Paris in January is cold. And, when I say cold, I mean sunny cold, windy cold, cloudy cold, drizzly cold, rainy cold, and snowy cold - in any combination on any single day. I will be in Paris for a week, so I am completely expecting to enjoy all the 'states' of cold weather, after all - if you can't enjoy yourself in Paris in January than you just shouldn't have come. If what it takes for you to have a 'nice' holiday is warm sunny weather than may I suggest a Carnival Cruise, those boats are full of fair-weathered tourists. I, on the other hand, am happy to be in Paris. I share a more 'the-wine-glass-is-half-full' type of sentiment and enjoy Paris any time of the year and am thankful to get to go at all.
My trip to Paris is mostly for work. I am to attend the Maison & Objet Show held January 22-26 at the Villepinte - Parc des Expositions (You might notice the sign along the freeway just as you leave the Charles de Gaulle Airport.)
But alas, not to worry too much for me because I hope to have at least a day before the show and at least a day after the show to sightsee. (Trip shortened greatly because crammed between Harbour Island and New York - 3 great trips - 1 short month)
Leave Tuesday afternoon - 3:30 p.m.
Arrive Wednesday morning - 7:55 a.m.
Travel Tip: For those of you traveling from Houston or anywhere else that the airline drops you off inconveniently 7 hours before hotel check-in, I wisely book the hotel room for the night before and tell them that I will be a late check-in, very late. That way, when I get to the hotel, I can have a bath, take a nap, and wake up refreshed to start my day with brunch at none other than my favorite serves-breakfast-all-day cafe - Cafe Flore.
Thursday - Sightsee
Friday - Showday
Saturday - Showday
Sunday - Showday, expect to skip out early
Monday - Sightsee
Tuesday - Leave Paris 9:25 a.m.
Apparently, I must be drinking from the 'Blogging Kool-Aid.' I wrote that blog (The Concealer) right before I left for Paris - Coats, scarves, boots, sunglasses, jewelry, purses - all 'Concealer Clothes.' All tips ideal for traveling, too.
On the way to the hotel, 12 hour travel day later, ugh. 'Concealer Clothes' holding up better than 12 hour travel breath. Notice darling husband not sitting very close.
My husband has a saying - "If you can't carry it, don't bring it." Translation - he, too, only has two arms and can not manage to schlep more than two bags at a time. Meaning - one reasonable bag for him and one over-packed bag for me. The rest of the so-called necessities (my stuff) is up to me to carry. So over the years, I have managed to convince myself that I can do without a lot of incidentals when it comes to traveling. Besides, if I do conveniently forget something or gleefully managed to way under pack, I am in Paris, and, almost anything can be replaced (upgraded).
Here is my 'Winter Concealer' packing list for Paris in January: To include - show clothes, sightseeing clothes, and special 'date-night-out' clothes.
Full disclosure - this is everything I took to Paris. Including my sleepy-time clothes.
- Black Cashmere - for the coldest days.
- Brown Suede - for sunny days.
- New Shortie Trench coat - for all the drizzly days. (Which happened to be all but 2 days)
- Black and Gray Cashmere - (Gifted to my husband years ago, but absconded by loving wife, wink.)
- Kitty-Cat - just for show.
- Mink - showy and warm! Perfect for dress up.
- Grey Bag - for all occasions
- Kitty-Cat Satchel - the ideal show bag (I get tons of compliments on this bag. Don't tell, purchased years ago with HSC, shhh.)
- Petit Evening Bag - brought for date-nights. Restaurant tables in Paris are positioned so closely, that I have learned it can be very awkward for waiter and neighboring tables if you have huge purse that needs to be put somewhere. Small bags are tres chic for dinner.
- Work Boots - several years old, way comfortable.
- Glam Boots - for 'date-nights.' Look great with all the dresses I brought.
- Flats - known as my 'shoe-shoes.' Comfortable for walking around the show for hours on end. Who would think flats could be so comfortable.
* Note how small hotel closet is. If my feet were any bigger, I don't think my shoes would have fit!
Shoe Tip: Compede
I buy 2 packs of Compedes at the local Pharmacie as soon as I arrive.
I only bring what I will wear constantly. Without hesitation, I took the ring my husband so lovingly purchased for me for our tenth wedding anniversary (After he was reminded on blog that he had forgotten - 3 months later, tee hee. Love the blog!)
Notice - French girl carrying an umbrella, hum. Rain is certainly a motif for Paris (and Houston) in January.
T-Shits & Sweaters: for layering.
T-Shirt Tip: I like to wear T-Shirts under my sweaters. Don't think that just because it's winter that you don't sweat. Well, maybe I should make that an 'I' statement. I sweat regardless of the temperature. I think that my sweating is spurned on by the claustrophobic-ness of wearing so many clothes at one time. Just thinking about it makes me sweat.
Jeans: Of course. Jeans are not just American, anymore. You see lots of jeans being worn in Paris - both styles skinny with flats or tucked into boots, and fuller cuts worn out over the boot. Jeans worn with long sweaters, short jackets, and gorgeous minks. (Even in the Anna Wintour movie The September Issue, 'Anna' dares to mention J.Brand jeans in her opening interview, aghast!)
Hair: I know! I know! It wasn't for trying. I remember very well my 'Personal Resolution.' I brought the stupid thing (Chi) and it would not work with any of the converters we brought. So, of course, my hair was wildly frizzy the whole time. I tried to keep it (the heap) up in a ponytail as much as possible but even I started to get a 'pony' headache.
And, don't even get me started on that 'thing' (apparatus) the hotel calls a blow dryer. My dog Spotswood emits 'toots' with stronger currents than that damn thing had on 'high-speed.'
My Packing Essentials:
The older I get the more 'products' I seem to use. Even though hotels usually provide lovely bath products, I like to begin my day smelling like 'me.' I can not live without my Frederic Fekkai shampoo and conditioner (I buy the large size for home and a special small size for travel.) My own personal crack cream - VRAI.
(Ignore image of Chi. Am still mad at it.)
Things to swallow:
Melatonin - a tablet under the tongue and I sleep like a baby until the dreaded 4 a.m.
Flaxseed Oil - because I can feel the elasticity evaporating from my skin on the plane.
Psyllium - will not explain further. If you know what it is you probably have to take it too. If you have never heard of it than lucky you, for now.
*All pills dumped into convenient ziplock bag because bottles are large and cumbersome.
Hope you enjoyed the first installment, tomorrow is Hotel Reservations. Au revoir.