I went to France for Bastille Day!
First, I went to breakfast at the patisserie on the corner near my hotel. I ate warm sugary French things that I don’t know the names for. They were delicious. After breakfast, I walked along the Seine river until I got the Eiffel Tower. I took the elevator all the way 1063 feet into the air and saw the city like a bird does. I ate lunch at the Cafe Constant, staring right at the Eiffel Tower through my meal. I rented a bike and rode to the Champs-Elysees (chahnz-eleezay), and window shopped for hours. I stood under the Arc de Triomphe and thought about Napoleon and his adorable shortness. And then, after dinner, I took a taxi to to Bastille, where I stood next to what is left of it, and remembered the things that had happened there 223 years ago.
OK, so that is a little bit of an exaggeration.
I didn’t really go to to Paris today. Well, not physically. Consider this a sort of advertisement for my latest book-obsession. As if I needed another. 😉
Those who follow me on Twitter might remember me Tweeting a few days ago about reading Fodor’s 2012 guide to Paris. And I definitely am! Cover to cover, even the page numbers!
Do y’all remember my latest awards post, when I told you I’m travel-crazy? Well, it’s true. Except I’ve never even been out of the country. You may have also noticed I’m hungry for information. I actually LIKE school. I learn all I possibly can. And when I read Time Between Us, and I heard the main character taking comfort from reading travel guides, I decided to try it myself. So when I went to the library, I picked up Fodor’s guide to Paris 2012 and Rick Steve’s Rome, 2011. It was all I could do not to take them all.
Travel guides are full of extremely useful information, especially if you are actually traveling. But if you are like me, and you desperately wish you could be in France this instant, they are amazing. Reading a travel guide is like actually going to Paris, or Rome, or Barcelona. Fiction books do this too, but sometimes they don’t take me to the real world places I wish they could, like Italy. Travel guides do this. Almost everything you read in that top paragraph, I learned from this book. How to dress like a Parisian, where to eat, what kind of foods they have, where to go, and how to get there. All about the local culture. And everything else you could possibly be curious about when it comes to Paris.
I hope you don’t think it sounds pathetic to read a travel guide. It really isn’t. You might get questions from strangers, but if you want to travel to a foreign country and be back in time for dinner, this is the way to go.
I highly recommend Fodor’s as a travel guide. His books are full of colorful pictures, maps, and helpful tips. Rick Steve’s are in black and white, which is much less amazing.
I hope you pick up a travel guide (or two, or three, or….) and travel somewhere. I really do.
Happy Bastille Day!