A week in the Bahamas sounds dreamy. A week in Paris sounds like heaven. A week in New York sounds exciting. . . . . But, dreamy, heaven, and exciting all in the span of just 4 short weeks sounds simply exhausting, even to a professional tourist (wanderer) like myself.
I was supposed to leave Houston on Tuesday / to arrive Paris Wednesday, but stupid Continental Airlines had a 'scheduled' flight cancellation and bumped us (Issac & moi) to the next flight - which in 'international' lingo means the next day - new itinerary leave Houston on Wednesday / to arrive Paris Thursday.
Well, you might say - big deal, it's just a day. However, on a short 7 day international trip a day can feel like a lot, especially when you have to count travel days (Wed. & following Wed.) In other words, this trip to Paris will have to be non-stop go, go, go. It's a good thing that I'm all rested up from the Bahamas.
Wednesday - leave Houston @ 3:30 p.m. (travel day)
Thursday - arrive Paris @ 9:30 a.m. (transition day)
*Travel Tip - I always reserve the hotel room for the night prior to arrival and remind the concierge (by email) that I will be a very late check-in (10:30 the following morning, ha ha). I get to the room, have a shower, a little 'disco' nap, and then I am good to go around 1:00 for lunch at my favorite little neighborhood cafe. (Otherwise, standard European hotel check-in time is around 3 p.m.) Trust me, my way is much more civilized and well worth the additional expense.
We (my husband, his wallet & moi) follow up brunch with some 'light' shopping. The biggest news in Paris right now is the new 3 level Hermes store situated in the former swimming pool of the Lutetia Hotel (oh so conveniently located across from the Bon Marche department store). You will need deep pockets for this shopping jaunt, . . . very deep pockets. Your dear husband will think he is treading water (drowning) in the deep end with every sigh and ahh you make.
The New Hermes Store
17 rue de Sevres, 6th arr.
Yes, you are correct in your realization . . . . the left bank!
To include, flower boutique by florist Baptiste Pitou (think the likes of Christian Tortu / Takashimaya), cafe Le Plongeoir (translation - the diving board) serves tea, coffee, and pastries on house brand Hermes china!, book corner, tabletop, bed linens, towels, baby gifts, men's wear, women's wear, and oh yeah - leather. Leather like b-u-t-t-e-r.
As a professional blogger at large (ha ha), I should mention the crazy tight security Hermes has all over the store - No pictures, please! Go figure, the Rodin Museum leaves priceless art collections hanging on the walls with little or no supervision, but heaven forbid you come too close to a precious objet (in my case, a canvas tote) 'un-escorted' in the new Hermes store.
My Insider Blog Tip: Don't touch anything! Don't even look too closely unless you are planning to buy it.
Pictures of the new Hermes store downloaded from internet.
Sweeping staircase made of curved strips of ash wood.
Original tile columns and floor.
Metal work is original also.
Me standing on the street sneaking a picture of Issac while he is 'browsing' for poppies in the new Hermes store.
Take that security!
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Blog Insider Tip:
Just down the street, Catherine B showcases 'Certified Pre Owned' (CPO) Hermes and Chanel goods.
If you didn't see just the bag (Birkin or Kelly) you were looking for, pop next door to Les Trois Marches for more choices - same owner.
If you are truly interested in making an acquisition, the owner has even more styles and colors in the back (secret warehouse). All you have to do is speak up and tell the nice gentlemen exactly what you would like, and he goes back to his back stock room (secret warehouse), and shazam he reappears with just The Bag sans the 6 month to 1 year waiting list. CPO Hermes is not only a huge money saver but also a big time saver to boot.
Blog Insider Joke - I was told by a complete know-it-all that black has the highest resell value, but really . . . whatever! If I ever got to buy an Hermes handbag, I would never sell it, never!
The Birkin of stoves, ha ha.
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I'm feeling much better today. First on the itenerary is brunch at Cafe Flore.
I was joking with Issac that I may have landed in Paris yesterday, but today I feel that I have 'arrived.' It is amazing what a difference 24 hrs. makes.
We actually have some errands to run today. Issac wants to go the 'pharmacy' to buy his eye drops. I would like to get some eye glasses. We (moi) want to order Issac some shoes. And, I need to get some shoes to go with a brown/bronzy leather coat that I bought last fall that didn't seem to look right with any of the shoes that I owned (hate it when that happens, grrr). We have to move fast because I want to go see my 'boyfriend' at the Rodin Museum.
Eye Glasses Shopping at Francis Klein
Issac looking very self-important with shop owner, hee hee.
Shoe Shopping for Issac at Shipton & Heneage
There to order Custom Slippers by Matthew Cook.
Actually, Issac was fitted for his shoe size, but we (he) just couldn't decide what to have stitched on the shoes, . . . . . it can be very custom. Even Briard custom!
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The Rodin Museum
Every time we visit the Rodin Museum, they are hosting another exhibit. Don't be of the mindset - Seen it once, you've seen it a M times.
The Arch, 1969 by Henry Moore
We chose NOT to check our coats.
The only painting I would ever wish to steal - Pere Tanguy, 1887 by Van Gogh
I want Issac to copy this series of landscapes by Rodin for me. I think they would look great in my family room. The paintings are so simple yet make such a statement when hung together in a series.
Golden Twilight Over the Dunes in the Forest of Soignes, 1871 to 1877 by Rodin
I still think it's funny, tee hee.
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After a full day of sightseeing, museum-ing, & shopping, I have not 1 but 2 nasty blisters. A tad embarrasing shoe shopping at Tod's.
The shoes that I should have bought (also) last September, . . . a brilliant match! Now I can wear the coat, finally a mere 4 months later, grrr.
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Saturday, Sunday, & Monday all Maison & Objet Show Days - translation work. The reason that I am actually in Paris for a week to begin with.
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My brother has always wanted to join us in Paris on one of our little jaunts. Every year, he asks me what is there to do in Paris for the kids (ages 8 & 5).
Honestly, I have no idea how to respond. How many museums, churches, gardens, and parks can you drag 2 little kids both under the age of 10 to?
But now, now I have one fun place to recommend for a family with little kids to sightsee in Paris . . .
La Basilique du Sacre Coeur de Montmarte
When Issac asked the charming front desk girl at our hotel (Hotel des Saints Peres) for the address of the church to give the taxi driver, she laughed and exclaimed, "If the taxi driver needs the address to Sacre Coeur, then you should get out of that taxi and wait for the next taxi. Everyone in Paris knows Sacre Coeur!"
The Basilica is located at the highest point in the city.
Issac had his image drawn by a street artist.
His photo taken with a live statue.
I would have ridden on the funny little train, but Issac said next time (no).
All in all, Issac (homeland Israel) had a great time at The Basilica (Catholic Church) and as a reward for being so well behaved, I took him to Laduree for pastries.
His dessert of choice is the giant confectionary glob that takes up almost the entire (luncheon size) plate.
Did I mention the weather in Paris that entire week was cold & drizzly, with a high of 37 degrees, brrr.
Next day Houston, then off to New York for more of the same, except even colder with a foot of snow!