Friday, February 05, 2010

To Paris With Love

YSL Paris, original watercolor, 9" x 11"
When Audrey goes to Paris she takes along her Leopard... When John Travolta goes to Paris, in the new movie out today, he takes along "his precious energy drinks whose containers hide firearms. Corn syrup, caffeine and water it's not" the New York Times reports... French Girl in Paris, likes me to bring her some Essie Alure nail polish. Like all the best nail polishes don't already exist and originate in Paris? Who knew? Of course I take my watercolor paintbox. Not really that weird to bring along to Paris. BUT with all the art stores in Paris (homeland to artistes from the get-go), would you not think you could find a decent pad of tracing paper?
You can NOT find any tracing pads in all of Paris. Well I have not, so I bring my own nice, cheesy thin tracing paper pads from Utrecht art supply. C'est comme ca.
Here's a weird thing I like to bring to Paris - Japanese travel books on Paris! They are the BEST in my opinion.
There is not one word of English in these books, though they throw the occasional French word or two around. I like them for the illustrations and maps - they give me ideas. Go figure... Sue of Cottage Way of Life used to take "Bessie" with her to Paris(the size of a cat). "Why? So I could photograph her travels (I was thinking of writing a book). Bessie got lots of attention in Paris, I constantly heard, "La vache!" And everyone wanted to take a picture of her. I got to talk to a lot of people because of that cow...
So what do YOU bring to Paris? Do tell all s.v.p.
Whoops-this is not the trailer I watched at The NYTimes...ahem
The language is NSFW
Bonjour Week-end!


  1. You ask "what do you take to Paris?" Well, I take those individually packaged plastic fork, knife, and napkin sets from fast food places in the US. I have several in my purse for picnics after shopping for bread and cheese at the markets.

  2. Copy of A Moveable Feast...can't think what else at moment. Been some time. But I laughed at Utrecht pad mention. I'm sitting here with latest haul from Utrecht. I love going...even to buy one pastel or a new pencil.

    Now, Carol. We're breathlessly waiting for the two feet+ of snow down here in DC. I hope you got out (or are out now) & buying some provisions. Just made a quick run for things not at WFoods yesterday & it was a wild scene, man.

    xoSusan & GG

  3. Anonymous10:56 AM

    Hi Carol,

    Tracing paper is not sold in pads here. It is sold in a "pochette", or stiff envelope, made by a paper firm called Canson. You can find it in the school supplies department of any Monoprix, or at any stationers' shop. Just ask for "papier calque".


  4. A facecloth. The hotels I stay in do not provide.

    A small notebook to write down my adventures and little words or phrases that catch my fancy.

  5. Tupperware & food containers & zip lock bags! Last time we went we stayed in an apartment and cooked all of our own food and picked up items from La Grande Epicerie... And then we had them to bring all of our foods back in and breakables...

    And yes we did carry a full loaf of Poulaine bread & butter thru the security. The people were so nice they took extra care with the bread all the way thru our journey home.

  6. I love your watercolors!

  7. I've never been to Paris. Hopefully I'll get there before I drop dead. I guess I'd have to take wife. :O)

  8. i am taking my girls to paris in april...

    love your blog!

  9. Great post. I will have to try to look for those japanese books. Hilarious. What are you tracing, cutie?

  10. Shout, Bounce, and Mitchum, the triumverate of stain remover, fabric softener sheets and anti-perspirant that are not sold here.

  11. I like to DRAW on tracing paper..don't ask why 'cause I don't know, but it's my favorite.

  12. Cute question!
    When my husband and I were in Paris in 1996, we found down pillows everywhere, and down gives him the sniffles. We finally found a small decorator pillow that was enough support for sleeping but could tuckin a suitcase.

    My health quirk is taking the juice of half a lemon in warm water
    every morning, first thing. I carry a tiny pen-knife to cut the lemon in a Swiss Army Knife product the size of a credit card. (Don't know
    if this will pass muster nowadays.) I enjoyed buying lemons in Paris at the market stalls, especially late at night in Montmartre in
    Victorian attire.


  13. The Japanese book cracks me up! Do they have French books with maps of places in Japan? I would definitely skip that movie too. I am getting good ideas about what to bring when I go to Paris. Thanks :)

  14. Carol, I don’t leave home without my heavy duty, sharp-edged, serrated plastic cheese knife. It also saws bread. It’s great. I have never had problems with it at airport security. I got it at a kitchen supply store. It’s great for picnic lunches.

    My husband refers to it as my “hatchet.”


  15. WOW :O
    I'm afraid I will not be able to meet up with you, JODY, The Hatchet in Paris..
    Carolg :)

  16. Don't know that it is considered weird, but I take my pillow in one of those suck-all-the-air-out bags. I have yet to find a comfortable pillow in a hotel room. Oh, and a magnifying mirror because I can't see well enough to put my makeup on without one!

  17. I shall have to bring your blog, via Blackberry, so I can go where you go. That should make for a perfect stay in Paris, wouldn't you agree?

    Right now I wished I had a chocolate macaroon or something!

  18. I love your painting!
    I would bring a copy of "A Moveable Feast" just like Giulia :)

  19. I adore your site. Everything about Paris makes me so happy, its just such a magical city and I hope to visit it again very soon. I recently started my own blog, and i was hoping if you could take a look at it and let me know what you think!!

    I look forward to each of your post, especially when there are watercolor paintings involved!


  20. Usually, I take a small sketchbook & a small watercolor field kit (well, I take those everywhere), but one trip I took a cow. A vintage plastic toy cow the size of a cat. I know, a little weird ... but at that point in time I was taking this cow (who, along the way acquired the name, Bessie) everywhere. Why? So I could photograph her travels (I was thinking of writing a book). Bessie got a lot of attention in Paris, I constantly heard, "La vache!" And everyone wanted to take a picture of the cow. It was fun - I got to talk to a lot of people because of that cow.

  21. brilliant idea COTTAGE!
    why didn't I think of that...
    Was it a Vermont cow or a Jersey? just wondering...
    I did once drag around a Sonia Rykiel toy fluffy cat from my SK-addicted days-but only in the airport did it raise a stir

    Poor MERISI-no chocy macarons for you..You'll just have to settle for a slice of original Sacher torte poor darling
    life is tough

  22. Misha in Paris4:14 PM

    welcome to Paris baby John said !
    I live in an other Paris,
    no noise,
    no action,
    a real museum !

  23. You might want to re-think how weird taking paints to Paris is....When my luggage got lost at my destination, besides describing what it looked like, they asked me what unusual or identifying thing might be inside. So I told them there was a brand new tin of watercolor pencils inside....the LOOK I got!

  24. I always arm myself with my Eyewitness Paris travel guide and a hearty appetite - for macarons, palmiers, eclairs, pain au chocolat, croissants and all things sucre!

  25. Stephanie4:54 AM

    I always have to take packs of Sweet & Low [for coffee at friend's house...I wouldn't be seen using it in a restaurant!]


  26. Love your blog. Perhaps you have answered this before, but what type of watercolor paint do you use?

  27. Well, it is a blessing for us, your readers, that you bring along your paintbox :-)

  28. jo anne3:53 PM

    I bring a purse size soft cover plain page inexpensive journal for jotting down thoughts and sketching impressions.
    I use a Waterman black ink fountain pen purchased on one of my trips.
    There are over 20 journals on my shelf that have captured each trip in unforgettable detail.
    J'aime la France.

  29. Carol,
    merci from the bottom of my chocolate needy heart for your empathy!
    Hope the snow storm was kind to your neighborhood,

  30. Anonymous5:52 AM

    " For me a painting is like a story which stimulates the imagination and draws the mind into a place filled with expectation, excitement, wonder and pleasure"
    - J. P. Hughston, painter


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