Saturday, September 2, 2017

"Oh, Kaye!" chats about Paris


In case you haven't heard, I'm going to Paris.

My first trip to Paris.


F  i  n  a  l  l  y ! 



If you haven't heard, then I have to assume you don't live on Planet Earth since I've even been stopping complete strangers on the street for the past year to share my news.

Yes, yes, yes - I'm a bit of a pain in the neck when I'm excited about something.  I know, I know.  I can just go on and on and on about it all until I am on a person's last nerve.  Believe me, former husbands loved pointing out what a pain in the neck I could be.

But.

It's my first trip, so you know, I deserve to be excited, right?!

Oui!

Luckily, Don Barley finds my enthusiasm to be more of a plus than a minus.  Suffice to say, he is one of the good guys.  One of the best.

But, Don Barley is not going to Paris with me.

I'm going with three women friends.

Lesa Holstine -  I think some of you might know my friend Lesa (wink, wink 😊).  

And long, long time very dear friend, Vickie Smith.

And new friend to me, but very long time friend of Vickie's, Lisa Butler.



We've rented a wonderful house through Airbnb that Vic found for us.  




It's in Montparnasse.  And as it turns out, not far from the home of Jim Haynes.

Some of you are probably familiar with Mr. Haynes, but for those of you who are not, "nearly every Sunday for the past 30 plus years, Mr. Haynes, a Louisiana-born expatriate, has opened the doors of his former sculpture studio in Paris and invited the world to come dine in largely the same spirit."

There are several articles, and videos, about him on the web, including an interesting one from The New York Times.  

I am fascinated by Jim Haynes.  He has, however, been experiencing some health issues and is quite elderly, and I'm not sure the dinner parties will continue.  But.  We'll see.  Right now his webpage says to check back in September. 

But.  Who knows . . .  perhaps we'll see him sitting on his front step and we can say "Hey!"  That would be cool.



And, oh my, have we planned some adventures!


We will, of course, do many of the things you're supposed to do as a tourist in Paris. A boat trip down the Seine to watch the city light up in the evening, a trip to Versailles and Giverny.  Wandering through Montmartre, Latin Quarter, Saint-Germain, and Marais, and ice cream at Berthillon's on Île Saint Louis.  

And, this is timely, seeing as how there was an interesting piece here just a few days ago by Vicki Stiefel about tattoos.  

I have two tattoos and have considered another.  And have considered having it done while in Paris.  I've Googled and found tattoo parlors in Paris and I've Googled ideas for French tattoos.  

Some of these ideas are lovely, some are a bit too-too for my taste.  But.  I'll keep you posted . . .   It would, after all, be a souvenir that doesn't require any luggage space.

While checking our Parisian tattoo parlors, there will be much to do.  Much to see.

SO much to do and see, including a booklover's mecca  -  Shakespeare & Company



Because I'm one who believes, quite firmly, in stopping for a few minutes to live in the moment, where better to do this than some of the glorious parks, gardens, and squares in Paris?

One very small, very special, square is not far at all from Shakespeare & Company.


Besides having a lovely green area with benches on which to sit and rest your weary soul, and tired ol' feet, you get one of the best views of Notre Dame.

And, you get to quietly commune with the oldest living tree in Paris.  And, I have a "thing" for trees - wonderful old stately trees.  I seek them out, and they speak to me.  

Also, because of the way things are in our world right now, it's become important for me to think about things with a little more reflection than maybe I once did.  For that reason, while in Square René Viviani, I'd very much like to spend a quiet moment at a "sculpture decorated with stags’ heads and water drops that represent aspects of the legend of St. Julien. In addition, there are infants, some of whom have wings while others appear to be lifeless. Under the Vichy government (the govenment of France that collaborated with Nazi Germany from 1940 till 1944) more than 11,000 infants were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz because they were Jewish. About one hundred of these children lived in the vicinity of this square in the 5th arrondissement. "

11,000 infants deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz because they were Jewish.  We need, I think, to be remembering this right now.



And, while we have agreed on many things we'll be doing together, there are some things that some of us want to do that others don't - like The Catacombs, for instance. 

And on those days we'll head off in different directions and meet back in our courtyard to chat and giggle about our day over a glass of wine and decide where to go for dinner.

Each of us agree that in addition to some planned outings, we also love the art of flâneusing, and allowing serendipity to have her way with us.

(anyone here read Lauren Elkin's "Flaneuse?"  I recommend it).


Museums, Gardens, Eating, and Shopping, oh my!



We're only going to be there a week, so we'll miss a lot and probably will just have to go back another time . . .  bless our hearts.

Actually, Vickie and Lisa have been before so Lesa and I are counting on them for a lot of their Parisian knowledge.

We're also planning some "different" sorts of adventures.

While Lisa and Vickie are doing a wine and castles tour, Lesa and I are having breakfast with the giraffes at the Parc Zoologique de Paris.

Doesn't that sound fun?

I can't wait.


And we're treating ourselves to a 1920's style photo session.






One of the interesting, but lesser known, things in Paris I want to see is Le Passe-Muraille - 'the man who walks through walls'. It is a larger than life bronze statue representing a man half trapped in a stone wall. 





And, I want to go to Deyrolle












And I intend to ride, and photograph, every carousel I can find.  

Including the Dodo Carousel, which is actually the Carousel of Extinct and Endangered Animals, and it's located in the Jardins des Plantes.  




I would very much like to visit at least one of the
les passages couverts (18th century glass-roofed shopping galleries).  




You can take a tour of them here



AND, I hope I can find and photograph
The Angel of Rue de Turbigo


I've always been fascinated by architectural details.  What better place to find and photograph some of the most exquisite, magical architecture than Paris.  I will be in my own little version of heaven.


Windows and Doors and Angels, oh my!


I know I've already told you about some of the reading aka "research" I've been doing for the past year.

(Speaking of research.  Did you know there are apps you can load on your phone that will tell you where the closest public restrooms are?!  Well.  There are.  And, that's important stuff.)






I'm pretty sure I've told you how I've been saving my pennies 'cause a gal needs to be prepared for shoppinwhile in Paris.


Excusez-moi, combien est ce foulard, s'il vous plaît?


Right?

Oui !



And I've probably told you about this delightful little book!

The Little Black Book of Paris.  

I adore this little book!



A small (4-1/4 inches wide by 5-3/4 inches high)  guidebook from Peter Pauper Press (https://www.peterpauper.com/product_info.php?products_id=5808). 

It's full of helpful information (and a lot of very fun information!)




It's broken down into chapters by neighborhoods, but not necessarily arrondissements.  

Each neighborhood chapter has sections on landmarks, arts and entertainment venues, restaurants, cafes, hotels, chic shops, and after-dark stops along with a fold out map for each neighborhood.




There are also some blank pages for adding notes.  Thus comes my only complaint - not enough blank pages, so I ended up making use of the margins on many pages, thanks to friends telling us about their favorite places to shop, to eat, to have hot chocolate, etc. (Daniel Hale says definitely Cafe Marly for hot chocolate) 

And by the way, Dear Travelers - Paris is not the only city with its own Little Black Book . . .  do check them out!



Another favorite book is this one, and I can't recommend it enough.  Even if you're not planning a trip to Paris, it's one you might enjoy





Due to all this "research," I have read a LOT about Paris during this past year, fiction and non-fiction.  So, I have, of course, ended up with  a huge list of recommendations, but I'll be posting that in a separate piece for those who are interested.

Except -


I have to tell you about this one.


A Paris All Your Own - Bestselling Women Writers on the City of Light



Contributing authors include Paula McLain, Therese Anne Fowler, Melissa Shapiro, Jennifer Coburn, Maggie Shipstead, Lauren Willig, Cathy Kelly, Rachel Hore, Meg Waite Clayton, Ellen Sussman, M. J. Rose, Susan Vreeland , Megan Crane, Michelle Gable, J. Courtney Sullivan, Julie Powell, Jennifer Scott,  AND our very own Cara Black. Edited by Eleanor Brown.  

"These Parisian memoirs range from laugh-out-loud funny to wistfully romantic to thoughtfully somber and reflective."

Speaking of our Cara.  She'll be leading one of her wonderful Aimee Leduc tours in Paris the same week we're going to be there, so we're going to be sitting in the audience in the tearoom at WHSmith while Cara talks about "Murder in Saint-Germain."

We're all pretty excited.

And guess what?

WHSmith has also ordered a few copies of my "Whimsey."


Am I excited about seeing MY "Whimsey" on a shelf in a bookstore in Paris?


Pfffffft.

Well, yes.  Yes, I am.






But, did I tell you about my travel journal?

Right up front I'm going to admit making a mistake with this, but . . . 'tis done.

To those of you who love, use and appreciate a really nice journal, use a fountain pen and enjoy painting sketches in addition to writing - this is not the journal for you.

Debs will be one of the first to agree with me.

I got this leather bound journal on-line for not much money - $10 or $12 maybe.  And it is pretty.

But.

The paper is thin so forget using a fountain pen or paints.  Not only is going to soak through the page, it's going to soak through the next page too.  It is no Iona journal (darn it!). 

But it's working out okay now that I've discovered it's flaws.  One has to learn from one's mistakes, right?

I'm working with crayons and colored pens (ballpoint only!) and colored pencils illustrating some pages and jotting down some thoughts  before we get to Paris.

I'm like a kid with stickers, so yes, lots of stickers too.







I'm an on again/off again journaler, and have been all my life.  Remember those little leatherette diaries with the lock?  Santa brought me a new one every year.

One thing I have always been is a journaler when traveling.




This was in Greece many, many years ago.  When I go back and read the journal I kept for that trip, it's almost like being there.  It's enough to make me know that I will, one of these days, go back.




Sometimes while journaling, I might sketch a scene - it does not matter that I can't draw worth a diddly - I do it anyway.  


Sometimes I'm just capturing a thought.  Or writing down a quote, or a piece of poetry, or just a quick phrase that touches me in some way.


And because I'm excited about this trip, I've started my journal early.





See what I mean about not being able to draw?  I can't even color!  But.  You know what?  It doesn't matter.  It's all fun and creating is good for us.








And -

Stickers rock!




especially 3D stickers!  Who knew?!



Okay.


Packing.


Packing is hard.

Especially for some of us who are "nesters" and feel we need to have everything we own with us wherever we go.

So, I did a "practice pack."


Here's a couple pictures of some of the things I pulled out of the closet to choose from.

Casual little black dresses (okay - and, one little red dress) to be perked up with accessories.

I just grabbed some and tossed them onto the bed.





Then I decided what I'd wear on the plane, put a couple things back into the closet, and with the help of space bags, I packed up clothes, shoes, jammies, toiletries and undies.  And a few, very few, pieces of jewelry.


Resulting in . . . 


Ta DA ! ! !




One under-the-seat bag and a backpack.

Yes.  For real.  

Five little black dresses, one little red dress, two pairs of shoes, leggings, scarves, reversible cape, undies, jammies, travel size toiletries and make-up.  Space bags rock. 


However,

Once I proved to myself I could do this, I changed my mind.

What about souvenirs?!  I am not coming home from Paris without souvenirs (besides that "possible" tattoo, that is). 

Excusez-moi, combien, s'il vous plaît?


So.  I'm sticking with the small under-the-seat bag, but forgetting the backpack and carrying a tote/purse on the plane with me.  I have a small suitcase that would fit in the overhead, but, truth be told, I think I'm going to just check it.  I'll have really necessary items in my purse/tote and/or small under-the-seat bag. 

It's non-stop from Charlotte International to Paris, and if my suitcase gets lost for a couple days, I'll be okay.  If it gets lost for the entire week, I'll consider it a shopping emergency. 😊  

In Paris.  😍

A. Shopping. Emergency. In. Paris





Okay, so now, Dear Reds, I know most of you have already taken your very first exciting trip to Paris, and many of you have been back many times.

So, how about some sharing of your favorite places.

In particular . . .

Best crepes!

Best macarons!

Best coffee!

Best hot chocolate (Is it Cafe Marly like Daniel Hales says?)!

Best beef bourguignon!

Best breakfast!

Your favorite patisserie, boulangerie, cafe, bistro, restaurant?

Favorite place to shop - for clothes, for lingerie, for perfume, for stationery, for books, for small souvenirs to bring home for friends and family, for antiques, for jewelry, for scarves, for shoes?

Your favorite night spot for music?

Your favorite small art gallery?



Your very favorite thing ever about Paris !!!



78 comments:

  1. Just reading this makes me excited about your upcoming trip, Kaye . . . it sounds like you’ve made wonderful plans for your stay in Paris. I’ve never been there, so I have no particular suggestions except to wish you and your friends a delightful visit to the City of Lights . . . .

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    1. Thank you, Joan! I'm a wee bit excited . . .

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  2. How exciting! And how funny that I was going to recommend an Iona journal for the trip, only to see that Deb has gotten in ahead of me. I've never been to Paris. I've never been anywhere in Europe, although I'd love to go to the UK, and Greece, and Italy, and France. In looking back over my life so far it appears I preferred to eat and have a roof over my head, so I stayed home and worked, and mostly confined my travel to dreams. BUT you are planning the very best kind of travel, where you stay in a neighborhood, and get to know the rhythms of the place, finding the best pastry shops and your new favorite art gallery, and leaving room amongst all the must-sees for serendipity. I envy you. Have a wonderful time! And take an extra twirl on that carousel for me, okay?

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    1. Gigi, I will pat the seat of the animal next to me on one of my carousel rides and pretend you're hopping on to join me. And I'll be sure and take a picture.

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    2. You're the sweetest! I'm honored that you'd even think of such a thing with all the fun you'll be having. And you know, with all the great suggestions below, you're really going to have to stay for a month. One week won't begin to cut it.

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  3. Can I come?! Sounds like a wonderful trip and in such good company!! Combing through your list for ideas for my next trip to Europe, whenever that is. If these are your BEFORE picture, can't wait to see your AFTER pix.

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  4. I love Paris and would love to go back. Are you planning a visit to the Lourve? I hope you get to visit Mont Saint-Michel. Sounds like you are going to have a blast. Enjoy it. Did you mention the Eiffel Tower - go to top if you can.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Dru, Good Morning! We do intend to go to the Eiffel Tower and to the Louvre. I'd love to get to Mont Saint-Michel, but it's doubtful we'll do that this trip - but maybe next trip!!

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  5. Your trip sounds like so much fun, I wouldn't suggest any changes to the itinerary! Paris is like love-each trip is different and unique. You've got this nailed, Kaye. As Hallie said, can't wait to see your AFTER pix - and some more pages from your journal - what a delight!

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    1. Kait, thank you. I've waiting a long time for this trip, and now down to counting the days.

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  6. Oh Kaye, I'm breathless and in need of a hot chocolate myself, after that whirlwind tour of things to do and see and etc etc in Paris!! When you meet that tree, hug it for me and tell it 'Allo! from Ohio! And when you find les infants, I'll be beside you, my head bowed and my arm around your shoulders. Can't wait, like Hallie, to see your 'after' pics!

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    1. Oh, Flora. The tree, and les infants. I'll have you with me while there (bring a tissue or two, my friend).

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  7. Dehillerin for cookware and equipment. The last time I was there I bought a proper omelet pan, whisk, and tomato knife. And recovered from the experience with a chocolat chaud at a café across the street. Orsay and Cluny museums.

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    1. Cool!!! Dehillerin added to the list - Thank you, Margaret!

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  8. Three weeks away and I am packed already! This is going to be such an adventure. And my favorite part will likely be girl talks and laughter over wine, reliving every moment of the day's activities. Love the journal, Kaye; looking forward to the journey.

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    1. Oh, Vic. The girl talks and laughter are going to be the most special part of our trip. Love you! See you in THREE WEEKS!

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  9. The Cluny for sure -- Roman ruins and Medieval tapestries. Rodin museum -- sculpture garden! You will want to stay! Don't rush through your "to do" list --- soak in Paris, your neighborhood, and the air. When you find a special place, enjoy it -- don't run on to the next item on your agenda.

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    1. Denise Ann - No running! I promise. And I do want to just soak in the fact that I'm there - Paris, our neighborhood and the air. Everything. The Rodin sculpture garden is a place I want to sit and soak, yes!

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  10. Well thought out plans. It sounds like you have bad weather ideas as well as perfect weather choices. While you are sipping your morning chocolate, salute Coralee who is with you in spirit. Bon Voyage.

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    1. Thanks, Coralee - and I will very much enjoy having you with me in spirit.

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  11. This is so glorious, I cannot even believe it! I am completely green.
    Advice? Just make sure your shoes are comfortable. And French women are incredibly chic, just…breathtaking . And what they were is very very simple. I think I wound up wearing a white T-shirt, black skirt or pants, scarf, and flats every day.
    And remember SOLDES means sale.
    Cannot wait to hear all about it!

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    1. Soldes! oTAY - Got it!!!! squeeeeee! And very comfy shoes - Promise!

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    2. I'm very good at comme bien si'l vous plait, but god help me when they answer. Numbers are my nemesis

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  12. I enjoyed seeing some of your journalling -- I think you are quite the artist! Your trip sounds absolutely amazing -- safe travels ~

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    1. aw, thank you Celia! That journal will be filled to overflow by the time we return, I do believe.

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  13. Kaye, You're SO wrong. Your drawings are delightful. If I hadn't loved your descriptions, I would want to go just from looking at your drawings. It's even more exciting reading this post. Hugs, my friend.

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    1. oh, Lesa. you're so sweet. Thank you. THREE WEEKS! Three weeks. Finally!! Hugs back, my friend. Love you!

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  14. Kaye, wow! I'll answer your questions in a minute, have all sorts of suggestions that you can't possibly get into in a week!

    But first I have to congratulate our Hallie on the frabjous review of YOU'LL NEVER KNOW, DEAR in today's NYT Book Review. Check it out in The Short List. So proud of you, Hallie, that you'll never know, dear.

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    1. Ann, Thank you! And I'll just add what we don't get to this trip to my list for next trip!

      And I join you in congratulating our Hallie!

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  15. Oh, Kaye! I'm envious of your trip! Such fun plans, and I hope all the adventures ahead bring tons of fun. Looking forward to updates after the trip too!

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    1. Art - you know I always think of Ice Cream when it comes to you. Berthillon ice cream will bring you to mind, I'm sure. What flavor, my friend??

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    2. Kaye, the servings are about a good tablespoon, so pick several flavors.

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  16. You will have such fun, Kaye. My favorite thing... Cheese shop on Rue Clare then fruit, bread and picnic by the Eiffel a tower. Oh, and Musee D'Orday

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    1. Rhys - Musée d'Orsay is at the very top of the list for all four of us! and picnics - we've picked out some very cool picnic spots.

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    2. Definitely the cheese shop just off the Rue Cler, Madame Cantin's little establishment. You can smell it from the metro! She makes and supplies cheese to many of the best restaurants in Paris.

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    3. Musee d"Orsay used to be a train station. During the war, people were shipped to concentration camps from there. Big sign carved ( I think) on the building. Not a reason not to go - it is great!- but another layer. Also the Holocaust memorial on the tip of the Ile de la Cite. And on a completely different note! Fab, huge food halls in the big department stores. Great fun to wander around and buy supplies for a take-home or picnic meal. You will have a grand time.

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    4. I have long dreamed of getting to the Musee d'Orsay. Taking pictures of the huge clock window is one of the things I most look forward to while I'm there. The history is, as you said, quite layered and will touch each of us.

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  17. Sorry, that comment was Rhyd. My iPad won't let me get back to my own identity!

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    1. and we have to hold on tight to the identities we fought to have!!! :-D

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    2. Rhys, sorry for your iPad difficulty. At least you have a "work around" with the Jungle Red Writers identity. My iPad will not let me comment at all!

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  18. I loved Paris! Had wanted to go since 6th grade, finally got there in 2001. I'm currently in Texas and my notes are in Pennsylvania but the things that stayed with me are seeing the Eiffel Tower every day. I have a strong preference for looking at iconic towers rather than going up. I ate lots of crepes and I forget which Croque and lots of pain de chocolat. Didn't discover macarons until years later. Favorite museum was the Pompidou because modern art is my favorite. Didn't know the term yet but encountered a pop-up art gallery in a park that also had a carousel. You will have such a wonderful time.

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    1. Lois - Exactly!!!! I'm excited about seeing the Eiffel Tower. And I look forward to seeing it from all around Paris, but I don't care a thing about standing in line to get to the top. The one building that I am looking forward to going up in is the "ugliest building in Paris." The Tour Montparnasse which isn't far from the house we're renting. The views of Paris from here spectacular, and perfect for taking some awesome photos. And if there's a line, it will be a fraction of the lines encountered elsewhere. There's an observatory, a rooftop terrace, a champagne bar

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    2. If the weather is good, lots of sun, all that, I think a trip to the top of the tower is worth it. Nowhere else will you get that 360 view. Also, the lines are not so long on weekdays. Which reminds me. If you buy your Louvre tickets in the Carroussel du Louvre, you will be cutting the line big time. You can enter from there and then leave via the pyramid.

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    3. Our Louvre trip is already handled in conjunction with a tour we have planned and purchased already

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  19. Thoughts on your week in Paris:

    1. The Louvre is closed on Tuesday as in the Pompidou. The Musee d'Orsay is closed on Monday. The Marmaton, all Monet, is my favorite and small enough to do the whole thing in an afternoon.

    2. Favorite restaurant is Le Florimond, 19 Avenue La Motte Piquet, across from Ecole Militaire metro station. We've been going there at least once per trip since 1998.

    3. Be certain to great absolutely everyone in every shop/bistro/whatever with "bonjour" or "bonsoir." Otherwise you will be invisible. This includes bus drivers, cab drivers, everyone. And end each encounter with a merci beaucoup. Add in the odd si'l vous plait, and you will find everyone speaks English much better than you speak French. It's a minor miracle.

    4. There is no need to tip, but if you do, just leave a few euro coins. Waiters are a well paid profession. Respect them. Seriously.

    5. If you decide to take a cab, go to a cab stand. If you call for one, you will be paying for the time and distance it takes to get to you, can get very expensive. For getting to the airport, arrange a shuttle for at least four hours before your departure time. Trust me.

    6. The trip to Giverny will take up an entire day. First be sure it is open on that day. No kidding. I prefer to spend a couple of hours at the Marmaton and then do something else, but that's just me.

    Above all relax, have fun, take lots of pictures, and bring me a baguette xox

    6. Think about a walk through the Jardin du Luxembourg on a sunny afternoon. Buy or make yourself a jambon buerre and take a drink. Check out the children sailing boats on the little lake or riding their ponies. Enjoy something that is free!

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    1. Ann -

      1. Not to worry - we have checked out days and hours of operation for the places we know we want to go.

      2. Thanks for this! Love restaurant recommendations.Have you eaten at Josephine Chez Dumonet?

      3. Bonjour, etc. - We have heard this from many people, and yes - we will be very aware and very careful to do this.

      4. Check!! There is no need to tip, but if you do, just leave a few euro coins. Waiters are a well paid profession. Respect them. Seriously.

      5. We are big Uber girls, and also intend to use the Metro quite a bit. Two of our party have been to Paris before this trip.

      6. We have already purchased our tickets for Giverny and for Versailles.

      Above all relax, have fun, take lots of pictures, and bring me a baguette xox

      6. Jardin du Luxembourg is not far from our rental house and oh yes, we do intend to send some time here and in many other spots of beauty that won't cost us a dime.

      Thanks very much!!!!

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  20. Great, just great. I can't wait to read the reports.

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    1. Bill, you will be sick to death of me and Paris by the time this is all over with! LOL!

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  21. WOW! I think if you don't sleep, Kaye, you may just get through a 1/10 of your list. I am so giddy for you and so jealous for me. SO, you must report about every single second! Can't wait! Bon Voyage, my dear!

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    1. Jenn?! For real!!! But that 1/10 will be glorious and the rest will just have to stay put until I get back. I guess I'll just have to keep a running list sort of like my "to do" list where things get scratched off and more things added.

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  22. Sounds like a lovely trip - i am so jealous! Too bad you can't work up a little more excitement!

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    1. HAhahahahaha! I know. I really need to be happier and more excited about all this, huh?

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  23. This sounds amazing, Kaye! I hope you find time to see everything you want to see, and I can't wait to get a status report on the possible tattoo!

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    1. Thanks very much, Ingrid! and you know I will keep you posted on the tattoo!

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  24. Kaye, your drawings are much better than mine, Iona journal or not! But I do intend to practice this trip, and am taking my little travel watercolor box.

    I ADORE Paris and your trip sounds wonderful!! Although I'm with Jenn, I don't know how you're going to manage to do all those things in a week, but I can't wait to hear all about it. And see your journal!!!

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    1. PS I'm going to refer back to this post and to Ann's suggestions next time I go to Paris! And look up the little Black Book. I'll bet there's one for London.

      I was pre-packing yesterday, too (I leave for London next Sunday--too bad we can't meet up in Paris for the day!) but it's hard when it's twenty-five degrees warmer here than it will be in London. And I'm packing for three and a half weeks and am not nearly as color coordinated as you, lol! But I did buy a new red coat!

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    2. Debs, I should have gone for the Iona, and I'm going to for my next trip, dadgummit!

      The things we don't get to this time around will just go right back on the list for the next time. I wish I could go for three and a half weeks like your trip to London! And wouldn't it e fun to meet up in Paris!!!! All four of us would love that.

      A new red coat. Girl! I love it already! Pictures from London, please! Have a great trip!

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    3. And YES! There IS a Little Black Book for London - do grab one, you'll love it

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  25. The 1920's style photo session sounds marvelous. Of course, so does pretty much every thing you mentioned!
    You are much too hard on yourself about your artistic skills. The sketches are charming. I'm waiting for the giraffe to speak. But, sadly, I wouldn't understand because I don't speak French. Oh well.
    Bon voyage!
    Libby Dodd

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    1. Libby, I don't speak French either, so I won't understand a word the giraffes are saying, so I'll just smile, offer more peanuts and nod my head a lot.

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  26. PS I've been to Deyrolle. Happened to stay at a hotel right near. It is kind of weird.

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    1. Weird is good!! I expect to get some pretty cool pictures

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  27. Bon Voyage, Kaye. Especially enjoy everything! ;-)

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  28. You girls are going to have so much fun! Really. Traveling with friends can't be beat. I've never been to Paris so can't help you there. It sounds like you have so much information and tips it might take a while to sort through it all, if ever. Bon voyage!

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    1. Thank you! I think it's going to be a whole bunch of fun, Pat. It's hard to imagine what we might and might not see and do, but I think we'll laugh a lot about both.

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  29. Wow! Looks like you and your friends are going to have a fantastic time in Paris. Are you all touring with a tour group ? My first visit to Paris was with a tour group. Alas, I was there for only two and half days! We had a 14 day tour of Europe. While we were in Paris, we saw the Louvre. We saw the Eiffel Tower at night from the boat on the Seine. Unfortunately, my camera was not able to take good night photos. I noticed lots of goat cheese in Paris near Rue le Cler. I love goat cheese. Bringing a English French phrase book is very helpful. The signs are in French. When you take the train or the bus, you need to know the French words for exit, among other words ;-) . I had chocolate crepes at a French restaurant. Forgot the name. I sat outside because I am allergic to cigarette smoking and they allowed smoking in restaurants. Not sure if that is still true. After the Louvre, we walked in the Tuilieres Gardens. They had little booths where they sold ice cream. We saw Norte Dame Cathedral too. Because I wanted to travel light, I only bought postcards that I sent home to myself so I could remember my travels. We also saw the Musee d'Orsay in the morning before we left for the south of France.

    Wishing you all a wonderful time in Paris!

    Diana

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    1. Thank you so much, Diana! No, no tour group. Just our own little tour group of 4. We're taking one of the boat trips down the Seine also, and looking forward to it - very much!! Chocolate crepes. LordAMercy, I cannot wait to have chocolate crepes. Many many chocolate crepes. You did a LOT in a very short time!!!! wow! It sounds delightful.

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  30. Oh, Kaye! I am so thrilled for you and Lesa and the other girls. You all are going to have the best time. I've never been to Paris, and I should have hitched a ride in your suitcase, but my travel money is set aside for England, hopefully next year or the next. But when you talk of all the amazing places you're going to see and things you're going to do, I start thinking that a trip to Paris would be a fine thing indeed. I especially would love to see the Louvre, Montmartre, that palace at Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, Musée d'Orsay, and gargoyles. Please take a picture a picture at Montmarte and a picture of a gargoyle and send to me, Kaye. So exciting!!!!

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    1. Kathy. A week or so back, during a flurry of emails among the Paris Pals, Lisa made a comment about what an enthusiastic bunch we are. And you, with your upbeat, enthusastic nature, would be a perfect addition. I wish you were coming with us. And I promise to try to get a decent Montmartre gargoyle pic to send you. Promise!

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  31. And Kaye, I'm very impressed with anyone who owns even one LBD, much less five. Wow. I own one dress, a summery wedding sort of thing, and I never plan on wearing it again!

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  32. Oh, Ann - that's funny. Most of my wardrobe, these days, is dresses. I love little dresses. Casual, easy to wear and comfy. I feel quite comfy in a dress, and wear them more than pants.

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  33. There's nothing like your first visit to an iconic city and you'll love it. But of course there is no way you'll do everything already on your list! I visit Paris fairly often (not as often as Cara Black, bien sur) and the only tips I'd add that are purely subjective: 1) Don't be afraid of the Metro system - it's fantastic and will take you anywhere; and 2) buy some lingerie while you're in Paris - the selection and beauty of it is unmatched here. Bon voyage!

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