Gini Dietrich

Lessons from a Vacation in Paris

By: Gini Dietrich | April 22, 2013 | 

Shakespeare and Company in ParisI’m baaaaaack! Did you miss me?

I missed you!

After six days in Paris, a day in London, two travel days, and four days at home to recover from jet lag, do (12 loads) laundry, and prepare to come back to work, I am ready.

But I’m not sure I’m ready to tackle my email…maybe by Friday I’ll have it all finished. Oy.

You’ll have to catch me up on everything that happened here in the past two weeks. With the exception of Facebook, using the #watertown search on Twitter, listening to the Boston police scanner, and writing 14,000 words (which wasn’t really online – I just kept my WiFi turned off), I was completely unplugged.

Some Fashion from Paris

Because I need to ease back into today, I thought I’d go away from PR and marketing a bit today and tell you about Paris.

First off, girls, be very afraid. Pantyhose were EVERYWHERE! Even on the one day the sun came out and it was higher than 50 degrees, pantyhose. Nude for the look like they weren’t wearing any, but mostly black and lots of fun patterns.

I fear that trend will hit North America soon.

Secondly, ballet buns are the only hairstyle on women we saw the entire time we were there. So much so, you’ll see in my photos, I began to wear my hair that way (it certainly is a lot easier to manage).

Guys, scarves are big on men. As in, they all wear them. I like this trend. We should instill it into our culture. It’s very dashing.

Disdain for Americans

This was my fourth trip there (Mr. D’s first), but it was the first time I’d felt their disdain for Americans. Sure, I’d heard about it from other U.S. travelers, but I’d never experienced it myself.

I don’t know how many times we heard, “Why is there so much gun violence? What are you doing about it?” As if Mr. D and I were solely responsible.

When the bombings happened, we were at L’Atelier Maitre Albert for our last night in Paris. I stepped away to the ladies room and glanced at my phone. There was an alert there were explosions at the marathon, but nothing more.

I went back to the table and told Mr. D, who promptly excused himself and went outside to see if he could get a cellular connection. To say we rushed the staff through the remainder of our meal is putting it mildly.

We hurried back to the hotel to turn on the news and use the WiFi to see what kind of information we could get.

It was so frustrating. BBC had news, but – while an important item – they weren’t focusing only on that….which I suppose, in retrospect, is a good thing.

My dear friend Erin Brumleve had crossed the finish line only 20 minutes before (thanks to Jason Konopinski for looking it up and texting me the info) and we were panicked to get a Facebook message or text message from her or her husband, saying they were okay (they were).

We are Very Lucky

I relay all of this to say…what happens in the United States of America isn’t as important as we think it might be all the time. Sure, they were covering it, but only from the perspective of world news. Not in the mundane way CNN did on Thursday and Friday during the manhunt.

It certainly gives you a different perspective. So, while people were upset because Guy Kawasaki was autotweeting (and how he reacted when called out) or Ford sent a tweet too soon after the second suspect was captured, all I could think was, “I’m so grateful to be home where I can get readily get information and know my friends are safe.”

Two weeks ago, I would have been upset too. Now I look at this crazy digital world we live in and realize how lucky we are. Perhaps I’ll go back to my cynical self in a few weeks, but for now I’ll be mushy and repeat…I missed you!

Because Lindsay Bell used the best photo I took in Paris in Friday’s blog post, this photo is of the famed bookstore were Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Stein, and many other authors hung out in the 20s. 

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • You’re welcome. 🙂

    • tulahats

      When my husband and I went to France we followed Rick Steves advice to ask for a carafe of water at restaurants instead of pricey bottled water. The waiters did not like that and finally we started buying the darn bottled water. We were ok buying the house wine!

  • LizReusswig

    Welcome back! “ginidietrich: Lessons from a Vacation in Paris via SpinSucks”

  • Welcome back!

  • Awww we missed you….welcome back! I’m starting to plan a vacation for my husband and me sans kids in a few months…I’ve never made it to Paris…hmmm.

    • katskrieger You should go. Everyone should go at least once. It’s an amazing city full of so much culture and history and tradition.

      • ginidietrich katskrieger Just know how to order wine properly. Right, Gini? 😉

        • jasonkonopinski ginidietrich katskrieger Well I will keep you posted and you can sell me more on it in person next week!

        • katskrieger jasonkonopinski ginidietrich i heard wine in a box is the rage in paris

        • katskrieger  ginidietrich This makes me very, very jealous.

  • Justjeffpls

    ginidietrich SpinSucks Been 2 Paris. Wish we’d had more than 8 days. Louvre would have tiring but interesting. Napoleon’s Tomb.

  • Bienvenue Gini, glad to have you back with all your baguettes and buns in tow but I can’t say anymore today as you have my panties all in a knot over your statement about pantyhose being back in high fashion. I thought those had been forever relegated as a helper to my washing machine.

    • annelizhannan I thought so too. I’d heard rumblings about it, but saw it with my very own eyes. EVERYWHERE.

  • ldiomede1

    Welcome back Gini. And thanks for the fashion update. Bring back any house trends? I have the most beautiful tablecloths and china from my trip to Paris. Glad you disconnected, had a great time and made it home safely. Sure hope to see you soon.

    • ldiomede1 Hiiiiiiiiiiii.

      • ldiomede1

        jasonkonopinski ldiomede1 Howdy Jason.

    • ldiomede1 I didn’t go into a single home store. In fact, I did no shopping. I only took a carry-on so I didn’t want to be tempted…otherwise I would have had to buy another suitcase.

      • ginidietrich ldiomede1  isn’t it only ikea and pottery barn there?

      • ldiomede1

        ginidietrich ldiomede1 You’re far too disciplined.

  • Hey who is person blogging for you now belllindsay ?

    • Howie Goldfarb belllindsay Hardy har har

      • belllindsay

        ginidietrich Howie Goldfarb I’ve never been so happy for the return of a boss. 🙂

  • Men wear scarves in Vermont in the winter. Women all year round. My wife has 200 i think. An men have hair buns with long beards. I hard France (er LeMonde) gets most of their fashion from here.

  • Welcome home! Now have 365 scarves in my Amazon cart in preparation for new fashion.
    Lindsay, Yvette and team did a fantastic job while you were gone =)

    • JoeCardillo LOL!! I’d like to see them!

    • belllindsay

      JoeCardillo Thanks Joe, cheque’s in the mail!! 🙂

      • belllindsay JoeCardillo Perfect. I’ll slip the other 9 mentions in during the rest of the week.

        • belllindsay

          JoeCardillo Woohoo! Raise time! LOL

  • Holy crap! Pantyhose!?! The rest of this blog faded away as a result of the post traumatic stress disorder I’m suffering at the thought of panty hose. I’m fairly certain my severe disdain for pantyhose is the reason I moved out of D.C., where at the time they were still mandated in the Senate buildings. 
    Not that I have a tendency to ever follow fashion trends, nor for that matter really know what the current fashion trends are, yet this news still gives me palpitations. 
    And in other news….Welcome back!

    • LauraPetrolino I know! I felt the same way…

    • LauraPetrolino I’m so, so sorry to be the bearer of bad news. When I worked at Fleishman-Hillard, we were required to wear them. I haven’t bought them in 10 years. Sigh…

      • ginidietrich LauraPetrolino These aren’t your grandma’s pantyhose, ladies! Tights have been very in for a while now, and I promise you, give them a shot and you will love them! I will stock up next Winners run and send you both some!

      • ginidietrich LauraPetrolino I heard if Paul Ryan becomes President women will be required to wear panty hose nationwide 24/7 or face jail time.

        • Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich LauraPetrolino Not sure who this Ryan character is, but so far, I like his policies.

        • Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich LauraPetrolino Double edged sword.
          Either we get women’s right to choose (fashion) or PRyan preoccupied with panty hose and thus has less time to come up with austerity budget proposals

        • belllindsay

          JoeCardillo Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich LauraPetrolino I heard Paul Ryan will be wearing pantyhose.

        • belllindsay JoeCardillo Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich LauraPetrolino Well he wouldn’t be the first cross dressing President and I’m sure not the last. And I think he could pull it off, he has fairly toned legs. Maybe some fishnets? Or tights with Flags on them? That would be nice and patriotic!

        • belllindsay

          LauraPetrolino JoeCardillo Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich Ew.

    • belllindsay

      LauraPetrolino I bet you it’s been 30 years since a pair of pantyhose has graced these gams. Good, opaque tights however? Can’t live without them.

      • belllindsay LauraPetrolino Ugh…I can’t handle either. Having stuff tight around my waist like that makes me feel like I’m suffocating. Same problem with turtlenecks.

        • belllindsay

          LauraPetrolino It doesn’t help that I have stubby little sausage legs either. Ugh indeed.

  • I have always enjoyed putting on BBC just to see how they are talking about us and things going on.  I have always loved that idea of “going outside to look in” 
    arrgg nylons say it is not so!  Welcome Back!

    • aimeelwest Oh it is so. EVERYWHERE. I was kind of surprised.

      • ginidietrich I see a lot of long knee boots here in MI and I have such short legs it just looks silly… 🙂 
        ahh now if what was in fashion worked for everyone

  • Ewww please no panty hose!!! I hate that my daughters have tights for dance class…runs, etc.! YIKES!!!  I havent gone the bun route, but my daughters wear it that way all the time, stemmed from dance, but they love the ease of it!
    I have never been to Paris, but its on my bucket list. Glad you had time to unplug & celebrate with Mr. D…Congrats!

    • sydcon_mktg Thankfully you run a business so you can dictate the wear.

      • ginidietrich sydcon_mktg So true! Which is why when it was raining last week I sported a baseball hat!

  • andreamv

    ginidietrich SpinSucks welcome back!

  • LauriRottmayer

    Pantyhose is NOT a good thing. I’ll never forget my first trip through Charles DeGaulle Airport with 2 little kids, no ability to speak French and their inability to want to help me figure out where I was going. I still want to go and actually visit the city and country. Too many beautiful things to miss out on. I hope you had a fabu time!

    • LauriRottmayer LOL! Yeah…they won’t help you at all. ESPECIALLY if you’re an American. Oh well. They have a fabulous country.

      • belllindsay

        ginidietrich LauriRottmayer Ya gotta love them for  their irrepressible arrogance. Sexy even, in a way. But then again, I’m Canadian, sooooo….. 😉

  • PrettyInNylon

    LauriRottmayer ginidietrich SpinSucks it’s a great thing!

  • The French don’t have the market cornered on disdain, just observe American tourists overseas. Definitely cringeworthy. I don’t care how many scarves or pantyhose they wear, they can keep them. And no buns for me – I haven’t the face for it. Now the food is another story, as long as I can get my wine from Germany.

    • DebraCaplick What?! German wine? You have lost your mind. There is nothing better than champagne or red wine from France.

  • Welcome back! Pantyhose? NON. Ugh. I have an opportunity to hear the BBC in the early early mornings here and as you said it really, really is a fantastic reminder that we Americans do not see things as the rest of the world does (shocker). Some American reporter over the past week was talking about how his peers in Iraq, other Middle Eastern Countries, all over the world even (and especially) in places that some Americans are all to quick to lump in to the “they are all the enemy” category called him immediately to empathize and check on his safety .. and I really liked that.

    • biggreenpen I think, all in all, most human beings want to just live happy lives. There is a very small minority who are true enemies and for us to lump them into a religious or country or passion group is ridiculous. Being over there during all of this really gave me a different perspective.

  • Jason Konopinski

    Wait, she was gone? Huh. 😉

  • Arment Dietrich, Inc.

    Lol!! That’s what I like to hear! No offense Gini 🙂 ^yp

  • I assume you mean the great big “all weather” decorative scarves that hipster dudes wear with their deep V t-shirts? Because those look like an awful pain in the ass. Even my practical winter scarves are a drag — always getting caught and mangled and in the way when it gets too warm. There’s an ubiquitous photo of Tamerlan Tsarnaev sporting one — I would hope that would nip the trend in the bud …

    • belllindsay

      RobBiesenbach I hate scarves. Never wear’em. Unless it’s 30 below out and it’s a wooly one.

    • RobBiesenbach They’re so dashing though!

  • Aww I love sweet and non-cynical Gini! I will foster this seed of Pollyanna-ism!!! But- and I do not wish to harsh your mellow- tights have been WAY in here for a long time. You know I wear them every damn day, no matter the weather. So G- you are a bit behind on that one. Because you fancy pants. I have no less than 67 pairs of patterned tights in all description and colour. I will try and find some in “super wee adorable pocket angel” size and snag them for you. Much as you have felt a shift in perception of the US, I felt very different in the US the other week. I did not used to be so cognizant of the differences between us. I actually felt much further from home in Chicago than in Australia. Things have changed. Welcome back, I know we missed you very much.

    • belllindsay

      RebeccaTodd”super wee adorable pocket angel size” – BAHAHAHAHA!!!

    • RebeccaTodd Not tights. I’m not talking about tights. We wear tights too. I’m talking about NYLONS. Pantyhose. The sheer, see through gross things that went out many years ago. They’re back!

      • ginidietrich RebeccaTodd Ahh so! Well, I am only in if the still come in eggs. Leggs still exists- I just checked!

  • Rebecca Amy Todd


  • Jason Konopinski

    Who is Gini?

  • Glad you are back to the center of the universe with a fresh perspective even if it is from France. 😉 Kidding aside, I am so happy for you and Mr. D taking the time to do this. I know it feels impossible at times…
    In honor of you I am going to close my Social/Personal browser and leave only the work browser open. Baby steps.
    Welcome back!

    • belllindsay

      hackmanj You can DO IT Joe! LOL I have faith in you! 🙂

    • hackmanj Did you do it?!?

      • ginidietrich sure did (am) lucky this came via Email 🙂

  • Gini, I am leaving for Paris in one week, so aside from worrying over not being as plugged in for those 12 days, and the confirmation that I will have 12 loads (maybe more) of laundry and need days to recover, I am grateful for your fashion update!  I will be sure to pack ponytail holders for the ballet buns, but pantyhose? UGH! I’m sure Parisian ladies pull it off effortlessly, but I fear I will look like my twelve-year old self back in 1984…!

    • BethWood I don’t think you need to worry about the pantyhose…there were plenty of jeans, too. If you get the chance, go to Josephine’s in the 8th. It’s about four blocks off the Champs Elysees and was the BEST boulangerie. I’m pretty sure I ate them out of baguettes.

  • Gini, I am leaving for Paris in one week, so aside from worrying over not being as plugged in for those 12 days, and the confirmation that I will have 12 loads (maybe more) of laundry and need days to recover, I am grateful for your fashion update!  I will be sure to pack ponytail holders for the ballet buns, but pantyhose? UGH! I’m sure Parisian ladies pull it off effortlessly, but I fear I will look like my twelve-year old self back in 1984…!

  • ElissaFreeman

    Can I just say that I love how a nice Mormon girl like you says : “Oy!”

  • jfritsche

    ginidietrich I’m so jealous you were in Paris! I want to get back there as soon as humanly possible.

    • ginidietrich

      jfritsche It was a great trip! I really loved it there, but happy to be home.

  • I lived in Seoul, S. Korea for over two years before we had kids. This was during the Clinton scandal and it was amazing to see it from the foreign perspective. I mean, it wasn’t but a blip on our radar (when apparently it was *quite* the ordeal here.) That’s partly why I love traveling so much — especially internationally. It’s easy to get caught up in all of our “first world problems” and forget how truly lucky we are. And before I get flamed — I am in no way implying that the bombings aren’t a big deal. They most certainly are! I am just saying that when you travel to other countries, you get a new perspective on life and the world. 

    As for fashion, uggh. My legs are WAY too long to deal with panyhose comfortably. That’s why I live in Florida — so I can get away with shorts, skirts and naked legs all the time!

    • TaraGeissinger I understand exactly what you mean by all of our “first world problems” Sometimes it amazes me when I watch BBC and they are talking about something constantly and it’s not even a blip on our radar here. 
      My daughter starts at UofTampa this fall! Everyone plans on visiting her 🙂

      • aimeelwest It blows my mind you have a daughter old enough to go to college.

        • ginidietrich it blows my mind that I have a daughter old enough to enter college. I was young when I had them though.

    • TaraGeissinger It is definitely a different perspective, isn’t it? It makes you realize what truly is important…other countries have it more figured out than we do.

  • Arment Dietrich, Inc.

    Uh oh…now you’re just asking for it!! Ha!! ^yp

  • We missed you! Glad to hear you enjoyed yourselves!

  • Welcome back ginidietrich! Sounds like a great vacation. I’m just glad to hear that berets aren’t spreading to this continent any more than they are. 
    Re your observation about what it’s like to be somewhere where the US news isn’t covered the way you’re used to seeing it…that’s a bit like what us Canadians feel like all the time :).

    • martinwaxman Do you know I did not see a single beret?!?

      • ginidietrich Say it ain’t so!!! Now my cultural expectations are all out of alignment and I may have to start wearing one…

        • belllindsay

          martinwaxman ginidietrich Omigod. Martin in a beret. Must. Have. Picture!!

        • belllindsay ginidietrich It would be a first for me, that’s for sure :).

  • Welcome back; we missed you too. 
    On my two trips to Europe at St Andrews/London and Nice/Geneva there was very little US only news I caught and especially little or no US sports. 
    It does put a different perspective on it, but I’m ok with the good ol’ US of A, good, bad and ugly. 
    Did you say nude? There’s a place in France where the women wear no pants….oh, you’ve probably heard that song before; thanks for confirming it.

    • bdorman264 I think it’s where the naked ladies dance.

  • DavidaPride

    This is really great, thanks for sharing. When I was visiting Hungary I also experienced some of that disdain for Americans…Thanks again

    • DavidaPride It’s kind of amazing, isn’t it?

  • Ijibran

    ginidietrich glad to know ur friends were ok It was very sad event n I pray for all the families who were affected by it .

    • ginidietrich

      Ijibran It was a really terrible thing. Really terrible.

      • Ijibran

        ginidietrich Terrorism in all form and regions is a curse for humanity

  • Awe, I missed you too Ginny! So glad you and Kelly had a fun and much deserved vacation. Sorry to have worried you!

    • ErinBrumleve I was scared! I’m so happy you’re safe.

  • Gini Dietrich

    Thank you, Rebecca.

  • LindsayGriffith

    ginidietrich say it ain’t so Gini re:pantyhose! My mom will say a big “I told you so” 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      LindsayGriffith Oh it’s so. EVERYWHERE

  • corianda

    ginidietrich Ooh! I’m going in June! Need some recommendations! (Or at least your musts!)

    • corianda

      ginidietrich Aaaand sent that before I read the piece. Tone wasn’t quite as appropriate after reading, but request still stands.

    • ginidietrich

      corianda You have to go to Josephine’s in the 8th. And Les Cocettes for dinner one night. SUPER GOOD!

  • NancyCawleyJean

    Hello, Gini and welcome back! Wonderful post, as always. So glad you had a good, semi-unplugged vacation! But what a week to be away. Wow. Being only 50 miles away, AND having friends at the finish line, it was truly frightening! And my take away from this is that there really is good in people… and it’s wonderful how everyone comes together in a tragedy. It’s just a shame that it’s not like that ALL THE TIME! We need to forgive people for mistakes (Guy Kawasaki), we need to see the good in people and appreciate all we have in life. It’s that simple! Welcome home!!!! We definitely missed you! P.S. When you’ve finally gotten caught up on things, I’d love it if you could read my take on last week in my two recent posts. 😉

    • NancyCawleyJean It may take me a few days to get caught up, but I’ll definitely stop by!

  • ginidietrich

    MediaLabRat Bonjour!

  • ginidietrich

    NancyCawleyJean LOL! I’ll admit, by Thursday, I was going a little nuts.

    • NancyCawleyJean

      ginidietrich You really do start feeling a little too disconnected, right?

      • ginidietrich

        NancyCawleyJean I was more worried about what this week was going to be like. Wanted to preempt it

  • Welcome home Gini. The French – more than anyone – like to do things their own way, so forget the disdain. I would say the vast majority of what we Europeans see in the US is positive, it’s just that bombings and shootings get enormous publicity. And don’t lose that global perspective on the news – it’s a weird, wild and wonderful world out there beyond your own shores.

    • HughAnderson I love there is a big world out there besides us arrogant Americans. I was amazed, though, at how many people were shocked we’re alive when we said we’re from Chicago. I guess the world sees the city as some big violent place. It’s amazing how media can turn things into something they’re not.

      • ginidietrich HughAnderson It amazes me when I say I’m from Mi and they think I live in Detroit or Flint and gun fights happen every night. I live in the country by the capital and we have hardly any crime and most people mow more grass than people own in the city.

  • Welcome home! Your team did a great job holding up the digital fort while you were away. 😉

    • belllindsay

      EdenSpodek Gawd, I’m going to have to sell the house with the number of people I have to pay off! LOL Thanks Eden!

      • belllindsay EdenSpodek Expect an invoice in your inbox this afternoon. 😉

    • EdenSpodek Now if we could just get them to take over permanently…

  • rdopping

    Good to have you back. You were well covered mind you. Hey, no one can fault you for caring. Personal tragedy is just that. Personal. Np matter what country you reside in. Every country has its problems but the good people in each outweigh the bad. For that we can each celebrate the good.
    So glad your friends are ok. And you too.

    • belllindsay

      rdopping Well said sir. 🙂

    • rdopping Yeah, I know. It’s just a bit disconcerting when your country is under attack and you can’t get any information! Heck, they won’t even let you use your own Google!

  • Welcome back!
    You make a good point: As much as we can get frustrated with the daily inundation of information, we also come to rely on it. When we want it, and it’s not there… Well, you felt it first hand. Glad your friends were okay.

    • Adam | Customer Experience I thought it was pretty funny to see people complain about the news showing the same footage over and over again and we were DYING to see some footage. Something! Anything!

  • Of course we missed you – you already knew that.   I’ve been to Paris a few times – I don’t know that questioning us about our unthinkable violence is disdain, because we do have unthinkable violence.  However, I know exactly how you and Mr. D felt because you DO feel like they think you’re the Secretary of State or something… at least they care 🙂
    Glad you’re back, love the ballet bun – I use it myself because I’m a low maintenance kind of chick – and I never want to wear a scarf again (unless it’s the one Marjorie Clayman made me).

    • AmyMccTobin Oh I didn’t mean their questioning it as disdain…it was just an overall feeling and that was one reason. It was funny to watch their faces when we said we were from Chicago. Like we might be carrying guns ourselves. It’s interesting to see how the rest of the world views us.

  • Very happy to have you back. Very interesting to hear the international take on what we experienced. Compared to other countries, perhaps the bombings seemed less impactful.
    I also adore ballet buns!

  • AlinaKelly

    There is little doubt that everyone missed you and we’re all very happy you’re back – after all, you’re you. But I have to give a tip of the hat to the team to whom you entrusted this blog while you were away. They did a great job. I will confess that I wondered what it would be like in your absence – if it would hold my interest. I need not have wondered. The blog was well cared for and you can feel good knowing that you can take a vacation and all will be well in the world – for a little while, anyway. Welcome back!

  • I’m late to the comment section, but glad to have you back safe and sound, Gini. As for men wearing scarves, I can’t pull it off like Jure can…unless it is a Margie Clayman special.
    Who is now doing Blankies for Boston because of that big heart of hers.