Monday, July 21, 2014

7 Days Until the Ooh La La! Paris Tour!

Time to schedule your pedicure!
Yes, I just got my pedicure done today, because I'm flying to Paris on Wednesday
And so, if you're flying out on Saturday, then consider getting your toes done on Friday or Saturday.
And then, I will see you, dear Ooh La La! Ladies--with my hot pink polish--on Sunday for the champagne reception!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

8 Days Until the Ooh La La! Paris Tour

Dear Ooh La La! Ladies-
We'll meet in Paris in just over a week!
I'm so excited and just like you... a little nervous.
But, it's important to remember the French are excited to see us and want us to be happy
and enjoy the beautiful City of Light!
And with that in mind, I am posting a fun photo from an Italian restaurant I took last fall on
rue Mazarine, not to far from Hotel Belloy.

Look at all that joie de vivre!
Doesn't it make you smile?
Moi aussi!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

9 Days Until the Ooh La La! Tour!

Let's talk French.  Bonjour!
Comment t'allez vous?  How are you?
Tres bien.  Et vous?  Very well.  And you?
Ou est la musee?  Where is the museum?
See how easy it is!

Okay, actually it's a lot more complicated than that.  But ladies, you will be in Paris in just over a week and this is not the time to panic!  Just get an English/French dictionary, or this French Phrase book, which is a favorite of mine.
And don't forget, we're in Paris during high tourist season, so shopkeepers and wait staff will be expecting lots of Americans who don't speak French.  Still, they love it when you try!
So, learn a few polite phrases, such as:
Bonjour, Madame!  (Hello, Madame)
Merci beaucoup!  (Thank you very much)
S'il vous plait (if you please)
Parlez Anglais, s'il vous plait?  Speak in English, please?
Even if you completely bumble the language, you will get points for trying and extra points for being polite.  The French love it when we are polite!
So, merci beaucoup!
Please write and let me know if you can suggest some other phrase books or important phrases for Americans to learn.  I am so excited to be bringing 12 beautiful and bright American ladies to Paris for the Ooh La La!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

11 Days Until the Ooh La La! Tour!

Picture this:
You're in Paris and you're surrounded by all that beauty.
There's the evening cruise along the Seine, with the Eiffel Tour all lit up, shimmering in the night's sky.
You'll visit Notre Dame and see the famous gargoyles.  There's the Louvre Museum, and the walk through the Tuileries with the voluptuous sculptures, the manicured gardens and the sparkling fountains where the Parisians sit on little green chairs and soak up the summer sun.
You'll stroll the Left Bank antiques shops and visit Bon Marché, Musée D'Orsay, Shakespeare & Company--where you'll mingle with the spirits of literary luminaries such Hemingway and Fitzgerald.  (Just kidding!)
You'll ooh and ahh when you come across the colorful macarons at Lauderee.
Speaking of colorful, there's the pretty lingerie in the window at Maison Cadolle, so beautifully and artfully arranged, they'll remind you of French pastries.
It's truly a feast for the eyes and the heart.

And you're probably going to want to photograph all of it!

It's true, you will probably have your iphone with it's built-in camera, but may I be as bold as to suggest a real camera?  Consider a little Canon Powershot.  That's what I use for my travels--it's small and light and discreet.

So, even if you have a beautiful and powerful Nikon, for example, you might want to consider taking along something more compact.

And then again, you might not want to take a lot of photos.  You might want to just record the experience with your senses--your eyes and your ears and your sense of touch.  That's fine too!
The point is, to enjoy the Ooh La La! and do what feels right to you.
Oh, and if you have any ideas or suggestions to add to this, I would love to hear from you!
Merci beaucoup, mes amis!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

12 Days until the Ooh La La! Paris Tour!

Carry-On, Ladies!
Today, I want to talk about what to put in your carry-on tote.
This is different from your carry-on suitcase, which will most likely go in the overhead compartment of the plane.  Your carry-on tote is very important because you can tuck it under the seat in front of you, and have access to it during your flight.
I found this wonderful blog post from The Luxurious Life, which I've excerpted here for our travel purposes:

Well-packed carry-on tote:
Even if you check your luggage, having the necessary items with you should you have a long lay-over or in a worst case scenario, your luggage is lost, is a way to give peace of mind and comfort in unfamiliar surroundings. Items to include:
  • comfort essentials – scarf, ear plugs, eye mask, socks, slippers, pjs (Why not? If it’s a long flight)
  • one change of clothes
  • necessary toiletries – make-up, moisturizer, painkillers, meds, chapstick, etc
  • entertainment material – books, iPad, earphones, charger, notebook, pen, etc
  • travel essentials – wallet, passport, tickets, cash, credit cards, iPhone
  • food/drink – water bottle, tea bags, snacks – almonds, protein bar, granola, etc
You won't need to bring the extra change of clothes, if you do not check-in luggage (that's one of the great advantages of doing carry-on only!)
Also, I'd add to this list, a light pashmina, rather than the scarf, prescriptions, and eyeglasses/sunglasses.

Please make sure your purse is small enough to can fit nicely into your tote.  This way, you have only two pieces of luggage--all you're allowed to carry on the plane.  Later once boarded, you can take your purse out of the tote, if you like.  
(Photo from The Luxurious Life)
One last note.  You can be "extra prepared", but in the end, unexpected things will happen.  The key to having fun while traveling, is to look at surprises as something fun and wonderful and adventurous.  I once broke my eyeglasses just as I arrived at Logan Airport, which was difficult because I need them to see for distances.  Nonetheless, I met an incredible optician in Paris who fixed them--for free!  It was a delightful adventure.  So, bon courage!

I'd love to hear your thoughts, and if there's anything else you'd like to add to our carry-on tote list.  Merci beaucoup, mes amis!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

13 Days Until the Ooh La La! Paris Tour

Let's get packing!

We're had lots of talks about what to pack for Paris, but I thought you might like to see my actual list of what I'm bringing with me, so here goes:

Two Skirts:  
Summery white linen, calf length skirt from Ann Taylor
Long navy and white striped cotton skirt

Black ballet-style top
Emerald green silk top from Calvin Klein
White tee-shirt style top with ruching over one hip
(I'm still looking for a red top that will go with the two skirts)

One pair of black capris pants from The Gap

Black cotton shift from Banana Republic (very comfortable, but pretty)
Blue and white Lily Pulitzer dress
Another blue and white print dress from Premise
(I know, TWO blue and white dresses!!!???)  But they're different.
Little black dress by Isaac Mizrahi.  It's sleeveless feels more like a cocktail dress thant the black cotton shift.

One black cardigan, zip-up, from Comptoir des Cotonniers

Maybe my black jacket with the silver buttons (it depends on the weather, so I'll know as we get closer.)

Silver ballet style flats
A pair of sandals that are good for walking (I think I'll bring my pair with the green and blue sequins, but I'm still deciding.  I might opt for a pair of red sandals)

Weather protection:  
Crushable summer hat
A small collapsable umbrella

Jewelry & Accessories:  
A few inexpensive necklaces
The silver bracelet I always wear
Silver and gold braided belt
Several scarves to pick up accent colors (red, green & blue)*
Black tank top
Undergarments (matching, bien sur!)
One nightie

Minimal make-up
Red Lipstick, because I never go anywhere without my red lipstick.
(I'd like to tell you it's Guerlain or Chanel, but I'll confess it's Revlon!)

And guess what!?  I can fit all this in my little carry-on suitcase!  

Please tell me what you're bringing and if you have any questions.
Merci beaucoup!

*These are my accent colors, but your accent colors will most likely be different.  It's good to embrace your individuality, mes amis!  xoxo

Monday, July 14, 2014

14 Days Until the Ooh La La! Paris Tour!

Bonjour, mes amis!
It's time to talk about communications.  While you're in Paris, you'll probably want to check in at home on your loved ones.  You won't need carrier pigeons!

Just call your cell phone carrier and ask how much it'll cost to be put on a temporary international plan.  The costs vary according to your contract, so it's a good idea to ask.
If you're bringing your laptop or ipad, you can also add a little money to your Skype account.  This way, you can contact someone on their land line back in the States.  I call my 90-year-old Dad this way.  He doesn't have Skype, and so for him, it seems as if he's getting an ordinary phone call, even though I'm calling him from my computer.
Of course, you can email easily.  The Hotel Belloy has wifi.
And just as an aside, if you belong to a gym, you might see if they'll hold your membership while you're away.  My gym does this.  (And I appreciate it!)
More tips tomorrow.
Oh, and please feel free to ask me any questions.  Au revoir for now!