It’s almost that time of year. In less than a month, Bonaparte and I will be flying back to the apartment in Theoule-sur-Mer, France.
Our little apartment. I can’t wait to open the front door and relax for a coupla weeks!
I’ve started to prepare. I’m a bit behind my usual timeline because, with a full-time job, I find that preparing is more challenging. Time is of the essence, and I have not been focusing. If you have been reading this blog since the beginning, you are well-aware that my packing obsession has always started way, way, way ahead of the time of departure!
I need to get myself emotionally prepared first. I’ve been listing to my French pop music on the way to the office and then on the way home. Listening to the music repeatedly helps me to learn the language better. No. Seriously. It does. Georges Brassens has the clearest voice ever. He sings his words slow and purposely. I realized that one of his songs is about friendship and the buddies he grew up with –it only took me four years of listening to the song to figure it out!
It’s true. I start my prep work by listening to French pop music and Georges Brassens! I’ll be on the lookout for more music this summer. I’ve amassed quite the collection over the years!
Oh yeah. Welcome to Crazytown–Atypical60 style!
Bonaparte would have a total meltdown or stroke if he walked into the little guest room that doubles as my makeup and wig room. Basically, I keep the door closed at all times so he can’t see the unorganization, untidy display, state of absolute slight messiness that is occurring. I call it the “storm before the calm”.
Bonaparte would have a stroke if he walked in on this–luckily, I cleaned it up. It is now in a pile on the floor!
Today I started to pack.
The little pom-pom clutch will come in handy when we go out to dinner. I don’t want to carry a ton of stuff. The Wythe Hotel tote will be traveling for the 4th time to France. This tote is strong as all get out and will carry wine, champagne and creme de cassis with no problem. The Fragonard tote will be used to haul groceries and other shopping goodies–it can double as a beach/pool bag!
Travel tip: Going to France? Don’t forget to bring tote bags and bags for the grocery haul. You have to pay for the little shopping bags over there–they aren’t free. Spend your money wisely and bring bags.
Every year I’ve overpacked. When Danièle was alive we would always spend time in Paris before heading South. That meant packing two wardrobes. A dressier and cooler weather wardrobe for Paris and a more casual one for Theoule. This summer, it’s casual only.
I have a binder that is chock-full of information I’ve collected over the years and still use it as a reference point. I make notes and do a ton of writing. See the little insert pic? I have tabs for notes and blog posts….
I like to keep my important information close to me. The market information is also very valuable. Yes–and I also have a favorite little “souvenir” shop where I get T-shirts. The people who own the little shop are very, very nice.
Travel Tip: Take notes. Buy an inexpensive binder or organizer. Notes can be used for reference or for information when friends and relatives visit whatever places you have. Keep info such as hours of operation for museums, beaches you like, schedules of water taxis, restaurants you like..it’s all fun!
And here’s the thing. I’m not packing a very fashionable load of clothing. We’ll be at the pool and the beach nearly every day. That’ll mean bathing suits and a simple dress to cover. I love the idea of dresses so that I don’t have to change before sightseeing. Plus, it’s one-step dressing. I throw the dress over my head and I’m done.
This inexpensive cotton/linen shift is perfect for a lunch at the beach. Well, that’s if slob-o me doesn’t spill anything on it! I love the lace detail and its one-stop dressing! It is rolled up and packed.
This is the off-the-shoulder dress from J. Crew that I sized down in. I’m so upset that it didn’t photograph well because it really is a cute dress. I would wear this out to a casual dinner. I’m also packing the hair that I’m wearing in this pic. It’s light and summery! The dress is rolled and packed!
The debate is on as to whether I’ll pack a pair of jeans. As I write this, the decision is “no”. My decision could change next week.
Three pairs of shorts should be sufficient and tops. Tops will be the item that I will be sure to pack plenty of.
I picked up this yellow short sleeved sweater, as well as one in navy at J. Crew Factory. Don’t you love the length of the TRUE short sleeves? The sweater is a light and breathable cotton blend. I will wear the sweater with these navy and white dotted shorts also from J. Crew Factory. This is a nice look for a few hours at a museum..
I really dig this combo!
Here’s the navy sweater I picked up. I’m telling you, I am in LOVE with these sweaters! The shorts are from a few years ago. They fit me again–got ’em at Old Navy!
The last shorts outfit! Uniqlo shorts and a very comfy shirt from last summer–Old Navy. I may re-think this. It’s packed for now.
And YES! Older ladies CAN wear shorts!!! I don’t care how flabby my thighs are. When it’s hot I’m dressing for the weather!
I picked two bathing suits up at Target. Currently, all swimsuits are on sale with a buy one, get one for half price. I got two for fifty bucks.
At WHAT age should women stop wearing bikinis you ask? At NO age!! Even though I lost over 20 pounds, I’m not skinny–nor do I aspire to be. I HAVE flabby thighs. I HAVE a belly–from three pregnancies, and one ten-pounder in the oven, I better have a bit of a gut! But I don’t care because I am at the pool/beach to cool off and the less I wear means the cooler I am. A bikini lends itself well to not have to keep tugging on the bottom of a one-piece that keeps riding up my butt. This is 62–not 26! I’ll be going through a lot of sunscreen!
This year I’ll also be packing hair. I’ve purchased a couple of lightweight wigs that’ll do fine. I had enough hair last summer that I only needed a topper when I wore my hair down. When I wore it up, I needed nothing extra. On the positive side, I won’t be fussing with my hair at all. I’ll just pin it up and plop a wig on. What could be better?
Riley. My ten-buck wig. Light and airy and a great length for sitting around the pool or at the beach. And I’ll pin her up when I swim. The fine art of swimming while not getting my hair wet is one that I practice!
Makeup. I started my travel bag already but I did pick up my favorite low-end foundation today. The six-buck elf flawless. I try to bring as many low-end cosmetics just in case I leave something behind.
I travel with the cheap stuff. I don’t even wear foundation except for when Bonaparte and I go out to dinner so why bother bringing the expensive foundation? This elf foundation works well for me.
I don’t think I’ll bring heels. I want to be a total beach bum so it’ll be sandals and sneakers.
A fancier dress for dining out. Not super fancy just a step up from the casual frocks I’ll be running around in. The Rondini Bikini sandals will fare very well with any dress!
My Rondini Bikini Sandals. OMG. I love these so much and I can’t wait to get to Rondini to add another pair to my collection!
Underwear, camera battery, phone chargers…I need to start gathering that stuff up soon!
I’m packing this dress too. I wear it to the pool and beach. THIS is the infamous shift that started my weight loss. Bonaparte snapped a pic of me last summer in this dress–when I saw how much weight I gained I was disgusted. The dress fits much better this year!
I won’t bring my laptop. As much as I love my blog—I take a vacation from everything! It makes it more fun upon my return to write and have fresh memories!
Here’s how the packing is shaping up so far:
I always travel with a satin pillowcase. It doubles as protection for the clothing when packed!
Shirts (of which I most likely have packed too many) are nestled into a velcro-envelope of sorts which I….
…close and pack at the bottom of my Longchamp carry on. It gives more structure to the bottom of the oversized bag.
The satin pillowcase is placed over the “envelope” housing the shirts.
I start to layer some of the outfits–like lasagna!! I place a folded, flattened white garbage bag in between each “layer” of clothing lasagna–as pictured above!
The layering continues…
Dresses are rolled and packed.
I pack underwear in this zippered compartment. This still needs to be done.
Totes, bathing suits, most of the clothing is packed and there is plenty of room.
For the record, I will bring a suitcase to check in. Toiletries, small electronics, some hair, beach towels, will be added but–there will be plenty of space for all the goods I’ll bring home!
TRAVEL TIP: From Susan at “une femme d’un certain âge” blog. She’s the most pragmatic traveler I’ve ever read. Trust me–if she reads this she’ll be horrified at the way I pack! I always get great travel tips from her reads. This time I learned that a piece of foam is great for cleaning up small spots like deodorant lines. She calls it “Schmutz- B-Gone” –could you die??? I’m going to take a few of the foam strips that come with my wigs and pack them!
After a peek into some of the clothing I’m packing—here’s a look at what I wore this week. I gained three pounds. I’m up to 145—so I’m really trying to pay attention to what I’m eating.
NOTE: Before you check out the pics–I disabled my “word ads”. At first, I didn’t mind having a little ad underneath my post. Then recently I noticed more ads were sneaking in. Nuh unh. Not on my time. I can’t stand reading blogs that are chock-full of ads. In fact, I’ve stopped reading many of them because of the ads. I don’t want my blog to be that way. This is for reading entertainment only!
Yesterday was “Slob Saturday” because sometimes, you just have to bring out your inner slob! (In MY case it is my outter slob!)
I did not wear jeans on jeans Friday. It was too hot. Instead, I opted for this lightweight and loose dress from J. Crew Factory and wore a comfortable pair of Rondini Tropeziennes!
Thursday (or was it Wednesday?) I went Maxi because I was too lazy to shave my legs. Dr. Scholls sandals and a little camel necklace. Can you guess the riddle in the photo above my headshot? Let me know in the comments if you figure it out! I’m wearing my Justine wig by “It’s a Wig”. Justine is coming to France with me!
Yeah. This was Wednesday. I got my gray dress back from the dry cleaners and it remained stain-free for the day. Hmmm. I should pack this dress for the trip!
Tuesday’s look was my favorite for the week! I love the pencil skirt and button down shirt. This had a very office-polished look!
Monday’s look wasn’t one I was crazy about but I was running late. The shirt reminded me of the days I was pregnant!
I did like the hair though. It was freshly washed the day before so I was able to lead the hair fibers on and placed a topper atop my noggin’. When I see pics like this, it makes me miss my bio hair–OMG I had so much of it. Oh well!
Oh. I got new prescription sunglasses. Aren’t they nice? They are the same RayBan frames as my regular glasses only in a tortoiseshell color . I can be really lazy with the eye makeup when I go to the beach! Ugh. That “fang” tooth of mine keeps inching its way into every photo. That’s right. I have a fang tooth and I refuse to have it drilled down. Dentists have tried but I love my fang–it’s part of me. I just don’t like when it wants to photobomb me!
Thanks for reading!!!
Is this not the cutest? Really. Thanks a latte for reading today’s blog post!
Have a listen to some Georges Brassens and listen to how clearly he sings! “Les Coopains d’abord”. Thank you Javier Angulo for posting this to YouTube!
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