display of French bakeryI dread the question, “Where are you from?” I find it so hard to answer succinctly and I never know how long people want me to go on for. I was born in France but moved all over the place before finally settling in the States. My sisters ended up here too, but my mother stayed in France. At this point in my story, I usually hear, “Oh, how nice! Do you go back often?”  The sad answer is… “not so much.” I used to visit my mom at least twice a year, even after I got married. It was so wonderful to have an apartment in Paris to pop over to, as though we were jet-setting independently-wealthy stars. We were traveling a lot for business in those days, raking in the frequent flyer miles. On multiple occasions, we spent long weekends in Paris – just staying up to not waste time on jet-lag. We even did this a few times with one child in tow. But now we have three kids, and our last trip as a family to France was almost three years ago. The airfare for a family of five alone is crippling, without including the cost of feeding and housing us on a weak dollar. Our wealth of frequent flyer miles has dried up now that I’m no longer working. I managed a trip last year alone, but the children have no recollection of real croissants and good bread. 2009 may be a dismal year for the economy but it’s also the year that the Druckmans will set foot as a family on French soil again. We may have to go by row boat, but we’re determined to not let this New Year’s resolution go unfulfilled. The budgeting has begun, along with the frequent flyer mile calculations. I’m dreaming of rillettes, eclairs au chocolat, and warm sugar crepes from street vendors. Original Traveling Mom blog post. Vanessa also blogs at her personal blog, Chefdruck Musings.