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Why did I choose France?

I grew up in Kansas.

Kansas is affectionately known as “flyover country”. Translation: “There’s nothing there”. While this may not be entirely accurate, I can tell you that Kansas lacks in anything more than a couple of hundred years old.

Food. Can you name a food that Kansas is known for? Me neither. Except for barbeque - which is the best anywhere in the world, in my non-biased opinion. But that’s about it. Nothing else there compares to what you can find in France.

Medieval towns. Check. Roman ruins. Check. Baguettes. Check. Cheese. Check. Wine. Check.

Plus with high-speed trains and cheap flights it’s all so easy to see.

After 4 years of living in France, I don't care that I’m not in Kansas anymore.

Paris in the Snow

Paris in the Snow

Ever since I saw a painting by Jean-Christophe Adenis of “my” park, Square Maurice Gardette, covered in snow I’ve dreamed of the day that I might get see this same scene in person. But it doesn’t snow very often in Paris. And when it does, it melts quickly.

Square Maurice Gardette - Paris 11th Arrondissement. Painting by Jean-Christophe Adenis

Square Maurice Gardette - Paris 11th Arrondissement. Painting by Jean-Christophe Adenis

My heart went pitter-patter when first saw the painting. It spoke to me because I can see these park benches from my apartment window. I had bought a small painting by the artist during the annual Belleville artists’ open studios event in May 2016. I was drawn to his work because he paints the same type of scenes that I photograph. I was curious to see more of his work. I was scrolling through his website and found the painting. Who knew that someone would paint such a beautiful scene of my park?

Painting by Jean-Christophe Adenis

Painting by Jean-Christophe Adenis

Fast forward to February 2018, when I woke up to see “my” park covered in about 6 inches of snow. I couldn’t get dressed quickly enough because I had to see the same undisturbed view of “my” green park benches covered in snow.

Snowman in Paris

Snowman in Paris

I rushed downstairs and outside to the slippery, slushy, unshoveled sidewalks. What a treat! Everything was covered in snow. Someone had even made a tiny snowman.

I hadn’t seen this much snow since leaving St. Louis, MO in early 2015. I loved seeing it, but was also glad that I didn’t have to drive in it.

An unusual sight - snow in Paris.

An unusual sight - snow in Paris.

I wasn’t the only one hoping to walk through the the park. Many of my neighbors had the same idea. Several of us were gathered in front of the park entrance only to find out that the park was closed. Ugh…

Closed….

Closed….

Needless to say, I was disappointed. As a consolation I attempted to get some photos over and through the gates. But it was not the same as going inside.

Snow-covered fence

Snow-covered fence

Then I noticed that one of the park gardeners was there. Maybe, just maybe, she will open up? Especially when she sees all of the anxious neighbors waiting to get in?

Snow-covered Square Gardette

Snow-covered Square Gardette

To our delight, she pulled her keys out of her pocket and proceeded to unlock the gates. Joy, pure joy, walking into a snow covered Paris park. It was more magical than I had imagined. How many people get to experience this? So thankful that I get to live in Paris.

Spring Arrives in Paris

Spring Arrives in Paris

Market Day: Nimes

Market Day: Nimes