Someday I will bring my entire family to Paris. We'll stay there for a month. We'll get to know the neighborhood and find good, cheap places in which to eat proper meals. Occasionally, though, we'll eat sandwich jambon au fromage, and I'll tell the story of how, in 2011, Lani and I each ate half of those things practically every meal in an effort to pinch pennies. I'll tell that story so many times, the others will roll their eyes when they hear it again.
We'll walk along both banks of the River Seine and converse with the bouqiniste stall owners when we find ourselves in the Quai St-Michel. We'll ride the trains so much, the Metro map will no longer look intimidating. We'll remember to save our coins for the train ticket machines and not spend them all on those 2-euro Notre Dame medallions. And of course we will spend several nights on midnight trains, off to Barcelona or Venice for the weekend.
Nice will definitely be in our itinerary. We'll try not to gape too much when we catch our first glimpse of the stunningly blue Mediterranean sea at the Promenade des Anglais. We'll explore all the places Lani and I never got to explore in 2011. We'll stay in Nice for a day or two -- or three or four -- long enough to entertain dreams of retiring "in the south of France," but not long enough to actually take the idea seriously.
Our next stop will be Marseille. We'll stay in a nicer hotel, but we will probably drop by the Hotel du Sud and say hi to Monsieur Claude. We will not set even half a foot in McDonalds. We'll try authentic Provencal bouillabaisse and ratatouille and aioli. We'll go on day trips to Arles and Avignon and Antibes and Cannes. We may or may not go on a cruise to see the calanques, but we will definitely visit the Frioul islands and take a dip in their pebbly waters.
Someday we will do all these things. For now, I will keep wanderlust in check and content myself with reminiscing that whirlwind 2011 adventure with my sister.