After reuniting with some of my very best college friends in the fall of 2010, we determined that 2011 should be a year of celebration and new beginnings and what better way to celebrate than with a trip to Paris! One of my friends, Mary Charles, had a daughter who would be graduating in May 2011 and planning to move to Paris to study at Cordon Bleu, so planning a trip around the beginning of her new studies made sense.
We all lead busy lives and are spread across Dallas, Houston, College Station and Aiken, South Carolina, so the help of Valerie, at Riverside Travel, was essential! This knowledgable travel agency/French antique shop specializes in French flea market shopping trips and was recently featured in Flea Market Style magazine. Hands down, Valerie's expertise and attention to detail played the #1 biggest part in our ease of travel and ability to see that all of our individual priorities were met. My two favorite “hook-ups” from Valerie were our centrally located hotel and our personal shopping guide.
Valerie's hotel suggestion, Le Littr'e, was affordable, spacious and accomodating…much more than I ever expected! Our party of 5 had private access to their top floor, two-bedroom suite that was like no other European hotel experience that any of us ever had in past travel experiences. Our bathrooms were huge… with all of the modern amenities that all Americans love! The staff took great care of us and is even taking care of packing and shipping a flea market art treasure to me.
My top priority in Paris was experiencing Les Puces de Saint-Quen at Porte de Clignancourt. Strolling around the Eiffel Tower, going to the Lourve, Musee de Orsay, etc were on my list of to-do's…but at the top? Les Puces (The Fleas)! Hearing that I was a “flea freak”, Valerie told me about my soon-to-be Paris BFF, Jodie!
Jodie Hutchins is an absolute doll and our greatest resource during our time in Paris! Her personal shopping and guide service is a must for anyone who plans to spend a day, or more, shopping the flea or luxury designers in France. She asks what you would like to find prior to your arrival and scours the shops before you get there, so that there's no time waisted on hunting for that specific vintage Hermes' bag or Christian Louboutin nude stiletto. Her fluent English and French allow for perfect translations and negotiations. Voila! I can't wait to go back to Paris and see her! I truly made a new friend.
(Double cheek kisses to you, Jodie!)
I was in awe at the variety of vintage art everywhere! (my obsession…)
Everything seemed to be beautiful in Paris…even “the fleas”
Here are a few of my favorite shots from our day…
Jodie led us to a tucked-away section that she said was much like “Sanford and Son” where we found tons of treasures and one of my new art treasures…a real deal at 60 Euros!
It was such a fun day! I can't wait to share more Parisian inspiration with you this week!
Be sure to check out The Hidden List Facebook page for more photos…