“I Ain’t Never”

“Paris is always a good idea.”


(from the movie by the same name. which, by the way, I ain’t never seen.)

You know what they say here in the Appalachian Mountains: “I ain’t never.” Now, try as I might to convince folks that a double negative actually means a positive, I have at last given up and joined in. (If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.)

So, my own personal “I ain’t never” is this: “I ain’t never went nowhere.” Oh, I should mention the verb issue here too. People say “I seen” instead of “I saw.” “You was” instead of “you were.” I understand that this way of speaking is a hold-over from the Irish and British settlers here.

In any event, back to my world travelling. Why it ain’t?

Je ne sais pas. (I don’t know.)

Too busy, I guess. Not a priority, I imagine. Too cheap, probably.

Well, it’s time for a cool change.

So here I go.

I’m headed to Paris.

No, not Paris, Tennessee. Paris, France! Can you believe that? No, me either. But it is apparently true. My itinerary says that my 16 year old daughter and I are hopping on a plane. We will be having breakfast in Paris before you even read this (I had to write it early.)

For years now we’ve been enjoying this tea.

It’s lavender and vanilla and citrusy bergamot. Wonderful.



(I have to tell you that STASH also has a Christmas in Paris tea during the holiday season. Also unbelievably fantastically wonderful. It adds a hint of chocolate and peppermint to the blend. If you see it in the grocery store this Christmas, scoop it up. It is delightful.)

I have to show you the inside of that cup:


I mean, really! Cutest cup ever.

Ever since I decided to take this trip, people have asked me if I speak French.

I do not.

It is true. Even though I took French for two years in high school, I can’t speak, read, write, or understand French. At all. In retrospect I believe that the main problem had something to do with the fact that the teacher couldn’t speak, read, write, or understand French either. However, I didn’t realize this until I went to college. I was under the impression that I knew French.

So I registered for French 101 to fulfill my foreign language requirement. It will be a breeze, I thought. That didn’t exactly turn out to be the case. I sat in French class for a week, completely and utterly clueless and dumbfounded. This didn’t sound AT ALL like the French I learned at my public high school in the south. It was brutal. So I dropped French and signed up for Spanish.

Thankfully, my daughter has been taking French in high school the last two years. And she can actually speak and understand and read and write it. A miracle.

But actually going to France? Well, that’s so unlike me.

So, so, sooooooooo unlike me.

(Or. Perhaps it is exactly like me now?)

I’m completely unprepared for this adventure. I even had to go buy luggage because the large luggage I own came from Santa Claus many moons ago. And it was made before someone came up with the BRILLIANT idea to put wheels on the bottom of a suitcase. Whoever thought of that—THANK YOU!

My new luggage:


I mean, have you ever seen luggage more adorable than this?! My daughter was jealous of my choice when she saw it. That was my first clue that perhaps my luggage doesn’t match my maturity level, in years anyway. But you put cats on something, and chances are, I’ll buy it.

For example:


I also picked up some travel luggage stickers BEFORE I bought my luggage. As it turns out, it’s plenty busy without them.


It is just an inch shy of exceeding the size limit. Perfect! Just enough, not too much. I have no idea how to pack light, so I won’t even try.

We’ll be spending some time in Provence. Ever since I booked the trip, I’ve been meaning to read A Year In Provence, by Peter Mayle. I’ve actually been meaning to read this book for about 20 years. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked it up and made it through several chapters before it found its way to the bottom of my BIG stack of books beside my bed. I made no progress this time either. While I’m tempted to take it with me for the plane ride, I figure it would just be taking up space. It remains under my pile.

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Instead, I’m taking:


and of course,


And notebooks to write in. And sketchbooks to draw in.

And our passports in these:


June in Provence is historically lovely. Lavender fields in full bloom. Cool evenings. Starry skies. I received an email the other day that warned us that Provence is experiencing an untypical heat wave. It is supposed to be 100 degrees the day we arrive. The temperature usually caps out at upper 70s to lower 80s this time of year. 100! One hundred! C’est la vie. (Hey, looks like I know another line in French.)

Our schedule is not tightly booked while in Provence. Our time there should be leisurely and stress free. That’s the way Provence is to be experienced, savored. You’ve heard of the SLOW MOVEMENT. Well, that will be our time in Provence. Slow and easy.

In my mind’s eye, I imagine our time in Provence to be filled with tours through wineries and olive farms, walking in Van Gogh’s footsteps, eating delicious local fare, drinking wine, riding bicycles through the countryside, writing by the pool, shopping, creating some art.

And then on to Paris, the City of Lights. Our Paris time will not be leisurely. There’s much we want to see in a very short period of time, so our time in Paris will be more fast paced. Paris is crowded and busy anyway. We’ll just jump right in and be Parisienne (to the extent that we can.) We might not go to the Louvre at all (sorry, Mona!) and instead go to the Musee d’ Orsay instead. A night boat tour on the Seine is required. We need to eat escargot. Have you seen the movie Amelie? That is set in the Montmartre district. We’d like to spend an afternoon there. I want to attend Mass at Notre Dame. Lots of cafe time and creme brulee time. I’d like to find some of the Julia Childs spots in the city. We’d love to visit the bookstore, Shakespeare and Company. And I’ve eyed the sidecar motorcycle tours. The sidecar looks like fun! So much to do, so little time.


(photo from www.retro-tour.com)

Ugh….As I write those last words, a news report comes across my computer screen…apparent terror event in Paris. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

Okay, well. That’s the way it is, I guess. I’ve had several people alarmed that we are going NOW, of all times, what all the unrest in Europe. Whatever. You’ve noticed the unrest here in the USA, right? We’ll be fine. I refuse to stay home any longer. I won’t live in fear. And I don’t think anyone should either. Life is full of risks. What are we supposed to do? Build a fort and never leave it?

Thing is that I have a great fear of getting hurt when I ride a horse. But I ride when I can. Fear and all. Why? Because I want to. And because I realize that I can’t enjoy the ride unless I get on the horse.

I have a great fear of snakes. But now that I live on a farm, I encounter them often. But I remain living on the farm. Why? Because I want to. And because I realize that I can’t enjoy the wide open spaces that country life affords me if I’m afraid of all the things that live in the wide open spaces with me.

Now, in this case. I’m not uncomfortable to travel at all. I have more worry about finding comfortable shoes that don’t kill my feet than I do about being in a terrorist event. I have an enormous sense of peace surrounding this adventure. I’m not rushing around, getting ready, stressed out. (I haven’t packed the first thing.) Maybe I’ll wish I had made lists and spent days thinking about what to pack when I get there and realize I don’t have my toothbrush. But there are stores in France. I’ll be fine.

You know the old saying, If not now, then when? That. I’ve waited my whole life to travel. Now is the time. Now.

So when we meet again, I’ll have tales to tell you. Adventures to share!

And hey, I’ll be able to truthfully and accurately say, “I ain’t never went nowhere.” Which, really means, I think, when you factor in the double negatives and take out the verb error, “I have traveled.”

And then maybe I’ll take out the slides of my trip to show you?

Perhaps I’ll become a francophile. Who knows?

Bon Voyage to me.

And au revoir por tu, mi amigos.

(Ha! Don’t know “friend” in French, but I do know it in Spanish.)

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, Rebekah, The City Farmgirl

Now, while I’m gone, I want to leave a little France with you. This recipe is lovely. Perfect for breakfast or brunch. This, with a cup of Breakfast in Paris, oh  my! I don’t know if it is really “French,” but it does have croissants in the recipe, so it’s definitely French-Ish. About like my French class in high school.

(Some people say that breakfast in France means to skip food altogether and instead to have a cigarette and cup of coffee.)

Déjeuner Raspberry Bread Pudding

(I can’t believe I didn’t notice the chip in my ramekin or the possible bug on the plate BEFORE I took this photo or DURING. oh well. I also forgot to put fresh raspberries on top. Do that. Avoid chips and bugs and put berries on top.)

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1 TBSP butter

2 eggs

3 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups whole milk

½ sugar

6 croissants, torn into 2” x 2” pieces

1 cup fresh raspberries (plus a few more for topping)



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter 6 ramekins (1 cup size)

Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, milk, and sugar.

Layer the buttered ramekins: half torn croissants, raspberries (divided evenly among ramekin dishes), the other half of the torn croissants.

Then, pour the custard over the croissants and let sit for 10 minutes.

Cover each dish with foil and puncture the top to let the steam escape.

Put ramekins in a deep baking pan. Pour hot water into the pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake 40 minutes or until custard is set.

Serve warm. Top with a few fresh raspberries.


  1. Wendy Cesil Curling says:

    Love this post, Love you , have a wonderful, beautiful, joyous, safe and lovely time! Can wait to hear all about it ’cause I ain’t never done did nuthin like that, well almost.

  2. Carol Denton says:

    I hope you’re having a ball! My sister, Laine, is in London right now and will be in Paris in a few days. Actually, they may already be there. Maybe you’ll unknowingly cross paths! Just listen for another southern accent, ha. Their trip was not without a bit of trepidation from the rest of us, but her attitude is about the same as yours concerning unrest. It’s everywhere. Have fun!

  3. Krista says:

    I hope you are having an amazing time and you are experiencing many adventures. I am super excited to see all your new pictures and hear about your time in Paris. Oh how I wish I was going. We are currently planning our trip to England and I will be excited to say that I have traveled too! When I was in high school I took French. I loved the class. Still to this day I can say some words and phrases and read French, but I can’t write it. It’s almost like my mind goes blank when I attempt to write it.
    Thank you for the recipe. It looks delicious. I will have to try it sometime.

  4. Carol says:

    Have fun on your trip and what a great place to travel too!

  5. Rebecca M. says:

    Bon Voyage! Your trip sounds like so much fun. Don’t let the new reports stop you from enjoying it. But you have that covered already. I’ve never traveled either, but plan to change that in October with a trip to Spain, Ireland and a few other places that we haven’t quite decided yet. I love the passport covers and your luggage. Have fun, enjoy and make lots of new memories.

  6. Denise Ross says:

    Paris, how exciting! I ain’t never travelled to Paris, but I want to. Can’t wait to see all your pics and post on your trip …. So special too that you’re going with your daughter. I’m hoping to visit my son in London in February 2019, timing is better to go then. He moved there in March to work as a paramedic. Loves what he’s doing, but they’ve had 4 terror incidents there in that time and it does make me worry, but we ain’t giving in to fear either, so he stays and works and checks in with us regularly he’s safe. When these things happen, I pray a lot and we still make plans to do what we want to do. All going to plan, it’ll be a trip to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, my daughters 21st, catch up and spend time with my son and have a fabulous holiday to boot!
    I’m hoping to add in a trip to the Netherlands to visit family and see where my parents grew up, and to visit France too. My mothers side lived there somewhere, back in the 1600s, and I’d love to find out where so I can visit there too. I’ll be a praying for you both and hope you both have the best time there.
    Sa la vie…? Au revoir

  7. Ramona Puckett says:

    You two will have so much fun and make so many memories! Love it!

  8. deAnn Geery says:

    I hope you enjoy your trip to France. Be safe, and absorb all there is to experience. Aaand…..when you get back, y’all must watch ‘Sabrina’!!!!! Both versions, the classic with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart and the more modern one with Harrison Ford! They are my favorite movies of all time, even my husband, (of 41 years), watches with me. We always laugh so much when we do, they never fail to entertain no matter how many times we have seen them!!!!
    Take care and enjoy your trip!

  9. Joan says:

    I am so very happy for you both!! I was blessed with much traveling when I was in my 30’s – 50’s. (I’m 72 now), so it has been many years but the memories are wonderful to have. I pray you are enjoying to the fullest and can hardly wait to hear and see all about it. God bless

  10. Laura says:

    Love this post!! Hope your trip is amazing!!

    Where did you get the cup and towels…”Home is where your cat is”? so perfect!

  11. Diane Van Horn says:

    I am looking forward to the photos of your adventure! Have a great time with your daughter. I will be keeping you both in my prayers for a safe and memorable holiday.

  12. Sandi King says:

    Ahhh Paree! I hope you have a great time there. In all of France actually. And safe too. I have never traveled overseas……. just throughout the USA. Been to and through a lot of states, lived in Arizona, California, Indiana, New York, Kentucky, Oregon, in all my 72 years – my parents traveled back and forth from east to west and back again while I was growing up, with a side trip to Oregon for a year; Indiana and Kentucky after I married. So enjoy yourselves and return safely to us. Lots of pictures and dialog next time too. My DNA report says I am 100% European, go figure! with 59% Great Britain. HAH!

  13. Robin in New Jersey says:

    How exciting! Have a wonderful time! I was in Paris in 2000. Go see Mona Lisa! You won’t regret it. Looking forward to hearing all about your trip when you return.

  14. Marilyn says:

    Have a safe and happy trip. Enjoy your stay in France. VIVA LA FRANCE!

  15. Stephanie Cook says:

    Another lovely post! Thank you for the intro to Breakfast in Paris tea – I wonder if it’s been available where I live all along and I just never noticed it? In any case, I just ordered some from the Stash website (comes with a sweet Paris-themed mug and dessert wafers), along with a few other goodies. Can’t wait to try all of it.
    Have a safe and fab trip. Hope you’ll write lots about what you and your daughter discover there.
    P.S. Where did you find the luggage stickers? Very cute.

  16. Brenda Towsley says:

    Not sure how I missed this! I hope you and your daughter had a fantastic time. Looking forward to your report back to us how it all went. Love your luggage. I do not know how to pack light either. Went to Hawaii, my only flight I have ever taken more than an hour or two long, and my bag was filled to the gill. Paris, how wonderful!

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