So sorry for the delay. As soon as I got back from Paris I got sick, then I had to fly across the country a couple of days later, then I was sick again and did not feel like doing anything except trying to get better.
Maison de Object was amazing. The show was incredible, I had never seen so many different types of designs in one place. There were literally hundreds of booths located in several halls across an area that had to be as big as a football field. One exhibit that caught my eye was this one below. I don’t even know what they were advertising, I just thought the presentation was beautiful.
These are live models. I love the way each of them match the backdrop.
Hope you like the pics!
It has been almost 20 years since I lived in Paris, but I visit every year and never get tired of experiencing such a magnificent city. I haven’t been here in over a year and I have quickly been reminded about some of the things I had forgotten.
1. Dogs are everywhere. I was in a bakery and in front of me was a woman with her little poodle and the lady behind the counter was engaging the dog, actually talking to it! And I saw a man who had his dogs on a leash that connected the dogs at their torsos. So he had one leash handle but he was walking two dogs at a time. I had never seen that and he was walking too fast for me (see #4) to get out my camera and take a pic. French people love their dogs.
2. I forgot about the men who play their music on the Metro. It’s not something soft and mellow, or anything remotely interesting. Most of the time it’s an electric accordian that is super annoying.
3. I was taken aback by the African women I see that lighten their skin. If you go into Black hair shops you can see the lightening products. I mean, seriously? They look very strange and as one of my friends said, “They look taupe.” Taupe is not a good look for skin color and I think it’s so sad these lovely African women feel they need lighter skin.
4.French people walk really fast. When I lived here I’m sure I walked as fast as they do but as I was walking around, I couldn’t believe how many people were flying by me. I wasn’t taking pictures or texting, I was just strolling. Frenchies remind me of New Yorkers in that respect, they have places to go and they want to get there now.
5.I miss the Metro. The sounds of the Metro are so soothing to me. I like to hear the screeching of the wheels as the Metro is moving (I’m being serious). I love being able to get anywhere in the city without having to drive. And it’s a great place to people watch.
6. Some French people love to smoke. Thankfully smoking is banned in restaurants but I have seen more people walking around smoking than I have seen in a long time. And because it is cold here, when people go outside to smoke they keep on their coats so when they come back inside you smell the smoke all over them.
7. There are tons of homeless people. When I think back on my time in Paris, I never remember all of the homelessness. But do not be surprised if you see someone sleeping outside or urinating on the street.
8. Tipping the waiter is totally optional. I went to dinner last night and we tipped the waitress, she was so grateful I swear her smile was bigger than a Cheshire cat. She kept thanking us and the tip wasn’t even that big. Many people will only leave a few Euros on a bill about 50 or 60 euros (about 65 to 75 dollars).
9. Public toilets are few and far between, and if you find one they aren’t usually clean and they for sure don’t smell nice. Many toilets have no air circulating at all, so when you close the door to the stall, there is no break between the door and the floor or ceiling. Sometimes you have to take a deep breathe and hold it while you handle your business. Or breathe thru your mouth. Either way you have to smell it or taste it. Yummy.
10. I didn’t forget about all the walking but my feet did. I have walked so much over the past two days and my feet are killing me. And on top of that I’m staying with someone who lives on the 5th floor with no elevator so walking up and down stairs is a beast! Next time I come I will definitely get some inserts for my boots because seriously, my feet are angry with me!
Even though some of the things I had forgotten may not be super positive, it just goes to show how the unpleasant things are quickly forgotten when the overall experience is a positive one. Living in Paris was a life-changing time for me and I am so happy I did it.
I still find Paris and the people in it to be fascinating. There really isn’t another place on earth with a vibe like Paris, and if you haven’t been, I really hope you can soon!
So I’m going to Paris for a very quick trip. I’m leaving here today and will arrive Sunday am around 8:30am. I am going because a friend of mine got me a ticket to a very exclusive design and home show so I couldn’t resist flying over (oh the beauty of flight benefits). I’m always surprised when people tell me they check a bag for a quick trip, or they pack tons of stuff. Here is what’s in my bag:
3 shirts, 3 pairs of socks, one pair of jeans (I’m wearing a pair of black leggings), sleepwear, and house slippers The plastic container is for my friend who asked me to bring her chocolate eclairs, and the bubble wrap is to wrap the alcohol a couple of people have asked me to bring back.
TRAVEL TIP: Always buy bubble wrap from home if you think you want to bring alcohol back. I normally wrap my bottles in my clothes but since I am not taking many, I need the wrap and it isn’t always easy to find in a foreign country.
toiletries (all in plastic bags)
Gloves, ear muffs and hats. It’s a little chilly in Paris right now.
Have you used these? They are called hot hands and can be found in any Walmart. They are little packets that once you open the packet, you have small, hot inserts for your gloves. It keeps your hands super warm.
This is my suitcase and this looks like a lot to me. Oh, I put my socks and personables in a small Eagle Creek holder.
This is my purse. I have my books, a few magazines, passport, and my headphones-plus my snacks (carrots, apples, nuts…yum) What do you bring when you travel?
I was able to see many cool things during my tenure as a Tour Manager for several different companies. One of those is the flamenco show at Patio Sevillano in Sevilla, Spain. You can have dinner and see an amazing Flamenco show. Did you know that Flamenco dancing was a way for women to communicate messages to men other than their husbands? Every move had a meaning so a woman could let her lover know what time to come by the house because her husband was going to be be gone.
This is Tortilla de Patata, a typical Spanish dish made of eggs and potatoes. Any Spanish child knows how to make this, it’s as common in Spain as peanut butter and jelly is common in the U.S.
This dish was delicious. It was just enough to satisfy my hunger and I was able to be full without feeling like I had eaten too much.
I love the presentation of food in Spain, it seems to make food taste even better when it’s presented in a lovely way.