Photos from top left: 2003, 1976, 2022, 1976 with my mother, 2003
Even though I’ve been to Paris a number of times, I still get excited. Between finding new areas to explore and revisiting the familiar, I never tire of the beauty and energy of the city. I was thirteen when I visited for the first time. My parents thought it would be fun to experience the holidays in another country and off we went to London and Paris for Christmas. Looking back at the yellowed images from that trip, I’m surprised at my wardrobe and how my style truly hasn’t changed in over 50 years. A long camel coat and knee high boots are exactly what I’d wear today. And how I’d love that Gucci bag now. Such a 70s classic.
After that trip, I went numerous times for work in the 80s with few photos to document the where and when. We were busy from dawn to dusk visiting to showrooms then reviewing and writing orders well into the night. There was no personal time except the occasional Sunday morning, where I’d head straight to Marché aux Puces. My house is filled with treasures I brought back from those days. One time, I remember staying at the Hôtel de Crillon during fashion week and the room booked for me and another buyer wasn’t available and the hotel was completely full. We were accommodated with an enormous suite overlooking the Place de la Concord, undoubtedly because my boss at the time was a long standing, dedicated guest for many years. The suite felt comparable to a large, luxuriously furnished apartment. I wish I had photos to refresh my memory on the details.
Another time, my husband and I went to Paris to celebrate my fortieth birthday (top left and bottom left). Again, the fashion stays the same. I’ll be taking the Burberry coat with me twenty years later and I’m sure I’ll wear some version of the jeans/sweater/scarf/crossbody bag as in the bottom left photo. We stayed at the gorgeous George V. The flowers, the detailed decor, and the service were all beyond. One evening at Le Bar, I clearly remember admiring the style of an elegantly dressed woman. Crisp white shirt with a black blazer draped over her shoulders, black trousers and a beautiful pump. It sounds so basic, but the way she carried herself, her simple but significant jewelry, glossy hair and classic makeup, all presented a striking image. Very Catherine Deneuve. Dinner at Le Jules Verne was memorable with the stunning view and outstanding menu creating an unforgettable experience.
Other trips each hold their own memory. I stayed on the Left Bank for the first time when I went with a friend to celebrate her birthday. Having Saint Germaine as a home base gave me a whole new appreciation of the city. I thoroughly enjoyed the amount of time spent shopping at a relaxed pace on that trip. In my twenties, my husband and I traveled with another couple throughout Europe, and Paris was one of the early stops. We were on a tight budget and stayed in a room so small the suitcase could only be opened if placed on the bed. The shower sputtered drops of water. We quickly changed gears after that and reviewed hotels at our next destinations. We discovered Relais et Châteaux and switched several of our reservations to their properties. Even though at the time it stretched our wallet, it created an entirely new experience.
We bought tickets to see Elton John in Paris last June and asked our sons to join us. Of course, they said yes. Even though we’d all been to Paris separately, this was the first time we went as a family. Everyday was a highlight. Traveling with adult children was a delight and I’m so happy we shared that time together.
Tomorrow, I leave for a week in Paris followed by a few other destinations in France I’ve been wanting to explore. If you want to follow along, I’ll be posting details daily on Instagram. I’ll do an abbreviated recap when I’m back. Meanwhile, I’ll continue with new content on the blog from posts I scheduled prior to my departure.
TIMELESS TRAVEL STYLE