Police Paris pompiersWhile I always feel safer in Paris than in most US cities, I am still street smart and pay attention to my surroundings. Paris Safety Tips for women travelers can be different than for their male counterparts, but all travelers to Paris should read the following: Keep documents in a zipper compartment and do not open up in pubic transportation or in crowded shops. Keep a copy of your passport separate in case you lose it and need documentation. Be aware of pick-pockets all over the city. Do not keep wallets in back pockets or in purses that don't have zippers. Do not flash wads of cash in public.

facebook-2If you love macaroons and love the idea of sampling every flavor the City of Light offers, then you simply must enter this contest by Fat Tire Paris to win a FREE trip to Paris for two. With just a few clicks on your laptop, smart phone or desktop you could be on your way to winning this fabulous prize vacation which includes your airfare, accommodations, and a customized itinerary that you will love. Although I am already headed to Paris next week, I've entered and so should you! 

Although the sign said private, we snuck in for a quick peek. Although the sign said private, we snuck in for a quick peek. When it comes to being a rule follower, sign me up. I believe in rules and I abhor getting in trouble, but when it comes to Paris all bets are off. Sometimes it's good to be an "Ugly American" and bend the rules just a bit. How do you know which ones to break? Here's my gals guide to breaking rules in Paris and having fun while doing it.

Arc de TriompheFavorite Summer Activities in Paris: Locals and frequent tourists to France usually have firm opinions about what to see and where to go. Trust me when I tell you there are hundreds of wonderful experiences to be had in the City of Light. I say try them all, but of course that would take a lifetime! Let me help you to narrow the gargantuan list down to a few options. National treasures and hidden gems top the list and many involve being outdoors. Of course it does rain every now and then, so some inside time shopping in boutiques or perusing a Picasso will do just fine when the sun fails to shine.

Chateau d'Agassac Chateau d'Agassac The advantages of using a private wine guide in Bordeaux are tremendous. With over 300,000 acres of Bordeaux vineyards to cover, wine enthusiasts will benefit greatly from narrowing down the scope of a visit to France's most prestigious wine country. Private wine guides, like Dominque Garcia of Les Sommeliers et Les Vignerons (The Sommeliers and the Winemakers) customize itineraries to fit the needs of individuals and groups. Here are some of the ways guides make a visit to Bordeaux easier.

paris velibPicture yourself riding a bike along the Seine on a sunny afternoon scoping out the perfect plot of grass for an impending picnic. A vintage bottle of 2010 Bordeaux and a wedge of soft brie are wrapped tightly into a plaid blanket. A warm baguette hangs out of the wire basket attached to the front and lays against the picnic blanket. All the makings of lovely afternoon in paradise are now in place. I have always thought it's a great idea (riding bike in Paris) in theory, but have been afraid I would get hit by a crazed motorcycle driver. Now, seeing this graphic about how many people are using them, presumably without meeting their demise, I am convinced I must conquer my fears and check out the Velib bike rentals in Paris to make this little vignette come true.

Traditional old world feel, with an updated kitchen How to find an apartment in Paris: Picking the perfect apartment in Paris to rent can be a daunting task for first time visitors. There are lots of considerations to think about before settling on the right accommodations for your vacation or extended stay and choosing the right company to help you get situated is one of the most important decisions in the process.  Here are some things to think about before jumping in to the rental pool.

Wall of Copperby Contributor Margo Waite: When my friend Michael Kathens, architectural and interior design historian and author of the book American Splendor, told me about Museum Nissim de Camondo several years ago I should have dropped everything and gone there. Finally last December I did visit the Musée Nissim de Camondo. And even then I had to make two trips because I neglected to note that this museum is closed on both Monday AND Tuesday. Now that I’ve visited this incredible home I’ll return to it again and again. The vast array of exquisite art, furnishings and architecture makes it difficult to absorb in one visit.

DSCN2023The best shopping places in Paris are the spots where you find great looking fashion accessories for men and women that don’t break the bank. Paris Blue Lemon, founded in 2006 by Gregory David Salzmann and David Arnoux has already expanded into three locations within the city and is taking Paris by storm. Crisp blue and white store fronts with simple lines of shelves inside with products lined up need no fancy decorations because the gorgeous pieces speak for themselves.