02 January 2014

Romance in France - Blog Hop!

Just hit the picture above to travel to others in the hop!


Paris is probably the widely thought city for love and romance.  The architecture, the history, the passion, the coffee and pastries...I could write a whole dissertation on the pastries alone!  I’ve been to Paris three times and lived there for four months in 2004 and I’ve set two of my books in this amazing city.

Yet, my very first visit to the city was under less than desirable circumstances.  My boyfriend and I flew there eighteen days after September 11th, 2001, and needless to say it was a very stressful visit.  If I hadn’t paid months in advance for the trip I might have canceled, but we went and I still remember sitting under the Eiffel Tower with military men with machine guns walking around.  Every trash can in the city had been sealed off, we were told, because of bomb threats so trash was everywhere in the streets.

Paris in October is cold.  And once I walked down the Champs-Élysées bundled up while snow blanketed the city.  I was almost the only person out that day as it snowed heavily.  It was amazing to feel like I was all alone in such a city.

During the time I lived there in 2004, my boyfriend (same man) and I traveled to Giverny, to see Monet’s house.  I recommend taking the trip to Giverny in Spring, because the train trip from Paris is on one of those trains that still has vinyl on the seats.  In spring, it won’t be so hot for your thigh skin to melt into it, saving you a little discomfort.  When you get to the city where the train stops, named Vernon, you will realize that Giverny is about three miles away, and to preserve the historical importance of Monet’s house, you will be told the best way to get there is bike riding. 

Let me assure you, even if your ass is not prepared for a three mile bike ride, the countryside is mainly level and there is a marked path to follow.  Just as soon as you get through the city of Vernon, that is, and the traffic.  Once you get to the house and fall in love with the flowers (again, Springtime is best for optimal enjoyment of the flower gardens and numerous bees), you’ll notice that there is a parking lot full of cars and you start to wonder where the hell did they come from because by now your tail bone is sore as hell! 

The bridge of the famous lily pond is breathtaking.  You know the one I’m talking about.  It’s the most romantic place on earth to stand on, hold the hand of your loved one, and blink like crazy as about a hundred pictures are all snapped at once because you two make such a lovely picture.

As you walk through the house and take the tour, you will slowly come to realize that at the end of the day you now have to bike ride the three miles back.  And if you fail to make the last train back to Paris, you’ll have to find a room somewhere, so I hope you can speak French.  And also, by the end of the day, you’ll discover most of the restaurants are closed, so McDonalds it is.

Paris itself is smorgasbord of sensation.  At least, it is unless you’re planning to live there.  Then it’s like any other city with the hustle and bustle, expect don’t expect elevators in any historic building (which is basically all of them), and you end up renting an apartment on the sixth floor.  Have you ever wondered how French people can eat all that bread and all those pastries and stay thin?  Because they live six flights up a spiral staircase. 

In my novel, True to Her Heart, the hotel that Molly stays in was real.  It was under renovation, smelled with paint fumes, and the elevator was out of order. I like to write as much real life situations into my stories as possible.  The window she looks out and spies on Shane was real.  The trips she took and the places she saw were the same journeys I took. 


I have incredible memories of Paris, of France, and of Europe in general.  My seven year old is looking forward to when he can travel up the Eiffel Tower.  But first, our next family vacation will be to Japan where we plan on hiking up Mt. Fuji to see the daybreak over the clouds.
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Thanks for visiting with during this Blog Hop!  One person will win a free PDF ebook of any of my titles, winner's choice, all you have to do is leave a comment (and a way to contact you...no email no win).  The winner will be chosen at random on January 6th!  Thanks so much!

ALSO...friend me on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/bethdcarterauthor ) or follow me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/BethDCarter ) for upcoming blogs, book tours, releases & give-a-ways!


33 comments:

  1. I absolutely agree, Paris is a wonderful city. i love it as much as I love Rome, which i love too. Thank you so much for participating in this great bloghop!
    tessa dot bamberg at kolumbus dot fi

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  2. I still want to visit Paris...thanks so much for participating!

    vitajex(at)Aol(Dot)com

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  3. Would love to read this book. It looks great.
    diamer13@yahoo.com

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  4. can wait to read your book!
    kimberjohnston@att.net

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  5. wow amazing trip im jealous
    meandi09@yahoo.com

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  6. I would love to visit Paris!

    susanmplatt AT Hotmail DOT com

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  7. I would love to visit Paris. And...I'd love to win your book!

    Barbara H. Brant
    bbsedits@hotmail.com

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  8. Paris is on my bucket list
    Great blog tour
    air0kmb@yahoo.com

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  9. Thanks for joining the blog hop. Your books look great.

    nswoodhouse at yahoo dot co dot uk

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  10. I've lived in and loved Paris - I can relate to everything you wrote about it! So true - you had me laughing out loud!

    We SOOOO take for granted how easy it is here to see historic sites, etc, in the US

    cahm at aracnet dot com

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  11. Married young had 6 kids have 12 grandkids by three of my kids and now raising 2 of those grandkids and one of these days I plan on getting to go on our HoneyMoon we never took lol. And I want to see Paris and London and Germany and IRELAND most of all.
    bdsmith40 @ hotmail . com

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  12. You are a new author for me and I will be checking out your books when I finish the hop. Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win. <^_^>
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  13. Nice place to visit


    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  14. Paris is my dream trip!!!

    blbeeley@gmail.com

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  15. Thanks for participating in the blog hop. I love you Paris memories and the tat pics, too!

    terrihawk66@yahoo.com

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  16. I have never been to Paris, but I do know a bit of French left over from school.... thanks for sharing your memories and pics with us!
    greenshamrock AT cox DOT net

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  17. Sounds Interesting thanks for sharing.. my dad always told me to research before visiting anywhere (and expect the unexpected...)


    BeckeyWhiteATgmailDOTcom

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  18. I have never been to paris but it does sound beautiful... One of these day hubby and I will go to Europe... He wants to go to D-day Landing and visit the famous battle sites... me i want to visit wineries and museums. I have lived in Italy so I no the sites around there but France and Germany would be great to visit... Thanks for being part of the hop and sharing your story... j.m.platt83@gmail.com

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  19. I would love to visit Paris at some point.. Hopefully some point in my life my husband and I will make it there. Thanks for the giveaway!
    rsomusic1978 at yahoo.com

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  20. Paris is beautiful and such a wonderful city to explore :)

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  21. Would love to go to Paris someday.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Samantha H.
    samanthahodges64 at yahoo dot com

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  22. I've went to Paris, texas. It was with my mom and two kids. Definitely not romantic! edwards1@cox.net

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  23. Several years ago my daughter got a chance to visit friends in Paris for 6 weeks. She loved it.
    Thanks for the contest.

    carolcobun @ yahoo.com

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  24. Haven't been to Paris. Yet. Rome will always hold my heart though.

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  25. Have a great time on Mt. Fuji!!

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  26. A friend spent 2 weeks in Japan and loved it. Have a great trip!
    suz2(at)cox(dot)net

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  27. Love your travel stories! And, looking forward to reading your books. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

    pippercat (at) gmail (dot) com

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  28. Love your books and love the Paris setting. Thanks for the chance to win.
    69mustanglady@gmail.com

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  29. Closest to Paris I've been is the Paris Hotel in Vegas. Hope to see the real place someday :)

    deana_chapman@yahoo.com

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  30. I agree, Paris is a lovely city, but Venice is just as good!! Thank you so much for participating in the hop! :)

    sjoakham@hotmail.co.uk

    Happy New Year!

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  31. I have never been to Paris, but it looks amazing! Maybe one day I will get there.
    Thanks for being on the hop.
    Mel
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

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  32. Paris sounds wonderful. I would love to travel there.

    jmesparza821 at gmail dot com

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