• A Paris Adventure

    With Mystery Writer Mark Pryor

     

    July 16 - 22, 2018

    Enjoy an Exclusive and Affordable Week in Paris

    $3565, Based on Single Occupancy

    With No Single Supplement Needed

    Politics & Prose, MysteryPeople and Poisoned Pen Bookstores invite you to join a group of other readers and fans of mystery writer Mark Pryor for an exclusive and affordable week in Paris.

     

    You’ll spend time with Mark exploring some of the most memorable scenes associated with Hugo Marston, fictional head of security at the American Embassy. And you’ll also have time to spend in some of the small gems of Paris — the lesser-known museums, the spectacular parks, the off-the-beaten- track cafés, the hidden passages that are home to specialty boutiques and other treasures.

     

    Live Like a Parisian

    Whether or not you’ve been to Paris before, you’ll get to know the city in a more intimate way. On some days, Mark will lead you to the “scene of the crime” and other settings you’ve read about. On other days, you’ll choose from a couple of options for what you’d like to do that day.

    Our trip leaders Sheila Campbell and Donna Morris of Best Friend in Paris have managed a number of sold-out Paris experiences for bookstores – trips that have earned rave reviews from participants. They’ll lead us in small groups, via Metro or city buses, moving about the city like Parisians. You can spend as much time – or as little – with the group as you like.

     

    Donna and Sheila will help you find the things you’re most interested in, and tell you the best way to get there. They function as your friends on the ground, depending on your needs. You’ll learn about the most recent museum openings, small restaurants tourists don’t know about, and corners of Paris that would be hard to find on your own.

    Our boutique hotel is located in the 8th arrondissement, the Paris neighborhood depicted so movingly in The Hare with the Amber Eyes. We'll meet in a hotel salon each evening to sample French wines and discuss the days’ events, with a bit of book talk thrown into the mix. For dinner, we’ll break into small groups, depending on participants’ desires; our leaders will help with reservations. No one will ever dine alone—unless you prefer solitude!

    Itinerary

    Please note that we may change this itinerary depending on changes in time or availability of some of our destinations. We’ll also adjust in case of weather or other unforeseen events.

     

    Each day, you’ll set off with either Donna or Sheila to a different arrondissement of Paris, depending on which activity most appeals. Afternoons are free for further individual exploration. Our trip leaders will supply you with directions or point you toward any special interest you might have.

     

    Saturday, July 15

    Depart from your home city for overnight travel to Paris. (Airfare not included in trip price.)

     

    Sunday, July 16

    Arrive in Paris and taxi to the Hotel Relais Monceau in the 8th arrondissement.

     

    Since people will be arriving at different times, the afternoon is free. Some things we might suggest, depending on when you arrive: lunch or tea at the Jacquemart-André museum near the hotel; taking Metro to the Montparnasse outdoor art market; or simply walking in the Parc Monceau, said to be the most beautiful park of Paris.

     

    6 pm: Group meets for wine in the hotel salon, after which participants can opt to dine out in small groups.

     

    Monday, July 17

    9:30 am. Take Metro up to the village of Montmartre (18th arrondissement) with Donna for the views from the front of Sacre Coeur, the 19th century church that Zola references in his book Paris. Walk by the only vineyard left in Paris, visit the open-air artists’ market in Place du Tertre, then explore the shops and restaurants of Montmartre.

     

    Or

     

    10 am. Metro to the Opéra Garnier (8th arr.) to explore this Belle Époque masterpiece of architecture — the setting for the original Phantom of the Opera. Nearby are the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores, icons of Haussmann-era Paris, worth a stop to see the view from their rooftops and their stained glass domes. Afterwards, Metro to the Ile St. Louis (4th arr.), home to small shops and cafés and the famous Berthillon ice cream — plus splendid views of the Seine.

     

    If you’re new to Paris, Sheila will also take you to visit Notre Dame Cathedral, setting for Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the magnificent stained glass windows of Saint-Chapelle. You might also want to visit the Conciergerie, a setting for Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, and location of the cell where Marie-Antoinette was imprisoned.

     

    6:30 pm. Group meets for wine in the hotel salon. Mark Pryor talks about balancing his life as a writer with his real job as assistant DA in the city of Austin, Texas.

     

    Tuesday, July 18

    8:45 am. Metro with Sheila to the spectacular Musée D’Orsay (7th arr.) to see your favorite Impressionists and portraits of writers and artists in their ateliers, then walk through charming streets to St. Germain des Près (6th arr.) for specialty shops in the decorative arts. We can have a coffee at Deux Magots, frequented by Hemingway, Sartre and de Beauvoir, among others. Some of us may settle in at the beautiful Ladurée tea room for lunch or a macaron and café crème.

     

    Or

     

    10am. Join Donna to explore the hidden “passages” of Paris, beginning in the 9th arrondissement—Passages Panorama, Jouffroy, Verdeau, Vivienne. A labyrinth of these covered shopping arcades was built in the late 1800s—often with glass ceilings for natural light. Only a few remain today; each that has survived is unique. They feature beautiful architecture and mosaics, interesting little shops and tea rooms, antiques, philatelists and antiquarian bookstores, and one of the most elegant wine-tasting rooms in Paris.

     

    3pm After lunch, we all meet with Mark at the foot of Pont Neuf to walk along the bouquinistes’ outdoor stalls selling books, posters, art and all sorts of paper goods. It’s the site of his first book, The Bookseller. Then stroll with Mark over to the most famous bookstore in Paris, Shakespeare & Co.

     

    6:30pm. Group meets in the hotel salon for wine and conversation.

     

    Wednesday, July 19

     

    9:30am Metro with Sheila to the Rodin Museum and Garden. In the gardens are the sculptures The Gates of Hell from Dante’s Inferno, The Burghers of Calais, a bust of Victor Hugo and statue of Balzac. (The first version, shocking because Balzac was depicted nude, is in the house.) Then we’ll have lunch on rue Cler, the delicious “foodie” street.

     

    or

     

    9:45am Metro with Donna to the Invalides, the Museum of the Army, most famous as the site of Napoleon’s tomb. We’ll visit the museum with its exhibits on military history and fascinating models of French cities. Afterwards, we’ll have lunch on the “foodie street” rue Cler.

     

    6:30pm. Group meets in the hotel salon for wine and conversation.

     

    Afterwards, if you like, we’ll take the #30 bus with Mark down to the Trocadero to watch the Eiffel Tower twinkling in the dark. The tower sparkles for five minutes on the hour every evening.

     

    Thursday, July 20

     

    9:30am Today we set off with Mark to visit another scene from Hugo Marston’s career: the enormous Père Lachaise cemetery, where The Crypt Thief plied his murderous trade. Famous people from Jim Morrison to Heloise and Abelard are buried here. At the back are many small Holocaust memorials.

     

    Afterwards, we’ll head down to the Marais, setting of the apartment in Tatiana de Rosnay’s book Sarah’s Key. We’ll begin at the Place des Vosges, said to be the most beautiful block in Paris. There you can visit Victor Hugo’s home. Of course, it’s also fun to shop in the boutiques and art galleries of the Marais and to sample the falafel that the Marais is famous for.

     

    6:30pm. Group meets in the hotel salon for wine and conversation.

     

    Friday, July 21

    10am Join Donna to Metro to the Louvre to explore its magnificent treasures, including some of its most famous pictures (there are many that are more interesting than the Mona Lisa) and Emperor Napoleon III’s over-the-top private apartments.

     

    or

    10:30am Walk over to the beautiful and historic Nissim de Camondo house museum with Sheila. Tragically, the entire Camondo family was killed at Auschwitz. We can have lunch at another spectacular Haussmann-era home and museum, the Jacquemart-André, where the dining room has a Tiepolo ceiling.

     

     

    6:30pm. Group meets in the hotel salon for an aperitif and conversation. Before we say our good-byes, Mark will read to us from his latest novel or novel in progress.

     

     

    Saturday, July 22

    If you're not joining us for the Optional Extension, depart for home, or for your next adventure. Hotel check-out time is 11 am.

     

    Physical Requirements for This Trip

    Please note that we travel around the city exclusively by Paris bus and Metro — and there are almost no escalators or elevators in the Paris Metro system. Even the Louvre is short of easy access. Plus, of course, we’ll be walking through various Paris neighborhoods. You’ll need to be able to walk several long blocks at a time without a rest stop, and navigate flights of stairs.

    Optional Three-Day Trip Extension

    Chartres and Château de Maintenon, Marché aux Puces du Saint-Quen,

    Paris Shopping

    Château de Maintenon

    Saturday, July 22

    This morning we will leave the hotel by mini-van to the town of Chartres. We will walk through the charming town and it’s lively Saturday market and then tour the famous Chartres Cathedral. A sublime masterpiece of gothic art, the cathedral boasts 9 sculpted gates (4,000 statues), unique in France, and 2,600 m² of stained glass windows (5,000 figures) dating from the 12th and 13thcenturies. It is also known for it’s labyrinth. Found in the floor of the nave, dating from the 12th century. The 261.5 meter long pilgrimage path was walked by Middle Age pilgrims in prayer thereby representing a symbolic pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

     

    After lunch in Chartres, we’ll take a short drive to the town of Maintenon to visit the

    Château de Maintenon. This magnificent home would probably have remained anonymous had it not been for its famous owner, who was to leave her mark on the site forever – Madame de Maintenon, and with her, the Sun King himself, Louis XIV. The history of Madame de Maintenon is the stuff of fairytales. The widow of the poet Scarron, Françoise d’Aubigné, was initially appointed as governess for the illegitimate children of the King and Madame de Montespan. After several years of tireless devotion to her work, she earned the recognition and then the love of the Sun King, and they secretly married.

     

    The château underwent a series of major transformations to meet the needs of the Court and the King: and it was also at this time that Le Nôtre redesigned the grounds, creating a magnificent landscape dominated by water – perhaps to make up in some way for the lack of water at Versailles…

     

    Sunday, July 23

    We’ll head this morning to the Marché aux Puces du Saint-Quen, the largest flea market in the world. The markets are enticing as ever but now enhanced with great places to stop for lunch. There are blocks and blocks of fine antiques, “junque”, and everything in between. Don’t worry; you won’t get lost; Donna has spent many an hour rummaging through bins!

     

    Monday, July 24

    Close to our hotel are both the Galeries Lafayette with its stellar food hall and Printemps. Both have floor after floor of fashion housewares and shoes! We’ll start at the Madeleine church and stroll our way down to them. This neighborhood is a shopping mecca so get your lists started!

     

    3-Day Extension Cost: $1550, based on single occupancy. There are no single supplements to pay.

    Details

    The price of the trip is $3565, based on single occupancy. There are no single supplements to pay.

     

     

     

    Here’s what’s included:

    - Six nights at the Hotel Relais Monceau in the stylish 8th arrondissement

    - Hot breakfast every morning, including bacon and eggs, with fresh squeezed orange juice

    - Paris Navigo pass for Metro and buses

    - Six-day museum pass

    - Two morning and three evening experiences with writer Mark Pryor

    - Wine socials every evening with the trip leaders

    - Full set of Paris Metro maps by arrondissement

    - On several days, your choice of activities. Donna or Sheila will accompany you and others, or you can set off on your own

    - Directions for how to get to all the significant places on the trip by Metro or bus from the hotel, and how to return – plus guidance on what to see and where to eat

    - Personal consultations with Donna and Sheila to help you plan your days

     

    What’s not included: lunches and dinners, transport to and from the airport, tickets to museums and attractions not covered by the museum pass, your flight to Paris and back home and anything else not listed under “What’s included.”

     

    How to Register for the Trip

    First, be sure to read all the Frequently Asked Questions and Terms and Conditions. If you have more questions, you can contact:

    Sheila Campbell

    Wild Blue Yonder

    scampbell@wildblueyonder.biz

    301 587-4555

     

    or

    Donna Morris

    Best Friend in Paris

    donna@bestfriendinparis.com

     

    You can reserve your place on the trip with a $550 deposit, payable by check, made out to Wild Blue Yonder (Wild Blue Yonder, 1001 Spring Street, Suite 623, Silver Spring, MD 20910). If you’d rather pay with a credit card via PayPal (there’s a 3% surcharge), let us know (email Sheila at SCampbell@wildblueyonder.biz) and we’ll send you a PayPal invoice.

    Ready to Pack Your Bags?

    Click here to reserve your space.

    A Few Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. Who should come on this trip?

    This is the perfect trip to take by yourself; you’ll make new friends and will always have people to do things with if you like. Or come with a friend or spouse or partner. We’ve often had mothers and daughters come together. You can spend time with each other and also have time to pursue your separate interests. The trip is also perfect for any small group that wants to travel together but doesn’t want the hassle of planning it all in advance.

     

     

    Q. Do I have to pay a single supplement?

    No. This trip is priced based on each person having his or her own hotel room.

     

     

    Q. I’m coming with a spouse or partner and we want to share a room. Do we both have to pay the full rate? 

    For people who share a room, we offer a discount of $150 each. We’ve priced the trip primarily for people to have their own rooms, because French hotel rooms just aren’t as large as those in the U.S. But of course you can share a room if you prefer.

     

     

    Q. How many people will be on the trip?

    The maximum number of people is 18, so you won’t feel like you’re part of a huge group.

     

     

    Q. When is the trip?

    The trip begins on Sunday, July 16, and ends on Saturday, July 22. Since most flights to Paris are overnight, you’ll fly out from your home city on Saturday to arrive Sunday morning in Paris. Do note that if you arrive on one of the very early morning flights, your hotel room may not be ready for several hours. The hotel will store your luggage so you can set off to explore on your own.

     

     

    Q. Why do you call this a “trip” and not a “tour”?

    We’ve included the things we like best about group travel, including the convenience of having someone plan daily itineraries. But there are lots of things we dislike about tours, so here’s how this trip is different:

     

    - You’ll see Paris through the eyes of Mark Pryor and his fictional detective Hugo Marston, visiting places most tourists have never been.

    - You’ll never board a tour bus (a city bus on your own, yes, but never a tour bus).

    - You won’t follow a tour guide, trying to keep up through crowded museums, listening to canned lectures.

    - You won’t be seated at long tables for big group meals at “We accept bus tours” restaurants.

    - You won’t have early morning calls to leave the hotel.

    - On several days, you have a choice of two different activities, so you can follow your own interests.

    - You’ll pay only for the things you actually do. You won’t be dragged to places you don’t care about.

    - You only unpack and pack once – we’re not touring, but staying in Paris to really get to know it well.

     

     

    Q. Tell me about the trip leaders.

    Mark Pryor, born in England, now lives in Austin, Texas, where he’s the assistant District Attorney, so he has plenty of personal experience in fighting crime. He started his career as a newspaper reporter, covering, among other things, accounts from Northern Ireland with the British Army. His wife and children will accompany him to Paris, a place he loves to visit and explore.

     

    Donna Morris has lived and worked in Paris for the last eleven years. She founded her company, Best Friend in Paris, in 2009 with her signature tour "Follow Me". She also helps people design their time in Paris, learning to navigate the city and find where their special interests are hidden. She speaks fluent French and knows Paris and its environs intimately.

        

    Sheila Campbell of Wild Blue Yonder has been organizing informal groups of travelers for years – at first on hiking trips in France, England, Italy and Spain. In her day-to-day work, she’s a group retreat leader who understands how to ensure everyone is involved and having a memorable experience. She lives in Washington, DC, where she was a docent at the National Gallery of Art for many years – but she spends a couple of months a year in France and knows Paris well.

     

     

    Q. What is the Hotel Relais Monceau like? 

    Most Americans, when they come to Paris, stay on the Left Bank. We love that area…except that it’s full of Americans. So we’ve chosen instead a typically French 3-star hotel in the 8th arrondissement, on the Right Bank. It’s in a beautiful neighborhood where there are few other hotels – but within a block or two are a street market, an artisanal bakery, delightful cafés, Jacquemart André and Nissim de Camondo mansions and the Parc Monceau.

     

    When you walk through the front doors of the hotel, there are quiet salons for you to relax in on either side, plus a small bar where they’ll open a bottle of wine for you and put your name on it for the next day if you like.

     

    The bedrooms are simply furnished, but of a nice size by European standards. Windows open to the air, with classic French shutters to close at night for privacy and quiet. The bathrooms have double basins, plus a tub and shower and wooden floors. There’s a small dressing room area that can be closed off from both the bedroom and the hall, and most rooms have a hair dryer and mini-fridge.

     

    We usually see few Americans at the hotel; most of the clientele are French or European. But the hotel staff speak English and are terrifically friendly and helpful.

     

     

    Q. What’s included in the breakfast?

    Like many French hotels, the Relais Monceau offers a wide selection of croissants, rolls and pastries, cheeses, cold cuts, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, cereal, French yogurt and so on. But – unlike many continental hotels — they also have scrambled eggs and bacon or sausage and fresh-squeezed orange juice every day. And, of course, coffee, tea, other juices, still or sparkling water and milk.

     

     

    Q. Is there internet access at the hotel? 

    Yes, free wifi comes with your room.

     

     

    Q. What will the weather be like? 

    Summer in Paris is just plain unpredictable these days. We expect warm days and nights. It may rain lightly a day or two, but we don’t expect hard rain. The weather can vary wildly from year to year, so our advice is to come prepared for just about anything. Bring clothes suited for warm weather, an umbrella, a jacket and – most important of all – very comfortable walking shoes.

     

     

    Q. What to wear? 

    Like most cities these days, people wear just about anything during the day in Paris. Jeans are fine. At night, if you’re eating in neighborhood restaurants, you don’t need to dress up – jeans or casual slacks or skirts are fine. Of course, for any place where you need a reservation, you’ll want to dress appropriately. Typically, wearing white or pale-colored running shoes identifies you as an American tourist – but let comfort rule your choices.

        

     

    Q. Why aren’t lunches and dinners included in the price? 

    Restaurants that accept tour groups are usually the last places we want to eat. And there are just so many delicious choices for meals in Paris that we want everyone to be free to eat where and when they want. One day you might eat a sandwich for lunch, looking out toward the Eiffel Tower; or you might choose to browse the food stalls at one of the many street markets.

     

    Alternatively, we often make lunch the biggest meal of the day, maybe even eating at a restaurant that would be too pricey at night. You’ll choose where you’ll eat, and with whom, and how much you want to spend.

     

     

    Q. I don’t speak French. Can you help me figure out what to eat? 

    Absolutely. We’ll provide a list of common menu terms, and let you know how to do things like ask for the check.

     

     

    Q. Why aren’t there guided tours on this trip? 

    Frankly, we sometimes just get tired of listening to tour guides talk, when we’d rather explore for ourselves. Plus, these days, many places offer audioguides where we can choose which information and how much we want to listen to. We encourage you to pick up the audioguides in museums if you’d like some deeper information. And, of course, there’s plenty of information in printed guidebooks and on the web.

     

    If you really enjoy guided tours, we encourage you to check out the offerings at http://www.paris-walks.com. They’ve got a great selection of very informative guided walks for little money, and you don’t need to reserve in advance. We can give you directions to the starting point of any of their tours.

     

     

    Q. Is it safe to walk around by myself at night? 

    As in any city, it makes sense to be aware of your surroundings after dark. In Paris it’s usually quite safe to be out on your own or with a friend in the evenings.

     

    What you do have to watch out for in Paris is pickpockets wherever there are lots of tourists. These thieves are wily, so we recommend that you leave most of your money, credit cards and passport in the safe in your room, just taking with you what you need for one day. A handbag that you can sling over your shoulder and tuck high under your arm (with a good zipper) works better than bags with long straps that dangle below your waist. To avoid becoming a target, we suggest that in the Metro you move away from the doors and sit down if you can.

     

     

    Q. I’d love to come on this trip, but I already have a favorite hotel in Paris. Can I stay there? Because we’ll be doing so much coordination from the Relais Monceau, and all our walking and transportation directions start there, we don’t think it’s practical to stay in another hotel. Plus, staying elsewhere would make getting to the evening wine and planning meetings difficult. Of course you can stay somewhere else, but the price of the trip wouldn’t change, so it wouldn’t be a good value.

     

     

    Q. Some friends are going to be in Paris while I’m there. Can they come along with us? Because we want to keep our groups small, we can’t invite your friends to come with us on our daily excursions. But you can bring them to our evening get-togethers. Please give us a day’s notice, and there’s a €10 per person charge for the wine and snacks.

     

     

    Q. When do I need to sign up by? 

    The sooner you put down your deposit, the better. These trips generally sell out quickly – sometimes within just a few weeks. We’re limiting the size of the group, so it’s best to reserve as soon as you think you’d like to come.

     

     

    Q. I know that Donna and Sheila will always be available by phone, but what if I don’t have an international cell phone?

    You can rent international phones at many major airports, or you might want to check in with your cell provider to see if you can buy an international calling package for the time you’re here. But you’re not required to have a phone while in Paris; that’s up to you. If you bring a laptop, smartphone or iPad, you can always use Skype over wifi; that’s one of the least expensive ways to reach people in the States.

     

     

    Q. Do you require us to buy travel insurance?

    We strongly encourage buying trip insurance, particularly for trip cancellation and medical coverage. If you are on Medicare, remember that it does not cover your medical expenses when out of the United States. Please read our Terms and Conditions carefully to see our cancellation policy. Travel insurance companies are very strict about what they will and won’t reimburse you for, so read their policies closely as well.

     

     

    Q. If I want to stay longer than six days, can you arrange that?

    Yes. There’s so much to do in Paris that you could easily stay another three or four days. You can stay on at the hotel at your own payment, although our trip will be over. Let us know and we can alert the hotel to the days you’ll be there on your own.

     

    Terms & Conditions

    Please read this information carefully, as payment of a deposit represents your acceptance of the following Terms and Conditions.

     

    Trip Prices

    Trip prices include hotel accommodations on a single or double occupancy basis, breakfast at the hotel, transportation to locations as outlined in the itinerary, evening social events to plan the next day’s activities, and the services of the trip leaders as outlined in the trip description.

        

    Not included in the trip price are entrance fees to museums and other attractions not specified in the itinerary; airfare and airline baggage fees; lunches and dinners; hotel, restaurant or airport tips; costs of passports and visas; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry or room service; internet wifi except as established in the trip description; airport transfers or any other services not specified in the trip description.

        

    Please note that we cannot guarantee any special requests for hotel rooms.

     

    Registration and Payment

    A deposit of $550 per person confirms your reservation. Deposits may be paid by check made out to Wild Blue Yonder, Inc., or credit card via PayPal. There is a 3% surcharge for PayPal.

     

    Your deposit is refundable for two weeks from the date it is received by Wild Blue Yonder, except for deposits made less than 60 days before a trip departs; those deposits are completely nonrefundable. Two weeks after the receipt of the deposit by Wild Blue Yonder, deposits are not refundable for any reason and will be forfeited if you cancel your trip reservation. Cancellations must be in writing by either letter to Wild Blue Yonder or email to scampbell@wildblueyonder.biz. Cancellations become effective on the date they are received by Wild Blue Yonder.

     

    Once your reservation deposit has been paid, you will receive a confirmation email and further information to help you plan your trip.

     

    We reserve the right to cancel any reservations that are not paid in full at any time after the final payment is due. If you make your reservation after the final payment due date, payment in full will be required immediately.

     

    Full final payment is due May 1, 2018.

     

    Cancellations and Refunds

    For any cancellations made before May 1, you will forfeit your deposit but will be refunded any other payments you have made. If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon our receipt of your notification, which must be made in writing either by email or letter. No refunds are possible after May 1, 2018.

     

    Changes to Your Reservation

    If you would like to stay on for longer than the official days of the trip, we will make reservations for you at the hotel. We will not charge you for any changes to your reservation before May 1, 2018. After that date, if you make any changes to your reservation, a $100 per person administrative fee will apply. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy, you will be charged the single occupancy rate.

     

    Travel Documents

    You are responsible for securing your own passport, valid for at least six months after the completion of your trip.

     

    Health and Medical Issues

    We welcome all travelers, but you must be in good health to participate in our trips. This trip requires a reasonable amount of walking – up to a mile, possibly uphill or on uneven pavements or cobblestone streets and streets without curb cuts. You must be able to climb several flights of stairs and board buses on your own. We regret that we cannot provide individual assistance if you require the use of a wheelchair or have other personal needs; in such cases you must be accompanied by a companion who will assist you, and you will have to incur the costs of taxis or other special transport.

     

    If you are unable to navigate this amount of walking, you will not be able to participate fully in the trip, and we suggest you choose another type of trip. We cannot provide individual alternatives to the planned group activities. If your fitness level does not allow you to keep up with the group and/or travel on public transportation, you will be responsible for planning your own activities and for any additional costs incurred (for instance, but not limited to, personal taxis, train tickets, and entrance fees).

     

    Trip Insurance

    We strongly recommend that you purchase both trip cancellation insurance and traveler’s medical and evacuation insurance for your trip. Please note: Medicare is not valid outside of the United States.

     

    Should you have to cancel your trip at the last minute, we cannot offer refunds, because we will have already paid the costs of your trip to our vendors.

     

    Arrival and Departure Dates

    It is your responsibility to make sure you arrive on the specified trip start date. We cannot refund part of your trip if you arrive late or leave early, unless you have notified us of your different start or end date before May 1.

     

    Responsibility

    The liability of Wild Blue Yonder and Bookstores, individually or jointly (referred to hereafter as Trip Planners), is strictly limited. In no event will the Trip Planners be liable for amounts in excess of the amounts payable to the Trip Planners in accordance with the terms hereunder, nor will Trip Planners be liable for any consequential indirect or incidental damages arising from this agreement. Trip Planners purchase accommodations, transportation and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing trip arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility and liability for wrongful, negligent or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, their employees, agents or representatives.

     

    Trip Planners are not liable for injury, damage, death, loss, accident, or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including but not limited to, without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, defects of any vehicle, adverse weather conditions, natural disasters or the negligence or default of any third party, nor for personal accidents.

     

    In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the trip, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release Bookstores, Wild Blue Yonder and their officers, employees, representatives or agents, and the tour operator and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of tour staff or other related persons or entities. In addition, by registering for this trip, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour. By registering for this trip, the participant agrees to all of the Terms and Conditions herein.

     

    Trip Planners reserve the right to correct errors in advertised prices. We reserve the right to cancel an advertised trip, decline to accept a reservation or remove a person from a trip if it is determined by us to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general well-being of other trip participants. Should you be removed, you will not be entitled to any refund for unused or missed services or costs incurred as a result of termination of your travel arrangements, including, without limitation, return travel, accommodations, meals and incidentals.

     

    We will make every effort to conduct our trip as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary and other changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will make every effort to select alternative accommodations of the same quality. The forgoing terms and conditions and all aspects of the relationship between Trip Planners and you shall be governed by the laws of the State of Maryland.

     

    Recommended Reading

    You’ll want to read Mark Pryor’s Hugo Marston books, especially those set in Paris:

        The Bookseller

    The Crypt Thief

    The Blood Promise

    The Paris Librarian

    The Sorbonne Affair

     

    And for more reading, you might enjoy some of these:

     

    Nonfiction

    The Hare with the Amber Eyes: a Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal. A history of a wealthy Jewish family, much of the book is set in the Parc Monceau neighborhood of Paris a century ago (our neighborhood for the July Paris trip).

     

    Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died under the Nazi Occupation by Anne Sebba. Acts of courage, of resistance and of betrayal are detailed in this engrossing book about Paris in WWII.

     

    The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David G. McCullough. The stories of many American artists, writers, architects and doctors who visited Paris in the 19th century.

     

    Americans in Paris: Life and Death under Nazi Occupation by Charles Glass. The story of famous and not-so-famous Americans who elected to stay in Paris through the occupation.

     

    La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life by Elaine Sciolino. The author, longtime Paris bureau chief for the New York Times, demonstrates how the concept of seduction underlies just about everything in France.

     

    Parisians: an Adventure History of Paris by Graham Robb. A series of true stories about important people in Paris’s history – with details you’ve never heard before.

     

    The Hemingses of Monticello: an American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed. Although this book is primarily about Thomas Jefferson’s relationship to Sally Hemings and her family, much of it is set in Paris.

     

    Paris under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910 by Jeffrey Jackson. If you’re interested in civil engineering and the history of city administration, this is the book for you.

     

    Memoir and Essays

    My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme. Alas, we can’t visit the Paris of the ‘50s when Julia was there, but we can yearn.

     

    The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious – and Perplexing – City by David Lebovitz. American pastry chef moves to Paris and relates his adventures. You might also want to start following his excellent food blog.

     

    The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: a Pedestrian in Paris, by John Baxter. A literary tour guide reflects on his experiences in Paris.

     

    A Moveable Feast: the Restored Edition by Ernest Hemingway. Sketches of Paris after World War I.

     

    60 Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong: Why We Love France But Not the French by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow. A highly opinionated explanation of French culture.

     

    Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris by Sarah Turnbull. A young Australian woman marries and moves to Paris – and learns how to navigate French culture.

     

    Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik. New Yorker writer lives in Paris for five years and sends back dispatches on life there.

     

    Fiction

    The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. A WWII novel about a Hungarian-Jewish architecture student; much of the book is set in Paris.

     

    Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. A contemporary woman discovers a tragic story of the Holocaust linked to her Paris apartment.

     

    Paris: The Novel by Edward Rutherford. This long novel traces linked families through the history of Paris; the descriptions of the building of the Eiffel Tower are particularly interesting.

     

    Murder in the Marais by Cara Black. This the first in her series of contemporary mysteries set in Paris.

     

    Abundance: a Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund. Versailles was only a few miles outside of Paris, and this historical fiction is beautifully imagined.

     

    The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley in the 20s.

     

    Cousin Bette, by Honoré de Balzac. This tale of the contrast of poverty and wealth in the same family is a story of revenge, set in the life of early 19th century bourgeoisie.

     

    The Ladies’ Paradise by Emile Zola. Zola tells the story of the very first department store in Paris as Haussmann rips up the medieval city and way of life and builds the Paris we know today.

     

    The Belly of Paris by Emile Zola. Les Halles, the grand wholesale market of Paris, provides this lush but sometimes grim picture of food in Paris in the 1800s.

     

    Resources

    Hungry for Paris: the Ultimate Guide to the City’s 102 Best Restaurants by Alec Lobrano. Lobrano reviews distinguished restaurants in Paris (though published in 2014). His website has lots of recent reviews.

     

    Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris by Clotilde Dusoulier. Advice on eating in Paris, from tea shops to markets and restaurants, by a French food blogger.