to travel / happy new year!

I’m currently ensconced in a comfortable, fluffy hotel bed in Amsterdam. I was so exhausted from trekking to Amsterdam via Delhi – Moscow – Paris that I passed out for 8 hours straight once I got to the hotel. I’m digesting a huge (since I missed dinner) hotel buffet breakfast before I hit up all of the museums.

The past week or so has been a whirlwind of eye-opening experiences. I really enjoyed the golden triangle, spending tons of time with NYC friends, meeting new friends, experiencing an Indian wedding extravaganza, and cannot wait to go back and learn more about India. We travelled in luxury but there were snippets of the India’s harsh reality – children trained to be hawkers at a young age, illiteracy, poverty, threat of terrorism, etc.

In typical Irene fashion, the trip had its fair share of bumps — I brought the wrong camera charger, found a generic replacement in Paris that I thought was defective, but thanks to some pre-falling asleep strokes of brilliance was able to make it work. I also barely made my outbound flight (thank you, flight delay), barely got to Paris Nord in time for my train to Amsterdam (no thanks to flight delays, but thank you, nice Aeroflot flight agent) but had enough time to find a pharmacie open on a Sunday* to stock up on more Dermaphil Indien lip balm, which is my new favorite.

Since I’ve been between computers, I haven’t had time to install Adobe Lightroom to process my pictures. All of the pictures below were taken with my Nikon D80 or iPhone and post-processed on my iPhone via applications: tadaa, Instagram, or Diptic (which had a massive update and is my collage app of choice).

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but do have a few that I’d work on regardless of the New Year that can be shared on the web:

    • Eat healthy. I really want a Vitamix blender, I can’t tell you how many veggies I throw out because they went bad.
    • Work out. I’ve fallen off this bandwagon.
    • Get to airports earlier. My previous just-in-time strategy is nail-biting stressful.
    • Make better shopping decisions. I love J.Crew’s style resolutions, particularly the edit closet and wear more black.
    • Purge / eBay. I’m glad that many items sold in my eBay store while I am away!
    • Read books. I read a ton of blogs and magazines.

(click to enlarge)

*I transited through Paris on a Sunday, which means that most shops are closed. The pharmacie I went to did not show up on any Google blog posts and I needed something closer than a 10-15 minute walk given I had substantial bags to lug. I found it the old fashioned way — I stuck my head outside of the station and looked for a green, lit “+” sign. So if you’re in the Paris Gare du Nord train station on a Sunday and need a pharmacy close by, head to the Pharmacie Centrale du Nord on 132 Rue La Fayette. They are open on Sundays from 10:00 – 20:00. The best exit point from the massive Gare du Nord station is the doors opposite of the Thalys tracks (~7,8,9). Head straight away from the train station.

to travel & shop / {november 2011} paris – petit bateau

Continuation of this Petit Bateau post.

Petit Bateau is all over Paris. I have no idea how their sales are like in Paris, but I can’t afford to wait. They were having a small promotion when I was there – 20% off two or more items, excluding anything black or blue {stripes were eligible for the promotion} – and in true Parisian fashion, it was very subtly advertised in the store. I happened to catch a glimpse of the store window on the way in and it was written on the very bottom left. I don’t know much French, but I know enough to know soldes = sale :)

Here are some snapshots of their tiny lookbook. Their baby/kid line is so adorable. I wish they had everything in adult sizes! {Oh wait, they do.}

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to travel & shop / {november 2011} paris – repetto stock

Update: This Repetto outlet closed. As far as I know, you can find another outlet outside of Paris at the La Vallée Village. Details here

If you look beneath the surface of Paris, you’ll find catacombs and stock stores, which are known more affectionately to us as outlets. These stock stores have leftover and discontinued inventory from the retail stores, not merchandise produced at an sub-par quality specific for the outlets like J.Crew, Banana Republic, etc. Since I have a Repetto obsession, I had to check out the Repetto one. If you have more time, you can find stock shops here for Maje, Cacharel, Sandro, etc. There was also one blog that outlined when the Maje and Sandra shops restock, but I can’t find the link now.

The Repetto stock store is above their ballet store, which does not have Repetto signage, so pay attention to the address. It is also conveniently close to a metro line and not too far of a walk from the Opera area.

Continue reading “to travel & shop / {november 2011} paris – repetto stock”