Share Your Story contest: Stella Winner of Week 5
Congratulations to Stella for telling us about her trip to Provence and Paris!
My name is Stella, I’m 3 years old, and I just had the most amazing trip to France. This was my first trip overseas, and I had the time of my life. While my parents did their best to prepare me for our adventure, I had no idea just how spectacular this country was. We spent three weeks exploring Provence, where my mom once lived, and several days at the end of the trip in Paris.
My parents rented an apartment in Aix-en-Provence and used that as our base. When I arrived, I could not have been more excited to see the most beautiful carousel around the corner from our apartment. While I don’t speak French, I quickly learned some valuable cultural lessons that will last a lifetime. Like that a “Bonjour Madame” or a “Merci Monsieur” can go a long way. By the end of our trip, I had ridden the carousel in Aix about twenty times, and experienced a unique connection with the operators.
One concern before our trip was how I would handle mealtime. I quickly understood how integrated kids are into the culture, when my parents took me to a Michelin Star restaurant for lunch, and we were warmly welcomed by the staff and other patrons. Having read that the restaurant was famous for its desserts, this was the one meal my parents literally let me eat cake for lunch, and the chocolate smile says it all.
What impressed me was the diversity of activities. I saw amazing castles, wonderful art, vibrant markets, Roman ruins, and did you know they have flamingos?!?! My parents did their best to balance out activities, but the French made their job a lot easier when you have kid-friendly parks with awe-inspiring views when you least expect it. You never had to look hard to find a park or green space to run around. Best part of all, at the end of our trip I went to the Eiffel Tower. And, you guessed it, there was a playground and a carousel right there.
While my journey is over, I’m already looking forward to going back to discover other parts of the country, meeting new people, and figuring out just how many carousels the French have. Hopefully, my parents won’t wait too long.
Stella H. Chicago, IL
Stella and her mother Yvonne at the The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago with co-founders, Chefs Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F. to receive her prize, a Certificate to attend the Ultimate French Pastry Experience!
• Tourism in France: go to rendezvousenfrance.com