At the age of 10 months, my parents took me on my first trip outside of the country. The destination was both my first foray into the magical world of art & fine food as well as my first taste of the magical substance of ice cream. Somewhere in the Tuileries garden, perhaps midway between the Louvre and the fountains, my parents decided to let me have a lick of a double chocolate (or shock-co-lot as the french tend to pronounce it). Now, I’m not sure how many of you actually have attempted to give a baby ice cream. It is not a practice that I recommend as babies don’t really understand the concept of keeping food in their mouth. Instead, most babies prefer the common* method of sticking their entire faces into the frozen mass and hope that least some of it makes it in. In my particular case, I’d estimate about 5% of ice cream made it successfully to my taste buds, and the rest of it went over my face, over my father, and to the joy of Tuileries pigeons everywhere, to the ground. As a result, I had my first experience with ice cream and my first travel story to share.
Years Later I returned to the Gardens to re-create the moment. Strawberry is clearly the new chocolate.
(* Note: This practice is also shared with drunken first years and frat boys)
I also would like to give a shout-out to my favorite hippo-loving, grocery list making, secret library going, party-leaving-to-find-a-new-bar, pitcher-celebrating partner in crime, Stormie. She doesn’t love birthdays, but she deals with me celebrating enough for the two of us.