In 2013, after a long day in Paris as a Personal Buyer for designers, I was at last ready for dinner. I was in my favorite Montmartre section of Paris and peeking through restaurant windows to discover the right mood among diners to say, “yes, this is the one.” I often select a restaurant or cafe’ more on the ambiance than reading the posted menu. I ask myself, “would I be happy here?”
I never miss an opportunity to glance into shop windows as I often find my most cherished pieces by accident. My hunger was put on hold when I discovered on rue Audran a small shop window filled with one-of-a-kind cafe’ size cups…each with its unique nose and lips.
The young woman artist and creator, Alice Lothon, was still inside working at her pottery wheel where she creates each piece one at a time. I loved all of her pieces…cafe’ size cups, cafe’ au lait bowls, and even large table-top size pieces. She could see my enthusiasm and between my not-so-good French and her not-so-good English, I learned the story of how she came to create her vision.
The next year, I brought my 12-year-old granddaughter to Paris and took her to Alice’s shop. Alice remembered me AND my enthusiasm and she treated my granddaughter like family.
What a great surprise, our connection a year earlier led to Alice taking my granddaughter under her wing. Sitting side-by-side around the small pottery wheel, Alice taught her how to make her own unique cafe’ cup. More importantly, Alice showed her the soul of people we meet in travel.
Many people would just pop into Alice’s shop and buy some cups to take home. My granddaughter and I took home life-long memories!
I frequently stay in Paris for several weeks as a personal buyer for designers. Hotels are too expensive for long-term stays plus the added necessity to eat daily in restaurants drains my budget AND gets old quickly. Often, after a long day, don’t we all just want to stay in….especially on those rainy or cold evenings.
After many years of enduring frequent hotel stays, I was rescued by discovering VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) for my Paris short-term apartment rentals.
Yes, Airbnb has become a household word….but Paris VRBO delivered all of my must-haves: affordable convenient locations, speedy Wi-Fi for Skype and Internet, apartments are always as they appear on their site, staff speaks English and always available to help, never surprise cancellations, and my deposit is refunded within 2 days.
I have spent weeks in all of the pictured apartments and have always been happy. They are my home away from home!
I love my small private outdoor terrace at this Montmartre studio. I even dine on the terrace wearing a sweater…and in warm weather, totally the place to find me!
This Montmartre one bedroom EVEN has a pull down Murphy bed in the living room and the modern shower rivals 4-star hotels!
For those times when I am looking for extra economy, this studio is the answer. The sofa opens to a full comfortable bed and it is my GO TO apartment for cost and my favorite location!
Booking an apartment for a week is the best value and can keep the cost as low as $60-$80 per night.
Travel offers many benefits, but there are things we miss….family, friends, and pets. Skype helps, but nothing replaces playing and snuggling with our favorite pets.
“Le Cafe des Chats” at 16 rue Michel le Comte in Paris comes to our rescue.
You can now get your fix of Parisian coffee, tea, pastries, and even lunch while playing with some of Paris’s cutest kittens and cats! All the cats and kittens are from rescue shelters and all have been spayed.
Do not be fooled by this sleeping calico kitten. Once she was awake, she was like a 2 year old toddler, Going FULL TILT!
Her favorite pastimes were playing hide and seek in our plastic shopping bag and swinging from shoelaces.
The cafe opens at noon with crowds waiting on the sidewalk! Walk-ins are ok for coffee/dessert, however, it is best to have a reservation for lunch.