Winner is announced! + faire monter la mayonnaise
faire du leche-vitrines

bluffer + mother-daughter trip


Jackie in Milan, at the spectacular Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.


TODAY'S WORD: bluffer  (bluh-fay)

    : to surprise, impress, astound someone
    : to lie, pretend, fake something

être bluffé = to be bowled over, to be impressed, to be stunned

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Pensant qu'elle irait à Paris,  Kristi a été bluffé en voyant un billet de train qui l'amène à Milan.
Thinking she was going to Paris, Kristi was surprised seeing a train ticket taking her to Milan.

Improve your pronunciation with these Exercises in French Phonics.

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse

"Un Voyage Mère-Fille"

When it came time to open my present, I felt guilty knowing what was in the envelope my husband was about to give me. But he didn't seem to know I knew, so it wasn't too late for one of us to experience the magic of suprise.

Peering into my Christmas stocking, I reached for the letter and opened it--immediately recognizing the billet de train. Only, as I went to kiss my husband, my eyes caught on the destination: MILAN! 

"Quelle surprise!" I shrieked. "Tu m'as complètement bluffé! I thought we were going to Paris," I admitted.

If Paris still seemed foreign, Milan was another planet. How would we get around? They have a metro? But I clam up holding the local subway map! The idea of an Italian underground sent my mind spinning with images of dark corners, dead ends, and Milanese hooligans! 

And there wouldn't be my trusty travel companion and tour guide, the man who can navigate the most winding roads, after midnight--while driving backwards. No, Jean-Marc would not be there this time!

Any panic over this last-minute change of plans dissipated when my daughter (the little bird who'd clued me in on Paris...) appeared beside me. That's right, I had Jackie. My 17-year-old globe-trotter. She loves the chance to navigate and to flex her orientation muscles--after practicing on a few solo flights over the Altantic and across the States and back. 

"And you have Uber!" my husband chimed in, referring to the car service I'd tried out in Paris. All you had to do was send Uber an SMS, and a driver appeared at your doorstep within 10 minutes! And there was no need to scrounge for exact cash or a tip: the fee was charged on my credit card along with all details of our ride!

With my street smart daughter and a car service to back us if we fell through the cobblestoned cracks, I was as assured as a homebody could be... leaving the warmth and predictability of home for the snow and unknown of an Italian métropole

To be continued (click here for part two)..... More about Uber cabs in my story "High heels and the Paris Metro". Click here.


French Vocabulary

un voyage mère-fille = mother-daughter trip
le billet de train = train ticket 
la métropole = metropolis

Jackie and kristi

In front of Milan Cathedral, with Jackie. Wishing you a happy and healthy new year filled with all the things you love and obstacles overcome! To comment on this post, click here.

Travel Tip: Refill your water bottle!
Went through too many plastic water bottles on this trip, and have no excuse after reading Zero Waste Home during the train ride to Milan. Next time I will try to be more prepared and get a stainless steel canteen! Want to join me in this effort? Check out these water bottles


A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety