I had always been pretty bad at saving money , but that has finally all changed. I also have long service leave coming up and I took the option where I can halve the amount of time I take but to compensate you get double the pay. $$ kaching.

I am basing myself in Paris for the first three weeks. I then have a week where I am not sure where I will be. Then it is off to Spain!

I am getting nearly all of my accommodation through www.waytostay.com . They have been incredibly nice to me . They have been so good to me that I will most likely be dropping in to their office in Barcelona with a few packets of Tim Tams. I am not  a huge fan of Tim Tams but it seems there are a few on the waytostay.com payroll . It is good that they like Tim Tams. I may not be able to transport Mint Slices all the way to Barcelona.

A lady I know has a daughter who used their site to stay in a really nice place in Florence, that is how I first got looking on their site. I looked at a lot of apartment websites and found other sites to have “terms and conditions” that seemed quite unreasonable. www.waytostay.com t and c’s are pretty simple  and common sense . I really like their cancellation policy, I found other sites had really quite harsh cancellation policys.( at the time of booking I was worried about my Dad passing away) . A good friend of mine and his girlfriend also used them to stay at a place in the Marais. Coincidentally managed by the same couple that manage the one that I will be staying in. They were very happy.

A quick amusing side story. Waytostay.com posted a luxurious apartment on their facebook page. A lot of apartments in Paris seem to have these surround jet type of showers that look like they would be glorious . I commented that I had shower envy and they replied  that I shouldn’t as there was a place near my apartment that I might like called

www.lesbainsdumarais.fr

I read it without really concentrating and was surprised!

say-what_iStock_000015132712XSmall

Were they inferring I was a lesbian? ( not that there is anything wrong with that -I just don’t bat for that team).  I racked my brain wondering what would have made them think that was my preference. Then I realised the a was in a different spot and in fact it was les bains not lesbians.  Phew that’s a relief!  I don’t think they understood how I had come to think that , straight away.  I am sure that they got a giggle when they twigged .The les bains du Marais did look lovely but I don’t like being touched by strangers so I won’t being getting a massage but the food sounds rather yummy. I will give their website a bit more of a read.

My Spanish speaking skills are bad and my French not much better, after the lesbians of marais story that should be glaringly obvious 😉 . I can say ( in French) I am Australian and I would like a beer please. Surely that should help!

I have bought the French and Spanish  audiobooks that teach you by incorporating music into the background. So you are bopping along to music saying things in French or Spanish.

they are made by earworms learning   . They are really quite effective. I find myself being able to say things in french that I didn’t actually realise I knew how to say . I am concentrating on french for now. as I don’t want to get confused by learning two languages at once.

I have been reading about cooking classes and food tours. One I am keen on in Paris is a girl who has a blog called paris by mouth I think these will be a good way for me to get out and mix with people.

I have booked a spot on a cheese and wine tour with Paris by mouth The lady that runs these tours gets very good reviews from her customers. One thing I like about the feedback is the customers do not feel pressured in to buying anything from the shops that they go in to. I will be surprised if I go home empty handed from my tour but I will enjoy it more if I am not guilted in to buying . The tour I have booked is Cheese and wine tour I am glad I booked in early as it was booked out by the middle of June. It proves to me , that I should never be shy or feel awkward about booking something a long time before the event. If it is open, book it if you want to!

She has other tours I am keen on.  Her blog is wonderful. I will be using it a lot as a reference point when I am in Paris. I never knew about the whole blog world. In the short amount of time that I have known about it I have stumbled across some great reads.

I also booked a dinner class at La Cuisine Paris.  The menu looks delicious.

          Chèvre Chaud aux Pistaches, Petit Mesclun (Goat Cheese coated with Pistachio, Salad)

          Pêche du jour, coulis de poivron jaune (White Fish from the market, Yellow Bell Pepper coulis sauce)

          Artichaut en barigoule (Traditional Artichoke dish)

          Tartelette au chocolat, Chantilly au café (Chocolate Tartelette, Coffee flavoured Chantilly cream)

I hope to be booking another one of their night classes as well, as they are just a 10 minute walk from the apartment I am staying in

—————————————————————————————————–

a link to 13 restaurants that are apparently some of the better ones around the Notre Dame

——————————————————————————————————

I will be able to get my modern mexican fix from Candelaria  just 800 m from where I am staying.  Yummo.

Another  day trip on my wish list is a trip to Giverny to go and see Monet’s garden, whilst the exhibition is at the National Gallery of Victoria. Ironic really!

I hope to do a champagne tour to the Reims. If it doesn’t end up fitting into my budget then I will cope but I think I would really enjoy it. I have done a tiny bit of research on which tour to take.

This one gets excellent reviews and have very competitive prices

Another “outing” that would be great are dinners or lunches where you pay 100 euro (ish) and go to someone’s house with 5 other vistors and eat, talk and drink the time away. I am very keen to do at least one of them.

places like

http://www.newfriendstable.blogspot.com.au/

http://www.lunchintheloft.com

http://www.voulezvousdiner.com/

I like the idea of these, they bring people from all walks of life together to do one thing that they definitely all have in common. Enjoy a great meal.

Until I leave, I am going to post pages with things I would like to do with links to their websites, mainly for the purpose of putting all my “research” onto one easily accessed spot online .  I want to look back to see whether other things become more important once I arrived. If i start blogging/practising now , by the time I get there I will be a dab hand at  wordpress.com 😀

My recent posts are up in the top right hand corner.

BlogDogIt - Bloggin’ It While Doggin’ It

30 responses »

  1. Great post BronVoyage! I’m looking forward to your upcoming adventure.

    Thanks for throwing BlogDogIt a bone! I have got you linked on my site now – following… 😀

    • thank you. The blogging world is a little scary but highly addictive. I will have to have a “I digress” section for non travel related ramblings. ( with appropriate warnings) 😉

  2. Super post! Your replied to me yesterday about TN…thank you! I am really looking forward to our adventures. My daughter is going to Europe again next year and we need tips!

  3. Love it Bron! I will be following your travels closely. I love all travel, my own personal travel & vicariously through others. Travelling alone is a fabulous adventure… having done a bit of solo travel, my advice is to tune in and trust your instincts about safety but to get out and do it! People are fabulous and there’s nothing like travelling solo to take you out of your comfort zone and send you on an amazing journey! 🙂

    • Thanks SuskiQ I REALLY loved your comment. It instilled in me that I am going the right thing by me by travelling solo. I think it is my happy way to go. 🙂 XXOO

    • Thanks Bron!
      That _is_ a very interesting article with many info-graphics. Have you thought about making a separate post to reference that article? I have been keeping an eye on your RSS feed but have not seen activity. I decided to come and visit your site directly and discovered your comment above. Almost missed it… I also think that many would find it interesting if you addressed some of the issues mentioned in the “Why Women Travel Solo” story – just a thought…

      Are you getting anxious?

      • Hi ,
        No I haven’t been posting much ( at all) as I didn’t want to bore people with updates when I am just adding a few lines. I don’t want to lose followers before I even go HA.
        Yes I am getting a little anxious but super excited as well. I am most anxious about pick pockets but I have read a good book about them and have a lot of pacsafe gear. I am pretty much going over as the unpaid poster girl for them HA.
        Today I am off to my nation’s capital for a party. I think going to the airport will get me even more excited for my trip.
        I have been having a little trouble learning about categories and sub sections. So I need to start practising blogging some more.

  4. Hey Bron, Great blog already. Makes me wish I was going – hey – wait – I AM! If I can get Deb to think of as catchy a blog name as yours I may have to start one myself – all I could think of was ‘Fox on the Run’ (but it has more connotations of a criminal than a traveler so perhaps not!).

  5. I fear a gypsy abduction and think you should consider learning some Romany phrases like – let me out of your caravan, or, I’ll show you where to put that crystal ball! If you don’t let me go.

    • Thank you for your tips wetblanket. It mustn’t have taken you long to think up your name. 😉 If the gypsies have wifi i will be able to google it. Perhaps I should learn to say “You are welcome to follow my blog but please don’t follow me home” in various languages.
      I look forward to more travelling tips from you wetblanket.

  6. les Bains , les girls , les murray , whatever.
    Sounds like fun ! Good to hear you having a real go at the local language . A lot of tourists wont even attempt it !

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