Paris, My Why

Paris, My Why

Paris is one of the places in the world where all things cultural are present. It is the mecca of arts, music, architecture, history, food, drink, fashion, languages, religion, design, inspiration. As a gold standard it can be the bar that every city may aspire. That is not to say every city should or could be the same, it is to say…be inspired.                                For better or worse this is a place of many faces, many challenges and many opportunities. Like all cities is has its share of drama. Like a Great City, it has always persevered and remained strong. The identity of Paris is part of our heritage…that’s right everyone’s heritage. JOE chooses to travel and share The Paris Journey because this experience will provide cultural growth, inspiration, knowledge and delight. It really does not matter if the river swells, or terrorists strike. The fact is that can and will happen, sadly in many places in the world. If you stop your growth, your “joie de vivre” ends. Never stop growing, never stop being inspired, never stop doing the things you...
April in Paris…May, even better

April in Paris…May, even better

  April is unpredictable; the weather in Paris can be lovely; cool and sunny one minute, snowing the next. While we do love the early blossoms of spring, the fact is that many of the blubs and trees are still big in bloom in early – mid May. If we had to pick our favorite time for Paris, when a likely chance of sun, cool night air, not too much rain, will bless our journey…it would be to arrive in early to mid May. The only slight challenge with May is the sheer number of French Holidays…several, and this means closers and prices go up. The French take holidays seriously and observance means that you never know what will be running, open or having a party. May 1 is Labor Day and May Day, a National holiday and some things are closed! Never fear for sightseeing the center of the tourist districts of Paris are bustling. May 5 is Ascension Day, church goers will be in services throughout Paris and many families fill the parks and museums; taking in the spring and often free entry. This is however, a wonderful time to find yourself outside the city! We like to leave the night before a holiday weekend (Wednesday or Thursday) to avoid traffic and drive to the Loire Valley. Exploring the area around le Lion d’Angers is wonderful this time of year!! Chateau des Briottieres http://www.briottieres.com is by far our favorite place to stay. This is a family owned Chateau. The Broittieres family; (all six children) are reviving the property which has been in the family for over six generations and dates back to 1485. If...
Expressions of affection à la France

Expressions of affection à la France

Many would argue that the art of love has only been perfected by one culture…the French. There is a reason the capital is nick named “The City of Love”, non? It is no surprise that the holiday of “Saint Valentin” or “Valentine’s Day” is often expressed best with the help of the French!! There is something about receiving gifts from Paris that always will be ridiculously romantic. Get ready to swoon… 1) Parisian Chocolates Whose heart would not skip a beat to be handed a box of chocolate labeled “Paris”. There is no better place to buy bonbons’ than from Debauve & Gallais’ Chocolat, a Parisian confectioneries that date back several generations of perfection in hand made chocolate treats. To make your heart beat just a little faster these chocolates laid out in the official trademark blue, gray, and gold embossed box were handmade exclusively for royalty until finally becoming available to the public in 1913. 2) French Lingerie (That won’t break the bank) Ladies all love a special set of lingerie…it just makes us feel better about the feminine mystique…however, $500 on underwear can be a little much. Fear not… Adoreme.com is here to save the day! Seek out that special something to feel as if you stepped out of a Paris lingerie boutique but not pay the price of one. I promise that whoever sees you in these little beauties won’t know the difference. For the gentleman reading this… shame on you, go get your woman something very expensive and beautiful! I promise you she deserves it!!! 3) Milk Chocolate Tea from Paris For those of you...
Art Collecting Dreams

Art Collecting Dreams

Such a lovely French Actress captured by Édouard Manet. As detailed in the New York Times the impressionist works has sold for a very large some and surprisingly trumped the previous weeks trend of surrealism being the big ticket wave! Wow..what a bidding war and the selling price staggering! In some ways to see this impressionist work leave the private sector bound for a lovely museum on the west coast is bitter sweet. While all of us can soon travel out to the Getty for the future showing of this beauty, the fact that paintings like these are no longer hanging mysteriously in the old salons and apartments of collectors around the world somehow seems sad. Imagine works of art like this appearing from the private hands that have treasured them for generations; it’s like a curtain parting, allowing us to peek into a world far away from our meager day to day lives. How exciting and wondrous to think about the homes and people who can say “yes, we have a small Manet in the hall, it’s been there as long as I can remember”. Makes me feel like this gracious lofty world is still magically intact and even if it’s only in my dreams, I may fantasize being part of it! I would love to have a Monet, a Renoir, a Caillebotte and or even a Pissarro to hang in my home some day. Perhaps if I ever come into wealth I will buy my apartment in Paris and go to the auctions at Christie’s… out bid those dealers representing the great museums and purchase that rare gem...
5 Travel Tips to the City of Light

5 Travel Tips to the City of Light

TRAVEL IN EARLY FALL! Imagining a perfect trip to Paris does NOT typically include 90F (32C) weather, lines two hours long, hot cramped chateaus full of families with screaming children. The fact is; who seeks crowds and heat! If this rings true, September travel should be perfect timing!! September – October not only is the weather perfect but the prices are great as well. Technically speaking summer has ended; children are back in school and its back to business as usual for locals. Seasons are starting to change and IF there happens to be a rainy day it is easily remedied by ducking into a café, shop, museum, church or grabbing a cab… p.s. carrying an umbrella isn’t a bad idea either. No matter, keep in mind Paris is beautiful in the rain! START YOUR TRIP IN THE SUBURBS The fact is that a big city requires transitioning and can sometimes be slightly overwhelming. In addition everyone for the first few days deals with that not-so-fun travel companion…jet lag! Starting travel somewhere relaxing can be a great way to ease into and make a journey extra rewarding. My favorite place to go for the first few days is the city of Versailles! It’s a perfect quant little suburb of Paris and only a train ride away from the city center! Versailles offers many beautiful hotel options, my personal favorite being the Trianon Palace a beautifully restored chateau occupying its own corner of Versailles gardens. Not only is this a beautiful hotel but it provides easy access to the Versailles chateau, gardens, the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon. Leaving...
Creating a Travel Experience – The Paris Journey

Creating a Travel Experience – The Paris Journey

Creating a travel experience, this is my story for The Paris Journey… In 2012 The Paris Journey began with a group of women traveling together to Paris for cultural growth, good company and inspiration. It was “soulful travel”…and the long term results for those who made the journey have been life affirming and changing. Travel programs are everywhere! I have personally had a variety of travel experiences in my globe-trotting history. Some with tour companies, through universities, private individuals; I have tried immersion, active and socially conscious options. The most rejuvenating and rewarding types of travel I have enjoyed are in fact not necessarily steeped in activity and extreme immersion but rather leisure experiences outside my country of residences with familiar people. I have learned to practice soulful travel and wish to help others to discover the possibilities of finding themselves renewed and glowing from all that “soulful travel” can offer. “The practice of soulful travel is to discover the overlapping point between history and everyday life, the way to find the essence of every place, every day: in the markets, small chapels, out-of-the-way parks, craft shops. Curiosity about the extraordinary in the ordinary moves the heart of the traveler intent on seeing behind the veil of tourism.” – Phil Cousineau                 I personally came to be a resource for many close friends, business associates and family, guiding and creating custom itineraries over the years. I have designed travel itineraries to a multitude of destinations and have vicariously lived through each adventure, as if I was a mouse in a pocket! This destination planning has allowed me to...