Last July, a month before my big move to Paris, I wrote this post about what I anticipated missing the most about my life in Texas. Several people told me it was one of their favorite posts (which is kind of sad since this is a blog about Paris, but whatever…) and I thought it would be fun to look at it again and comment on my predictions now that I have a year of Paris experience. So here it is.
As excited as I am about finally, finally moving to Paris, I am acutely aware that I will miss lots and lots of things about my hometown/homeland. As my remaining days tick down, here are some things I want to do as often as possible before I leave, because I suspect I will be missing them monstrously.
1. Eat Tex-Mex. Often. Like, once a day. Washed down with a frozen with salt, of course.
Although I do miss Mexican food, there clearly is no shortage of tasty eating in Paris. I think what I miss most is not Mexican food per se, but is the presence of heat, spice, or any kind of “kick” in any food I typically order. The French are NOT fans of spicy. I, on the other hand, like it hot. This year I hope to discover more Asian restaurants and ethnic markets. I know they are all over the city- just not in my neighborhood.
2. Take Sawyer to dog parks where he can run free like the wind.
Here’s a little secret- Sawyer is not going to Paris with me tomorrow. I know- Wonderchien will be missed- but Wonderson is going to keep him happy here in Texas and give me a break from Dog Duty In The City. I will miss him, but not the walks in the rain and the mud and the resulting mess in the apartment as that rain and mud drips off his long hair and scatters around the floors. But yes, I did miss being able to unleash Wonderchien in Paris. We did it on the sly after the Park Police abandoned their posts, but it wasn’t the same as the spacious, pond-filled dog parks he loves here.
3. Walk into stores and understand what is being said to me/around me/ about me. Then speak back to those people and have the right words come out in the right order. Such a luxury!
Oh yeah. I definitely missed that. The ability to communicate is a beautiful thing. Don’t ever forget that.
4. Do all my errands in my sweaty workout clothes, with no make-up, hair in a pony. When I think of how much time I will be wasting making myself presentable before I hit the streets, it makes me cringe. What is with those people??
Check. My first trip back to HEB in my Nike shorts, ACL T-shirt, and no make-up was a very happy day. I do, however, really appreciate how good everyone looks on the street in Paris. It is refreshing to be surrounded by stylish, well-groomed people. I just wish I could be one of them without having to try so hard.
5. Be handed drinks with lots of ice.
I got over that pretty quickly. If it’s not hot, I really don’t care that much. And actually, I hardly ever order soda in Paris (because Diet Coke tastes like Pepsi and costs $5 or more) and wine tastes fine without ice.
6. Have a mani-pedi every other day.
As much as I enjoy pedicures here, I didn’t really miss them that much. My feet are usually entombed in boots and socks, so pretty feet would be wasted in Paris.
7. Go to Target and buy lots of crap I don’t need.
Nope, don’t miss that. The lack of mass consumption has actually been very refreshing. There just aren’t any big stores with big carts and big inventory. And guess what? I didn’t need the stuff I wasn’t buying. And I didn’t miss it. Same for TJ Maxx (and I never thought I would be saying that, believe me).
8. Drive my car on the open road until I get bored.
Driving and owning cars is way over-rated. I didn’t miss my car a whit. And after a summer of maintaining, gassing, insuring, repairing, and stickering several vehicles, I am so ready to hang up the keys.
9. Pop into Blue Willow Bookshop and talk books with my homies.
10. Wrap my arms around my older daughter and cover her with kisses.
Yeah, I so missed my two kids who didn’t go with us. There’s just no way around that one. Thank goodness for email, texts, Skype, and Facebook.
11. Go to the Big HEB and buy everything I need for a week’s worth of meals, PLUS a bag of steaming hot tortillas. Then rip into said bag of steaming hot tortillas on way home, because they are that freakin’ good and nobody can see me in the privacy of my own car.
I did miss that a lot at first, but as I slowly figured out grocery shopping (and grocery delivery) in Paris, my HEB pangs faded. But you know I love it when I’m home.
12. Do all of the above in flip-flops. Because Paris doesn’t like flip-flops. Paris looks at you like you’re out in your underwear if you wear flip-flops. Have I mentioned how much I love flip-flops?
Nah. Turns out you really don’t want to walk miles and miles of Paris streets in flip-flops. Too much risk of being stepped on, and who really walks miles in flip-flops?
13. Order cocktails that taste like I expect them to AND cost less than $20 apiece. Yep- you heard me. It’s enough to drive a girl to not drink.
Yeah, I pretty much gave up cocktails in Paris, but I haven’t missed them. Have I mentioned that the wine is pretty awesome?
14. Go outside and sweat and then come inside and NOT sweat.
There were a few hot days, but nothing to stress about. We never even used our portable AC units.
15. Watch Food Network.
Yes, I missed Barefoot Contessa a lot, and I never had a sighting of her in Paris, which was most vexing. But I will never stop stalking her and one day I will find her. I mean it, Ina.
Thanks for stopping by on my last day in Houston.
Next post from Paris! Y’all come back now, ya hear?