Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Decade Ago

OK, forget the bad perm (I never permed again!!), forget the ugly, ill-fitting jeans, forget the extra twenty-five pounds (alright, it was probably thirty!) I packed on while living there, forget those terrible white tennis shoes I had to buy on the air base in Ramstein, Germany....forget the fact that I NEVER wore make-up or did my hair much and let's just take a look at where I was a decade ago.

Do you have that one place in the world that no matter where you go or what you see, you just never tire of returning there? For me that place, as cliche as it may sound, is Paris. I don't know if I can explain in words just what the City of Lights means for me. I think it holds a lot of childhood dreams, it's the place of romance, it's the place of possibilities.

Ten years ago I boarded my first plane, yes my very first plane, and I flew to Paris. I was moving there. I was going to live there, I was going to speak the language, I was going to get out of Utah, I was going to explore every nook and cranny of Europe and I was going to do it for a whole year.

I left everything behind...three days after my 20th birthday, I just packed a bag and moved. My parents had never had a kid like me, they weren't sure what to do, but they trusted me and they let me leave the nest and fly....and from that one year, from that one year of making my big dream come true, I knew that no matter what I put my mind to, I could make it happen.

For me Paris was the catalyst to everything great I have since accomplished in my life.

So, I took out the old photo album, all weathered and worn and thought I would give you guys a little peak....

Again, sorry about the jeans, they really are bad! Also, the photos tend to be a bit fuzzy, if you click on them to enlarge a bit, they are better.

The Musee Rodin was one of my most favorite places to go and...well, you guessed it: think.
My best friend Holly came to spend the June month with me, this is us, almost exactly ten years ago to the date. We are over by St. Eustache (near Chatelet les Halles, for those of you who know the city). She now has been married for 9 years and has her fifth child on the way! What a decade can bring...
My first day in Italy, I had heard rumor that these little fountains along the road were safe to drink from, so I did. Right to my left was the place where Caesar was murdered...oh Brutus!!
This is the group of au pairs, Anna and Amber along with the sister of the family I nannied for. We stayed with her in Ramstein. Here we are eating fresh apple strudel after visiting the schloss at Heidelberg.
Anna and myself, along with our major crush, Tim. He was from Italy, his family owned olive groves in Pisa, he spoke fluent Italian, French, English and bits and pieces of other languages. Plus he was a fashionable 28 years old, a grown man to all of us then. He used to hang out with us quite often, I think because all four of us completely adored him....he was one of my very first major crushes! Thank goodness you always got to greet people in France with a kiss on both cheeks.
Holly, myself, Anna, and Amber taking in the view along the Seine. You can see the full 80s Rocker effect of my perm when you compare it to the picture below, which was pre-perm.
Our first midnight ferry to England, you can see the white cliffs of Dover just behind us....well, you can't because it was three o'clock in the morning, but they were there.
Emily and I taking the two boys (Andrew and Zachary) that I nannied to the Chateau Chantilly (as seen in James Bond). Chantilly is also the French word for whip cream, it is very fitting for this frothy, creamy palace. We flew kites quite often and took packed lunches everywhere we went!
How I would usually eat my baguettes! --OK, not really, I put them on a plate and added tomatoes and cheese like a good French girl should. This picture was just for dramatic emphasis on how much I LOVE baguettes!! Those extra pounds were WORTH it.
My forest, the French, they know how to use an apostrophe!!



Lonely Paul said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kimbie said...

Hey D'Arcy-
Do you still have the info for hte company that you went through?
I think I want to do a nanny thing!

Boquinha said...

D'Arcy! What a great post! I love it!! You're BEAUITFUL! It's so fun to get to know you better, too. I love that you did that--what a neat experience. Did you ever make it to Portugal? I love Lisbon . . .

D'Arcy said...

Kimbie--I didn't go through a company, there was a posting at BYU of several families who wanted BYU students for nannies. I just sent an email, then met with the family here in Provo and got the job. It really was simple.

Boquinha--thank you! It is fun to go back and see the twenty year old me! I haven't made it to Libon...Seville, Spain is as close as I have gotten. I am hoping to get there soon!

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

D'Arcy.... straight hair, curls, thin or curvy... you are still beautiful. Seriously. You look like a Botticelli (sp) muse in those pictures.

I love looking at old photos of myself during my college days. So full of eagerness and idealism and POSSIBILITY. (Ah, youth....)

And I am SURE the pounds were WELL worth it! (And you really carried it well... )

My Italian crush at NYU was named Alessandro... he was an exchange student from Milano. We did EVERYThING together. He was probably my best friend freshman year. I really wish we had kept in touch.

Anyway, great post. I love "memory lane trips"!

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

Awesome. I never saw those pictures before. Do you ever talk to Holly? Five kids...wow. Yikes is more like it. Probably takes it all in stride. That is so like her! Anyway, I didn't even notice the jeans or the perm. I thought you looked great! I am so glad I discovered your blog.

D'Arcy said...

Hey, you guys are nice! You are welcome to visit my blog any time.

And HWHL--that may be the most amazing compliment I have EVER received!

Alessandro sounds exotic, and handsome.

Chelle said...

It is so fun to see the twenty-year old D'Arcy! I love the pics, as well as your stories of your first time in Europe.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

The compliments were from the heart. :-)

I will scan and put a photo of Alessandro on my blog. He was something. Smart, goodlooking, complete gentleman, and a wonderful friend. Everyone told us we would have made the 'perfect couple' but he was more like a brother to me. I hope he is well, wherever he is....

Stina said...

I love this post and these comments! What a wonderful tribute to the place/experience that acted as the catalyst for the rest of your life. Amazing how 10 years is so long but so short in the overall plan of your life. That is amazing you get to go back in a few months!

I have such a wistful feeling right now because coincidentally, my brother is leaving this very day to spend the summer in Paris. My mom is going to spend 2 weeks in Europe this summer visiting him and is planning her trip right now. I am SO itchy to go back to Europe and travel in general.

I also love the side notes about European crushes. I had a friend in graduate school who was the nephew of one of my professors. He was Swiss and was spending the semester in the US. We did everything together to the point where Dave started calling him my "Little Swiss Boyfriend." (Yes, Dave and I were engaged and living together during this time.) He was so "Euro" and spoke with a French accent and it was so fun to hang out with him. :)

Sugar said...

What an experience! I think 20 is a great time to go out into the world and see all there is to see. That's why I pushed City Girl so hard to fly from the nest. My six-year-old is a lot like you. Brave and thoughtful. She is absolutely in love with Paris... or at least the thought of it (we've never been). She tells me all the time that when she's an anthropologist, she wants to go to Greece and Paris. I love little girl dreams.

Thanks for sharing your photos! You look like you had a GREAT time.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Diva wants you to come see her new photos, D'Arce..... if you click on the bath-time photo, it should make it bigger for you. I can all but guarantee you'll laugh out loud. I did. :-)

jomama said...

d'arcy, you look absolutely gorgeous in those pictures! i'm surprised i never saw them before. your hair was so long...man, you're such a babe!

Got Bombshell? said...

Lucky!!! I want to move there!

Gustav said...

Dear D'Arcy

I love these photos of you in Paris.

It takes courage to take on a foreign city like Paris as a twenty year old.

Yet, you look so comfortable there, like a child in a candy store. Paris suits you my Super Nova friend.

D'Arcy said...

HWHL--Yes! Let us all get a good look at Alessandro...to fulfill my foreign, exotic desires I watched Bella last night. Wow, even with that beard, that was a nice way to spend two hours.

Stina--you'll be able to take Theo there one day and help him sail the boats in the Tuilierie gardens outside the Louvre. I love that you had a little Swiss crush. There will always be something exciting about an accent, oui?

jo--yeah, I kind of just went really granola, never paid for a haircut while I was there, never bought make-up, it was pretty sweet.

Gustav-thank you. Paris is like a big comfortable sweater that I get to put on about once a year...so cozy and magical and safe.

Sugar--you are a great mom! I am sure you foster these dreams in your children and that you are going to help them succeed. I always had those Paris dreams too, Paris and New York...those two cities occupied a lot of thoughts for me at a young age! Let them fly! And eat cake!

fromthestecherbush said...

D'Arce,I just caught up partially on all your blogging. Summer is busy. I love remembering Paris too!!!! Silly girl blogging about loving your body and then giving apologies for they way you looked???
BTW-I NEVER had a crush on "guy smiley"! ick!

Hey, It's Ansley said...

I'm glad to finally know the story of how you moved to Paris at 20. So amazing and adventurous. A great way to kick off your adult life and all it's possibility.

I hope the extra pounds weren't just from baguettes. I hope they were from yogurt, and pain au chocolat, and gaufres, and crepes, and tarte au citron, and religieuse, and brie, and magnum bars and every other delicious thing they have there. Oh how I miss it! Have fun in November!