Friday, May 3, 2013

Going to Paris in 3 days!

I have been OBSESSED with planning for my upcoming trip. Even if it ended up a bust,  the planning has been so fun.   I decided back in November to go, initially thinking my BFF was going with me.  Life happened, she was not able to go, so I decided to travel solo. ( I WILL go again when she can go!) But, traveling alone  quite changes how you plan.  Rather than facing foreign connections alone and with luggage all over France, I decided to thumbprint in Paris, perhaps making day trips out of the city.
Then I found this book  (linked to Amazon)

This is NOT the museum/tourist/must see Paris.  This is the little back alley-down little streets- specialty artsy places to shop and eat.  Neighborhood (arrondissement ) by neighborhood.  I think there are 18 which means I have about one per day to visit.  This book is eye-candy and makes me think I will surely feel like I've died and gone to heaven.  

I had everything lined up as far as accommodations and then at "the last hour" I decided I wanted something different than I had.  So, losing the booking fee for flat #1,  I changed my reservation and ended up with a cute little walk-up apartment on the 6th floor (120 steps up!!) in Montmarte.  This is a bit on the outskirts of the city so I will be taking the subway to each arrondissement and then spending the day on foot once I am there.  This is my cute little Parisian flat:  ( You have every right to be jealous)

I am  dreaming of sitting on that little balcony pinching myself at my reality.   

This blog is meant to be my "art" blog, but for the next 4 weeks it will be a place I document my trip.  I see it as total art education and I will be taking exquisite photos, sacrificing my arthritic neck to carry my H.E.A.V.Y Nikon SLR and lenses.  So tempting to use my IPhone camera but yuck... not the same.  So I will try to carry the monster wherever I go.  

My daughter-in-law thought I should show all the "stuff" I am packing but I think I'll spare you that.  But there are a few things I bought for my trip that are cool enough to share.  
To help spare my neck I bought this smallish backpack at REI.  It has a cool slot for my iPad, a padded interior that will be OK for my camera if I don't sling it onto the cobblestones, and a place a sketchbook, phone, keys and for just about anything I would need during my day excursions.  

Another cool find my sister introduced me to are EBags which come in many sizes and shapes.  I bought a bunch to organize my suitcase.  One for all my cordage/electronic must-haves.

Many for clothes.... T-shirts in one, pants in another, sweaters/jacket in another.  No more digging for what I'm looking for.  

I also found a fabulous map at Barnes and Noble... a big fold-up laminated job that has had me plotting my daily journeys.  

And of course my art supplies.  I plan to spend my evenings blogging, organizing my photos by album on my iPad (so I'll remember where I was and when) and making an art journal (my first!) of my trip.  

I've been working on making and preparing a journal out of an old 78 record album ...the kind with several sleeves for the records.  I will take pictures of the pages to share with you as I go.  

This is the journal in process.....

Front Cover
Back Cover


a  couple sample prepared pages

For those of you not familiar with an "art journal" stay tuned and you will see this evolve.  Big Plans.... just hope I can follow through and not just C.R.A.S.H. every day after I get back from my walking excursions.  

   Another HAPPY, HAPPY note.  One of my daughters just found out she'll be traveling to India for work while I am in Paris and has arranged to spend three days with me.  She has never been to Paris and I have never had the opportunity to travel with her since she was a teen.  I am so, so, so excited. 

TA TA... until Tuesday.  I'll be traveling all day Monday, arriving in Paris at 8:30 AM on Tuesday the 7th.  Ten ugly hours of flight.  Wish me Bon Chance!