Before Our Flight Departs…

Here we go...into the wild blue yonder...

Before I tell you what “I Speak American” is all about, please indulge a brief intro:

If you’re reading this, you probably already know the gist of the story: David and I recently embarked on a 16-day tour of (mostly) Italy and (a petite bit) of France. We’d been saving for a “dream trip” for about five years, but it wasn’t until we hit the Delta flight voucher jackpot during an overbooking snafu at La Guardia last summer (Thanks, Mom & Dad!) that this trip started to become a reality.

David did all of the booking, and we had some great suggestions from friends (Many thanks to Gary and Jane Treater, Selena, and Bill). David left the additional planning to me. This was a tactical error. I mean, I did book us museum tickets, and looked into a few sightseeing details, but we all know that planning is not a skill I’d list on a resume. Neither would I describe myself as bilingual, or heaven forbid, trilingual. I’m just barely lingual!

That being said, let me explain the title of this blog. We had boarded our Air France flight from Atlanta to Paris, and the stewardess wheeled her cart up to welcome us with a glass of complimentary champagne (oh yeah, by the way, Air France ROCKS). So she leans over to me and says, “Parlez-vous francais?”

The sad thing is, I took four semesters of French in college. I know the proper response is close to “Je parle Anglaise.” I can even go plural — “Nous sommes parlons Anglaise.” Or negative — “Je ne parle pas Anglaise.” But at that moment, my mind blanked, and all I could verbalize was a panicked “I … speak … American…?”

I. Speak. American. Oh my God.

David chortled. I turned a painful shade of beet red. Our French seat-mate just rolled his eyes and went back to reading his Le Monde.

And this pretty much sums up our European travel experience. But despite our international hiccups, we prevailed. We ate some delicious food (eventually), figured out public transportation (sort of) and had some wonderful adventures together!

My mom gave me a travel journal, which to my surprise I completely filled up with reflections, notes, and stories from our trip. This blog features semi-edited excerpts from those notes, as well as just a sample of the beautiful pictures that David took. We hope you enjoy them both, and that they help paint a picture of our experiences. Oh, and please forgive my ramblings — sometimes I rant and wax poetic-ish. Ciao for now!

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