Today, today, today is the debut of WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS by Jennifer Coburn. Back in 2013, Jennifer emailed me about the possibility of reading WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS and between the title, the cover and just the premise- I was sold. Look for my review to post this week, but for today, this is Jen’s show! Jennifer wrote a wonderful guest post from hers and Katie’s point of view about their favorite memories (and included some aww-inducing pictures!)
After you read Jennifer’s guest post (and begin the process of planning a trip to Paris- for reals or just an imaginary one!) scroll down to the bottom of the post and click that Rafflecopter link for a chance to win a copy of WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS!
We’ll Always Paris- Jen and Katie’s Favorite Memories
Trip One—Paris and London (2005)
Jennifer: I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to navigate my way through Paris alone with a child. After a rough first day, Katie and I were sitting at a café near the Eiffel Tower where the menu was very different and dogs sat at their owners’ feet. When the waiter brought Katie’s hamburger, it came with a fried egg on top of it. She shrugged and said, “I guess in Paris, breakfast comes with your lunch.” I knew then that she would do just fine abroad—and in life. I also felt slightly guilty that my eight-year-old was my new role model in life.
Katie: We went to this old-timey bookstore called Shakespeare and Company right across the river from Notre Dame. There were tons of books, cozy places to read, and tucked away were cots where people could sleep if they didn’t have a hotel. I begged my mom to have a sleepover there and she said yes! She didn’t love it as much as I did, but spending the night in a bookstore was my idea of heaven.
Trip Two—Italy (2008)
Jennifer: When Katie and I arrived in Rome, our first interaction was with a taxi driver who promptly swindled me out of fifty euro. Later that evening, we had dinner at a deli near the Spanish Steps, and when the owner heard about our bad luck with the cab driver, he fed us every delicious dish in his place—pizza, grilled eggplant, mozzarella, artichoke salad, you name it. His generosity reminded me that there are always more kind people than crooked ones anywhere you go in the world.
Katie: In Venice my mom and I had just gotten soaked in a rainstorm and all I wanted was to have hot chocolate on our balcony that overlooked the Grand Canal. No one understood that we wanted a drink to carry out, so my mom convinced a restaurant owner to let us take the mug of hot chocolate he’d made for me. He was really upset, but my mom can be pretty persuasive. The taste of hot chocolate and the crazy beautiful view of the water after a storm were perfect together. (And the restaurant guy was super nice when my mom returned the mug.)
Trip Three—Spain (2011)
Jennifer: Finding the secret order of cookie-baking nuns in Madrid was no easy feat, but when we did, it was a great adventure. We rang a buzzer and made our way through the maze of the convent, following signs that read “Dulces” taped next to pictures of Madonna and Child. We arrived at an empty room with a lazy Susan that had a chain thick enough to restrain King Kong. From behind the wall, a nun with a frighteningly stern voice barked at us as we used our junior high school Spanish to buy cookies. Totally worth it! They were the best orange treats we will probably ever eat.
Katie: My mom and I were in the garden of the Alhambra in Granada and I was looking at this patch of yellow flowers. A minute later, I heard singing, so I turned around to see my mom standing in the middle of a group of Korean women and singing—in Korean! She told me that her Korean friend in elementary school taught her the song and she’d heard it so many times, she never forgot it. They all taught me the song (and the hand movements) and we sang it together. My mom can make friends anywhere.
Trip Four—Amsterdam and Paris (2013)
Jennifer: My father wrote a song that was popular in Holland in the ’70s, so when Katie and I went to Amsterdam, we looked for the record in an old vinyl shop called Second Life Music. She found the record immediately, which the store owner offered to play while he looked up the song’s history in his music bible. It was lovely, surreal, and bittersweet, since I can never share this memory with my father.
Katie: Some parents tell their kids not to do drugs, but my mom showed me when she ate a “space-cake” in Amsterdam. I hated to laugh at her since she was obviously feeling really guilty, but there were moments when she was just so silly, we both had to crack up. There were some really funny things that night, but mostly I remember my mom feeling bad because she ate way too much. She pretty much convinced me that this wasn’t something I ever wanted to try.
Now… doesn’t reading that just make you want to book a trip to Paris? Well, if the cost of airfare and a vacation is a bit prohibitive- fear not, friends! Traveling With T has a copy up for grabs to 1 lucky person! The giveaway is US only- check out the Rafflecopter link for more details!
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T