Over the quintessentially American farmer's breakfast at Beechwood Cafe in Jersey City, I made a list of all the places I want to travel to in 2009. The list seems to get longer each year as I fail to get to each destination, and the criteria changes. The economy has kept me grounded for the last few months, and will affect how I travel next year. Over scrambled eggs, biscuits & gravy, and a lot of coffee, I read Wendy Perrin's post The World On Sale, which has great tips on how to take advantage of travel deals in this economy. She mentions several locations where the dollar will stretch (always a good reason to travel somewhere), like Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa, and more. Not on that list is Paris, which is unfortunate, because it's always on my list. It will never be a 'deal' to be in Paris, I imagine. Cheap isn't a word you associate with the city, even if you can find a way to travel there on a budget. The experience transcends currency. On my list, Paris is not ranked and numbered - it simply exists, patiently waiting for me to get there.
During my recent domestic confinement, I have armchair-traveled via Gourmet magazine. Though it's a food mag, Gourmet has some of the best travel writing around. The September 2008 Paris issue is a sensory gift, and reads like great fiction. I lost myself in the essays, and earmarked the recipes so I could travel to Paris one meal at a time. We've gotten through a few - Poached Eggs with Mushrooms Two Ways, Steak with Lemongrass Peppercorn Sauce, Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes. Up next is Ginger-Cardamom Oeufs a la Niege, a dessert that makes me think of Paris during the holidays, dusted with snow. And, the photo is gorgeous:
(Gourmet photo by: Romulo Yanes)