Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 4/14

As an expat, there are a few holidays that go missing in the calendar (yeah, yeah, they're replaced by others) and when those days roll around, I always find it hard to be far from home.
Every Fourth of July, I think of lounging near a body of water, eating hot dogs and Mac and cheese, twirling around with sparklers in my hands and the general celebration of summer with family and friends. Of course, there is also the feeling patriotic that comes with the Fourth of July, which still isn't the case for me when I celebrate Bastille day. 
Each year I like to add little moments to my day that remind me of home - last year I went out to lunch with a friend, we had burgers and fries. This year, I wore red, white and blue to work and dangled a little American flag at my desk. 
Just ten days later, I found myself in another patriotic ensemble of blue, white and red and celebrating France's frenchness basking in the sun.
It's my fourth Bastille day since I've been living in France and no two have been the same. While last year we basked in the Parisian festivities, visiting the Invalides where the army vehicles that parade down the Champs Elysées park for the afternoon and let kids climb into them, and enjoyed the fireworks from our rooftop terrace, this year, we spent the day at my boyfriend's parents' house, kind of lounging around the garden and enjoying family time before driving back to Paris for the start of a new week. 
We made it home just in time to watch the fireworks from our living room window and listen to the action live on France 2 playing in the background. Outside of work, these past few days have been a pleasant welcome for summer with long sunny days, weekend trips here and there and sweet summer nights sprinkled with rosé wine or menthe a l'eau. When the credits rolled on the France 2 broadcast of the fireworks we were lucky to be watching from the comfort of our dinner table (read, barefoot), la vie en rose started playing and while I know it's cliche, it was just another sweet moment to add to my book of Paris moments. 

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