Americans Abroad

Over the weekend, I had dinner with longtime American friends Dawn and Michael at their home, La Charmeraie.

La Charmeraie is in the little town of Louveciennes, not far from Versailles. The meaning of the name of their home is twofold: first, after the Charme, or Hornbeam, trees that grace their property and second because it is indeed a very charming place.

I’ve known this couple since I was a little girl. Michael and I grew up in the same neighborhood and Dawn lived in the next town. Michael is largely responsible for nurturing my budding interest in all things French.

Since my first trip to Paris, we’ve made it a point to get together. I love spending time with them. They represent the quintessential Americans abroad: attractive, affluent and successful, with an interesting circle of friends and three adorable multi-cultural children. I fancy them as Zelda and F. Scott during their years on the French Riviera.

Michael is the founding partner of an international business consulting firm. He always has wonderful anecdotes about his experiences living and working overseas. Dawn is just amazing in every way. She has a terrific sense of humor and gracefully manages her household despite the fact that her husband and children may be simultaneously in a different country, or continent, at any given time. She is also a fabulous chef and dinner at their house is always special.

After a little Champagne and a lot of catching up, we sat down to a wonderful meal. Dawn always has flavorful salad recipes and this time was no different: shredded cabbage and sliced almonds tossed in vinaigrette with a tomato and lettuce garnish. This was followed by roasted veal, potatoes and carrots. Fresh berries, whipped cream, homemade cookies and coffee were served for dessert. It was delicious!

We continued to visit until it was time for me to go to the train station for the return trip to Paris. I rode home with a smile on my face, thinking about how much fun I had visiting with them.


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