Athens native calls Paris home

Published 7:31 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The mood in the City of Lights is never ambivalent.  It is difficult not to enjoy oneself in the capital of France where food and wine are never without compatibility.   

Over the years, there have been many landings here, a statement spoken with appreciation.  I have never had one single bad experience.   If I am to enjoy an evening in your home, good footing with the host begins with good manners and politeness.   

You never tire of a walk along the Seine where monuments abound including one to Thomas Jefferson. This time of the year, the lines are extended but returning to the Louvre, and smiling at the Mona Lisa again — is an encore to be treasured.

Suddenly, it is early evening and a familiar face welcomes us into her real estate office.  Meg Gibson Vuillet, who grew up in Athens, did as so many do — when she and her husband, Nicolas, became empty nesters. There was an urge to expel boredom.

Real estate in Paris brings about an exposure to upscale clientele, which means you are interacting with the sophisticated, accomplished and cultured.   

Friends back home come to see her.  She is happy to show off her adopted city. She is happy to connect them to the Eiffel Tower, the countless museums and an off street café which only locals know about.

She can be a tour guide, she can be a hostess; she loves the French food tradition and she likes to cook.   She enjoys company and has adjusted the Parisian lifestyle.

Developing an affinity for good taste and sophistication was easy to come by in that her parents George and Patti Gibson were imbued with cultural leanings. Although her parents have passed away, she still returns to Athens and Atlanta to see family (a brother and a sister) and friends.  She is happy to have grown up in a university town which helped make easier the transition of settling in an international city.

After majoring in early childhood education at Clemson, Meg enrolled in the Gemological Institute of America, then located at Santa Monica, Ca.

Her life as an expatriate has been rewarding and fulfilling.  She puts in long hours, catches the Metro and goes home to organize dinner.  Many working women in many places in the world do that — but their cultural options pale to that of Meg’s when the sun sets.

Loran Smith is the executive secretary of the Georgia Bulldog Club.