www.meganjoychapman.com

Author of Lion Heart & Alessio: The Victory Ride Series

How I Scored a Free Dinner and a Castle in France

France-Eiffel Tower

Ever since sixth grade geography class, I’ve dreamed about going to France—maybe because I’m a diehard romantic-foodie-art-lover that has always been fascinated by the avant-garde Parisian fashion. Even the language intrigues me—everything always sounds plus chic in French.

Over the past twenty years that I’ve known my husband and within our fourteen years of marriage, he’s endured my French fetish and endless whining about how I long to experience a steamy latte and fresh baked croissant in a quaint café, stroll down the Champs-Elysées, shop in a real boutique, marvel the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, and strike a pose in front of the Eiffel Tower. Realizing I’d never let my dream die, my husband promised that he’d get me to Paris before I turned forty. Well— I turn forty this year, so his plan looks glib.

But just as his plan was becoming an impossible feat, a miracle happened on the day my book, Lion Heart and Alessio: The Victory Ride, arrived at my front door. It was the first time I’d held my book in my hands and seen it in print.

megan joy chapman's book-lion heart and alessio

To celebrate, we had dinner plans with another couple at La Bourgogne restaurant—yep— French.

France inspiration-French restaurant

As we’re digging into our Chevre and Tomato Galette, our friends tell us that they’ve booked a castle in Provence, expenses paid, and would like us to join them.

France- Provence Villa

Could this day get any better? Yes, it can. And it does. After we’ve indulged in our perfectly paired wines, five-course succulent meals, and have planned and gushed over the infinite possibilities of our trip, we realize we’re the last ones in the restaurant. The lovely French waitress approaches and the husbands pull out their wallets. In her sultry accent she says, “The bill has already been taken care of.” Ends up, it was paid for by “Anonymous.”

France-villa pool

The Castles Private Pool

So, pretty much a no-brainer for us. WE’RE GOING TO FRANCE! We spend two weeks in our expenses paid castle in Provence and will spend the last week in Paris. To prepare for our trip we’ve been taking French lessons. So far, I’ve learned to say with big eyes, chin down, “Desole. Je ne parle pas Francais (Sorry, I don’t speak French). But I’m still plugging away at it.

France-villa garden

Our Private Garden!


France-villa tennis court

Tennis anyone?

I’m beside-my-self-cheerleader-kick-EXCITED! My hubby’s stoked, too, because he’s finally off the hook. He keeps saying to me, “See. I told you I’d get you to France before you turned forty.”

With a smitten smile to puff him up, I keep saying, “Nice work, Babe.”

Paris France apartment

This is our Paris apartment living area with a view! so we can people watch. Only a 5 minute walk to the Louvre Museum!

Paris France apartment

Our Paris Apartment Dining Room. Check out the chalkboard. Bienvenu a Paris (Welcome to Paris).

I could go on and on about how God has blown me away with His spot-on timing and has exceeded my expectations for this trip. The list is endless. Instead, I’ll just say this. Keep dreaming big and don’t give up! Your greatest desire may happen when you least expect it . . . and better than you ever imagined!

May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed. PSALM 20:4

Merci, Seigner!

What are you dreaming big about?

Follow my trip to France!

Goût de France: Thanks, Mom!

Galette Recipes

Gouda with Caramelized Onion, Fennel, and Apple Sausage Galette
Brie and Apple Galette
Gruyere, Prosciutto, and Poppy Seed Galette
Goat Cheese, Fig, and Prosciutto Galette

Click here to check out Megan’s educational adventure book for kids ages 8-12!

8 Responses to “ How I Scored a Free Dinner and a Castle in France ”

  1. www.meganjoychapman.com» Blog Archive » Gout de France: Thanks, Mom! Says:

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  4. www.meganjoychapman.com» Blog Archive » Goûts de France: Champagne Aperitif and Cured Olive Tapenade (Dairy and Gluten Free) Says:

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  5. www.meganjoychapman.com» Blog Archive » Goût de France: L’Harmas, Our Villa in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence Says:

    […] so it’s not really a castle like I stated in my post How I Scored a Free Dinner and a Castle in France, but that’s how it was described to me at first and in my wistful mind, it’s still a castle. So […]


  6. Goût de France: Champagne Aperitif and Cured Olive Tapenade (Dairy and Gluten Free) - Says:

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  7. Goût de France: Thanks, Mom! - Says:

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  8. Goût de France: Our French Villa in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence Says:

    […] so it’s not really a castle like I stated in my post How I Scored a Free Dinner and a Castle in France, but that’s how it was described to me at first and in my wistful mind, it’s still a castle. So […]


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