going to: paris

bkp_paris2014

I’m leaving in a few days for Paris! It’s a weekend trip but there is a lot I hope to fit in. As usual, I made a Paris map using the map feature within my Google Drive. It’s super easy to use – basically you can drop a pin anywhere – for your hotel, restaurants you want to try, sightseeing activities, bars… You can get as specific as you like. I alternate between color coding the pins and using the little icons shaped like coffee cups or martini glasses to signify a cafe, cocktail bar, and so on.

bkp_parismap

Deciding what I want to put on the map is the hard part, but I love travel planning and have developed a system. If you tell me you’re going somewhere, chances are I’ll research the city and, just for kicks, email you an invitation to collaborate on a Google Map outlining what I think you should do on your trip. I tend to vascillate between Instagram, Afar Magazine, blogs, and The New York Times for recommendations. If both David Lebovitz and Lindsey Tramuta from Lost In Cheeseland fame are excited about a restaurant or coffee shop, I consider that pretty fool-proof and put it on my list. Afar and Travel & Leisure both give me good ideas for hotels and some insight into what a particular neighborhood is like. And I like the “36 Hours In…” articles from the Times. While I might not follow their suggestions to the letter, I get a sense of how to pace my day.

Here’s what I’m excited for on this trip:

Visiting the Musée Picasso. It was closed for renovations the last two times I was in Paris. I just missed the reopening last summer so I am bound and determined to go this time. (That means I’ve bought tickets online already.)

Eating lunch at Septime and dinner at Le Gabriel. And dinner at Richer or Ellsworth or Verjus and maybe a breakfast at Buvette if there is time for all that food!

Coffee at Hexagone Cafe and Lockwood and Ten Belles.

Also: doing something different this time. Staying in an airbnb! Hotels in Paris tend to be expensive and rather small, and this airbnb comes with terraces so I’m psyched.

photos: laurakinsey for bklynprairie.

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