Archive for the ‘Vacation rentals by owner’ Category
In France, April Fool’s day is referred to as “April Fish day”, le jour du poisson d’avril. The fish is the symbol of any prank customarily performed on that day.
Whether you refer to the day as April Fool’s or Poisson d’Avril, legend has it that the custom originated in France back in 1564 when king Charles IX ordained that the new year would no longer begin on April 1st (the start of spring), but rather on January 1st (when the days begin to lengthen). Without mass media and Facebook, not everyone picked up on this major, counter-intuitive change, similar in many respects to the dogmatic reforms currently being pushed by the French government. And so for many years (maybe even decades? ) some silly people were still clinging and swinging to the rhythm of a springtime new year. To make fun of them, it became customary to offer fake gifts (such as a fish). Why a fish? That probably goes beyond the speculative powers of this blog entry, but legend has it that it is related to the end of the Catholic Lent period, when the last thing anybody wanted to eat was a fish (after having been deprived of meat for six weeks).
At ParisSharing, we don’t joke about hospitality, either on April Fool’s day or any other. That’s why our most recent guests, Anne & Family from Holland, were greeted in their ParisSharing apartment with a sumptuous fish made entirely of chocolate and stuffed
with little chocolates as well.
We strive to make each guest experience special, if not by such an unusual gift, by some touch of local joie de vivre. Some of our apartments are also decorated with unique or limited-series objects crafted by Parisian artists or designers, that can be purchased at the end of the stay.
For example, the apartment with the chocolate fish also featured adecorative platter hand-crafted by Isabelle Poupinel and a paper lamp from La Nomade du Design. The chocolate fish was crafted in the chocolate boutique-factory called called la Petite Fabrique just around the corner on the rue Saint-Sabin.
One last thing (and no kidding!): if you book your ParisSharing apartment before April Fool’s Day, we’ll offer you a free night if you stay five nights or longer. Simply ask for the April Fool’s discount in your booking request.
So you’re coming to Paris to stay a while? Lucky you! Soon, for the first time or as a veteran, you’ll experience life in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But international moves are never simple, and moves to Paris can be even less so, because of the short supply of housing and the complexity of getting settled into the French system. Here are some of the things you’ll likely have on your list: getting your electricity, telephone and internet contracts set up, registering vehicles, working through immigration procedures, enrolling your kids in school, enrolling yourself in language courses, installing a new kitchen…to name just a few of the most common issues. That’s why it’s helpful to have professional assistance to manage all the aspects of this relocation. Put your time and energy into more interesting things!
And then there is the most significant challenge: finding a place to live, either a rental or purchase. An effective and trustworthy real estate agent is a must, unless you have a serious local network working for you.
For all of these needs, ParisSharing recommends Sofime Relocation, specialized in full-service relocation. Sophie Girault, the founder, has considerable international experience as well as concise knowledge of the Paris real estate market.
When you relocate, there is often a period when you have not yet chosen your place to live, or even if you have chosen, it is not yet available. During this period, instead of staying in a hotel, we recommend a ParisSharing apartment in the area where you are considering to get settled. ParisSharing offers spacious, family apartments in all areas of Paris. Living for a few days, weeks, or months in a ParisSharing apartment will allow you to get a real feel for the quartier and decide if it’s for you.
For example, the 8th arrondissement is part of the “golden triangle” of very expensive properties, but living down the street from the Elysée Palace doesn’t exactly allow you to enjoy the simple pleasures of Paris as would the Oberkampf quartier on the east side of the city. The price of fresh produce can easily double from one part of town to another, and restaurants (for the same food) can easily vary 30%. The same astounding variations also apply for apartment rentals.
Joie de vivre in 2012.
For many, times seem to be getting harder, and the New Year carries a full load of uncertainties.
Still, we wish you many rich and rewarding travels in 2012 and remain committed to providing the best value for your stay in Paris, as a couple, a family or a small group.
But that’s only what we sell.
More important is what we share, and what we’d most like to share with you is joie de vivre…a life full of joys, great and small. The sheer beauty of Paris, and the endless sources of pleasure and enrichment that the city offers, will already give you a dose of those joys. Now, just imagine what it will be like to be greeted and hosted by people who share that joie de vivre with you. Imagine staying in homes with a soul where the joy of living is palpable.
In 2012, we’ll be offering you several exclusive Parisian delights, all selected to make your experience of joie de vivre à la parisienne all the more memorable. Have a glimpse at some of these, a few of our favourite things, on our Joie de Vivre photo collection.
Stay subscribed to our newsletter to learn about these new delights as they are revealed, and join us on Facebook to give us your suggestions.
Remember, if you live a life that is open to the world, there will always be two places of joy: one that is your own and one that is called joie de vivre. Thomas Jefferson would certainly have agreed when he wrote : “Everyone has two homelands, their own and La France.”
Join us for joie de vivre this year!
And here are some recently added joie de vivre places to stay from ParisSharing, just waiting for you. Click on photos to see details.
Almost a sixth of ParisSharing guests come from down under. Considering the distance and the expense involved in such a trip, that’s more than we would expect. Our ParisSharing hosts enjoy Australian guests, who always prove to be open, enthusiastic, and respectful of people’s homes. Their trip to Paris is often a big and sometimes once-in-a-lifetime event. We are always delighted to make it special for them. Some write back to thank us, and sometimes (even better) write about us in the paper!
This month features an article in the Sydney Morning Herald from one of our guest Australian families who spend a week in the lesser-known Butte-aux-Cailles neighborhood last spring. It describes the experience of having a historically unique Parisian home entirely to one’s family, a comfortable and convenient base for discovering local life in addition to all the must-see monuments. The only inconvenience: kids like homes with other kid’s toys and sometimes prefer to stick around and play rather than sight-see!
Read the full article here.
About the same time, we had another ParisSharing member from Sydney offer her apartment for a home swap. As you probably know, ParisSharing offers rentals, home exchanges, and B&B. You can have a look at her offer here. Maybe you’d like to go and enjoy the sunshine and the swimming pool?
To arrange a swap, all you have to do is register your own home on the ParisSharing website and then submit a request directly to the owner the home you want to swap with. Unlike most home swapping websites, ParisSharing does not charge you a subscription unless you actually succeed in finding an exchange partner. Lastly, we offer self-catering rentals and B&B as alternative approaches to home sharing. This is because home exchange, even though the most economic option for all parties, is not always easy to arrange since it requires finding just the right match in terms of destination, lifestyle, and timing.
Fall brings a new season of exhibitions to Paris museums. Here is a list of the top five exhibits to see while visiting The City:
Grand Palais - Of Toys and Men (September 14, 2011 – January 23, 2012)
Of Toys and Men is the history of toys in the western world and highlights the importance of toys in children’s education from birth. The exhibit is possibly the largest toy exhibit ever featuring thousands of toys from Antiquity to modern day.
Centre Pompidou – Edvard Munch (September 21, 2011 – January 9, 2012)
The Centre Pompidou presents Edvard Munch, l’oeil moderne [Edvard Munch, the modern eye], a collection of eighty paintings, thirty drawings, fifty photographs and a film all shown for the first time in France.
Musee Maillol – Pompei (September 21, 2011 – February 12, 2012)
In 79AD, the city of Pompei was completely buried under lava and ash from the catastrophic eruption of the volcano Vesuvius. However, the extremely well preserved ruins of Pompei rose from the ashes when they were discovered in the 1700’s. The exhibit guides visitors through a typical Pompeian home, featuring over 200 artifacts including wall murals, vases and jewelry.
Musee du Louvre – La Cité Interdite – Forbidden City (September 26, 2011 – January 9, 2012)
The Louvre exhibit features 130 artifacts from China’s Forbidden City on loan from the ancient imperial palace museum. Artifacts range from jade carvings, lacquerware, seals, porcelain and bronzes to personal items previously owned by Ming and Qing Dynasty emperors.
Les Arts Decoratifs – Goudemalion – Jean Paul Goude Retrospective (November 11, 2011 – March 18, 2012)
Les Arts Décoratifs welcomes this grand retrospective of Jean-Paul Goude, the French graphic designer, illustrator, photographer, director and art director. For over 40 years, Goude has been one of the advertising world’s leading “image makers”, who is best-known for his campaigns for such brands as Perrier, Citroën, Galeries Lafayette and Chanel.
Fall is one of the best times of the year to visit Paris, and it’s an excellent time to take advantage of some of ParisSharing’s wonderful apartments at special fall prices.