California born family of three living joie de vie in Paris, France
I am dreaming, wishing and hoping that around this time in 2 years, we will be getting ready to leave for our trip to Paris. My friends Mia & Parisienne just arrived in Paris today and boy, do I wish I was there with them. I have been working meticulously on our itinerary, adding new sights and shops to our already full days and over tight budget. My biggest indulgence is somehow squeezing in something within my price range from the Chanel store in Place Vendôme. Last time we were in Paris, Aimee went shopping there for her sisters while Antz & I sat in the lounge drinking wine feeling like royalty in our flip flops and shorts. This time around, I’d like to present myself in more of a Parisian style and possibly make a purchase that I could pass down to Olivia as an heirloom *there’s no way I could afford a bag, but maybe a scarf or a pen?*
Aimee & Me looking trendy in 2003
I also have some shopping to do at Bonton for Olivia *my jaw hit the floor when I saw how adorable the kids clothes are, also expensive* and Merci for our house. Sounds awesome in theory but with my overly-ambitious itinerary and pricey hotels, I’ll be lucky if I can afford a postcard from any shops. I am hoping to find treasure *as well as bargains* at the flea market but I hear shipping furniture to the US costs a fortune and you have to be the first costumer of the day to score a great deal. I will have my eye out for some artwork, table linens, French albums and vintage jewelry…Maybe I’ll find a rad Cameroon Juju hat!
So darn cute
There’s so much on my things to do, eat and buy list, it’s overwhelming. Since I came to my senses and realized we can’t afford to stay at the W Paris Opera for 3 nights, I have found a perfect hotel alternative which is affordable yet magnificent. The Hotel Gabriel is where Bri & Jen stayed last month and reading this post pretty much convinced me to book it for 3 nights and when we return from our Helsinki day trip with Aura, we’ll spend one night at the W *so I can cross it off my list* and it’s works out better financially, win-win!
So here’s the story behind the dancing ladies: The Gabriel is the first hotel in the world to offer the NightCove sleep companion in some rooms, which was developed in collaboration with designer Patrick Jouin and Professor Damien Léger, an expert in sleep problems. Guests benefit from sleep and wake-up programmes, or nap programmes, consisting of ambient music and lighting.
I’m still not having any luck finding the perfect flight from CDG to Helsinki, Finland. Lufthansa so far is the cheapest but the layover in Munich is no bueno and the late arrival at 11:15 pm isn’t working for us either. Air France has a nonstop flight earlier arriving at 9pm but $1600?! Are they smoking crack, oh wait, yes they are! I’m sure I’ll figure it out. I was bummed that we can’t just take a train there but 23 hours and 3 ferries doesn’t sound so fun. Now that I’m researching more about Helsinki, I am finding it such a sin to be so close to St. Petersburg and not check it out but I’ll have to save it for another trip. I have a feeling that I’m cramming too much into this trip and we’ll end up napping in the hotel all day *my favorite thing to do on vacation* Did I mention we are going to the Cirque d’hiver de Paris?