September 1, 2010

The Official Countdown Begins: The Broke Socialite Does...

...London and Paris!

Yes. *twirls around and around*

In 14 days, I will be heading across the pond.  My dear friend, Melenese, lives in London and her birthday gift to me this year was a trip to spend a few days as her guest.  Surely, The Queen awaits my arrival. Ha! Firstly, how great of a friend is Mel?  I've been breathless since I received the news.  I've been wondering what should I bring? What will we do? Where will we go?

When I tell you that I've become obsessed; that's an understatement.  I've always admired how perfectly (and effortlessly) chic the women in Europe always seem to be.  I couldn't WAIT to pick the brain of the dear Kayln about what I should bring.  She was so gracious and provided thoughtful feedback here.

With the exception of a crisp white shirt (which, with the change in seasons, I needed to get anyway), I am going to shop my closet.

You see, friends...this trip is all about the experience AND will be budget-friendly.  I refuse to spend unnecessary money (especially with The Boy just getting settled in for his freshman year and my empire-building) preparing for the trip.  The dear Mel has forbidden me, too.

So here goes...Country Goes To London/Paris.  I shall chronicle my experiences here.  I've my point/shoot camera, Flip camera and MacBook Pro.

Watch out, Brits and Parisians, here I come.

If you've ever been to either city, what shouldn't I miss?


  1. London: Take a pic in a red phone box of course! LOL! Don't miss Big Ben and tease the guards (they seriously do NOT move a muscle). Oh...and try and take a float on the Thames. That's cool to do. Is Mr. TBS going cuz it's kinda cool. You will ADORE Queen Mary's rose garden and Trafalgar Square indeedly. The street markets might seem cool but I didn't find anything worth buying. Since you're going to be with people who know the area well they will prolly know of the better non-touristy ones.

    Paris: advice is to fix your face before you get there. Why? It's dirty and you will be shocked at just how much I believe. Get you a Lonely Planet. They are my favorite travel books and have a lot of off the beaten path things.

    So excited for you and can't wait to see the pics!

  2. Ive always dreamed of going and just applied for my passport,one of my stops soon! Have fun and be safe!

  3. You're gonna have a BALL! Take lost of pictures :)

  4. I can not wait to keep up with you on your trip. Had I kept up with my yogo and pilates classes, I would have been able to fold myself into your luggage bag. Have a blast. You sooooo deserve it.

  5. Definitely go to Tower of London! Tate Modern is fun and Madame Tousaud's is great if you've never been to one before. The one in London is the best of them! Piccadilly Circus, Harrods and Buckingham Palace must be seen! As for Paris, defintely go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, the Basillica du Sacre Cour has the best view of the city I think and the Paris Opera House is great! You can see the door to the famous box of The Phantom of the Opera and the original chandelier (the one that falls in the musical!).

    Have a wonderful time!!! And by the way, I'm moving to London at the end of this month... but I think I arrive after you leave. :-)

  6. Since you going in the beginning of fall, in Paris on Tuesday go to the gallerie Lafayette for a free fashion show. On Champs Elysees go to Guerlian for a free makeup make over..
    Then head down to Laduree for the best lunch in the city it's a bit pricey but I never miss a lunch there when I'm in Paris. Also try the flourless macaroon, finally ask for an empty box they are divine in their packaging..

    Eiffel tower only do half of the elevator then do the stairs for a great view of how it's constructed.
    Bring a picnic lunch once you done and sit under the tower and enjoy being there and looking up the shanks.

    Head to the marais section and do some amazing shopping off rue de bretagne, there are a plethora of new designers similar to project runway but so much cheaper, than the regular fashion houses...

    Night time head to momtmarte for some amazing wine bars and fabulous music..
    Best of all wear comfortable shoes..
    Have a great time

  7. Congratulations! You will love it. Here was my little guide to Paris.

    It's a privileged guide for not too many euros:).

  8. Sounds like a wonderful trip. Don't forget that Groupon is in London and Paris, you might score some great deals to use while there!
    Amuse-toi bien!

  9. You are going to have a ball and you will be looking FABuLOUS to boot!

    Stylishly yours,

  10. Take lots of gifts for your friend, something from the States that she misses.

  11. Shameeka, i love Paris and lived there in my youth. i love French pharmacies. I know weird..but they have cool toothbrushes and expensive lotions and potions the likes of which we typically only find at luxury stores in the mall. People say the French are snobby. Pas vrais I say! We just have to adapt. Here's my best advice. When you walk into a French store or boutique, the first thing you must do is say HELLO or BONJOUR as they say in France. It's rude not to! We Americans wander into store with nary a greeting or hallo! Try the Bonjour technique and voila! no more French snobby! Oh and did I mention put me in your suitcase. Did I say Bonjour?

  12. As a Londoner may I reccomend that you partake of our excellent ethnic cuisine. My top reccomendation is New Tayyab, Fieldgate st nr Whitechapel station. They sell wonderful Pakistani grilled meats and some of the best curries in town.
    Also Ranoush,a Middle Eastern restaurant,across the road from Sloane St station (which is the tube stop for Harrods) The Lamb Shawarma wrap is divine alongside a fresh melon juice and you will get change out of a tenner if you buy both.

    If you plan on thrifting while you are here, look out for car boot sales, the equivalent to yard sales/flea markets.

  13. How exciting for you. Paris is on my bucket list. I have the passport, just need to plan a trip. I think I will be visiting a few of the links above, so I can feel like I'm going with you.

    Enjoy and look forward to your posts.

  14. JUST got back from Paris yesterday. Here is what you must have: skinny, cigarette pants, tight all the way to the ankle. I had on nice jeans with just a slight flare at the bottom, I felt like a dinosaur!

  15. Congratulations on making a dream come true. If you are culture vulture there are FABULOUS museums in London. The British Museum houses mummies, the Magna Carta and the Rosetta Stone (which is NOT behind glass). Entrance is f-r-e-e (donations welcome). Go to Portobello Road on a weekend (Notting Hill) and poke around in all the antique stalls and shops for a real vintage treasure. I really like Victoria & Albert for all the Victorian collectibles AND the fabulous tea room for a snack. You must pop into the Food Court at Harrods even if you only buy a candy bar as it is pretty amazing. Take a stroll through one of the numerous parks. Here is a pretty big strolling map for you:

    As for Paris, you must see the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. Wander the hills of Montmartre til you get to the Basilique du Sacre Coeur. There are lots of small shops on your way up or take the metro up the hill for a fab view. I like grabbing a latte at one of the cafes near the carousel on the way back down the hill. I adore shopping for fragrance and lingerie in Paris and you can be in nearly any neighborhood and find a small little gem of s store to be sated. And as Dani said above, make sure to say Bonjour. Since you are from the South you can appreciate a little refined manners. If you like over the top, take a trip a little out of the way to see Versailles. I like the gardens but nearly everyone loves the hall of mirrors. Rent Marie-Antionette to get the vibe or Amelie.

    As for packing, definitely shop your closet. Both countries have a different dress code but I'd say either go wide wide leg pants or skinny pants to blend in. Bring a warm and chic coat and don't forget to accessorize. Accessories take up little suitcase real estate. I wear lots of dresses and boots I can walk and walk in and feel like a local. Don't forget a scarf!

    And most importantly, have a fabulous trip. I have been reading your blog for a year now. You definitely need some time off. Enjoy, come back refreshed and renewed.


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