Monday, January 12, 2009

C'est romantique!

JB and I are going to Paris.

Doesn't that sentence look beautiful and romantic?

To amend it a little bit, JB and I are actually going with his parents and brother to France for a week in the spring to visit his sister, who is studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence. After we've spent a few days in Paris, we're headed to beautiful Aix and possibly another Provencal town or two.

Now. I like to plan. JB bought the plane tickets today, so this means it's time to plan. For big trips like this, I need to know what we'll be doing each day and have an idea where we might want to eat. I want to have tickets to attractions and events booked before we leave. This isn't to say I'm not open to changes in itinerary and general spontenaity, but...I'm Times New Roman. If ever there was an unspontaneous font, TNR is it.

I've never been to France, or to Western Europe at all. I've never even been out of the country except for a 10-day college group tour in Eastern Europe nearly five years ago. Which was completely awesome (and Prague is the coolest city ever) but my international experience is limited.

Now the worrying begins. I must plan. So I'm writing this post to solicit any advice or recommendations from you about hotels, sights, restaurants and general fabulous things to do in Paris and/or the Provence region. The earlier I get this planned, the earlier I can stop obsessing.

In a stroke of kismet, Joanna Goddard had a great post last week about How to Dress Like a Frenchwoman over at Cup of Jo. Apparently layering is big. And scarves. And black.


shannon said...

How wonderful!! You will have an amazing time. No advice from me (not a world traveler yet) but I do command you to eat lots of French pastries and drink lovely wine on my behalf.

Chad Sayban said...

How exciting! I'm sure that you are going to have a fantastic time - not to mention it should give you plenty things to write about.

I don't fly, so I can't give you any travel advice on France, but you are right to plan as much out ahead of time as you possibly can. If you are unsure, spending a few bucks on a travel agent who knows what they are doing might save you a lot of money and anguish once you are there.

Above all else, have fun with it!

Crimogenic said...

My significant other is French, and always laughs when I ask what do the French wear. The answer is usually 'clothes' and N doesn't think the clothing choices are that different there. The only thing that N finds weird is that so many women here dress up real nice and pretty and wear gym shoes.

Becky said...

Ooh! How Fun! I did a hiking, biking, and gourmet food trip in the Burgundy region in France and it was an amazing trip (and, even better, it was through work!). I'll have to blog about that soon.

Hmm - tips.... well, the Metro is fairly easy to navigate and gets you easily to all the main sites in Paris. You'll use that quite a bit. Oh - and you HAVE to get a nutella crepe (if that's your kind of thing). I STILL daydream about how delicious the crepe was that I bought at a little cafe by Notre Dame. :)

Jill Wheeler said...

Beautiful and romantic and SMELLY! We went there for our honeymoon, and we got bumped from our hotel room and ended up staying in a very shady area. It was entertaining, at least! DELICIOUS FOOD! I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant where I had my favorite meal... We found out about it in a Rick Steve's book.

Kasie West said...

Wish I had advice. But alas, I've never been to Western Europe either. Have fun though. It sounds great.

shannon said...

This made me think of you - it's part 1 of 4!

Lenore said...

We were just in Paris in September and I have a great art noveau style restaurant recommendation for you. Have to dig out the business card...
And the hotel we stayed in last time was quite nice and not too expensive. Let me know if you want details!

Barbara Slaton said...

If you are there on a Saturday you must go to the Flea Market at Porte de Clignancourt -- easy to find on the Metro (line 4)...a labrynth of stalls with everything from tourist crap to Lalique light fixtures, jewelry and antique flatware.

Be sure to keep walking past the initial bunch of vendors, just follow the people. The good stuff is in permanent enclosures and stalls. There is a bad Restaurant called Chez Louisette where Edith Piaf used to sing. The waiters and waitresses still sing. Just order fries or a glass of wine, the food isn't very good. FUN and gaudy and unlike anything in the States.

Cafe's in the 6th are legendary -- Sartres and other luminaries used to hang out at Cafe de Flore and Les DueX Magots, right across the street from one another. The wine and coffee are expensive but the people watching is the BEST and if only the walls could talk. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.

Christy's Raedeke's Aunt Barb