Barbara: For the next week, instead of our usual blog posts, I’ll be blogging from Paris! I’ll post my experiences and photos, and Deb will chat with you in the comments section below. I’ll catch up with the comments when I get back, but—if I can get to the comments while I’m here—I will happily take Paris recommendations from you! Not sure what time of day the posts will go up, but I will try and schedule them so they correspond with the usual 8am EST.
So, why am I in Paris, you ask? Well, some of you may remember that my newly-graduated fashion design daughter is doing an internship here. And one of the perks of having a husband who travels a lot: flight and hotel points! How could we miss the chance to see our girl in action in one of the most romantic cities in the world? Well, we couldn’t. So we decided to do what we’d never before imagined doing: going all the way to Europe … for only 5 days.
Jetlag be damned, we are having an adventure!
Okay, before I get to the juicy Paris stuff, can I just tell you how I totally “Barb-ed” my packing? (We’ve blogged here before about the verb Deb and I affectionately throw around—“to Barb something”, “you’ve really Barb-ed that”—which means, in a nutshell, you’ve done something in the most complicated, least logical way). So, inspired by Deb’s dedicated packing lessons and by the fact that my daughter is a fashionista and also that we’re going to Paris, baby, I decided to prepare what I was going to take on my trip, instead of throwing a bunch of clothes into my suitcase and hoping for the best. My choices would be important as I need to be comfortable for all the walking we’ll be doing, the weather is cool and damp, and I still want to look somewhat together. I took a page out of Deb’s pointer list and chose the outfits and photographed them ahead of time. How did I Barb it? Well, I tried to photograph the outfits ON ME, and without using the sensible girl’s tactic of photographing my reflection in the mirror (or asking someone else to do it), I balanced my iphone against the teakettle and tried to snap. This is me trying to get as much as I can into frame while still engaging the shutter button…
Silly, huh? It only took me SEVERAL DAYS OF CONTEMPLATION to realize that I could … lay the clothes on my bed and take the picture. This is especially Barb-idiculous given that DEB’S EXAMPLE IS WHAT INSPIRED ME—AND SHE LAID THE CLOTHES ON HER BED AND TOOK THE SHOTS (see our old post)!! Anyway, I figured it out.
|Tuxedo-ish shirt. And, no, the jeans will not be unzipped...|
|Lapis necklaces from my grandparents.|
Barb-reposterousness aside, I’ve never felt so prepared for a trip before. No more staring forlornly at my suitcase and wondering why I brought that stupid t-shirt when I really need a warm sweater!
So Phil and I land in the lovely country of France, in the unparalleled city of Paris, and of course, only have eyes for our beautiful daughter. Stefanie was able to get a few days off and has organized a full itinerary for us. Not that we need to follow it exactly, she was careful to point out, but Phil and I were really looking forward to seeing the city through her eyes.
So this is our Paris loveliness, Paris through our Stefanie, and Paris en famille!
This is a Paris must-see: Shakespeare and Company. Yes, famous for being a Hemingway hangout, featured lovingly in his marvelous "A Moveable Feast", but it's fantastic in its own right. A warreny, magical, mysterious bookshop, filled with the new and the very old. With little side-rooms dedicated to poetry (leave your own!), with scraps of paper tucked into books that you're encouraged to find and assemble into your own story, with a writer's room upstairs where a writer reads his work so fellow reader/writers can remark and give feedback, with an utterly knowledgeable staff, we couldn't get enough of it. We had to drag ourselves away, and left energized and inspired.
This was an incredible first day. I was so worried about the jetlag, what with only 3 1/2 hours sleep on the plane and a 1 hour nap in the hotel, I was sure I would be dragging myself through the day. But I felt amazing! And then to top off our perfect first day, what better luck than to meet up with two of our dearest friends in the world (friends for over 30 years!) because they are in town to pack up their old apartment?! Meet Mike (far left) and Josée (left of Phil). Josée is the culinary genius behind Epicurious Generations (link here and on our sidebar). We had a final nightcap (after an "haute gastronomique" dinner) with them and their friends at our hotel before falling into bed at 1:30am! Divine, mmmmm....
|Ahhh, the flowers and produce of the markets...|
|The beautiful shop windows of Paris!|
|Thousands of "love locks" on the bridge over the River Seine|
|Hotel de Ville|
|Art in Place Vendome|
|Us being "glamorous". Did we succeed?|