TRAVEL GEAR - Water Bottle Filters (for tap water)


If you are comfortable drinking tap water from safe water sources while traveling, and you want to remove that "bad", chemical taste from it, here is an option. REI sells these carbon filters one can "pop" on to the top of ones portable, wide-mouth water bottles. They promise to remove 95% of the bad taste ( the chlorine and iodine flavor ) from your water.
At 15 $ a pop, it sounds like a cheap and portable option for good tasting water on the go. Extra filters are also available. Check the REI website at www.rei.com, and look for the TapGuard carbon filters made by Guyot Designs.

PARIS - The Batobus


Too tired to walk around Paris to see the lovely sights? Take a boat ride along the Seine on the Batobus for only 12 Euros, an awesome deal!!

Ride up and down the river for the whole day if you want. Along the way, you can get off and back on, after you visit the historical sites - check the enclosed map of the stops by the Batobus along the river.

You can purchase your tickets at any one of these stops and the boat runs every 15 to 30 minutes from 10am to 7pm during the year. In the summer months, the schedule changes and the Batobus runs every day from 10am to 9:30pm.

Nothing better or more romantic than floating peacefully down the Seine, watching the Parisian monumental sites pass by...the Louvre, Notre Dame, The Eiffel Tower...effortless and delicious!

Bon Vojage Mes Amies!


PARIS - The Eiffel Tower (at night)


The best place to view the Eiffel Tower at night? when the lights twinkle in the dark? try the terraced gardens of the Trocadero.

Warning, you wont be alone, but in the circus like atmosphere, you will find yourself surrounded by souvenirs salesmen, crepe and popcorn stalls, tourists angling for a good photo-shot and rollerblading teens. Somehow, it all works out. Enjoy!

PARIS - Mariage Freres; Tea House Extraordinaire (since 1854)!


The founder of Mariage Freres, Henri Mariage, would often say that "each cup of tea, had the infinite perfume of adventure and poetry..." (my translation, sorry if I destroyed it) - I love how that sounds! and with tea houses in Tokyo, Berlin and Paris, they must be doing something right, nest pas? So, on my next trip to Paris, I decided to pay Mariage Frere's "Salon De The", a call.

For my fist visit to this historic, Parisian tea house, I opted for the one located in the Marais. I had heard, that it was "the one to try" (there are others, in various department stores, but not as quaint). Located a few blocks behind the Hotel de Ville, it was a bit hidden, in a tiny street, but I found it!

As I entered the shop, I first encountered the Tea Store - an area where specially brewed, fine teas, and other things related to tea are sold "to go" - over 500 varieties of blended teas from around the world! wow! both, impressive and overwhelming! (some varieties are also available in Duty Free shops at the Paris airport).

The Salon De The, was further back from the Tea Store, and in contrast to the darkish front store, it was well lit by sky-lights and seemed sunny and inviting. I was given a seat by a linen covered table, and I was served by a multilingual waiter who spoke perfect English (what a relief).

I chose a pot of Marco Polo tea and a creme brulee, both delicioux! and while I sipped my tea slowly, I read parts of a book on the History of Tea (ask for it in English) that the house of Mariage Freres publishes. I recommend it all! The tea, the Tea House, or the Tea Store for just a visit. 

(photo, courtesy of Mariage Freres)

Tres Jolie!

Mariage Freres
30-32-35 Rue du Burg-Tibourg
Le Marais, Paris
tel - 01-42-72-28-11

TRAVEL GEAR - Cool Retro bags and tags..


Need a cool toiletry bag, with that colorful "emergency-card" print, or some graphic tags for your bags? How about a retro print tote or a trendy roller bag? For these and many more travel gadgets, check out this awesome site www.flight001.com
 (photos, courtesy of flight001.com)

Happy Trails!


PARIS - Hot Chocolate "Africaine" at Cafe Angelina


For a most memorable hot chocolate in Paris, head to Cafe Angelina and order the "Chocolate Africaine" or the "Mont Blanc" Oh la lah! delicioux! - The cafe is located just a bit west of The Louvre and next to the Hotel Meurice, on the Rue Rivoli. It makes a nice refuge after walking the Tuileries Gardens or from the winter cold .

Angelinas can be crowded and it closes early - around 5pm or 7pm - not sure, so get there early, or you will find a line at the door. Once inside, enjoy the lovely frescoed ceilings, the gilded mirrors and the linen covered tables, while being served by waiters in long aprons - very Belle Epoque!

On your way out, grab some jams and pastries for your friends back at home and if you're hungry for more than just some hot chocolate, the cafe also serves nice salads, quiches and sandwiches. Either way, you can't go wrong.

Bon Voyage!

Cafe Angelinas
226 Rue Rivoli


PARIS - Memorable Coffee at Nesspresso


If you are walking around the Champs Elysees in Paris, and you need a strong cup of joe, stop at Nespresso Boutique's tiny coffee bar, about a block away from the Arc de Triomphe.

Although the Nespresso shop, at first sight, seems to be, just a swanky coffee machine shop (one of the many fancy stores in this grand avenue) once you enter the heavy glass doors and veer quickly to the left, you will be surprised to find the minimal and cute coffee bar.

Once there, you can choose from a variety of exotic flavors of coffee - I had a Brazilian variety with vanilla, and it was lovely - and you can watch as the attendant, decorates each cup in a different way. Beautiful and Delicious!
Thank you Angela, for taking me there!

119 Avenue Des Champs Elysees

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