Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Traveling Trunk

After 2 glorious weeks of brocantes, fairs and antique shops throughout France and Belgium, the container was full and ready to ship. However, I was not and magnificent Hotel La Madone was beckoning me to return. Who was I to resist. Sidewalk cafes, hidden vineyards, winding streets with tempting boutiques, favorite towns and villages just waiting to explore were all there for me were the brocantes. Five days later a glorious cache of oyster plates, copper pots, exquisite oil paintings, a mariners telescope and more were piled neatly in my room ready to go home with me.  The problem, everything had already been sent to the shipper. The shipper is in Belgium.

Shipping your goodies back from France to the States is not to be taken lightly.  It's expensive. So what to do? When I lived in Brussels in the early part of the decade, we used Rubber Maid trunks when we traveled.  This allowed us to pack the necessary items we ex-pats needed and move them back and forth as part of our luggage allowance. (Read: before the ridiculous fees and restrictions were imposed!) Alas, not an inexpensive option now, but the best one I had. I just had to find a "traveling trunk".  And what to my wonderous eyes did appear, but you guessed it, a trunk. And all I thought at the time was that - a trunk.

Back to La Madone and the packing began.  You must understand first that my room was on the second floor which in actuality translates into the third floor, at the top of a winding, narrow staircase with no elevator. I carefully and lovingly packed each of the SMALL treasures I had acquired. The next day I prepared to leave to catch my train from Avignon to Paris and from there to board my flight with my "additional luggage trunk". There were 2 of us and we were ready to load the trunk into the car.  We could not lift it. We couldn't begin to get it down the stairs and I was going to check it as luggage??? Not gonna happen.

I could take everything out, box and ship my new treasures via "Baggage du Monde". The only problem was, I had absolutely fallen in love with the "traveling trunk". The faint souvenir travel stickers, the slots for tickets and baggage receipts, the patina, the romance of it all was completely captivating. I would look at it and find myself humming the strains from La Vie en Rose. So the solution -  personally deliver it to my shipper in Brussels.  Little things like changes to train and airplane tickets weren't going to deter me. Penalties be damned along with the difficulty of lifting your 150 plus pound luggage onboard the train  This "traveling trunk" with all of its romantic, imagined stories was going home with this "traveling girl".


1 comment:

  1. Bonjour,
    Just found your blog via The Brocantess and will be following along with your brocante adventures. I'm an American expat in Paris and I share you love of antiques and vintage pieces - everything beautiful.
    A bientôt