Monday, October 11, 2010

Paris To-Dos

Bear is packed and ready to leave for Paris on Thursday. I am not.... It's easy to take the suitcase out of the closet...
Does this happen to you?
Why is that?
Or do you start packing months in advance..?
Ah, the almighty making of To-Do lists when you're going away... And then moving at a snails pace when it comes to actually doing them... I did get to the bank to buy some Euros...
Of course the dollar$ had just fallen steeply that day :(
I did get a pre-trip haircut on Friday...
Cross off another 'To-Do'!
I LOVE looking at maps before I go away. That's fun.
I even have a Metro map plastered on the kitchen wall and Metro placemats on the table to immerse my brain unconsciously. Are you a map nut?
Harder than what to wear in Paris, is what books to bring?
Books are so darn heavy.
But you can photo-copy just the pages you want.
Why do I end up taking 100's of pages I never look at :(
As for clothes - I take basic black and pick up the latest tendance/trendie thing at H&M once I'm there. That's the funny thing about Paris. If something is trendie you can find it all price points everywhere like the trenchcoat or ballerinas. The French are a bit like Lemmings when it comes to trends...
I always take my lucky dice bracelet with me...even if I'm just going round the corner. Do you have a talisman you always take on a trip?
They say the absolute BEST part of travel is all the anticipatory planning and dreaming BEFORE you actually leave!?
I would like to go to NEW PLACES this trip.
Not the same old, same old...
I want to explore NEW arrondissements (like the 11th which I keep meaning to go to and never do).
Your suggestions are most welcome!
Another thing I'd like to-do is start thinking about coming home. Re-entry into the real world is always such a shock.
Why is it we rarely plan for 'The Return'?


  1. Happy and safe travels to you.

    The photos in this post are absolutely adorable. I am a huge sucker for miniatures, and the set ups here are too cute for words!

    I hope that your trip is a good one. Maybe see you on the streets of Paris! :)

  2. Karin,
    if you see someone RUNNING you will know it is moi,
    since Parisiens rarely run like New Yorkers do in my experience...
    Especially when crossing the street when the light has changed...

  3. Ah, Carol! Rose and I wish you a wonderful trip to Paris. We SO wish we could tag along. Bon Voyage and best regards,


  4. Oh boy....more Paris photos!!!

    This was SUCH a FUN post!!!!

    I had the 11th on my list too but we didn't make it.
    Have you been to "Rougier & Ple" the craft store???

    Have a grand time and look forward to "Paris breakfasts"......

  5. Carol, Bon Voyage!
    I am a last minute packer too and the books
    oh yes the books and pages and folders of places and things to
    do. And I have always wanted one of those dice bracelets--Have a
    wonderful trip!
    Can't wait for your latest blogs from Paris.
    PS. I always pack a few pieces of bubble wrap in case I find
    something fragile.

  6. Saskia359:12 AM

    Just a cupcake tip!
    An English company that makes fabrics with cupcakes, it is too much fun!!!

  7. I can see how packing for your Paris trips is such a problem.
    Have you ever considered the advantages of thinking like a big girl,and getting luggage that is a bit (a BIG BIT) bigger than those teensy-tinesy ones in your photos?
    Plus, you could then have room for more "stuff," on the return trip.

  8. I love the planning of my trips to France; really is part of the fun. Enjoy every second thinking about/planning for Paris!!!! Coming home will take care of itself.

  9. You are ripe for an Ipad - to hold all the books you want!
    Do not let that smug little bear pressure you about your preparations! Have you ever missed the plane? Non!

  10. Loved this Post, as I leave for
    Paris on Friday...a long awaited
    trip! You were smart not to pack
    until the last minute...I packed
    way too early, and now do not
    remember what's in the suitcase!!

    I hope we have good weather! Look
    forward to your beautiful Paris
    posts upon my return!

    Flora Doora

  11. You really made me laugh JANE! :)
    Take yr umbrella for fri/sat!

    I've been thinking about a KINDLE! You read my mind as usual..

  12. Cheryl in KC10:45 AM

    This was an adorable email.
    I am so excited for your travel. And just think, I get to see those photos of Paris!!
    Bon Voyage, Carol and Bear, of course.

  13. to answer one of your questions-
    I pack weeks ahead for 2 reasons.
    I get excited and also find that there are unexpected
    things that come up right before I leave.
    what also helps is that I have all of my "to dos" and things to pack typed and printed so I don't have to think. I just read and add to the bag and mark off. first draw a line through any you don't need for a trip. I have many copies so I can mark one all up for each trip. Toward the end I just make a small list to get rid of the marked up longer one.
    It has different sections- to do, clothes, cosmetics, electronics and stuff like that. I can send you one if you would like.
    I keep them in a file folder along with mail cancellation notes.
    Have a beautiful time.

  14. I'm in love with this cute bear and his suitcase!! So so cute...
    have a wonderful time in Paris, really enjoy it!!
    And ... I pack 5 minutes before leaving!!

  15. Have a great trip, Carol. Yes, I take a talisman - I have it all the time, really. It's an old (old) centime given to me by an old, old man many years ago in France. For good luck.

    I'm so glad that Bear is going. I wonder if he will meet up at Sonia's for a reunion?


  16. bon voyage!
    Good for you, aiming for the 11th arr. it is a vibrant
    And continue on up for a taste of the 20th.
    The 96 bus gets you there.
    Walk on rue des cascades.
    The neighborhood around Metro Jourdain is lovely.
    There are some nice bistros on rue
    oberkamph, mounting towards bvd menilmontant.
    Stay on that bvd towards Pere Lachaise and don't miss the tomb of victor noir.
    bon voyage!

  17. Love this post!! Great photos (and, of course, I always love seeing Bear!).
    And it's great to know I'm not the only one who xeroxes far more stuff to take along than I'll ever use.

    Have a great trip.

  18. Safe travels Carol. The weather has been gorgeous!! Your miniatures are so cute!

  19. Jane Flora Doora12:41 PM

    If I see someone taking a picture of a bear doing something crazy..., there is no way I am not stopping to say Hello...and if you see someone taking a picture of a silly Flora Doora bag, please do the same!
    Have a great trip!

  20. Good luck with all the transportation strike woes! Hope it's not as bad as they are predicting. Sounds like it could be a "bear!"

    Bon voyage,

  21. One secret to my pre-trip list-making is always to write as the first item on my list, "Make list," because that way I have something to cross off the list right away. It's a real spirit-lifter!

    Bon voyage, Boa viagem.

  22. Haircut - check
    mani pedi - check do
    planning on bringing layers of clothes.
    leave....tomorrow at 7:30am
    Safe travels for us all

  23. Do you stay with friends or in a apartment or hotel.. Just wondering ;-)

  24. When you're in the mood for lunch one day, head to Bagels and Brownies on Rue Notre-Dame des Champs (just down from metro station Saint-Placide) (Google Maps link-,+Paris,+France&hl=en&cd=1&cad=src:pplink&ei=LlGzTPfcB5KOowSU3uWpAg)
    They have great bagel sandwiches (many named after American cities- as I recall, the San Francisco was one of my favorites), and it's one of the few places in Paris where you can actually find root beer! While you're there, if you take a picture of the menu so that I can remember what was in those delicious sandwiches, I wouldn't complain... ;)

  25. .. wow, big time news today ... LOVE just freaking LOVE those chicks ... I pack black and white everything, mix & match however needed ... I've had a packing list in excel for many years, occasionally updated, just print and check off ... and I put things on the ironing board that I am putting in the suitcase, so you can change your mind easily ... and do a last minute run through ... oh oh oh so exciting, well all but that flight ... so disappointed when they cut out the morning flights to Paris ... can't wait to see your posts ... I love your Paris nights shots ... bon chance ... ta ta !!!!

  26. I once made a CD (for the ride home from the airport) of "America" music as a surprise for my traveling companion. I also put a box in the car with bottles of water, mini-apple pies (Lil Debbie's), and USA flags and tiaras. It was so funny because I had kind of forgotten about it. When I turned on the car, the Star Spangled Banner began to play and it felt great! (Though I still missed Paris.)

  27. Hi Carol, have a magical time. Please please remember to post actual places you go to, with or without pictures. I'm going back for my 4th trip in April and want places to go that I haven't seen already--stores, streets, corners, cafes, anything. Bon voyage! Jean

  28. Just don't forget to pack underwear. I went to Bermuda once without any!!
    I pack so neatly going and just throw stuff in on way back--that says it all for returning to "real life "huh!!
    Have fun Hope Bear gets some chocolates.

  29. I got to go in May this year. My favourite was the Batobus. You buy a transfer for 1, 2, 5 days, and you can ride it everyday. It stops at all major stops (ie, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame etc) I loved being down by the water and looking up at all the architecture. You'll get some great photos, especially at sunset.

    Also, check out if Saint Chapelle has any concerts ... we got to hear Vivaldi's Four Seasons at 7pm. It was ... stunning.

  30. Such a cute post, Carol! The opening shot of Bear is priceless :)
    You have your work cut out for you, but if you can put a post like this together from your imagination, you'll get to Paris without any problems!

  31. So cute! I only pack the night before. I just wish I put more time into the to-do's for when in Paris. Fiona

  32. Anonymous6:06 PM

    Funny and charming. Love it!

  33. Bon Voyage Carol! Considering how many times you have travelled to Paris, I too was wondering where you prefer to stay.

    Look forward to reading your posts and seeing new photos.


  34. Carol, have a wonderful, wonderful trip! You and bear will have a blast, of course. I'll try to tune in for all the details!

    I will be visiting my sister on Wed, and I can't believe we're not going to be able to get together, but I WILL make that happen sometime. I'm determined! In the meantime, bon voyage and have a beautiful fall trip to Paris! Thinking of you...xoxo

  35. Oh my I'm excited we're off to Paris!! of course I must come, to watch out for BEAR whilst you are busy snapping away with your camera. He will need lots of cafe creme's and macarons of the pistache variety ~ I know the very best places to find them.(you will have no need to fear on the score)
    Enjoy your trip Carol! pack light & keep safe.

  36. I am a musician, British, living in Paris for the past 17 years, and have become a regular
    visitor to your delightful blog which, despite my years here, still charms me with
    it's enthusiasm for the finely observed wonders of this special place.
    My congratulations on some
    wonderful work.

  37. Oh la la, THURSDAY?? I thought you were coming over later in the month. Let me know when you're ready for some douceurs! A bientot!

  38. Bon voyage! Hope you catch some of the glorious weather while you're here.

    La Mom
    An American Mom in Paris

  39. Michelle8:58 AM

    To answer your question... I am a map freak! I need a map of where all my maps are! And Paris maps are my favorites. Autumn in Paris...sigh....

  40. I hope you take your Paris Cafes book with you.
    I would love to see
    more of the cafes in the Marais that are filled with "stuff."
    Le Tambour and Le Cochon a l'Oreille on Rue Montmartre are two that I hope
    to see someday.
    I also had a wonderful prix fix lunch at Montparnasse
    1900 near the train station.

    Looking forward to more Paris posts.


  41. Anonymous12:10 AM

    lucky you. wish I was going. bear looks so cute with his little suitcase.

  42. Anonymous5:59 AM


    Absolute joy in reading thru your blog. I'm goin to paris nxt year mid Feb. Quite looking forward, just scared bout the climate as im from Malaysia:D. Just like you, i love going thru maps and travel places, currently finding places that bring the old charm of France, not big fan on tourist spots. Have you been to Toulouse? Any suggestions on it? They are such fun to read!


  43. It is a long time since I went to Toulouse - a beutiful town.
    Don't be afraid to do tourist things in France - it's much better organized there.
    I think Sarlat is not to far away - I should have gone..

  44. Anonymous9:17 AM

    thanks, mayb will visit sarlat. warm regards, kalai.


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