My September trip to Paris didn't go according to plan. I was juggling too many projects and I shot my first wedding. By the time the wedding was over, which was the first weekend I felt burnt out. I have been running on close to empty the last couple of months and I need to reset. I wanted a redo for Paris and when a $500 flight popped up on my phone, I jumped at the chance.
Paris in the Winter is cold and damp, I know exactly what I am getting myself into. I was really hoping for snow but it sounds like the weather will be in the 50's, which coming from Chicago is a heat wave. If you have been following me for a while, you will know the weather in April/May was unseasonably cold so I am not complaining at all.
What is on my agenda?
1. This time around I am staying on Île St Louis. I have wanted to stay on Ile St Louis for years. I have looked for apartments to rent, but nothing has come up that I was willing to take. Since January is a slower month, I think I got a rare find and I snatched it up quickly. I can't wait to wake up early and stroll the small quaint island and sit at a café for way too long.
If you aren't familiar with Île St Louis, there is an ice cream shop called Berthillon. I don't think I went at all last trip, which never happens. I go at least once even when it is cold. Since there will be a few around the corner from me, I plan to stop by at least once maybe more. I usually do one chocolate noir and then throw on a fruit flavor such as framboise. Have you been?
2. I am a right bank girl, I typically stay in the Marais and my first apartment was in Montmartre where I spent 4 months. I am trying to break out of my comfort zone and I plan to explore the left bank. I sat up the other night making notes on all the cafés that I have always wanted to stop in but never have. So instead of my usual croissant research I will be scoping out Parisian cafés on the left bank this time around.
3. Coffee List - I want to make a master coffee list for the left and right bank. By now you know my love for coffee. The classic Parisian cafés don't have the best coffee in my personal opinion but, the people watching makes up for it. I have a few cafés I could sit at for hours and write an entire book on the characters that come in and out. For those of you that prefer a good cup of coffee, perhaps a flat white, a latte, or cappuccino this list will be for you. Feel free to comment on other list suggestions you might have. I have a lot on my list, but I don't want to over extend myself.
4. Unplug and recharge. This might be the biggest one. The thing I noticed most about the last trip is that I was too plugged in. I was constantly checking emails and social media and I wasn't focused on being present. It pulled me in a bunch of directions and it left me feeling overwhelmed. Plus, I don't think my brain ever actually shut off at night.
The great thing about working abroad is that you are "living in the future" at least a few hours ahead, six for the east coast and seven for Chicago. When I wake up, The US is still sleeping, I have a little time to check messages if anything is pressing make sure it is taken care of and then I am done. I don't have to check in until the afternoon when everyone is waking up. I have one more check in at the end of the night and then I will unplug for the night. (at least this is the plan)
5. I am not posting on the blog while I am away. This means you will miss me for a week but, I promise the amount of content I will bring back will be well worth the wait. I have a few fun things planned this trip and I can't wait to see how everything goes. I promise it is very low key and nothing over the top. Last week's Links I Love was double the love for this reason.
6. I have already broken my rule of only one meeting a day. Since it is technically short work week, I arrive on Tuesday morning, I packed in a little more than normal. Saturday, I am completely free and the day is mine. I am staying for a night on the left bank at a cute boutique hotel so I plan on exploring some of my left bank café list.
7. Find Jazz. Last year, I went to listen to jazz in a few spots and I never completed the list. I want at least one night of finding jazz in the city. It doesn't have to be fancy, just a little music and a glass of wine. I found the station TSF Jazz while living in Paris and I stream it on my phone at home. Take a listen if you want.
8. Recently I was interviewed for an article (which I can't wait for you to read) I was asked my favorite spots for lunch and dinner were and I was completely stumped. The truth is, I often find myself hunched over the computer with baguette crumbs until 10pm. I wish I could say that I was dining on the terrace every night but I assure you, Instagram life is not real life.
9. I really just want to "be" in Paris. Roam the streets, get lost, discover something new.
10. My full time as a photographer brings me back to Paris. I plan on adding to the shop new photographs from this trip. My work typically comes with stories, there is more behind just the image, the way I felt, what was going on that day, before or after the shot. I can't wait to see where Paris leads me and I am looking forward to finding the magic that was lost, once again.