It is cold and cloudy here in Seattle so that means it is time for me to escape to cold and cloudy Paris! Hurray!
My becoming regular buying/exploring/indulging-in-baguettes winter expedition to Europe will commence in a few short days, and my itinerary is chalk full of new and old favorite places to visit.
While it may seem odd that I cross the Atlantic to the Old World in January versus the Pacific to an US archipelago of tropical islands, there is a method to my madness. First of all, Europe is very inexpensive this time of year as it is clearly off season for most travelers (I booked a flight for 16 Euros from Bologna to Malta!). Second, it is a great time for a break after the bustle of the holiday season and now slower retail season. Third, there is an important accessories show in Paris that takes place the third week of January where I get to see many of the designers that we feature in the shop (it becomes a bit like old home week). See? Not soooooo crazy!
Here is a glimpse of where and what I will be up to January 10 – February 5:
First stop, Paris, bien sur!
First order of business in Paris *after the baguette* will be to tackle the January “soldes.” Oh, the treasures that await. I just got goosebumps!
Another notable mention is that the Ritz hotel is FINALLY open after its 3 year remodel! So a visit there and to its famous Bar Hemingway, which also happens to be my favorite bar in the world, is high on the priority list.
Second stop, Venice!
I literally never tire of the arched bridges, gondola lined canals and maze-like cobble stone streets. If anything the city fascinates and excites me more after each visit.
Perhaps this year I will take a wade again through a flooded San Marco square.
Piazza San Marco back in January of 2014 during one of the ubiquitous high tides of the winter season.
Third stop will be the great food town of Parma, Italy!
Image from Pinterest
The home of parmigiano reggiano cheese and Parma ham will be no place to skip a meal. My taste buds are already tingling!
Fourth stop, Valletta, Malta!
Frankly I don’t know a lot about this island nation, but I do know that it will be a little warmer there as it is located in the Mediterranean between Sicily and Libya. I look forward to learning more about its rich history and culture while soaking in a little sunshine. I hope to pick up a Maltese cross or two toooooo.
Fifth stop, Romania!
Clearly I will have to bring a coat to Bucharest, Romania. The plan is to start there and then rent a car to find Dracula’s castle in Transylvania. I look forward to also finding impressive handicrafts for the shop (fingers crossed)!
My trip to Romania may include a divergence into Bulgaria to explore that country as well. Perhaps I will fly back to Paris from Sofia…but there is still time to sort out those details. However, there is less time to get packed and prepared to leave…so off I go to pull the suitcases out of the guest room closet!
If you have any recommendations or suggestions on what to do, see or where to eat at any of these places, I am all ears!