Enchanted by Paris

I had a serious case of insomnia last night but I happily passed the time putting together my dream itinerary for our Paris holiday in 3 years. Wishful thinking, I know but I love having something to look forward to. As it stands, unless we win the lottery, we’ll be spending our 10 year anniversary next August right here in sunny California. Hawaii sounds wonderful but it’s expensive! I do prefer Europe to tropical locations, not that the beach isn’t amazing but Antz isn’t a strong swimmer and Liv will be too small for so many beach activities. Besides, it would ROCK if we can take Olivia to Paris before she begins her French school *wouldn’t hurt her enrollment application either*. Paris is the most beautiful, loveliest city on Earth. I am tearing my hair out  trying to condense so much in only 4 and a half days. When we went in 2003, we had crappy old cameras and didn’t hardly take any pictures. My dream is to hire this ah-mazing French photographer Paulina Darley for a photo shoot with this incredible balloon.

*Geronimo Balloon Troopers*

Do you understand the immense cuteness of these balloons? Want to hear something else ridiculous? They cost $95 – $125 EACH! Yeah, that part blows. I also need to come up with a strategy for how I will find a place in Paris to fill this massive balloon with helium *it’s not like they have a Party City on every block* If I can find where they sell these large latex balloons, I know we can make our own but Geronimo balloon troopers are truly amazing!

Then there’s booking Pauline, firstly I have no idea if she even speaks English. Now when I mentioned that I wanted a professional photo shoot in Paris to Antz he said with a completely straight face “So do you want to fly Sarah to Paris with us?” In my deranged mind I was like Hells Yeah! But she has 3 kiddies and a hubby so I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t happen *like I could afford to send her anyway, I can barely scrape our vacation together* I found a photographer who lives in Paris and I have been a fan of her work for a while now. You may not remember how I was fawning out how gorge this model is on my birthday.

*Pauline Darley*

I first saw her on Black Eiffel and then again she popped up on Pinterest. I had to find out more about this photographer…well I didn’t get very far. Her site is completely in French, Drats! I sent an email over to Rachel from Black Eiffel since she had a shoot with Pauline when she was in Paris

*Black Eiffel*

This is exactly what I want, more of a photojournalistic approach rather than a traditional shoot. I want her to observe us on our vacation. Paris is the ultimate backdrop, we could go anywhere and make an incredible shoot but I’m torn between 2 locations. Of course the Eiffel Tower is my top choice. Last time we were in Paris this is the only photo I have of us at the Eiffel Tower and let’s just say I am not pleased with the outcome

You would never know we were standing at the top of the tower if I didn’t tell you. I am still kicking myself for not thinking to take the iconic picture of leaning on the tower. D’oh! I also want to know how I missed the fantastic carousel?

*Oh Happy Day*
 Last night I discovered this amusement park Jardin d’acclimatation that has the old world charm only Paris has. I mean look
*Yahoo Images*
I cannot wait to take Olivia here, so dreamy. So I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to book Pauline *and afford her rates* which leads me to my next dilemma. There is a W hotel opening in Paris next year. I really, really want to stay there BUT…it’s really expensive *the Euro exchange rate isn’t helping either* and Antz logic is sinking in. Why spend a third of our vacation budget on a hotel when you can find a cheaper place and spend that money on souvenirs and having fun. It’s true the first time we took budget travel to an entirely new level. Our hotel cost use $500 for 5 days total, which we split with Aimee. Now the W Paris is $535 Euro PER NIGHT!! I was working for JetBlue so I was able to get our airline tickets for $50 each! That is what’s killing me the most, how pricey airfare has become. We are used to Antz job paying for our flight and hotel so having to shovel out almost $3500 to sit in coach stings my heart. The real burn is when we last went we were bumped up to business class on Virgin Atlantic so I swore then I would never, ever fly coach internationally again. *sadface* I just may be eating my words because last I checked Virgin’s business class flights to London Heathrow *they don’t have flights to CDG* happens to be $5,000…EACH! I don’t have a clue how these folks just one day decide to move to a foreign country. I know if the opportunity presented itself I would jump DIVE down it’s throat.
So now I need to save more aggressively, yet stay focused on saving for our Dream House…on top of saving for Olivia’s tuition. Holy Cow! I am going to lose my mind. I felt so much easier when I was in my twenties to travel on a whelm. We didn’t have a mortgage or had to pay $250 every month for plumbing *yeah the same pipe we repaired this summer broke, again*
Now I must be off, we sold 2 chalkboard signs last night so I need to get to the post office before it closes.
Can you believe this kid is 16 months old?? I can’t!!
Au Revoir Beau!!

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