It’s amazing how quickly we forget: the peace in knowing we have no agenda for the day; the tranquility of a moonlight walk over cobblestone streets; the taste of perfection in local eateries and wines. The sommelier and I have been ‘home’ for two weeks now, and already I am beginning to notice the regression of the calm I found sitting in Paris, watching the world whirl by.
I first noticed the slight twinge of anxiety as we left for the airport in Istanbul, thinking of work timelines, housing issues, and upcoming professional commitments. Coupled with a normalization to GMT, I arrived in Texas with extreme jet lag and trouble sleeping. The only thing that awoke my senses the morning after my arrival was listening to the excitement in my daughter’s voice as she realized her parents were home.
As I’ve settled back into my own version of the day-to-day, my memories keep bringing me back to the places that my heart rejoiced in the most. In Paris, it was walking on the Seine, taking in the beauty of the everyday statues that invited us into the city.
In Beaune, my peace was found in the soothing tannins of Burgundian wines, coupled with duck sausage and lingering sunsets.
It was the care with which the eggs were poached, and the expertise in which the hollandaise was perfected. It was the taste of the powdered terrine, the earthiness that complemented the Domaine Germain Premier Cru that graced our table.
After partaking for hours, it was stumbling through the cobblestone streets, getting lost in the roundabouts, but somehow finding myself in front of ringing church bells. I could taste the metal in the molded, clanging calls to daylight of the small French town.
In England, it was hugs and kisses from family, belly laughs, and home cooked meals with ale, Yorkshire pudding, and roasted potatoes.
It was watching the swans on a mirrored lake.
And pretending I was a princess in a castle.
In Istanbul, it was the excitement of seeing the Blue Mosque for the first time, and realizing I was just one speck of history that had occurred there.
It was the fresh herbs that graced every plate, engaging my senses, and fortifying my soul with nutritious goodness.
Back in Texas, as I lie in bed, dreaming of all the tastes that crossed my palate, I am grateful that the sommelier and I had such an adventure. An opportunity to rediscover each other, our loves, our fears, and our taste for something different.
Now if we can only remember to remember.
Drink well. Eat well. Live well.