whole life we are on is a journey, you owe it to yourself to take it.

Breakfast at La Pitchoune

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Brief note: This was originally written to submit to AirBnB for a free stay at Julia Child’s house in Provence. Affectionately named La Pitchoune (the little one), it now functions as a cooking school, and is available for rent via AirBnB. I was never able to submit this piece because I wrote it thinking there was a 500 word limit, it was actually a 500 character limit. 

I rise as the first tendrils of sunlight are gently caressing my husband’s face. I can never quite sleep like he does. The newness of the day holds too much promise for me, I begin to feel guilt if I allow myself to sleep any of it away.

I relish the chill of the floor on my bare feet, it electrifies me. My body, usually ravaged by jet-lag after a transatlantic flight, is buoyed by the excitement of being in Provence. This place, this home, it is exactly where I am meant to be. The morning air embraces me like an old friend when I walk out into the garden.

I take a brief tour to see what I can look forward to harvesting for tonight’s dinner, and many more to come, before returning inside to make breakfast.

It isn’t an elaborate dish, but an omelette is the perfect way to settle into our first morning. There is something about watching the steam escape as you slice your fork into a fresh omelette that evokes “home,” more than anything else. I grab a few fresh sprigs of parsley to chop before I go inside.

I worry my husband may not be awake before I am finished, and consider waking him up. It’s not worth it. I will just eat the first one I make and savor it for myself. I deserve to relish that first bite, fresh off the stove. He won’t even know the difference.

I get to work, chopping the parsley, beating the eggs and setting out my pan and plates. To my delight, we remembered to get some fresh butter. I drop a sizable amount straight into the hot pan. It sizzles, and the tangy, toasted fragrance envelops the kitchen. I pour the eggs into their butter bath, and swirl the pan around with precision until they are ready to be flipped on to the plate. My husband still has not risen. It appears that I get to enjoy this one for myself. I sprinkle a bit of parsley on top of my omelette and head to the garden.

As soon as I am about to place my plate down on the table, I remember that I forgot to make myself a coffee to sip on. I look up, and to my delight, there he is, coming in through the gate with two espressos in hand, he must of slipped out without me noticing. He beams at me as soon as he notices me looking.

“Paul!” I exclaim, “How is it that I got so lucky?”

“Julia,” he says, sternly, “How many times do I have to tell you that I am the lucky one? Look, you’ve even made my favorite.”

He plunges the fork in, and offers me the first bite. Breakfast for two is always better anyway.