France – a country I have always romanticized about. Many years ago as a teenager in the suburbs of Washington D.C., I dreamed of one day becoming a Michelin star chef trained like Julia Child at the Cordon Bleu in Paris. It is for this reason, and this reason alone, that I studied French. Fast forward a decade later, I’ve have decided against going to culinary school after working behind the house at a French restaurant (I think I’m too much of a wuss to work in hospitality), my French is rusty at best, and I met the love of my life – serendipitously a Frenchmen.
French was not an easy language to learn and it proved to be even more challenging for me since English is already my second language. But the ever so eclectic Madam Delfosse, sporting her endless collection of scarves while reciting french literature, bestowed me with an appreciation for french poetry. One poem, in particular, stuck with me over the years titled “L’invitation au voyage” or “An Invitation to Travel” by Charles Baudelaire to whom I owe the name of this blog. Here is a small taste of his seduction translated by William Aggeler:
Mon enfant, ma soeur, My child, my sister,
Songe à la douceur Think of the rapture
D’aller là-bas vivre ensemble! Of living there together!
Aimer à loisir, Of loving at will,
Aimer et mourir Of loving till death
Au pays qui te ressemble! In the land that is like you!
Les soleils mouillés In the misty sunlight
De ces ciels brouillés Of those cloudy skies
Pour mon esprit ont les charmes Has for my spirit the charms
Si mystérieux So mysterious
De tes traîtres yeux, Of your treaterous eyes,
Brillant à travers leurs larmes. Shining brightly of their tears.
Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté, There all is order and beauty,
Luxe, calme et volupté. Luxury, peace, and pleasure.
Matisse,who was mesmerized by Baudelaire’s poem, painted his interpretation with an epiphany of color. This painting is now housed at the Musée national d’Art Moderne in Centre Pompidou of Paris (We will talk about Paris in another post). Matisse happens to be one of my favorite artists! I am especially drawn to his later works in paper cut outs, a technique he adopted due to his deteriorating vision. The piece above is a part of his Nu bleu series which is displayed at the Matisse Museum in Nice. That was a very long explanation of why Nice is one of my Wishlist Destinations! Of course, the museum is not the only draw of Nice but I do want to make sure to pay my homage when I visit someday.
The Wishlist idea also came from airbnb’s prototype. I have stayed all over the world using hosts from airbnb.com, a start-up travel rental company based in San Francisco. Please check out their website for more information. For my future trip to Nice, I’ve saved this “Adorable apartment between Nice and Cannes” to my accommodation wishlist so I’ll remember to book it in the future. Doesn’t this place just scream, “luxury, peace, and pleasure”?