Archive for the ‘Paris in the summer’ Category

What is La Rentrée?

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Many of you may know that the people of France receive four to six weeks of paid vacation each year.  It is commonplace for Parisians to vacate the city for the entire month of August.  They want to escape the heat and the tourists and travel somewhere exotic.  As a traveler to Paris during this time, you will find many shops and cafes closed for the month of “vacances”.

September marks the beginning of La Rentrée.  Everyone comes back from their fabulous vacations and enters back into their usual routines.  It is kind of like the feeling of the first day of school.  You are wearing your new school clothes, brand new sneakers and carrying a new backpack and excited to meet your new teacher.  In Paris, the shops are spruced up, inventory is replenished and most people are refreshed and ready for the September season of travelers.  The weather is usually perfect; still warm with cool evenings.  The sun is still setting a little late to give you just enough time to get back to your apartment before dark to prepare for a night out.  It is a wonderful time in Paris!

Rollerblading in Paris!

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

We stumbled across this video on YouTube and remembered that it was one of the most fun things to watch while we were in Paris.  Pari Roller is the association in Paris that organizes the group skates.  Every Friday night (unless it is raining) a large group gathers at a predetermined location and they start skating.  There are a few things that you see in this video that stand out…

1.  They have the support of the Paris police!  They police block off the course so that they skaters are somewhat safe.  Amazing!

2.  This video was shot at 10:05 pm and it is still light (it was shot in June).  They skate until 1:00 am.

3.  There are many families skating.

4.  Some people are in costumes!

Pari Roller provides some pretty detailed guidelines on their website.   If you decide to join in on the fun, make sure to follow them.  It is definitely a great way to people watch and take in some of the local Paris flavor!   If you Rollerblade on your next trip to Paris, send us a picture or video so that we can share it with the CobbleStay Community.  Have fun and be safe!

What the Ladies are Wearing in Paris This Summer

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Summer in Paris!!!  Yes, it can be very crowded but at least you have your Paris apartment rental to escape from it all.  From a fashion point of view, summer is the time when the Parisian girls, who normally stick with black and white, show off their colors.  Visitors to the fashion mecca should follow suit.  Here are CobbleStay’s top picks for what to pack this summer when traveling to Paris.

The temps in July peak at about 70 degrees, so wearing a long sleeved top can be a smart idea.  We also love this long skirt for the days that you might visit a church.  Keeping your limbs covered is a sign of respect.  The model’s platform sandals peeking out from the skirt are great for walking the cobblestone streets.

This outfit is perfect for visiting the museums and lunch at a cafe.   She can easily take off the cardigan when it is warming up outside and the bag…the perfect size for your cell, your camera, a journal and a bag of snacks.

We love this look because it is classic Paris style with a kick!  The Breton stripes thrown around her shoulders are perfect.  Her red pants are VERY à la mode and her shoes will keep her moving in comfort all day.

We can’t leave out the men!  We know it takes a special guy to get all fancy like these Paris locals.  But we can’t help but love them for their hats, touches of red and their argyle socks.

So…what are you packing this summer?

Happy Bastille Day from the Reservation Desk!

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Bastille Day macaron

Right now, the fireworks are probably just ending over in France. Bastille Day has come and gone, but surely not without a celebration. I was fortunate enough to actually be in France on the day in 2001. I watched an amazing show from the edge of the Mediterranean in Nice. It was fantastic.

The Bastille was a medieval prison and fortress in Paris. The large column in the Place de la Bastille now stands where it once was. In the late 1700′s the Bourbon Monarchy was in reign and , to say the least,  not very popular. They were oppressive, absolute and arbitrary. On July 14,1789, the French decided it needed to end. The troops stormed the Bastille and overtook the fortress. This was one of the critical first steps towards a constitutional monarchy in the French Revolution. A republic was born. The Fête de la Fédération was held on July 14, 1790. This was the first, unofficial celebration of Bastille Day.

July 14, 1879. Things really got started. They had the first military review and celebrations were hosted all over the country. Benjamin Raspail, a politician at the time, proposed that July 14th should become a holiday. The people listened. The law was enacted on July 6th and on July 14th, 1880 Bastille Day became a true public holiday for the first time.They’ve been celebrating ever since.

Today, in Paris, the city shone. The morning started off with a large military parade up the Champs Elysees with service men and woman from all units.  Even cadets from military school were represented. There were extravagant air shows, art festivals, demonstrations and concerts. As night took over, the sky was lit up with fireworks and sparkling lights. Sipping wine from the terrace of your Paris vacation rental watching the show, how perfect. Blue, white and red bunting  and flags hanging from balconies. Make that a sea of blue, white and red anything and everything. The Tricolor flag symbolizes the Republic’s three ideals Liberty, Equality and Fraternity for all the French. Sounds like a pretty good reason for a party to me.

Travel Tip: These museums are open and admission is free on Bastille Day: Branly, Cluny, Guimet, Louvre, Orangerie, Orsay, Pompidou, Rodin.

Many Bastille Day celebrations can be viewed from the balconies of our properties.  Ask the reservation desk which ones are available.

The Paris Plages

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

(via Getty images)

They call it a “Seine-side holiday.”  The city slows down, trees seem greener, and the sun seems brighter.  You can unpack your swimsuit and get away.  It’s all just a quick jaunt from your Paris vacation rental’s door.  You may not get an ocean breeze, but for four weeks starting at the end of July, you can hit the beach.  In Paris.

You can thank the Mayor’s office for the palm trees and sand between your toes.  In 2002, the newly elected mayor, Bertrand Delanoe, decided that all Parisians needed a break in the summer.  Ideally, wouldn’t we all take off the hottest months of the year and head to the local sea-side village?  If you can’t get to the beach, then why not let Paris bring the beach to you.  What was once considered too costly, too frivolous and too much work, is now an annual summer paradise.  The George Pompidou Highway trades speeding taxis and rush hour traffic for pedestrians in search of relaxation and entertainment.  Over 250 sun chairs, mats and parasols,  50 palm trees and 16 beach cafes.  Now that says summer.

Any activity you could find along the coast can be found along the banks.  If action and water sports are your passion, then you’ll want to head to the beach at La Villette Basin.  This is the latest addition, added in 2007.  They have kayaks, paddle boats, canoes and sailboats all available to the public.  They are free and can be rented until 9:00 PM.  Don’t worry, instructors are on hand to jog your memory if it’s been a while since you’ve hoisted a sail.  Now that you’ve got a boat, where do you go?  There’s over 53,000 square feet of water to explore.  You can even hang ten and surf in the wave simulator.  Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to shore and grab a bite at the beach cafe of your choice.

If all you can think about is lounging with your latest summer read, then the “traditional” beach is for you.  Located along the banks,from the Louvre to Pont Sully, this beach is dotted with parasols, chaise loungers (free to rent, of course), grass and sand beaches.  When you aren’t soaking up the rays, you can catch a game of beach volleyball or take a dip in one of the many nearby floating pools. All they ask, is that you don’t swim in the Seine. You can even take a water aerobics or tai-chi class, if you’re feeling adventurous.  The boardwalks are never dull with cafes, street performers, concerts and more.  This year, these beautiful Seine-side escapes will feature 10 times more sand for 10 times the fun!

If you’d like to hit the beach in Paris, you can get all the information about this summer treat {here}.