Tu-Na Travels: Day One in Paris

I set foot on Parisian soil for the first time in mid April of 2014. My husband and I were on a month long voyage to Europe with stops in Germany, Paris, and London. We had just taken the TGV train from Stuttgart to Paris. During my stay, I wrote in a journal about the things I learned and I want to share them with you.

Paris signa

This sign welcomed us at the TGV station in Paris.


But first a little story about some good-looking French men.

Our travel agent had secured an apartment for us two blocks from the Eiffel tower. I was so excited hoping that I could draw back the window drapes and have a view every morning of it.

Eiffel tower 17a

There was construction happening at the tower. Part of the floor was being replaced with glass.

Anyway, after debarking from the TGV and dragging four suitcases (two for each of us) plus our personal packs (backpack for my husband and a large, very large purse for me), we walked to the subway station entrance so we could travel to that apartment. I peered down, down a very long steep set of stairs leading to the underground station. As I was about to start hoisting my two bags down all those steps, I heard a voice.

“Mademoiselle, S’il vous plaît.” He repeated it again. This melodic sound came from a tall, dark haired, good-looking, French man who was now standing right beside me.

suitcases 1a

O.K. So this is a recreation of the moment but those are the same suitcases, although a little more worn than then.


“Oui, oui, Merci,” I feebly uttered with the accent of a frog as he grabbed one of the suitcases and bounded down the steps. I stood at the top just watching him for a few seconds while another handsome French man grabbed the other suitcase and trotted down those steps as if he were moving on level ground.

I was still standing at the top mesmerized by what had occurred as my two suitcases were gently placed side by side at the bottom and the bearers quickly disappeared into the crowd. They had sailed past my husband as he struggled to navigate those steep stairs while heavily laden with more weight and bags than we should have brought.

I hoisted my purse on my shoulder and hopped down the stairs while my husband, mouth opened, looked up at me in utter amazement wondering what had just happened.

My first impression of the city was that young French men are very helpful.


What I Learned Today….Mercredi April 16, 2014

  1. The TGV’s (train) top speed between Stuttgart and Paris was 320 kph. Do the conversion. It was a very smooth ride! We made the trip in 3.5 hours. No conversion needed.
  2. How much I miss Germany: the clean cities, the quiet streets, the three-ply soft toilet paper.
  3. I’m feeling 30 years younger. I had three hot French men in their 30s call me “Mademoiselle” and offer to carry my suitcases up and down the stairs at the train station. Of course, I let them!
  4. One can’t always trust their travel agent. Our apartment 2 blocks from the Eiffel tower takes us 25 minutes to walk. Obviously it is more than 2 blocks. I wonder what conversion we should have used.
  5. I can’t escape from McDonalds, Starbucks, Burger King, Ford and Chevrolet even in Europe! They’re all over. Our apartment is four floors above a McDonalds and there’s a Starbucks across the street.

I hope you enjoyed today’s little memory about my first day in Paris. I’ll be back with more as I have a hot date this afternoon with my sewing machine to make another French Poodle since, now after writing this, I’m feeling in the mood.

In addition to sharing some other Things I Learned during my Paris trip, I plan to pop in and out this month with some tips and tidbits about the Poodle block I’ve chosen. So if you are feeling like it is a bit over your head, rest assured more info and pics are coming. But if you are confident to tackle it on your own, go right ahead as I think most, if not all of you, are seasoned quilters and I’m probably doing this only for my benefit.

Part un (1): Pattern and Fabric Selection

I covered this on my first post so check it out here (Tu-Na Quilts: All Aboard. Fasten Your Seatbelts. We’re Taking Off for….) on the Bee Inspired Blog if you missed it. Basically, I am asking for blacks and whites. But if you have an elusive black with only pink/wine/burgundy/raspberry/white or white with pink/wine/burgundy/raspberry/black that might make a good body. Let me know if you have questions.

I wrote a post about the poodle block on my blog Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats and we are having a fun game naming groups of things. Did you know that a group of dogs is a pack or kennel and a group of giraffes is a tower? So pop on over here (Tu-Na Quilts: A French Poodle for Moi) to be part of it and comment with the name of a group of something. I wonder who came up with some of those names.

Here’s my fabric selection for this new poodle. 

poodle block 2a

The black with white flowers shown on the bottom left will be the background. The Zest for your nest (middle) fabric will be the body and the white with black swirls shown on the right will be for the furry accents of ear, foot poofs, and tail.


Coming soon: Part deux (2): Cutting and Anatomy Labeling.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Memories are so sweet and pictures help jog it.
  2. I miss Paris.
  3. Maybe it’s time for a new set of suitcases. No, maybe not, as these have too many memories. Besides that, after one trip on the airlines, the new ones would be looking very close to these anyway.

Question: Have you been anywhere fun? Do you have a memory of that trip you’d be willing to share?

Au Revoir,



14 thoughts on “Tu-Na Travels: Day One in Paris

  1. I haven’t had the opportunity to do any international travels, but certainly hope to some day. We do have some great memories from various vacations… like our trip to Gettysburg and DC with our (then) teenage daughters and our first trip as empty nesters to SC and NC. Our trip to Sun Valley, ID as relatively newly self-employed folks produced some great memories as well.


  2. I agree with your commentary on the differences between Germany and France, but I found that older gentlemen are just as helpful. While standing in the subway a gentleman asks, in English, if I need help as I am looking at the map. I am obviously a tourist and he was just being kind. My experience in France was delightful. Thanks for he memories.


  3. I spent five days in Paris with my husband before we were married…………and his daughter and my son, both aged 11 years old. We had two bedrooms and had to split up boys and girls, so much for romance. And yes, we ate at Macdonalds. I have had some wonderful trips to Italy though, now that is one romantic country, the Lakes, Sorrento, Venice. No, I’m not telling about those trips……………


  4. Pingback: Tu-Na Travels: Day Two in Paris and Poodle Block Cutting Tips – Bee Inspired

  5. J’adore votre poodle bloc et l’ histoire du votre aventures dans les métro français et les rues de Paris. Un jour, je retournerai avec des valises roses et je verrai voir se je poures avoir la même aventure que vous. LOL In English…I love your poodle block and the history of your adventures underground and in the streets of Paris. One day I will return with pink suitcases and see if I have the same experience as you did LOL.


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