Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Actually Five Months & Ten Days

The wonderful thing about planning a trip so far in advance is that you can be excited about it, dream about, and talk about for what will seem like forever.

And while this blog is called "Five Months Until Paris", my upcoming trip to "The City of Lights" is really five months and ten days from today. I've got so much I want to do during this time, I thought it would be good to share it with you.

I've been doing a lot of research online about what to see, what to pack, what kind of shoes to wear, what kind of handbag to carry, and so forth. And you can only learn so much by reading what others say. The rest you simply have to "do".

Perhaps you're planning a trip to Paris or would like to. In this blog, I hope to share my trip planning experience with you and gather comments from others who have information to share in regard to Paris travel as well.

There's so much you can do when you plan a trip well in advance! For instance, I can learn "Just Enough FRENCH: How to Get By and Be Easily Understood", as the little McGraw Hill paperback book I bought at my local Barnes & Noble bookstore suggests. This is the kind of information I will need when I venture off on my own, but for the most part, I will have a guide, as I will be traveling with a small group of women whom I have yet to meet, as part of an escorted trip. (More about that later.)

I first started talking about wanting to go Paris to my family and friends back in October of last year, when my mother announced that she planned to give me $500 for my fiftieth birthday. You see, when she turned fifty years old, I gave her $500 which she put towards a trip to Mexico with a friend. She said, "You can use the $500 I give you towards a trip for yourself. Where would you like to go?" Paris was at the top of my list.

My fiance has no desire to go to Paris, despite the fact that I want to go, his cousin lived there, his sisters have gone there, and he's of French descent. And that's ok. I am perfectly fine with going to Paris without my fiance. He and I have already traveled many places together, and to be perfectly honest with you, my Paris trip - the one I have in my mind's eye - is really a trip for women. It's full of window shopping and REAL shopping, eating delicate pastries for lunch with cups of tea, and admiring the fashionable Parisien natives and ... you get the picture.

I tried to arrange this trip with a good friend of mine, but we were unable to mesh schedules. And so ... for safety reasons and the sake of ease, I decided to go on an escorted tour with a small group of women.

Up until now, I've been rather busy. I've already purchased the following: airline tickets; two pairs of shoes (one for daytime walking, another for evening walks); an annotated map with drawings on it, much like one might receive at an amusement park; an educational booklet on French phrases for the traveler; a travel-safe wallet; a skirt and jacket to wear when going out in the evening; two blouses; and I think that's about it.

And so ... let the journey before the journey begin!


ParisBreakfasts said...

Must must must order plane ticket for June 2!!!
I alwas procrastinate and then PAY the consequences :(
in $$$
You on the other hand, are so well prepared Je m'appelle...sigh

Paulette Designs Inc. said...

Oh we are preparing too, for our visit to Paris...sans boyfriends, companions and husbands. I'm not as organized as you, but will now have to jump on it to make our Fall schedule.
À bientôt'~ paulette

Debbie said...

Wonderful! I loved Monmartre. I hope you have time to see it.

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

How exciting! I will anticipate a trip to Paris vicariously though you and your blog! As much as I would love to see Paris someday with my husband I think a "girl's trip" first would be good thing. Shopping and stopping in every Patisserie and Cheese Shop would make him cranky!

Amy said...

I am so excited for you, Cynthia! Be prepared. Not for rain, but to fall madly in love!

Beegirl said...

It's such a good idea to write this blog !
I'm lucky to live in Paris, and i love this city more and more each day.
I hope you'll enjoy your trip !

From the BBC series on Paris, Blood and Chocolate (Part 2 of 3). Enjoy!

Streets of Paris - I shot this the day I left Paris, on a rainy September morning.

Small group Paris tours for women