Limousin, Perigord, Lorraine 2008
These photographs and notes are from our midsummer trip in July. We rented a car in Paris and spent several days making our way south through the Loire Valley, Limousin, and Perigord before arriving at our friends' house in the Midi-Pyrenees; we returned to Paris via Bourgogne and then Nancy in Lorraine, where I had lived as a child.
I lived in this house from 1961 to 1963, during the years when I first began grade school, and I hadn't been back until this year. My father was a career army officer stationed at Nancy Depot during my early childhood, and like so many American military personnel overseas, we had very little interaction with the local culture. I attended an American school where I spoke English with my American classmates, and my family shopped almost exclusively at the American PX and commissary. As a result, I left France at the age of eight without being able to speak more than a handful of French words. I regard the experience as one of the greatest missed opportunities of my life.