Politics & Prose


A Parisian Experience with Bestselling Mystery Writer Cara Black


Want to guarantee your spot on the trip to Paris? Buy the trip package from Politics & Prose.

Politics & Prose invites you to join us and other Cara Black mystery-lovers for an exclusive and affordable week in Paris. You’ll spend time with Cara exploring some of the most memorable scenes associated with the cases private investigator Aimée Leduc has solved in several books. 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, antiquarian bookstores and other treasures.

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

Our trip leaders Donna Morris and Sheila Campbell of Best Friend in Paris have managed a number of sold-out Paris experiences for Politics & Prose – trips that earn 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 enticing patisseries, confiseries, salons du thé and where to find the very best caramels au buerre salé.

Our boutique hotel is located in the Paris neighborhood depicted so movingly in The Hare with the Amber Eyes, in the 8th arrondissement, a short walk from a scene in one of Cara’s books. We will meet in the hotel salon each evening with a book expert from Politics & Prose 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 you with reservations. No one will ever dine alone—unless he or she prefers solitude!


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 Cara or 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, October 24, 2015

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

Sunday, October 25

Arrive in Paris and go by taxi or bus to the Hotel Relais Monceau in the 8th arrondissement. (Guy de Maupassant once lived in this neighborhood; there’s a memorial to him in the nearby Parc Monceau.)

Since people will be arriving at different times, the afternoon is free. Some things we might suggest, depending on when you arrive: lunching 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 joins Cara for wine and munchies in the hotel salon. After our briefing about the week’s activities, participants can opt to dine out in small groups.

Monday, October 26

We’ll leave the hotel this morning in small groups to visit Duluc Detective with Cara. It’s an actual working French detective agency that has been in existence since 1913.

Then Cara will lead us through the nearby Galerie Véro-Dodat, a neoclassical covered arcade that features high-end designer boutiques and antique shops. The arcade takes us to the Palais Royal, described in Balzac’s novels as a hive of depravity, but now where high-end vintage shops sit next to the very latest new fashions. Right outside the Palais Royal is the Théâtre Comédie-Francaise, where Molière’s plays were so often performed; it’s featured in Cara’s book Murder in the Palais Royal.

From here, you can continue to explore the area on your own: walk up the elegant rue St. Honoré for upscale shopping, have lunch or tea at Angelina on the rue de Rivoli — famous for its chocolat chaud l’africain, relax in the Tuileries gardens, or make your way to the Orangerie to see Monet’s enormous waterlily paintings.

Or, if you like, you can walk with Sheila or Donna 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), the Apollo Galerie with what’s left of the French crown jewels, and Emperor Napoleon III’s over-the-top private apartments.

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

Tuesday, October 27

Today Cara takes us on a walking tour through the old Marais, site of the very first Aimée Leduc mystery. We’ll visit the courtyard alleys of the woodworkers, Cour du Bel
Air and Cour de l’Etoile d’Or described in Murder in the Bastille. For lunch, you might want to sample the falafel the Marais is famous for.

Afterwards, you can explore the many shops in the Marais and stroll under the arcades of the Place des Vosges (where you can visit Victor Hugo’s house). Stop in the Carnavalet Museum to see Proust’s bedroom or go to the Shoah Memorial or visit the newly re-opened Picasso Museum (please note that at the time of this writing, the museum hadn’t yet announced which days it will be closed).

This is also a good day to walk across the Pont Marie bridge over the Seine to Ile St. Louis, setting for Aimée Leduc’s home. There you can sample some of the famous Berthillon ice cream. Right across the Pont St. Louis bridge is the Ile de la Cité, where you can visit Notre Dame, see the brilliant stained glass of Sainte-Chapelle, or tour the Conciergerie, where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned before her death.

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

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

Wednesday, October 28

This morning you have a choice of activities. You can either…

… Metro to the 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.) to visit one of the oldest churches in Paris, and then stroll through specialty shops in the decorative arts. You might have a coffee at Deux Magots or Café Flore, frequented by Hemingway, Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Richard Wright, among others. Some of us may settle in at the beautiful Ladurée tea room for lunch or a macaron and café crème.


…join Donna to continue your exploration of the hidden “passages” of Paris in the 9th arrondissement – Passages Panorama, Jouffroy, Verdeau, Vivienne. A labyrinth of these covered shopping arcades were built in the late 1800s – often with glass ceilings for natural light. Only a few remain today; each one 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.

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

Thursday, October 29

Today we set off early with Cara to visit another scene from Aimée Leduc’s career: the little-known the Passy Reservoir, an enormous and historic water reservoir behind high stone walls in the elegant 16th arrondissement.

Afterwards, we’ll Metro to the 7th arrondissement to see Le Pagode, also featured in one of Aimée’s adventures. This Japanese-style pagoda was built in 1896 by the owner of Le Bon Marché during a time when everything Asian was the fashion. It’s striking for the elegant interiors and its gardens. Today original-version movies are shown there.

Then we’ll stroll with Cara to another of Paris’ hidden jewels, the private garden of the Missions Étrangères (foreign missions). After lunch, you might want to visit the Rodin Museum nearby, or rue Cler, the fashionable foodie street. The Champs de Mars and Eiffel Tower are just a few blocks away as well.

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

Friday, October 30

This morning, you can choose to…

…Metro with Donna to the Belle Époque Opéra Garnier, famous as the setting for the original Phantom of the Opera, and also for the remarkable Chagall painted ceiling in the auditorium. Afterwards, go up to the rooftop of the nearby Printemps department store for 360° views of Paris. You might want to have a late lunch here in either Printemps or Galeries Lafayette, and do a bit of last-minute shopping.


…walk over to the beautiful and historic Nissim de Camondo house museum (8th arr.) with Sheila; tragically, the Camondo family was killed at Auschwitz. Then 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, Cara will read to us from her latest novel.

Saturday, October 31

Depart for home. Hotel check-out time is 11am.

Physical Requirements for This Trip


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



The price of the trip is $3950, 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

– Three morning and two evening experiences with writer Cara Black

– Wine socials every evening with the trip leaders and a staff member of Politics & Prose

– 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

– Restaurant reservations made for you if you like. We’ll provide you with a list of the Paris restaurants and places where the French dine that many Americans haven’t discovered.

– 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.”

Want to Ensure Your Spot on the Killer Trip to Paris?


First, be sure to read all the Frequently Asked Questions and Terms and Conditions.

If you have more questions, you can contact:

Susan Coll / Politics & Prose / scoll@politics-prose.com / 202 364-1919


Sheila Campbell / Wild Blue Yonder / scampbell@wildblueyonder.biz / 301 587-4555


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 527, 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. Your deposit is fully refundable until 90 days before the start of the trip.

A Few Frequently Asked Questions


  1. 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.

Do note, though, that we travel primarily by Paris Metro – and there are very few escalators and virtually no elevators in the Metro system. Sometimes there are long walks even in the Metro when changing stations. You should be able to negotiate stairs and walk for some time on uneven pavement.

  1. Do I have to pay a single supplement?

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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. When is the trip?

The trip begins on Sunday, October 25, and ends on Saturday, October 31. 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.

  1. 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 Cara Black and her fictional detective Aimée Leduc, visiting places most tourists have never been – maybe even never heard of.

– 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.

  1. Tell me about the trip leaders.

Cara Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 14 books in the Private Investigator Aimée Leduc series, which is set in Paris. Cara has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, a Washington Post Book World Book of the Year citation, the Médaille de la Ville de Paris—the Paris City Medal, which is awarded in recognition of contribution to international culture, among many honors. She spends lots of time in Paris and loves to introduce the city to others.

Donna Morris has lived in Paris for the last seven years. Her company, Best Friend in Paris, designs personal itineraries for people coming to the city. Donna acts as a personal concierge, as well as spending days taking them around Paris. 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 – often 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 at least a couple of months a year in Paris and knows the city well.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Is there internet access at the hotel?

Yes, free wifi comes with your room.

  1. What will the weather be like?

Autumn in Paris is typically mild. It may rain lightly a day or two, but we don’t expect hard rain. Because of its latitude, Paris starts getting dark in the late afternoon – but then all the lights make the city sparkle. Paris weather can vary wildly from year to year, so our advice is to come prepared for just about anything. Bring clothes suited for cool weather, an umbrella, a jacket and – most important of all – very comfortable walking shoes.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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. We do, however, provide you with a written guide to the most popular and important paintings in the Musée D’Orsay and the Louvre.

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.

  1. 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. But 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 in the areas where there are lots of tourists. They’re 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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. When do I need to sign up by?

The sooner you put down your deposit, the better. Politics & Prose 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. Your deposit is fully refundable up to 90 days before the start of the trip.

  1. You mention 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. The least expensive option might be buying an international phone that doesn’t require a service package. At www.mobal.com, you can buy an international phone for under $50. They don’t change a monthly fee, but simply put the cost of any calls you make on your credit card. If you limit your calls to those you really need to make, a Mobal phone (which works in many countries, but not the U.S.) is a very good option.

Of course, 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.

  1. Do you require us to buy travel insurance?

No, but we strongly encourage it. Please read our Terms and Conditions carefully to see our cancellation policy. Please be aware that trip insurance companies are very strict about what they will and won’t reimburse you for, so read their policies closely as well.

  1. 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 for $225 a night, although our trip will be over. Because we’ll be so busy getting things ready for your arrival, we ask that you not arrive before the start date of the trip – but feel free to stay as long as you like afterwards.

Terms and 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, daily public transportation passes, 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; public transportation costs outside of Paris Metro Zones 1 and 2; 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 $500 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 tour departs; those deposits are nonrefundable. After two weeks of 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.

All payments made by you are held in an escrow account until 90 days before the start date of the 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 90 days before the trip start date.

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

Cancellations and Refunds

For any cancellations made up to 90 days before departure, 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. Refunds for cancellation are subject to the following per person charges:

                  90 days or more before trip start date:       Full refund less deposit.

60 – 89 days before trip start date:                                  25% of trip price (and deposit is forfeited)

45 – 59 days before trip start date:                                   50% of trip price (and deposit is forfeited)

30 – 44 days before trip start date:                                  75% of trip price (and deposit is forfeited)

0 – 29 days before trip start date:                                    No refund.


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 outside of 90 days before the trip start date. From 30 – 89 days before the trip start 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, possibly several hours a day, uphill or on uneven streets or streets without curb cuts. You must be able to climb stairs and board trains and buses on your own. We use public transportation exclusively; the Paris Metro has few escalators and almost no elevators. 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.

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. 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 in Paris 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 90 days before the trip start date.


The liability of Wild Blue Yonder, Best Friend in Paris and Politics & Prose, 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, 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.

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. 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.

Ready to Pack Your Bags? Here’s How to Register.


Click here to reserve your space:  http://wildblueyonder.biz/trip-registration/

Recommended Reading


We love to read about the places we’re visiting, and we suspect you do too. Cara Black and Mark LaFramboise, Politics & Prose’s senior book buyer, have selected some books meant to enhance your travel experience.

Although there may be some discussion of books in our evening salons, this is NOT required reading.

Cara Black’s Aimée Leduc Mysteries, in order:

Murder in the Marais*

Murder in Belleville

Murder in the Sentier

Murder in the Bastille*

Murder in Clichy

Murder in Montmartre

Murder on the Île Saint-Louis

Murder in the Rue de Paradis

Murder in the Latin Quarter

Murder in the Palais Royal*

Murder in Passy

Murder at the Lantern Rouge

Murder Below Montparnasse*

and soon to be published:

Murder on the Champs de Mars*

*We will visit scenes from these books, among others.


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).

Paris Reborn: Napoléon III, Baron Haussmann, and the Quest to Build a Modern City by Stephane Kirkland. If you’d like to know how Paris came to be so beautiful, this is the book for you. It’s a story of an emperor’s dream, a driven city manager, aggressive real estate developers of the 19th century, and the displacement of thousands of people.

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.

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.


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.

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.



Dining Out in Paris: What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light by Tom Reeves. Reeves tells you all the ways in which restaurants in Paris differ from American ones. You’ll be more confident and proficient at ordering after reading this book.

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 2008). 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.

The Patisseries of Paris: Chocolatiers, Tea Salons, Ice Cream Parlors and More by Jamie Cahill and Alison Harris. Though published in 2008, so not the very latest info, a delicious dive into all things sweet.

Paris Patisseries: History, Shops, Recipes edited by Ghislaine Bavoillot. A gorgeous picture book with stories and recipes from some of the best-known patisseries in the city.

Marling Menu-Master for France by William E. Marling. This little book is both horribly out-of-date and extremely annoying to use, but it will help you avoid eating horse, tripe and gizzards while in Paris.