August 4, 2002
Today Maurice and I took the car and head north outside of Paris. This weekend is the heaviest weekend of traffic for the entire year, but most people are heading south, still we probably shouldn't have attempted it. It turned out to be light traffic. We headed towards Reims to see a city called Loan that I had read about but we never reached it. It was lunch time and we decided to stop for lunch in a little town called Villers-Cotterets. As usual, this being France, the lunch took over 2 hours. It turned out that the author of The Three Musketeers, and others, Alexander Dumas had been born and buried here so we went to the museum about his life and to the cemetery where he is buried although it turns out that there are plans to move his body to Panthéon where other greats, such as Victor Hugo, are buried. I discovered at the museum that he was part black, something I didn't know, and that Dumas came from the fact that his grandfather wouldn't acknowledge an illegitimate son, thus Dumas which means his mother.
His photo-a man who lived and loved life
A fountain in the town that I liked
Then we passed a little town called Soissons and stopped. It had an interesting cathedral with unusual looking towers. It has a Rubens painting inside and really wonderful blue stained glass.
This is a figure of Christ under an altar. Seemed rather strange.
Obviously, the Tour de France went through this town.
So, by the time we finished looking at this town it was getting late so we saved the town I wanted to see for another time. It will still be there.
As of today I now have dual citizenship! Yes, I am now an American and a French woman. Actually, I was a French citizen sooner, but we didn't get notification of it and I hadn't signed the last piece of paper to make me so. I expected that I would have to speak some French and that there would be some sort of little ceremony as I have seen in the States where you answer questions and then say the pledge of allegiance to the American flag, but I just went into an office, signed some papers and that was it.
Here I am, a new French citizen
Our local Marie where the news-breaking event took place.