There are only two spots left on our June 17 - 25 Papa’s Paris Tour! Join me and our lovely ladies on our traveling party as we wine and dine our way across Paris, flirt with Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, imbibe the wisdom of Gertrude Stein, and have Zelda teach us how to dance the Charleston. Find out more on our site and our blog, or just call me. Reserve by Friday, 5/19 (tomorrow!) to ensure a room and save $670!Read More
There are now only 2 spots left on our Papa’s Paris Tour for June 17-25. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Have questions, concerns? Don’t let them hold you back. Here are some of the questions I’ve received from clients, and my responses.
Q. Is it safe to travel to Paris?
A. It’s safer to travel to Paris than to stay at home. Every year, more Americans are killed by their own furniture than by terrorism. In 2014, 32 Americans were killed worldwide by acts of terrorism. Every year, 35,000-40,000 Americans are killed in car crashes in the United States. The number has gone up by 10% in recent years due to the use of smartphones while driving.
There are only 3 spots left for our Papa’s Paris Tour from June 17-25, 2017. We’d love to have you along for our leisurely stroll through Hemingway’s Paris, in which we’ll meet Papa himself at his favorite café, as well as Gertrude Stein, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, all in their favorite haunts! They will discuss, argue, dance, and generally hold forth as we go back in time to relive a bygone era. Call today in order to guarantee your room by May 15.Read More
I recently read an article in the Guardian that described Berlin as a “wunderkammer” – an eclectic cabinet of wonders. Quirky places to visit in Berlin include the dinosaur-themed amusement park built by the East German government and abandoned for the past 15 years; the “Bridge of Spies” used to exchange captured spies; and the derelict NSA listening station that collected intelligence.Read More
Coming up in a couple of weeks, April 27 to be exact, the King’s birthday is celebrated in the Netherlands. While there are a couple of dignified stately celebrations, for the most part King’s Day is celebrated with an all-out, country-wide party. You’ll notice a lot of orange – orange hats, aprons (in which you can carry multiple shot glasses), t-shirts, pants (Dutch men often sport colorful trousers), hair, faces, and anything else that can be painted or dyed. Although the Dutch flag is red, white, and blue, orange is the color of the royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau.Read More
How did April 1 become the date on which light-hearted folks around the world play gentle jokes on their nearest and dearest? For those of us on the Gregorian calendar, it came into being in the late 1500s when the New Year’s celebration was changed from March 25-April 1 to January 1. Anyone continuing to celebrate New Year’s Day in March or April was thus a fool. Amazingly cultures as diverse as India, Denmark, and Iran celebrate a form of April Fool’s Day on or about the same date.
In France, the holiday is known as poisson d’avril – April’s Fish – and it is celebrated by secretly pinning or taping a picture or cutout of a fish on an unsuspecting victim.Read More
When you think of France, what’s the first thing you think of? If you’re like me, it’s the food. In my opinion, and based on numerous grueling tests of my own which I have conducted in the interest of improved international relations, no cuisine in the world compares to French cuisine (of course, I was born in France, so I’m biased).
French cuisine ranges from cuisine bourgeoise or cuisine bonne femme – good home cooking – to nouvelle cuisine (simple, quality ingredients presented in a straightforward manner often with unusual pairings in a restaurant) and haute cuisine (fancy, rich, expensive foods cooked by a chef in a restaurant). No matter what you call it, I call it good.Read More
We are getting very excited about our Papa's Paris Tour from June 17-25, coming up in 3 short months! Our rooms in the most charmant hotel in the Latin Quarter have been reserved, our menus are in the process of being chosen, our route has been laid out, and our playwright, Angelo Parra, has provided three delightful scripts starring Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. A short list of actors has been chosen for the parts and remain to be cast in these four roles. What’s not to like!Read More
Hemingway went to Paris as a young man, met influential and artistic people, and five years later, at the age of 27, had become wealthy and famous. How did that happen? Hemingway’s own talent and drive were of course key, but in addition, three people were instrumental in his material and literary success: Hadley Richardson, Sherwood Anderson, and Pauline Pfeiffer. Of the three, the writer Sherwood Anderson played the largest role in putting Hemingway on the short path to fame and fortune.Read More
Following up on last week’s newsletter about the lovely Swedish island of Gotland with its fairy tale city of Visby, I feel I need to provide a fair and balanced perspective about Sweden. It could be that this charming city is merely a front for the Swedish Mafia, which I know exists because I was just watching a TV show last night about the Dutch Mafia. It could be that I had fallen under Sweden’s spell due to a mild case of Stockholm Syndrome, in which you identify with your captors.Read More
One of my favorite things about travel is when I later see a movie or TV show set in a place I have been and recognize certain streets or buildings – it makes the show that much more real and three-dimensional for me. I was in Visby a few years ago and was quite charmed by the place, even though I arrived the same week that all the Stockholmers did, on their annual party pilgrimage. But even so, it wasn’t much busier than Tarrytown towards Halloween when the tourists come up from New York City. I just avoided the cafés by the waterfront with the throbbing, thumping music.Read More
Picasso, Haviland, and Céret, “The Mecca of the Cubists:” How a little town in the Pyrenees became a center of Modern Art. About 100 years ago, a little mountain town in the Pyrenees called Céret became a center of Modern Art. Up-and-coming artists such as Picasso, Braque, Matisse, and Gris spent summers here in the teens of the last century, where Picasso and Braque developed analytical cubism. This group became known as the School of Céret. How did this little town become a mecca for artists and the namesake of the School of Céret? It was due to someone you’ve probably never heard of…Read More
Fashionable flappers strolling through Paris in the 1920s. Join other solo travelers for an incomparable group experience for our Papa’s Paris Tour in June 2017. Our tours aresmall – 6-12 guests – so we can mingle and get to know one another. We share a single table at meals whenever possible, play ice breaker games, and engage in general conversation. Sharing a common interest such as Hemingway and Paris ensures lively discussion. Book now and save $608 per person!Read More
Hello my Travellati friends,
We are so looking forward to the fun we will have in the City of Lights this June! To get you in the mood, whether you are planning to join us in person or just in spirit, I’d like to suggest a few books and movies that you might enjoy delving into.
Epiphany is widely celebrated in Catholic cultures around the world, in very different ways. What is Epiphany, you may ask, other than the Eureka of a bathtub-lounging scholar? Epiphany is a celebration on the Twelfth Day after Christmas, January 6, also known as “Twelfth Night” and “Three Kings Day.” In Roman Catholicism, it marks the visit of the Three Kings or Magi to the baby Jesus.Read More
New Year’s Eve is celebrated with different traditions around the world. My friend Eric in France went for a nice little dip in the Atlantic on New Year’s Day, followed by hot wine and brioches. He also hosted a Réveillon dinner on New Year’s Eve, which is a dinner party with special foods such as oysters, foie gras, lobster and champagne that lasts all evening and beyond.Read More
“Not that she didn’t enjoy the holidays: but she always felt—and it was, perhaps, the measure of her peculiar happiness—a little relieved when they were over." You're not the only one, Mrs. Miniver! Now is the time to reward yourself and step back into the picture frame of your own life.Read More
Dear Travellati friends,
Over the years, I have received thousands of holiday cards, but none was so thrilling to see in my mailbox as a card addressed to me by my father. The first clue that there was something special inside was the beautiful envelope, inscribed in an elegant hand and painted with holly and ivy. I carefully slit the envelope open with the ebony letter opener my Dad made me years ago to not damage the envelope or its contents. Below are a few treasures from these years of cards that I would like to share as my holiday gift to you.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a peaceful New Year.
And hope to see you in June on our Papa's Paris Tour in which we meet Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald! Call for an individualized quote, 10% reduction if offered as a gift by Dec. 30: 914-909-5079.
As I wander the streets of Paris, I often peek through gates and archways to see what is inside the cours, the courtyard. Most Parisian buildings put a stern face to the street which melt away into elegant, whimsical, or minimalist gardens as you cross their thresholds.Read More
Bonjour mes amis,
At my first Christmas, I was 3 months old. A snapshot of me in my mother’s arms says on the back, “Looking at the Christmas Tree – Dec. 59.” The lights must have dazzled me.
We used real candles on the tree back in those days. The trees were scrawnier then, so it was easier to use candles without burning the house down than it would be now. We always had some full buckets of water on hand, just in case. My Dad made the star on top out of a tin can and the straw ornaments must have come from my mother’s German relatives.
For my third Christmas, we were in Cincinnati at my American grandparents’ house, but we still had real candles on the tree. I loved the popping sound the plastic chain made when I clicked and unclicked the pieces together and apart.
Back in France, I remember my father taking me to the church next door at Christmastime to look at the crèche. I remember being very awed by it. The church had rows and rows of the wooden caned chairs that French churches have instead ofpews.
Our last Christmas in Paris was in 1965. We were delighted with our American Indian themed costumes and our tear-off calendars – my brother’s was in the shape of a bear and mine in a red cone shape that represented Santa Claus. Note the paper and popcorn chains on the tree that we had helped make.
We probably got the idea from a book we had, and I still have, called “Favorite Christmas Songs and Stories.” An American relative must have sent it. I had memorized “The Night Before Christmas” and could recite it from start to finish, in English. At school, our teachers were puzzled when we drew fireplaces with stockings hanging from them instead of shoes next to the fireplace, as is the tradition in France. Our parents had to explain.
And I was thrilled with my new roller skates. That’s me wearing the skates and my Indian regalia as I watch my brother open his presents. I also tried out his drummer’s hat, which my Dad made, and his new drum. I was quite disappointed I couldn’t do a drum roll like they did in the Bastille Day parade. The sticks just went thump thump thump.
The last Christmas I remember well was on the ship SS Bremen that was taking us to the United States for the final time. We had sailed from Cherbourg on December 5, 1966, the day after my aunt’s wedding and were on the high seas for a week or so. Our parents passed our presents to the Santa onboard, who then presented them to us. I got a pretty doll with eyelids that moved, but was heartbroken once we unpacked in Cincinnati and my beloved teddy bear, “Petit Nounou,” was nowhere to be found. My mom had thrown him out before we left Paris because he was too dirty. I never played with the doll.
Christmas was never quite the same after that. We kept having real candles on the tree for a while until we became Americanized enough to buy colored strings of lights. Today, I use electric “candles” on my tree to remind me of my childhood Christmases, and German straw Christmas ornaments. And I just now realized why I bought one of my favorite tin folk ornaments: it is a red cone shape representing Santa Claus.
Travel back in time and make your own memories in Paris! Join us in June 2017 for our Papa's Paris Tour in which we meet Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Call me for an individualized quote, 10% reduction if offered as a gift by Dec. 30: 914-909-5079.