Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


April 25, 2013

Carrie Stambaugh: Bringing a bit of France to the table: 4/26/13

ASHLAND — There is nothing like being home after a long journey.

On Sunday night, I finally arrived in Ashland after five weeks of traveling in France.

The first four weeks I spent under the guidance of Rotary International as part of a five-person group study exchange team. We traveled extensively in the Rhone-Alpes region visiting more than 12 cities and towns. The final week of my trip I spent exploring Paris with my husband, Carl.

It was my first trip to France and I fell in love with the country, its landscapes, history, culture and, of course, food.  It was a whirlwind of experiences and new faces. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience I was sad to see come to a close.

But there is just something about being in your own house and country after so much time traveling in a foreign place. When I spotted the blue and green bridges from the highway Sunday night, my heart swelled. I was finally home! 

I like unpacking after a long trip, particularly unwrapping all the carefully packaged souvenirs I’ve picked up and filling the dining room table with them. After five weeks, this may be the most loaded down it has ever been with items. It looks like a French market stand; every inch is covered.

There are jars of sweet fruit confiture, spicy French  mustard and delicate lavender honey. Bottles of olive oil, a variety of regional liquors and, of course, French wines.

There are keychain trinkets of famous monuments, magnets and candies of all kinds. There is a pile of Parisian postcards and prints of old posters, two oil paintings and a handful of handmade Eiffel Tower sculptures. Then there are the T-shirts and hats, silken scarves, delicate French soaps and a jar full of small-denomination foreign coins.

 It’s all on the table to be sorted for doling out to family, friends and coworkers or until the perfect spot is found for it in our home — or stomach.  Each time I pass the table, I find myself picking up an item to ponder where the little slice of France should be directed.

The table of souvenirs has become a post-traveling tradition Carl and I love. We are so excited to share our trip with our loved ones, providing them a little taste of the places we visit in addition to our pictures.

It’s always our hope the gifts will inspire others to be curious about the world and perhaps spur them to discover more of it themselves.

Maybe they will catch the wanderlust bug, too.

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at (606) 326-2653.

Text Only
  • Mark Maynard: Let’s just forget about it: 04/17/14

    The older I get, the more forgetful I become. Does that sound familiar?

    April 16, 2014

  • Uncovering forgotten treasures

    You know the big difference between me and a hoarder? I mean, except that you can walk through my house and there are none of the disgusting aspects of hoarding in my life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Political stories worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.

    April 13, 2014

  • 0413timbizcolweb.jpg Tim Preston: Great salmon; finding Dr. Amy; and more Maria: 4/13/14

    It isn’t an especially convenient location unless you happen to be going that way, and if you don’t get there within the next couple of weeks you’ll have to wait until fall to try it out, but I had the best lunch I can remember last week at one of the last places you’d likely think of when pondering where to eat.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restaurant horror stories; garden planning tips

    In my couponing classes, I always had fun with everyone by telling them gross restaurant stories. In encouraging them to eat at home more and save their money, I was also teaching them how much cleaner it is.

    April 12, 2014

  • Feeling happy is ...

    Anyone hoping the Ashland-Huntington area will soon overtake Disney World as “the happiest place on Earth” will be waiting awhile.

    April 10, 2014

  • 0410markcol.jpg Mark Maynard: Brick House (South Ashland Florist) brings in $13K so far: 04/10/14

    Here’s a 14-name salute coming your way:

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cannon: Take this joint, please: 04/09/14

    Some of the things that occurred during our recent week in Jamaica were unexpected and even a bit weird. I suspect those will be the things we will still clearly remember long after the memories of the hours of lying on the beach have faded. I started to mention them in last week’s column, but opted to save them until a later date in the interest of length.

    April 8, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: March Madness, sadness for Cats

    It’s just another game. That’s the message John Calipari preached profusely throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. It’s typical coachspeak, but Cal’s young Kentucky team clung to the step-by-step approach to produce atypical results.

    April 8, 2014

  • Sweet thoughts on the season

    So far, I’ve been a good girl. Or a pretty good girl anyway. See, I have this thing for Reese’s peanut butter eggs. Homemade peanut butter eggs? Eh. I can take ‘em or leave ‘em.

    April 7, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
SEC Zone