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Gini Dietrich

Lessons from a Vacation in Paris

By: Gini Dietrich | April 22, 2013 | 
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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.

135 comments
dbvickery
dbvickery

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.

AlinaKelly
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!

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

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).

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

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.

rdopping
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.

EdenSpodek
EdenSpodek

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

HughAnderson
HughAnderson

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.

NancyCawleyJean
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. ;) 

corianda
corianda

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

ErinBrumleve
ErinBrumleve

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

Ijibran
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 .

DavidaPride
DavidaPride

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

bdorman264
bdorman264

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. 

rachaelseda
rachaelseda

We missed you! Glad to hear you enjoyed yourselves!

TaraGeissinger
TaraGeissinger

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!

belllindsay
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!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

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

corianda
corianda

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

aimeelwest
aimeelwest

@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
aimeelwest

@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. 

aimeelwest
aimeelwest

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