Get Out of Jail Free card
Or how about just a day’s escape? A little get away is a lovely break from the metro, bulot, dodo of life, but usually we are so caught up in the endless cycle of comings and goings that we never take the time out to get away, unless it is for a real holiday.
Day trips are a great solution and even if you can’t go this week, most of the work is in the planning and the actual going, so if you give your giftee a lovely box, or even an envelope with a series of cards of what you’ve planned, it can go over quite well.
Card 1/ Save the Date. It is essential to have a date chosen. Its really the most important part of the gift. It proves intent and keeps it from looking like a hollow promise.
Card 2/ A map. Let the person know where you’re going so they can get excited about your upcoming adventure.
Card 3/ Lunch plans. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It could be a picnic. But let the giftee know that you’ve been making plans.
Card 4/ The activity. Will you be going for a hike? Visiting a quaint village? Cycling a bit? Shopping at their favorite mall? Visiting a museum on the history of trains? Tide pooling? What ever it is let them know. One little idea is all you need, not a full blown itinerary.
If you happen to be in Paris, some of my favorite day trips are;
Le Parc de Sceaux. – OMG folks, manicured lawns in France that you can sit on, walk across and even play a game of badminton (10€ Decathalon). There are tennis courts, an orangerie with concerts, a swimming pool and lovely grounds to explore. It is a short RER ride from Paris and the town bakery (one of several) L’Etoile du Berger, has great cakes and fantastic breads. Oh, and did I mention that this is where the fan-tab-u-lous chocolatier Patrick Roger has his first shop and atelier? the town has plenty to eat.
Versailles – I skip the town and the castle and head straight for the grounds where you can picnic, or rent a bike for a lovely cycle around sheep pastures and a dairy farm.
Deauville – Its a bit of a schlep, but the train is direct and a winter’s day at the beach is my kind of romantic. You can run the boardwalk, swim in the salt water pool, or go for a horse ride. Include a cheap lunch at Les Vapeurs with their astounding butter and I’m a happy girl.
Reims – Champagne capitol of the world. Need I say more? Hic’. Oh, and the Chagall windows in the cathedral make it my favorite house of worship in France.
La Coulée Verte – a 14km bike ride from the 14th in Paris to Massy. Makes me feel like I’ve done something with my day and Mr French always rewards me with a stop in Sceaux at my favorite bakery. Most of the ride is absolutely green, so we escape the city. And since cellphones are a very bad idea when pedaling, we also escape the rest of our world.