Visiting Versailles – Forget Tuesday!

Tree-lined boulevard leading the Palace of Versailles

When asked, a Versailles guard standing at the front gate, responded, “Tuesday is the worst day; all the museums in Paris are closed. The tourists all come to Versailles instead.”While exiting Versailles after a 15-minute visit, I asked the guard a question, “When is the best day to visit Versailles to avoid the crowds?”. I had thought for sure Wednesday would be the worst day since many school children are off half the day.

Willy Ronis-Views of Belleville Menilmontant in Paris

Willy Ronis exhibition Photo album in English and French for sale at exhibition

Sometimes a photo can make us curious, inspire us or wish we could find something…. By the time my sister saw the photos of my vintage chinaware, it was too late. I had already donated the set to Emmaus. I needed it back for her! The trek to one of the Emmaus stores (Goodwill-style shops founded in 1954 by Abbé Pierre) took me to the north of Paris and the Porte de Menilmontant in the 20th arrondissement. “If I am going to the 20th”, I pondered, “why not check out local art exhibits in the area?” That thought and a quick look at l’Official des spectacles, took me to the Le Pavillon Carré de Baudouin and the photo exhibit “Willy Ronis par Willy Ronis (until January 2, 2019)”.

Meaux, A brie(f) half hour from Paris

Fernand PINAL (1881-1958) Le Pont du Marché à Meaux, 1913, Musée Bossuet, Meaux

You know the typical vacation questions “Got the tee-shirt” or “Got the postcard”!? Well I can say, “Got the Brie (de Meaux)”! Brie de Meaux cheese that is. Meaux is a a 25-minute train ride from Paris.Meaux, A brie(f) half hour from Paris.
One hot August mid-afternoon I took a direct “P” train from Gare de l’Est to Meaux. Many of the Meldois (local residents) within the Gallo-Roman walls had left on vacation. I followed Annabel Simms‘s exact directions ….

Secret Day Trips Half Hour from Paris

Annabel Simms' latest release Half an Hour From Paris

Antiquity, countryside and history greet you in Annabel Simms’ book, “Half an Hour from Paris … 10 Secret Daytrips by Train”. First you have to find your way there. Annabel Simms arranges the book like a quality French baguette au levain sandwich: yummy ingredients between the crunchy crusts. This is a book of self-guided walking tours of various lengths.

Foire de Paris-shopping for home fashion

Making the annual pilgrimage to the Paris Home Show (Foire de Paris) is now mission accomplished. However, we are going back for more.
Last year we made contact with the interior architects and chose the style for the new, smaller sofa bed (canapé lit) and chair.
After numerous vacations and conferences we are about to squeeze in and firm up our renovation plans to upgrade the nearly hundred year old electricity to accommodate the……

Quirky Paris Souvenir Ideas

postcard with croissant head Bring France Home

While wandering around BHV/Marais I noticed bits and pieces of hardware, wall paper and cleaning products made in France. Across the street at City Hall’s Paris Rendez-Vous boutique concept shop I found unusual souvenirs made in France. A while ago, I found Bring France Home near Place des Vosges that only sells souvenirs made in France. Are you looking for quirky Paris souvenir ideas and inexpensive?

Prepare Your Visit to Paris, France

Chair with stack of books about Paris and Champagne, Hemingway, Angels

Suitcase? Check! Camera? Check! Walking shoes? Check!
Reading material? Prepare in advance with some book ideas!
Language? Brush up on that French grammar! Frantastique is my Wednesday exercise. Then when I go shopping or chat on the street, those proper verbs just slide right out … still studying though!
Some of the books in my library are Paris walking tours. They provide enough material to stroll through Paris and explore. Another prepares you with a story and history for your Champagne tasting.
David Downie’s books are walking tours of history. Each chapter of each book weaves a tale of discovery. Tilar J. Mazzeo’s book whisks you into Champagne history with the Veuve Clicquot. (Reims is a 46-minute train ride away from Paris.) Interested in Street Art? The perfect sightseeing book with maps…..