Marianne, Beth and Chaucer are in Bozeman making final preparations to receive guests in Bordeaux in a week! We'll keep you posted, see you there.
I like the spiral bound sketchbooks with watercolor paper because the paper lies flat when the book is open and is strong enough to work watercolor as well as pencil or ink. A heavy weight of paper has a longer life and won't wrinkle or tear easily. A soft pencil is nice for landscapes to create texture and value. It smudges and erases easily for control. For a watercolor brush, I like a flat brush instead of a mop to move paint around corners and have more control. The Micron pens are great to watercolor over without smearing. Whatever you use it should be permanent ink.
The following images may help you make choices. You can click on the images for links to the products. If you have a great art supply store near you I suggest you visit it and see what inspires you. There is nothing like perusing a great selection of art materials.
The watercolor paper comes in either cold press or hot press. Cold press WC paper is more absorbent and has more texture to it and is more often referred to as rough, hot press is smoother but less absorbent. Choose the one that appeals to you, I prefer cold press. A 1/2 or 3/4 inch synthetic flat brush is a good choice. You don't need to spend a fortune for applying washes to drawings. As for the pencil set, this one has everything you might need, as well as a small set- it's a good deal- you might bring them all or choose to only bring the small set.
"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."
~ St. Augustine, c. 390
Why wouldn't you want to go to France? History, art, food, wine, what else is there?