In my four years of traveling to Paris, I realized the other day, that I've bought 5 purses on my journeys. I guess purses are my souvenir of choice. I never planned it that way...it just happened. Not once did I get on the airplane in Florida, and think,
"I wonder what fabulous purse I will get this year?"
No... never... not even once... but it's happened, every year, none-the-less.
Here's my purse story from year two. It was the BIG one. The most UNEXPECTED. The one I agonized over with no less than THREE trips to the flagship Louis Vuitton store in 2 days. Here's how it happened...
Scott and I were sitting in our favorite "watering hole" (...I'm so Texan) on the Champs Elysees, having wine and coffee, and the hours were passing unnoticed. I enjoyed so much watching the people pass, and the adorable, sweet waiters...
We had been sitting here awhile...it was about 5pm, and we had at least 3 hours until civilized people in Paris eat, so Scott asked me what I would like to do until dinner.
Don't ask me why but the most unexpected, unpremeditated words came out of my mouth... "I would like to find the Louis Vuitton store, and buy a purse." As I said the words, I expected Scott to choke on his Merlot... but no, all he said was..."Ok."
Now, I feel there are two things I must fill you in on...
1. At this point Scott had no idea what LV purses cost...actually, neither did I.
2. I had refused to buy a black patent-leather purse in TJ Maxx a few days before we left, because I thought it was too much money...$35.
The year before (2006), almost to the day, we had walked past this exact same LV store, and there were guards at the door in perfectly tailored suits, so we dare not go in. This time, feeling much braver, we went right up to the front, where to our surprise, the sinister looking guard opened the door wide and said with a SMILE... "Bienvenue!" (welcome!). Oh... the feeling of belonging ;). If you look closely at the second picture, you can see two guards, right in the doorway.
We looked around and I watched Scott's expression as he saw the prices, and watched his brain calculate from euro to USD, and to my surprise, he didn't act like it was any big deal. I won't get into it, but it took three more trips to this store, and a stop at Dior, Chanel, and Gucci, before I made my final decision 2 days later. I knew it would be my only designer purse for the rest of my life, so I had to make the perfect choice. I can't say Scott was thrilled with the back and forth shopping, but he went along with it...and mind you, a trip to our local mall for him is considered pure torture...
When we finally made the purchase a few days later, it was evening, and the place was packed! The Japanese love LV, and they seem to have endless amounts of cash for purchasing, and Yen was flying around like there was no tomorrow. We waited while our saleslady took Scott's passport and Visa to the register area. It was extremely hot in the store. It was freezing outside, and the heat was cranked. About 2 minutes went by, and Scott looked at me and said...and I quote..."You'd think when a man is spending this much money, they'd offer him something to drink."
At that exact moment, our saleslady returned, and told us that it would be a few more minutes, and would we like to sit in the holding area, and have a glass of Champagne.
Scott looked at me and smiled and said, "Now that's what I'm talking about!" You would've had to be there... and know my husband... but that one line was so funny!!!!
Anyway... here is a picture of me in the store that night, and a picture of my purse. I loved it then, and I love it now, and every time I carry it, it brings a smile to my face. It's a fun, special memory of my favorite city (and store) in the world...