A big whew before I get into the post. And I’ll tell you why. I took a ton of photos and it took quite a while to edit them—and trust me, editing photos is not my forte.
My Longchamp carryon is ready–four days of clothing stuffed into this bag!
Also—we both returned from Paris with horrific colds. We were traipsing the streets of the City of Lights with umbrellas and wet feet. It rained the entire time we were there. But—it didn’t dampen my spirit in any way. Personally, I don’t mind a rainy day in the City. I loved NYC in the rain and I love Paris in the rain—there’s a certain romanticism about it. But the romanticism stops when all you do is cough up phlegm and blow your nose to the point where you could, in fact, be a substitute for Rudolph the Red Nosed-Reindeer and guide Santa’s sleigh.
Let’s make the nose red. Ugh. I can’t stand a head cold!
Let’s start at the beginning of the trip—shall we?
All smiles in my Finn wig–I wore this wig for most of the trip. She looks even better after being worn a lot!
The drive to JFK was, surprisingly traffic-free. In all the years of driving on the Belt Parkway, I’ve never seen it so empty of traffic—and on the day before Thanksgiving no less!
Heading over the Verrazano bridge I was almost creeped out by the lack of traffic….
But THIS!! The Belt Pkway. Empty. I thought we were in the Twilight Zone for sure!
All moved along swimmingly until we reached the line for the TSA.
OK—let me backtrack a little. I have two fake Goyard tote bags. Both were purchased on Amazon. And yes. I am fully aware the totes are faux. But here’s the thing.
My first fake Goyard…led to this…
I thought this would look less fake. But I couldn’t fool a certain former editor of French Vogue. Sorry not sorry.
As fake as they are, I happen to like the design of them. I like the functionality and these totes are huge and hold a truck-load of stuff! And when I’m traveling overseas, I like a tote that’ll hold a ton of stuff! Truth be told, I thought about not bringing the fake tote because—after all, it’s a French brand and I was going to Paris. On the other hand, my intent was to only use the bag on the plane. I packed my brown leather Longchamp bag (which also holds a ton of stuff) to use while in Paris.
Back to the TSA. As I approached the little conveyer belt to put my stuff on, I noticed the woman behind me who was chic personified. Her fur coat was so inviting I just wanted to put my head into it and fall asleep. Her boots were killer. Pointy and high. Then I saw her face. The woman was Carine Roitfeld. The Carine Roitfeld. The former editor of French Vogue. She of the documentary that I loved –Mademoiselle C. She was right behind me. She saw my fake Goyard bag. I swear she gave me a stern stare after she saw it. (IRL I know she didn’t because she could care less about me but I love the drama of exaggeration)
I’ve always admired Carine Roitfeld because of her laid back, undone look. She’s even better looking up close. I wish I could have stalked her into her buying me a drink in the rich-people’s lounge!
All I could think of was that this could only happen to me. Yes! How many women have fake designer bags? This tote is the only fake I’ve ever purchased and I got caught. Not caught by the police or by the designer-do-gooders but I got caught by one of the most influential women in the fashion world. I wanted to stalk her to ask her why the fashion and beauty industry excludes our age demographic but she made a quick-bee line into the “important people” lounge after passing through the TSA.
The best I could do was to snap this pic of her as she practically ran away from me and to her flight!
Please Carine. Don’t hate me because I’m a fake…
Can I have your coat when you tire of it? Think of me as charitable fashion!
Surprisingly our flight left on time! We made the trip in an Air France Airbus.
The faces of happiness when you realize that your flight is on time!
With plenty of room to get comfortable, the pilot announced that our flight would be slightly over six hours—which is pretty quick. So, I sat down to read Becoming by Michelle Obama. By the way, the book is a great read. She’s so freaking normal that it’s refreshing and she’s also one smart cookie! Back to the flight. We had awful airline food, for which Air France should be ashamed. France—the home of gastronomical wonder and delight and the country’s airline serves disgusting food. That just is not right!
I don’t think Michelle Obama would be annoyed at me for carrying around a fake luxury brand tote. She’s just like you and me–only smarter and was a former First Lady!
But—the in-flight entertainment did not fail. I watched two movies and they were great! The first one—Coexister, was a comedy about a failing record producer who gets a “last chance” by his boss to come up with a successful act. He ends up with a musical trio of a rabbi, a priest and imam. And some of the scenes in this movie are laugh out loud funny as all get out!
This movie. I swear I laughed so loud that angels on the clouds heard me. And Bonaparte was laughing too. I highly recommend this movie–and it’s subtitled in English!!
The other movie was Comme des Garçons (Let the Girls Play) -not to be confused with the clothing line. The film was about the start of the first-ever women’s national soccer team, Les Bleus, in France and was a rather “feel good” kinda movie.
This movie was a great surprise. I never realized that the French National Women’s soccer team went through so many obstacles in the beginning!!!
The flight, needless to say “flew by” …. pun intended!
A very foggy morning welcomed us. Very foggy. I was very impressed with the Air Traffic control at Charles De Gaulle Airport!
Going through customs and getting our baggage was quick and easy. I guess since it was Thanksgiving Day, there weren’t as many American tourists flying to France that day!
The wait for the luggage was no longer than two minutes. Yes. I timed it!
Thanksgiving morning at CDG Airport–business as usual!
I prefer this time of year for travel because it isn’t as crowded as the summer!
We did arrive early but traffic into Paris Centre was pretty tough. It took a very long hour-and-a half to get to the city by cab, but it didn’t matter much because once we passed into the Paris City Limits, I felt happy to be back. I would say that the novelty of being in Paris has worn off but it’s been replaced by a familiar feeling of comfort that’s grown into love. I get this feeling when I’m there that’s like being at home. I fit there—and it’s a very warm feeling to experience.
Always happy to be back in Paris!!
After dropping our luggage off at the hotel, we headed over to Café Bucci for a well-needed cup of Café Crème. And a croissant!
I wish I could get coffee like this at home!
A welcome breakfast of a tasty croissant to accompany the coffee!
We also decided to walk to City Pharma so I could make some very necessary purchases! And City Pharma did not fail me!
Ahhhh…the Mecca of beauty and skincare. CityPharma. On the corner of Rue du Four and Rue Bonaparte. It was great getting here early before the crowds arrived!
And those bins loaded with treasures…
….and more treasures. I swear if I had a full head of hair I would have purchased some of this shampoo!
A decent haul, I must say!
I don’t know what was more amazing–an empty Belt Parkway or these empty cash register stations at CityPharma!
TIP: If you are in Paris for the first time—you have to make City Pharma a must-go-to. The prices are ridiculously user-friendly. It’s affordable Paris and double up on the goods!
My CityPharma haul! Ohhh..this was a good one!
After City Pharma, we walked over to St. Sulpice Church. I had a couple of special intentions that warranted lighting candles. It’s such a Catholic thing to light church candles but I’ll tell you that I much prefer St. Sulpice to Notre Dame. And while I realize that Notre Dame is the cathedral to visit, it’s always too crowded. St. Sulpice smells like old church. And there’s a primitive and rustic feeling about it that I love. Let’s put it this way—if I lived in Paris, St. Sulpice would be the parish that I would join (if they have parishes in Paris) and it’s where I would go to Mass on Sundays.
I really love this church. It’s a place I always go to for comfort and a feeling of ease while in Paris…
Candles were lighted…
…and a few moments of quiet reflection (which made the husband happy because I was quiet)…
With plenty of time to spare before checking into the hotel, we headed over to the Marche St. Germain.
The Wallace Fountain at St. Sulpice…
The French love their Objects d’Arts! And I love looking at the shop windows–walking in Paris is never boring!
I fell in love with this skirt. The shirt–not so much but this skirt–it reminds me of a club tie! It’s so beautiful!
It was fun because we had many memories of shopping here for meals we had with Daniele but this time around the Christmas goodies and trees were ready for sale!
At the Marche St. Germain! The displays are so inviting!
This oyster bar though!
Apologies to my Vegan friends but this meat is calling my name!
And speaking of meat..Daniele had one of these in a frigo she kept outside of one of her windows in the apartment…
All this seafood is making me dizzy with delight!
Lets go back to Christmas displays!
Why don’t we sell real trees like this with the little built-in stand in the States? This is pragmatic Christmas!
Next stop—Rue de Rennes. This street is great for shopping and for reasonable shopping. It’s really important to me to tell you about the places to shop that nobody mentions in their blogs or even in magazines. Paris isn’t all designer boutiques. Yes. It’s the home of luxury fashion, but the average Parisien or Parisienne isn’t wearing Chanel or Prada unless they are wealthy. Most shop at neighborhood boutiques or Galeries Lafayette or BHV, two department stores. Anyway, we stopped at FNAC to pick up a few things. Bonaparte wanted to shop for books in his native language and lo and behold, I discovered a Proust book with a photograph that B’s grandfather, Jacques Henri Lartigue took! It was very exciting!
Look what I found at FNAC! Bonaparte’s grandfather’s photo on the cover….
Look what else I spotted at FNAC! Daniele!!!
At another one of my must-go-to shops, Sophie Sacs, my husband picked out a great satchel bag for me—in yellow leather! Score one for me!
The bag that my husband picked out is perfect! I added an inexpensive and fun keychain charm from a souvenier shop!
Did I mention that the foggy morning made way for a rainy day? The rain didn’t bother me but it was that dampness that cut right through my blazer and trench coat and it felt good to get back to the hotel and get a few hours of sleep before heading out for Thanksgiving Dinner.
Oops! It’s getting dark and I’ll be writing about our Thanksgiving Dinner in Part Two!
And stay tuned because Part Two will be about the Thanksgiving Dinner and more fun stuff!