I arrived to Paris at 2pm local time. Almost 24 hours after I left Seattle. My brother was waiting for me outside customs just as planned. We can now hop in the rental car and continue our pilgrimage to Normandy by driving four hours to Saint Malo. Well not just yet…
Something was missing. My luggage.
My sweet, pink, hardcase luggage – my bag that has been my trusty travel companion for over two years and 50,000 miles – did not finish the journey with me. At this moment, as I post this musing she is crossing the English Channel aboard a British airways flight. Where did she got stuck? Dallas? London?
While she was cavorting with baggage handlers in Dallas or London, I was forced to do something I was planning on doing later in this trip.
Go shopping in Paris.
How difficult a life do I have when I am forced to go shopping for clothes in Paris?
I was jet lagged. I was stressed from flying for hours. I was anxious to get on the road because based on my original schedule we were five hours behind. I was trying hard not to cry. My bag and her contents are my connection to home. Not just my clothes or my other pairs of shoes. But my beloved coffee I bought especially for the trip – single farm, fair trade, coffee from Bolivia roasted by Intelligentsia and most importantly my valentine “surprise” from my love. Going to buy clothes in this state would push me over the edge and into a nervous breakdown!
The solution from a sweet angel in disguise as an info booth attendant was – Aeroville.
Aeroville is a shopping mall 10 minutes by car from Charles de Gaulle airport.
Aeroville, my savior.
The mall opened in October of 2013 specifically to serve me on February 10th of 2014. How did the developers know that my bag would take a short vacation and leave me like the emperor with no clothes?
Walking into Aeroville was like walking into Northgate, Alderwood or Pacific Place malls near my home in Seattle. What a way to calm my nerves. How comforting it was to see the stores, the boutiques, the food court.
For some photos and a report on the mall go here.
I didn’t go crazy buying. I kept it simple. I wanted a sweater, a pair of slacks, and a t-shirt. The first store I found was Marks and Spencer a sort of British JCPenny. Perfect, I thought.
I conquered the sizing system. Note to self a British size ten is not an American size ten, I settled for a British size fourteen pair of navy blue slacks. A size fourteen sweater a lovely lime green and two long sleeve tshirts. A cool 91 euros got me my clothes for the next few days.
While I was shopping my brother also went shopping. I was happy he was cool, mellow and willing to go shopping for presents for his family. Who knew shopping in a mall in Paris would be so fun!
I hope to have my luggage tomorrow. For now I will continue wearing my new uniform of blue slacks and green sweater.