Giving Thanks for a Family Thanksgiving in France

November 03, 2023
By Sharon Carr
About Sharon:  Sharon co-founded AmericanConcierge.com in 2014 giving her a platform to create and provide custom experiences in France (and the UK) to fellow travelers looking to immerse themselves into the culture of France (and the UK) – and have some fun doing it.  She’s had a varied career, starting her work life in 1977 as the first woman in the 200-year history of the Banknote Industry (American Bank Note Company) and switched gears in 2006 to become a Producer of live theater in New York.  Sharon has several Broadway credits and 2 Tony Awards (PIPPIN and THE BAND’S VISIT) with a new musical (LITTLE DANCER) opening in London during the 2024-2025 season.  Her writing credits include a 2-year weekly Blog (Living Unscripted) for an online women’s magazine (Her Busy Life) 2010-2012.

I never claim to be a Francophile, but Paris has become a second home to me now… it is truly a magical feast for the senses.  Running a tourist business there has opened my eyes to so many time-worthy experiences… Understanding art through one of our many amazing, certified guides who specializes in Art and Art History… learning about the Revolution and the connection between ours and theirs by attending an Opera at Marie Antoinette’s Opera House at Versailles and sharing information over several dinners in my hood with a scholar who teaches at Sciences Po University in Paris.  I now know from our tour of the Loire who-married-whom amongst the many Royals and have visited their castles… and l learned everything anyone would ever want to know about cheese from a cheese monger who has become a great friend. There was a time when I knew which wine was red or white from looking at the color of it … now I understand grapes, having spent a few evenings with a young man who works with his father in their vineyard in Bordeaux.

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and give thanks for the good life we’re living.  We’ll be celebrating ours in France this year with 2 of my adult children and + 1 spouse and 1 of Ivan’s 2 daughters, sharing with them a lot of what we love when we’re there.  That includes a full Itinerary in both Paris where we’ll be taking our Art Gallery Crawl, shopping the Marche aux Puce (Paris’ famous Flea Market) and spending a few hours on tour learning about French History from Napoleon through WWII.  Along the way, I’m insisting on them sampling the best hot chocolate, the best pain perdu and the best onion soup –and they’ve signed us up for top foodie restaurants and rooftop bars.  For extraordinary entertainment, we’ve got a night at the Opera Garnier in Paris and, for our 3 days in Beaune: an incredible all-day cooking class for our Thanksgiving meal.

We’ve been to a lot of places with our kids during Thanksgiving week over the years…

Thailand, Sweden, Chile, Israel, UK/Scotland, Canada, [on ZOOM in 2020], Germany/Holland, Argentina…

Having adult children who want to travel with us is a blessing we are certainly grateful for.  My dad used to tell me ‘Travel” was “the best education” he could give me…he started me off young and it’s become a lifelong habit … but with all the crazy going on in the world right now, we wanted to be someplace we know… someplace beautiful… someplace delicious…  There’s something about France that just feels right this time.

I think I might, actually (finally/lol) be a Francophile.


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