Moscow - Sandunovski Sauna/Bath House


Once again, we're back to flying those fantastic four and five day long winter trips to Moscow. These extended stays, provide us with a great opportunity to do "what Russians do" in the winter - they head for the "banya" (the Russian bath house).

So what is this "banya"? Well, it's a Russian spa/sauna, a restaurant and a bar all packed up into one place - A perfect place to relax, defrost and detox your body Russian style.

While you visit, you may have a full meal, drink a variety of alcoholic beverages, sweat in scorching hot saunas and dip in freezing cold pools. It sounds awful, but it's great, I promise. The banya is a very popular activity for Russians of all ages during and a preferred meeting place for politicians and business men.

If interested in a "banya", head to the fanciest and most historical one in central Moscow, The Sandunovski Bath House, which is located only a couple of blocks away from the Kremlin. This attractive bath house, was originally built in the 1890's for the nobility and was later refurbished to it's original architectural splendor in 1992. In the 1900's, the Sandunovski bath house, was frequented by famous people like Leo Tolstoy and Alexandr Pushkin. Today (thank the communist gods) it welcomes everyone.

Banya attendance in Russia, cuts across all ages and social classes and it's considered a great equalizer. Everyone, regardless of class or rank is treated the same while at the banya. Russians also believe that while the church is good medicine for the soul, the "banya" is the best medicine for the body. As a result, most Russians consider a visit to the banya an integral part of their daily lives.

If you decide to visit the Sandunovski Bath Housee, plan your visit carefully. Have your hotel concierge write the address of the bath house in Cyrillic, so you can take it with you. This way, you can ask for directions if you get lost. Also, have the hotel call ahead to make a reservation in your name. FYI, there are two levels of spas in the women's side - one is fancier (second floor) and the other (main floor), is the equivalent to a general public admission.

For your first visit, I recommend you purchase the "higher end" ticket, just in case you need extra help navigating the rules of the bath house. All banya services - drinks, food, massages, slippers, towels, scrubs, etc.- are available "a-la-carte" and for an extra charge. If you decide to go, just bring yourself and all else will be provided.

Be prepared to shed your clothes in an open space with all other spa visitors. They provide secured lockers (behind the spa counter) to store valuables. The essence of the banya experience (as I discovered) is to alternate repeated visits to the hot sauna with cold showers or dips in the freezing cold pool. Do it for as many times as you can stand it. In between these sessions, catch your breath in the lounge, drink some shots of vodka and relax.

After a few sessions of hot and cold, a massage, a body scrub, birch branch back whacking plus some delicious, hot mint tea, I felt my body the most relaxed I have ever felt. When I walked back to my hotel, my feet felt like they floated above the snow and I could barely feel the freezing cold chill of the night. I understood then why the banya was so popular in Russia, specially, during the winter months.

FYI - Folks will be walking around the banya completely nude, wearing a cone shaped, felt hat. Don't freak out. While this is definitely odd looking, the hats serve a very important purpose. They protect the top of ones head from burning while inside the very hot Russian saunas. Who knew these were kept so hot? If you go, protect your brain cell and the top of your hear and either wear the obligatory cone hat or a simple towel wrapped around your head.

Hope you enjoy the banya! as much as I did!


PS- Sandunovsky Bath House has a different entrance door for men and women. The men's entrance, is right on the corner (photo enclosed below); The women's entrance, is half a block down the street that runs to the right of the men's entrance. (Photo enclosed above with lady entering)

Sandunovsky Baths

Full Name: Sandunovsky Baths, Moscow, Russia
Cost: From Rbl1000; children from Rbl300
Opening Hours: Daily 8am-10pm
Address: Building 3-7, 14 Neglinnaya Ulitsa 107031
Directions: Kuznetsky Most Metro
Contact Details: Sandunovsky Baths
Phone: +7 (8) 495 625 4631 or +7 (8) 495 628 4633 (private banya)


Dottie's True Blue Cafe - San Francisco, CA


Thomas Cross (DCASW) strikes again with another "hot" restaurant recommendation for Postcards. This time, it's for a fantastic restaurant in the downtown area of San Francisco, that serves home made "out of this world" breakfasts. Please take note, the name of the place is Dottie's True Blue Cafe (map enclosed).

In Tom's own words, "...Another suggestion for San Francisco layovers (downtown)! The best breakfast in the world. If you love a great home-made out-of-this-world breakfast, you will be in HEAVEN here! I try and eat here every time I am in San Francisco. Get there early, especially on weekends, as there is ALWAYS a wait for a table! Adrian and I had our pre-wedding breakfast here, complete with Mimosas! The neighborhood is a bit sketchy, but it's only open during the day, so it shouldn't pose a problem...".

Mmmm, I' don't know about any of you, but I can't wait for my next San Francisco layover to give this place a try. Thanks Tom for sharing with us and congratulations on your wedding to Adrian! Please, keep your suggestions coming. We love them!

To get information, directions, menus and reviews on Dottie's True Blue Cafe in San Francisco, go to www.sanfrancisco.citysearch.com or click on the enclosed link below.
Dottie's True Blue Cafe - San Francisco, CA, 94102 - Citysearch

Dottie's True Blue Cafe
522 Jones Street
(between Geary & O'Farrell)
San Francisco, CA, 94102

Photos, courtesy of the Internet
Story, courtesy of Thomas Cross (DCASW)


PARIS - Restaurant "The Three Littel Pigs"


The Three Little Pigs - Aux Trois Petit Cochons. I love the name of this Gourmet Parisian restaurant that comes highly recommended to Postcards by Thomas Cross, a DCASW who was previously based in Paris.

This lovely, "petit" restaurant, located in the same street where Tom lived when he was based in Paris (that's how he discovered it) serves, according to Tom, "AMAZING French food for a great price". Three Little Pigs offers two Prix-fix (set menus) options - One for 29 Euros and the second one for 35 Euros (menu selection enclosed below).

Three Little Pigs (Aux Trois Petit Cochons) is also considered the best Gay French Gourmet Restaurants in Paris.

Tom also told us that the food at the Three Little Pigs is prepared with "market-fresh ingredients every day" and is always "delicious"! So good, that he makes it a point to return for a meal each time that he has a Paris layover! He's never had a bad meal at the Three Little Pigs!

If you're interested in perusing the December 2010 menu for The Three Little Pigs restaurant, here is a copy downloaded from their website:

If you wish to visit this restaurant, please make a reservation before you leave your hotel and keep in mind that they only serve dinner.

Our menu of Décember 2010,

A starter and a main course or a main course with a dessert : 29 euros
A starter, a main course and a dessert : 35 euros

Cannelloni of salmon, smoked salmon mousse with herbs and lemon, celery coulis and toasted bread
Salad from Landes with marinated duck fillet, home made duck foie gras
Creamed pumpkin soup, fine slice of cheese with croutons
Braised Belgian endive oven grilled with cream and ham, grated cheese from Salers
Snails from Burgundy with green butter and bacon, baby vegetables

Farm hen with white cream and cheese, boiled vegetables
Sautéed cod steak, salt cod brandade, mashed potatoes with olive oil
Duck breast fillet with orange, preserved potatoes
Sautéed sea bream fillet, olive oil sauce with tomatoes, green asparagus, Brussels sprouts and broccoli
Fillet mignon of pork stuffed with mushrooms and green vegetables, preserved green lentils

Selection of French cheeses, green salad
Almond cake with pears, light custard cream with pear alcohol
Blanc-manger with coconut, caramelized pineapple
Home-made meringues with vanilla ice cream, preserved grapes, almond sauce
Dark chocolate cake, biscuit stuffed with pastry cream, cacao sorbet

For more information on The Three Little Pigs's restaurant, visit their website:

Restaurant Aux Trois Petits Cochons

Phone : + 33 (1) 42 33 39 69
Aux Trois Petits Cochons
31, rue Tiquetonne

Bon Appetite!

Thanks Tom, The place sounds divine! I'm there on my next Paris trip.

Photos, courtesy of Three Little Pigs website
Story, courtesy of Thomas Cross (dcasw)


BHEESTIE Bag- Helps remove water from a cellphone or other small electronic


Bheestie Bag " It's easy to use and it's always thirsty". I love that line! It's about this pretty handy product that sucks the water out of your electronics if you ever, let's say, drop your phone in water or spill a drink on your camera. Ouch! I discovered this gadget while reading a recent New York Times article on "recommended travel gadgets" by Seth Kugler.

So what exactly does the Bheestie Bag do? it extracts water/moisture from your electronic devices, so if you happen to drop your iPhone in a pool or your camera in a lake while traveling you can save them from "drowning" by dropping the wet electronic device in the Bheestie Bag and puf! like magic, it will extract all the moisture out of the "injured" device and return it to it's former dry, healthy self. Amazing!

If interested, visit Bheestie's official website (link enclosed at end of this post). The bag sells for $20.00 (twenty) dollars and it can be ordered via Bheestie's official website at www.bheestie.com or via www.Amazon.com. You can also purchased it directly from any REI retail store.

I'm enclosing a more detailed description the Bheestie Bag, as per Amazon's website. I'm also including some testimonials from Bheestie's website for your perusal. In addition, aside from the New York Times, the Bheestie Bag has received positive reviews from NPR, the Today Show, ROAD magazine, Fox News and more. Check their website for additional information.

Amazon's description of the Bheestie Bag:
"BHEESTIE keeps personal electronics working better and potentially lasting longer. Can be used for daily maintenance or even to save a wet cellphone, iPod®, camera, etc. BHEESTIE can last up to a year depending on use.Great for use after sports and activities: running, skiing, golfing, boating, travel, gym, walking, beach,
biking, water sports or accidental soakings. BHEESTIE pulls the wet out of your

Testimonials from Bheestie's site:
"My cell phone was in my pocket of my blue jeans. They needed to be washed so I threw them in the wash forgetting to grab my phone. All of the sudden I heard a banging noise coming from the washer. It was my cell phone in the washer on the spin cycle. I took it out and put it in a Bheestie bag for 24 hours. My phone was back to normal. Thanks to Bheestie. Katie
"I dropped my cell phone in a coke at an Astros game. It wouldn’t even turn on. After I used Bheestie my phone was back to normal. T.E."

For more information on the Bheestie Bag, please visit their official website - link enclosed. BHEESTIE Bag� - Helps remove water from a cellphone or other small electronic

Happy (dry) trails!

Photos, courtesy of Bheestie Bag.


Buenos Aires - Home Baked Cookies and Alfajores!


Christmas is coming guys, and there's nothing that spells love more than home baked goods for the holidays.

With that in mind, if you're fortunate enough to have a Buenos Aires layover coming up, you'll have a chance to order the best Alfajor cookies ever - lemon zest cookies rolled in coconut, filled with Dulce de Leche caramel - from Diego at donapampa@yahoo.com. They cost $10 a dozen, come beautifully wrapped in a box, and they are to die for, I swear!!!

Please notify him the day before you leave and he will have your cookies delivered to the hotel on the day of your pickup.. Yummy!

Don't forget to get an extra box for yourself. If you try one, you won't be able to stop after the first one, I swear! The are divine!

Happy Holidays! and thanks Diego!

Diego's Home Made Cookies


Paris - Heavenly Olive Oils @ Oliviers&Co


I visited, I tasted, I groaned with pleasure, I purchased a bottle to bring home! Yep, that's what happened when I stumbled into this exquisite Olive Oil Boutique in Paris France, Oliviers&Co.

I first entered this adorable store in Bercy Village of Paris and I was shocked to discover they had an incredible variety of delicious, gourmet olive oils from all over the world. A true olive oil heaven! Grands Crus Exceptionnels (very rare), Grand Crus, Premier Crus and Second Crus. Who knew there were so many categories in olive oils!

Some of the oils Oliviers&Co carries, are imported from famous oil producing areas like Toscana and Sicily in Italy; Others come from Southern France, from Aix-en-Provence, Alpes de Haute Provence and AOC Provence. They even carry oils from exotic Tunisia and Croatia.

I'm telling you, there's something for everyone in this adorable olive oil boutique - They also have olive oil crackers; Flavored oils like mandarin, pepper, basil, lemon or mint olive oils, Yum! (I purchased the Basil flavored oil and it was truly amazing!). The shop also sells vegetable pates, aged Balsamic Vinegars, Truffle oils, ragout sauces like Pesto, Puttanesca and Pepperoni, Exotic herbs and Salts, Sweet and Salty flavored biscuits and Olive oil based beauty products. Did I mention their truffles? (groan...)

For more information on this boutique and it's many other store locations in Paris (and around the world) visit their website at www.oliviersandco.com/about

The Oliviers&Co Store that I visited is located in Bercy Village -12th Arrondisement (please check my previous article about Bercy Village for directions on how to get there). The exact address of this store is :

Chain No 20 Cove Saint Emilion
Bercy Village
75012 - Paris (12th Arrondissement)
Open - 11am to 9pm daily

A second central location in Paris you may want to consider for a visit, is located behind the church of Notre Dame, in quaint Isle St. Louis. The exact address is:

81 Rue Saint Louis en Isle
75005 - Paris (4th Arrondissement)
(map enclosed)

There are several Oliviers&Co other Oliviers&Co boutiques around Paris. Please check the enclosed Internet link above for other convenient store location near you.


Photos, courtesy of Oliviers&Co's website.

Paris - The Chamade Cafe


There a Brasserie near our layover hotel that serves "quality food" for a Pris-Fixe of $27 Euros. This is the fixed priced menu that includes several courses and beverages. The name of this wonderful place is the Chamade Cafe which is located on 42 Bis, Avenue De Suffren, just steps away from our layover hotel.

The Chamande Cafe is probably a perfect dinner destination choice for an occasion when you don't feel like venturing out too far from the hotel while in Paris, but you wish to eat well for a decent price.

This recommendation comes from CC and Diane Donahue, both DC based Flight attendants with extensive experience in Paris. Diane was based in Paris for many years, so I feel, we can trust her judgement on this. Thanks ladies! I can't wait to try it! The place sure looks (sounds) enticing!

The Chamande Cafe
is open daily from 8am to 11pm and their telephone number is:

42 BIS, Avenue de Suffren
75015 Paris

Photo, courtesy of Chamade Cafe's website


Moscow - Museum Of Gulag History


The Museum of Gulag History in Moscow, is a tiny museum wedged between upscale shops and cafes, near the Bolshoi theater in downtown Moscow.

Like a "small house of horrors", this museum documents a tragic chapter in Russian history (most active during the Stalin era) when millions of Russian citizens where forced into brutal Siberian labor camps when suspected of being "enemies of the State". These camps were active during the years of 1918 through 1988.

To find the museum, please follow Brenda Skeen's (DCASW) directions - she was there this past week and claims that her visit was well worth it and her experience, very powerful. To locate the museum, "...take the street to the right of the Bolshoi Theater, pass the theater and several blocks past the TSUM department store...(you'll find the museum)...tucked in between a lot of swank stores on the right side...you can't miss it if you look for the barbed wire". (thank you Brenda!)

If you wish to learn a bit more about the "Gulags" before you go, I recommend you visit this impressive site produced by the University of George Mason. (link follows)
It's called Gulag - Many Days, Many Lives and it's a compilation of Gulag survivor interviews, short films, photographs, paintings, poems and stories from survivors of the Gulags.
Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives | Days and Lives

Museum of Gulag History
16 Petrovka, Moscow
Entry Fee - $1.20

Photo and story, courtesy of Brenda Skeen (DCASW). Thank you Brenda!


Buenos Aires - A Massage in Your Room


AHHHHH! The ultimate luxury after an all-niter flight to Argentina, a nice long massage by the strong hands of an expert masseuse in the comfort of your hotel room!!!! If this is something you'd like to experience (with out breaking the bank), call Victor Bonaventre, my favorite (crew) massage therapist in Buenos Aires.

Victor is a very professional Massage Therapist and he speaks both, English and Spanish. When you make an appointment for a massage in your room, he will arrive right on time, dressed in a crisp, perfectly white ironed white lab coat over his street clothes toting his own massage table and a wonderful selection of recorded relaxing music for your massage therapy session.

Victor is very familiar with our layover hotel and with our crews. We've been using his services for years. He's also familiar with the layout of our hotel rooms, so he can set up his massage table in a perfect spot effortlessly. He will then adjust the light to low and start the soft music. Soon enough, he'll have your room feeling like a spa and you will be motioned to the massage table for a fantastic hour and a half of total bliss.

Victor's massage services can be hired in two ways. You can either have him come to your room for the massage, or you can go to his center/office for the massage. The later option costs less.

The last time I hired Victor's for an "in-room" massage, I payed him around $40 dollars in cash for the 1:30 minutes session. That was some time ago, so please check with him before you hire him, for updated rates.

FYI, I've sampled both, the hotel Spa massage and Victor's and truly, there's no comparison between the two. Hands down, Victor's massage is a zillion times better, cheaper, and longer in duration than the one offered by the hotel Spa. Best of all, He comes right to your room! Enough said!

I have two numbers to reach Victor in Buenos Aires:

Cell- 15-4081-0306
Home - 4856-2514

You can also reach him in advance by going to this website :

Victor is also an advanced Yoga practitioner, in case you have any questions about Yoga classes and Yoga practicing spaces in Buenos Aires.

Ghana Travel Guide by Better World Books


Ghana, Ghana, I don't wanna! well, even if you don't "wanna", some of us do have to fly to beautiful Ghana for work. If you are one of these people, consider buying this Ghana travel guide written by Briggs Philip that was recommended by one of our crew members, Diane Donahue (dcasw). Thank you Diane!

Described by the Sunday Times as the "best guide book to Ghana" and by Elle Magazine as the "best guide to Ghana", it can be purchased by mail via Better World Books for $21 dollars plus shipping - $3.97.

For more information on this website and this Ghana guide book, please click on the following link. Travel Books: Bradt Ghana by Briggs, Philip: Better World Books and don't forget to take you malaria pills!! Four crew members, two pilots and two flight attendants have already been infected with ACUTE MALARIA. They did not take the malaria pills.

Thanks Diane for the tip and Thank you Better World Books and Google Photos for the photos enclosed.


Morroco - Marrakesh Hotel - Riad Chi Chi


Ahhh, dreamy Marrakesh! and I love the name of this hotel! Riad Chi Chi! Keep it in mind for your next visit to Marrakesh. It's a lovely, centrally located property that offers rooms at a reasonable price- $100 dollars a night with breakfast - It's very centrally located in the old part of the fantastically exotic city of Marrakesh.

Rooms are inside the peaceful walls of a converted old Moroccan home (a Riad), only steps away from the action packed Djemma El-Fna main square. It is in this square that every night humanity convenes for the most outrageous and exotic show you will have ever seen. African drums beating non stop during the night, while snake charmers, sword swallower's and henna tattoo artists entertain and mesmerize the crowds. Food, spices, music and local color, a real feast for the senses.

For more information on The Riad Chi-Chi hotel, please click on the following link and enjoy your visit. Riad Chi Chi - Hotels.com - Hotel rooms with reviews. Discounts and Deals on 85,000 hotels worldwide

London - TUNE HOTELS - Cheap! Cheap!! donwtown hotel!


Wow! You won't believe what I just read in the latest issue of the The Lonely Planet Travel Magazine. Tune Hotels, a brand new, no frills hotel chain from the Far East, has just opened a new 79 room hotel in downtown London that charges only $23 pounds a night.

How is that possible? Well, much like the discounted airlines like Ryan Air and Spirit Air, this hotel chain will charge you extra for hotel "amenities". What does this mean? Well, you will pay extra for the use of a hairdryer, or to view the TV. Also, it cost's extra if you want your room cleaned, or request towels or toiletries. You get the picture.

Still, extra charges and all, it's an exceptional deal for a room located only steps away from Big Ben and Westminster Abbey don't you think? If you look at the Tune Hotel's room pictures in their official website, they look brand new, crisp and clean (photos enclosed). Take a peak and see what you think. By the way, some rooms have windows, others do not.

If you like this concept, Tune Hotels runs additional "reasonably priced" properties in Malaysia and in Bali, Indonesia. Check those out in their website too.

For more information on all these properties, please visit the Tune Hotel's main website at www.tunehotels.com or click on the following link Westminster, London | Best Value Hotels, 5 star beds at 1 star prices

Photos, courtesy of Tune Hotel's official website
Enjoy your London stay!!! and let me know how it was!!!


How To Order Coffee in Paris


Just in case you're a coffee drinker and you're flying to Paris next month (or in the future), here is how to order coffee while in Paris:

Cafe - is an Expresso
Ellongee - a tall Expresso mixed with water
Cafe Creme - is a coffee with milk (not a Cafe au Lait)
Cafe Americain - American style coffee
Cafe Decafeine - Decaf coffee
Cafe Frappe - Iced coffee
Cafe Soluble - Instant coffee
Cafe Viennois - Coffee with whipped cream
Cafe Noir - Black coffee
Cappuccino - Cappuccino

Au revoir! (see ya...)


Amazing Shoes For Sore Feet - FitFlops


Not too long ago I posted a story about an amazing company that makes sandals for sore feet named FlipFlops. See attached link for a copy of the previous post.POSTCARDS FROM THE AIR: SHOES FOR TRAVEL - Comfy FitFlops

Well, I'm happy to report that this company which began production with just one pair of flip flops a couple of years ago, is now cranking out some pretty amazing winter shoes - beautiful tall leather boots, fur lined suede boots (like UGGS) and colorful clogs.

All of FitFlop's shoes are specially designed to align your body as you walk, relieve your aching feet when you wear their shoes and they're supposed to exercise your thighs and rear as you walk with them. Pretty miraculous claims, but if you read the testimonials on their official website at www.fitflop.com, you'll see that folks with chronic medical foot problems are singing them praises and begging for more.

So if you are like me (or like most flight attendants) and you suffer from chronic aching feet after years of miles of trekking across the globe, you may want to take a minute and inspect these shoes. They seem to be the perfect layover shoes, offering great support for your aching feet. I know the hot pink clogs have my number. See if any of their new winter models have yours.

Safe Travels and happy feet!


Photos, courtesy of FitFlop's website.

The Sunday Lincoln Road Antique & Collectible Market


Now that it's October, and the climate in Miami Beach is at it's best for outdoor activities - temperatures are at low 80's, there's zero humidity and a there's a delicious cool ocean breeze blowing steady most of the day - it's the perfect time to visit the Lincoln Road Antiques Flea Market held on Lincoln Road on Sundays from October through May.

Lincoln Road is a blast! You can people watch all day and never get tired, you can hunt for cheap trinkets and lost treasures in the flea market, you can eat in trendy outdoor cafes or you can just walk around and take it all in.

If you go, you can start your day with a brunch at one of the many hip outdoor cafes on Lincoln Road. If you're not familiar with Lincoln Road, it's a beautifully designed pedestrian mall, five to six blocks long. It's lined up with a wonderful variety of modern boutiques and European styled outdoor cafes.

Some possible restaurant options for brunch on Lincoln Road are Balans UK, The Van Dyke Cafe, Segafredo's, The Ice Box Cafe or the Cafe at Books & Books. There's also the ubiquitous Starbucks Cafe and a Nespresso if all you want is some coffee and a pastry. Whatever your choice, take your time and just relax, because the flea market stalls wont be fully set up until noon and that's about the time the colorful beach characters start to show up.

Soon enough, there will be about 100 vendors ready to sell you anything in the flea market. Funky period furniture, antique sunglasses and jewelery, designer vintage wear, African masks, Indonesian Buddhas and all sorts of collectibles and colorful curiosities.

If this is not enough to keep your interest, visit the many boutiques along Lincoln Road. There is a MAC (computer store) and a MAC makeup store; There is an Anthropology store and Banana Republic, Bebe, BCBG, JCrew and many more. Tons to see, touch, try on sample, purchase, peruse, etc. If this still is not enough to keep your interest, there is a multi-screen, state of the art cinema in the corner of Alton and Lincoln Road. It usually offers a nice line up of foreign films and latest releases. What ever you decide to do, I'm sure you will really enjoy your day.

Lincoln Road is located between 16th and 17th Streets in South Beach and between Alton Road and Washington Avenue. Two blocks away from the beach and about 15 minutes from the Miami International Airport.

For more information about the Lincoln Road Flea Market, please click on the following link.

Lincoln Road Antique & Collectible Market Sunday Schedule

World "Luxe City Guides" for your iPhone


Wow, I just discovered (courtesy of Jeffries Blackerby from the Travel Section of the New York Times) that my favorite travel guides - The Luxe City Guides - are now available as applications for the iPhone. Hurray!

For those of you who are not familiar with these amazing travel guides, you can check my earlier post on the paper travel guide version via this link. POSTCARDS FROM THE AIR: TRAVEL GEAR - The Irreverently Hip "Luxe City Guides"

The folks at Luxe City Guides now have twenty city guides ready for downloading for your iPhone via iTunes for $5.99 each - half their usual price until February 2011!!!

I haven't purchased one yet, but right after posting this, I will do a quick search to see what cities they have published thus far. These guides promise to be "cheeky", "funny" and "irreverent". Plus, they now come loaded with handy GPS enabled maps, automatic downloads and the ability to build your own personalized itineraries based on your favorite selections.

Also, for you Balckberry users, I hear that the applications are on the works and being tested as we speak, so keep checking for availability. They're on the way!


Bercy Village Paris -Nice Shops and Restaurants


I just spent a very pleasant day at the Bercy Village in Paris. Far enough from the tourist path to feel more like an authentic French neighborhood. Bercy Village is a Pedestrian Mall that has been renovated and filled with lovely shops and restaurants. The area is surrounded by a small, but delightful park and flanked by a huge and modern movie complex on one side. If you go, you will definitely find something to entertain you, specially on a nice sunny day.

Some of the boutiques and restaurants that you will find there are Agnes B - an edgy clothing store; A Discovery Store that sells a wonderful variety of games, books, garden "ecoutrements" (stuff), world teas, etc; An Olive Oil Store that sells hand made pastas, ceramics from the South of France and delicious Olive Oils from around the world; Sephora, the popular make up store; A Monoprix, the Target of Paris; A Crepe restaurant, a Wine Sampling Bar, a Tea and desserts cafe and a couple of other reasonably priced restaurants with all inclusive, multi-course menu prices.

Check out the photos I've enclosed for a better idea of what I saw while I was there and if you decide to go, just take the metro to the Cour St. Emilion Stop in Bercy. About a 15 minute metro ride from our layover hotel.

I spent an amazing relaxing afternoon browsing leisurely from shop to shop. At the end of my shopping/browsing I went for a movie at the very modern cineplex that is attached to the pedestrian mall at one end. Movies are shown in this theatre in their "original language", which means the movie you select will not be dubbed in French like in other Parisian theatres.

Here's a map of the area, courtesy of Google so you have a better idea of where this place is located. Click the enclosed link to view it:
bercy village paris - Google Maps

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