Monday, September 02, 2013

Paris - planning again!

breakfast in one of the rooms at the Hotel des Grandes Hommes


Our 10th wedding anniversary is on the first day of spring, March 20, next year.  And we're going to be in Paris to celebrate - of course!  We booked our hotel and our flights yesterday.  It's not for six months, but I'm already getting very excited...

We're going to be staying at the lovely Hotel des Grandes Hommes (Hotel of the Great Men, NOT Hotel of the Big Guys), which is in the Place du Pantheon.  It's the hotel we stayed in on our very first trip to Paris, back in 1995 or so.  It's very lovely, and it is impossible to get lost getting back to the hotel because you can see the Pantheon from almost anywhere in Paris.  There is, however, that pesky bit about walking uphill at the end of a very long day...

"In this building, during the spring of 1919, Andre Breton and Philippe Soupault invented automatic writing, and gave birth to  surrealism by writing "The Magnetic Fields""
Not just any old building...


We're delighted to be able to secure a room here, because the first THREE hotels we tried were all booked full.  Six months in advance.  Gotta plan ahead, eh?  This is a neighborhood we know like the back of our hands, and the hotel is only a 10 minute walk (uphill) from the train that runs in from the airport - instant economies, the minute we're on the ground.  The cab fare saved will be spent on wine, I imagine!

Now we get to start the process of checking the schedules of all of the sports clubs in Paris to see if we will be able to attend any soccer or rugby.  And of course we'll need to know what art exhibits will be there. AND what concerts and operas....  Oh, the burdens!

25 comments:

  1. Hmmm. So you are not so far from Laduree in the rue Bonaparte, with its oriental tea salon?! (Can also recommend the cafe/chocolate/dessert shop in the foyer of the Hotel du Cadran in rue du Champs de Mars, near the Ecole Militaire......

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  2. Over half the pleasure is the anticipation and planning. Spring in Paris! Lovely!

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  3. How wonderful for you both. Paris is enchanting no doubt it, the memories, well, beyond that. Looking forward to following your planning and excitement. March is still chilly there, usually. On my last visit I was caught (in March) in the most dreadful jacket, forgot my uber-chic black trench. Oh the shame!!! Poor planning:)

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  4. So exciting and I am so jealous...I know this will be a fabulous way to celebrate!

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  5. Félicitations! How very exciting. I notice you didn't mention looking forward to planning your wardrobe, but I imagine that's because you already have a good idea of what you're going to take!

    - Laurel

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    1. I need to determine for certain that the hotel has laundry service - I'm shooting for an eight pack, in my small carry-on. Since we're going to be walking to and from the train etc., I don't want much for luggage to slow us down. But I will go through my packing choices in agonizing detail before we leave!

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    2. How many days will you be in Paris? Could an eight pack take one through a week's vacation?

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    3. We will be there eight nights - we're arriving on Saturday, and staying through 'til the following Sunday. With some well-timed laundry, I'm confident that an 8-pack will be fine. 8 garments = 3 or 4 outfits, each worn twice... Nobody in Paris is going to throw rocks at us if we wear an outfit more than once, I know for sure! In fact, on my first visit to Paris, I remember chatting with the woman at the desk of our hotel (yes, Les Grandes Hommes), who assured me that she had five work outfits, and she wore them the five days each week that she worked. If anybody commented, she did NOT care....

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    4. Ah, yes, laundry. My experience is that many European hotels do not want you to do hand-washing. I get around that rule by doing washing (undergarments and tops) in the sink in the evenings after the housekeeping staff have already been. In the morning, if the items aren't completely dry in the bathroom, I hang them up in the closet out of sight. But for your tenth anniversary, worrying about hand-washing (or finding a launderette) is probably not something you want to clutter up your agenda. Can't wait to see what you end up taking.

      - Laurel

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    5. You're right - they totally frown on hand washing unless you get it done and dry in a hurry - a hotel with radiators that double as the bathroom towel racks helps a lot. But I'm thinking that I'll just splurge and send laundry out - the money we save on a cab from the airport will more than pay for a few pieces of clothing being cleaned!

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  6. We were able to go 7 weeks (with laundry) in a carry-on each. And we are not at your skill level in packing. So you should be able to do it. Can't wait for more details.

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  7. What fun! I'm thrilled for you! The last few times we've gone, we've stayed at the Hotel D'Anglerre on Rue Jacob, near Place Sainte Germaine de Pres. Love that area too, but was utterly crestfallen when I realized a Gap and a Ben & Jerry's were steps away. When I'm in Europe, I like to *be* in Europe, not baby USA. (And no, I have nothing against either of these companies...I just like to seek out uniquely European pleasures while there.)

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    1. I would never mind finding a Ben and Jerry's ANYWHERE in the world - ice cream is a big problem for me, but I agree with you about too many "international" brands in some areas. And since the Gap organization has refused to sign the public standards for manufacturing safety in Bangladesh, they're on my (really getting terribly long) boycott list anyway.

      The Place des Grandes Hommes is pretty immune to any sort of change, because I think the entire plaza area is a protected historical site! Yet another reason to love it.

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    2. Maison du Chocolat - chocolate sorbet to die for.......

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  8. Well the museum of fashion (Musee Galliera) will be open again after 4 years of renovation...

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  9. Congratulations!! Trips always feel more "real" once the tickets have been purchased!!! In the midst of planning my travel wardrobe for a two week jaunt to Italy over Christmas and your posts have been (and continue to be) invaluable! I always travel carry on only so that helps - forces me to really think through what I am taking!
    Can't wait to see what your travel wardrobe will be!!!

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  10. Let me think ... our 20th anniversary is coming up in February, hmmm ... and my daughter has put up with stories of when I visited Paris for years. She would love to go too : )

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  11. That's a great location. I love the 5th arrondissement.If you can roll your suitcases to the hotel, it's a big saving. I always find that the heated towel rack is a great clothes dryer. If you are looking for theatre near you, visit Theatre de la Huchette where Ionesco has been playing for 50 years.

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  12. I packed for eight days in Oxford (a cold January trip) in a roll-on small bag. I packed enough underwear for the entire trip and did not need to do laundry. I plan to do the same for a trip this month to London. They key seems to be clothing that is not bulky. I'm packing black, gray and white for our upcoming trip. I'll be taking at least three scarves, an all weather jacket (lightweight), and a combination of clothing from Eileen Fisher, Worth NY, and even a couple of pieces of older Yansi Fugel (animal print twinset).

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  13. Please Please show me how to do capsule wardrobe for my colouring Autumn (sometimes thing i may be Soft Spring as well) love your pages very inpspiring. Only just trying to organise my wardrobe and finding all the colours to much. Many thanks

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  14. Your website is great. As far as rugby is on the agenda, you're in for a treat! Saturday 15 March (your arrival day) the French team is playing the Irish as the last game of the Six Nations, at 6 pm in the Stade de France (RER to St. Denis). Tickets though are difficult to come by, they probably go on sale early January on www.ffr.fr. I've only succeeded once so far, sniff.
    The Six Nations, by the way, is something like the annual European Rugby Championship. Although the French played badly in 2013, I guess the interest will prevail. Good luck and enjoy your trip to Paris.

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    1. We bought tickets! They were available through the French equivalent of Ticketmaster. So our plan now is to arrive, ditch luggage, turn around almost immediately and head BACK north on the RER to the stadium.

      I've wanted to go to a 6 Nations match for years - this is so exciting. But I suspect by the end of the day the 15th, I'm going to be one very exhausted little traveler.

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  15. Ooh, sad face! I was supposed to be having a weekend in Rheims for my sister in law's wedding and a night in Paris on the way back this weekend. Unfortunately the damnable Home Office is taking MONTHS to issue my residency permit and meantime they keep hold of my passport. So no travel for me.

    I'm thinking I might need a consolation trip to Paris a a few months when we can afford it. I've never been to Versailles and I really want to go...

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  16. I am so excited that you are going to Paris in the spring and will be posting your planning along the way… my husband and I will be going, for the first time ever, in July. Our trip will be a 6-night stay in Paris, and then we are on to Southampton, England to get on a 14-night cruise to Iceland and Norway.

    I am already worrying about (over) packing because of the variety of temperatures and activities we will experience. Walking the streets of Paris, finding lovely bistros to dine in, museums, etc… will be the Paris portion. The cruise will entail pool time, and hiking in the (often wet and chilly) ports.

    Anyway, I can’t see your wardrobe for Paris, what places you will be visiting there. Oh, and if you get the Paris Pass – it’s discounted until tomorrow 09/09/2013. (We already bought our PP, and are grateful for the savings.)

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  17. I'm delighted that you got to spend three weeks in Paris, Janice. It's an amazing place, and is best enjoyed by completely getting lost in its beauty. Scheduled tours are fun, but it's always lovely to experience adventurous visits in a spontaneous manner. I hope you enjoyed your stay. All the best! :)

    Clifton Johnson @ Insuring TheProduct

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