Where the Journey Began

Where the Journey Began...Over 28 Years Ago!
I've got to thank my mom and dad for this one...sending me off to Europe for three months way back in 1986. Now, that's a walk of faith (and more than a pocketful of change) for parents to gift their college-aged daughter.
Reflecting back, my whirlwind adventure through nine different countries left me with indelible memories of the rich history, passionate art, and breathtaking scenery. Etched in my mind are the sounds, smells, textures, tastes, and especially, the sights of each day and night spent in a world other than my own. 
But, ah--those sensory images, ripening for so many years in my mind and patiently waiting in their Kodak slides, metamorphosed in Chasing the Butterfly, and became my fictitious world. Without intention, my long ago travel adventures to France, including two more trips with my husband James, sneaked in to the scenes and setting descriptions, pulsed in the dialogue and thoughts of the characters, and left me longing to return. 
Perhaps during my next visit to Paris and Provence, I'll chat with my not-so-fictitious Ella over a cafe au lait, stroll together down the Champs-Elysees, wind our way through a field of poppies, and perhaps, paint the sunset that graces Roussillon as a tribute to the journey I've had in my mind.

A rather youthful couple! James and me in Roussillon.