There’s nothing quite like a journey that comes with a meal (or is it the meal that’s coming with a journey? Guess that’s based on your priorities!) One significant meal that stands out to me in my memories of traveling is a picnic I had in Giverny, France. While studying abroad for a month in Paris, my friends and I decided to escape the city and breathe in some fresh country air on a bike tour to the home of the infamous French painter Claude Monet. Our journey began at the city of Vernon, where we stopped at a bustling open air market to gather our picnic supplies. I was like a kid in a candy store walking around admiring all of the different kinds of French food. We would stop at la table du fromage and sample five different cheeses before making our choice. Then off to le boucher to choose the perfect meat for our sandwiches. My favorite was the fruit stand, where the smiling garçon gave me a handful of sweet cherries. After picking up some baguettes at the boulanger, and buying gorgeous scarves at another vendor, we rode our bikes through the city with our baguettes peeking out of our baskets like proper French girls. We laid out our feast next to a quaint little mill overlooking the Seine. Everything was so fresh and tasty and enhanced by the beautiful scenery! With full bellies, we pedaled along an old train track to the small pedestrian village of Giverny, where only about 300 people call home. We toured Monet’s home, along with his extravagant gardens and his famous lily ponds. It was almost too picturesque to be real. Brightly colored flowers grew as far as the eye could see. And of course, no proper French meal is complete without dessert, so before riding back into the city we enjoyed some refreshing sorbets at a stand along the way. We returned to Paris with satisfied tummies, tired legs, and hearts brimming with a love for the French culture, ready to face the upcoming week of French classes ahead!