Ms. France-y Pants Has a Meltdown!

It’s true.  Miss France-y pants here has had a meltdown over such a ridiculous task.  Packing.  As you know, I wrote a post about the start of my packing chore.   Everything was all nicey-nicely organized—to a point.

That’s right!  C’est Moi, Ms. France-y Pants had a meltdown!

Then things got weird.  At work, I’ve got a bunch of new responsibilities, which I love having.  However, when in the learning process things can become frustrating—especially if you are like me and are a perfectionist at work tasks.  I do not like to make mistakes. Errors are time-consuming and they are not efficient.  In my own little world, there is no room for error.  *NOTE—this is at work only. IRL, I am One. Giant. Error!

More like what a week!! Why do I get so anxious about everything right before a vacation?

And given the fact that it has been a busy week, I just started throwing clothing in a pile until I had no idea what I was throwing in that pile.

The piles just getting higher and higher 

The funny thing is, I know I will overpack.  Again. 

And then I think of those whose blogs I read and how great and organized they are at packing and I feel so inept.

But then I think of where I’m going—and it is strictly casual.  And that makes me happy.  But then I think of the casual clothes that I have and which ones should I bring and what about my cosmetics and skin care and other shit stuff that absolutely needs to come with me or I won’t be able to survive.

So, I had a bit of a meltdown.

I kind of just went blank.

I should have done more packing last night.  Instead, I decided to play with my hair—and by that, I mean the hair that I recently purchased!

This is what I did last night.  I played with my hair.  Bonaparte has asked me to pack the hair in the bottom left-hand picture. He said it is a nice look for going out to dinner!

I should have taken care of all this stuff early this morning.  Instead, I went over to my Poinsettias that have been around since November and started worrying about them and wondered if they will miss me. I told them that I love them and want them to hang around for next Christmas.  This is not normal behavior.

Hello my little red and green babies!  I want you to stick around for next Christmas!  I need to pack now…..sort of!

Procrastinating further, I decided to run some errands this morning rather than concentrating on finishing the packing.

I went to the mall to make an appointment to get spray tanned.  (click the link for last year’s version!) I can’t go to the Cote d’Azur looking so pasty white.  What if a golden-tanned fisherman mistakes me for a baby white whale?  He’ll harpoon me!! I need to blend in with the locals.  Wednesday evening after work I will be transformed from parchment paper skin into a glorious fake tan!

I can’t wait to get back here!  Bonjour Nice!

And will ya look at what movie Air France will be showing!!! Demain Tout Commence!  The film directed by Bonaparte’s cousin!  Part of my procrastinating was perusing the Air France in-flight entertainment choices!

After I made the tan appointment, I figured that since I was already at the mall, I would stop off at Old Navy.  Oh, happy sale day!  Dresses for ten bucks!  And forty percent off shorts. 

Wow!  I just about flipped my wig over this great deal.  Ten bucks for this dress–and the scarf was $4.49. A cute outfit for less than fifteen dollars!

I was feeling very procrastination productive and next stop was Barnes and Noble.  Clinton Kelly, who just happens to be one of my make believe best friends, wrote a book that came out in paperback. It’ll make for great pool and beach reading.  Not to stop there, I also made the purchase of the straw “Bonjour” market tote. It’s so cheesy and kitschy. I had to have it. Besides, it’ll be fun to roam around Marché Forville with my fun tote!

Nothing says “Tourist” more than a straw bag with the word “Bonjour” displayed across the front.  After almost ten years of hanging out on the French Riviera, I feel the pretentious entitlement of saying that I can get away with this!

Oh Clinton. Thank you for hating everyone except me!  I can’t wait to get to the pool, sit under my parasol and start reading this epic piece of American literature!!

I arrived back home a bit after noon—closer to 1 PM. And Bonaparte gently reminded me that he put Chippy into doggie daycare today so that I could finish packing in peace. Talk about a hint!

Yes. A “certain someone” reminded me that I really, REALLY, needed to start focusing on packing the suitcases.   The delusion of only bringing a carry on was just that–a delusion!

I didn’t know what to tackle first!

So, I went up to the little guest room that houses my wigs and makeup and more clothing and I went to work.

Here’s how it rolled.

While I realize it’ll be hot as balls in the South of France, I’ve decided to pack these jeans.  They will serve as my weight scale. They are a size 6 and fit nicely. I can put them on every morning and if they still fit, then I know that no weight was gained!

This went back into the closet. I’m bringing the Primark dress instead.


Bonaparte brought my filthy pink suitcase up from the garage. Oh. I LOVE my dirty pink suitcase because the filthier it gets, the less someone will want to take it!

Wow!  A treasure chest of toiletries was in that dirty suitcase!!  I did not realize how much stuff I already had!

Here’s the Other ten dollar dress I purchased at Old Navy.  It’s not my “color” but I really don’t care–it’ll travel wrinkle-free and I can wear it over my bathing suit…

Speaking of bathing suits. Booyah!  Don’t ever tell me I’m too old at 62 to wear a bikini. Yeah. I have flabby bits and I’m not “buff” who cares!  That’s what I love about the French beaches.  Women of all ages can wear what they want and nobody gets judgy!

My other Target Special.  As long as the thighed burns are shaved, it’s all good and I can jump into the sea! I beach for comfort and a two piece gives me the comfort I need! THIS IS 62 PEOPLE!! THIS IS 62–WE CAN WEAR BATHING SUITS LIKE THIS IF WE WANT! Damn. My wig is getting wonky from all the clothing changes!

I took out the white shorts I originally packed and replaced them with this pair from Old Navy.  Notice anything?  In the first picture, I have my tee on backward.  I fixed it as you can see in the photo on the right!

The boyfriend denim shorts from Old Navy were 40% off. These are coming with me.  I swear to you, I’ll end up in the bathing suits, shorts, and the Primark dress the entire time I’m in France.

I can wear these white jeans out for a casual dinner. I’ll wear it with the blue checked Gingham shirt.

THE Gingham shirt. I sewed the missing button on and it is now packed!

And among other items that were packed was my daily hair, reading material, and my journal!

I’m hoping four books are enough.  I read A LOT on vacation. It’s the way I relax at the pool and unwind before sleeping!Barnes and Noble better never close. There is nothing like a bookstore to calm the wild beast of a soul!

My new phone is properly accessorized with a case, a shatter-resistant screen, and the plug thingy.


I don’t know why I’m bringing half of this stuff. But at this point, I’m too tired to go over the clothing again.  What I do know is one of the reasons I love visiting the Cote d’Azur is because it is incredibly casual.  I’m not even bringing heels.  I’m living in sandals, converse sneakers, and more sandals.  I’m bringing one dress to go out to dinner only because Bonaparte likes dressing when we dine out.

All my stuff for a bit over two weeks is now housed. And I REFUSE to revisit this!

There is nobody to impress and I don’t have to be fashionable—just simple and beach bummy.

I have my hair. And my makeup.  And my sense of humor.

Time for a beauty mask!

And a dinner al fresco with some bangin’ hair!

I’m ready!

And the piles are gone. I just need to vacuum..

And the daybed is back to normal and ready for Chippy to sit and gaze out the window!

Are you like me? Do you melt down before going away for any length of time or vacation? I really want to know!!!

Here’s a very soothing tune to bring you to that calming place of going away!  “Le Chant des Sirenes”  Frero Delavega.

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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72 Responses to Ms. France-y Pants Has a Meltdown!

  1. Yolanda says:

    Just got back from a three week trip to New Zealand. I had been working on packing for two months, and I did the same procrastination and meltdown. In the end, I just added things until the suitcase was full. And it was 8 ounces over 50 pounds. I was so mad at myself, that I started taking notes on what I did wrong as I was packing up to come home. I never want to do that again! My new mantra is, “the only thing you need is your passport and a credit card.”

    • Catherine says:

      Hahaha! Yolanda. I love your mantra!! My “big” suitcase is definitely under the weight so it’ll be good for bringing stuff back. i.e. shopping! I’m sure I’ll do a final “weed out” before Thursday evening but for now, I just don’t want to go near anything else! How was NZ???? XOXOXOXO!!!

  2. Hope you have a great time, Catherine! – Amy

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Ames!! Amy–don’t get upset that I called you “Ames”–it’s just that you seem like a friend that I would give an endearing nickname to!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  3. Cidy F says:

    Have a great trip I’m looking forward to hearing about your exploits.

  4. Cindy F says:

    Sorry – that’s Cindy F

  5. lifelessons says:

    Takes me at least two weeks to pack to go to the beach for two months. I think you packed light… Just one little bag and a small carryon? Well done.

  6. Miss Bougie says:

    When we travel to far away places, I start taking out things, like phone chargers, medication, electrical outlet adaptors, itinerary and flight tickets etc, about a week before so I don’t forget them. As for clothes and shoes I start about three days before. I coordinate outfits so I don’t end up with mismatched stuff. I usually take a couple of outfits that can be dressed up for dinner. As for shoes, I usually travel in sneakers. So I pack one, rarely two, other pairs. Depending what season and where we travel to, I take sandals or flat loafers that can double up as evening wear. The last to go in are my cosmetics. As the facial creams are always sold in such big and heavy pots, I transfer all the creams and lotions to small plastic containers. I try not to overpack. If we’re leaving for several weeks I pack for one and wash along the way.
    When we take the car to vacation around France or Europe, I just chuck everything in more or less the day before. Oh, and I take my library with me; my kindle.

    • Catherine says:

      B, you are very pragmatic!!! I was far more like that when I wasn’t working! I’ve already placed creams into travel-sized jars and containers but I’ll be buying more when we arrive in France!! I love the beauty products there! I have the camera at the ready and all chargers. Laptop is staying home because there is no “wee-fee” at the apartment. I’ll post pics in “wee-fee” friendly areas though. This’ll be a vacation from everything!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  7. Liz McGarry says:

    I have pre-vacay meltdowns frequently…but what happens even more often is I start feeling sick…sore throat, headache, stuffy nose, slight fever…all stress related. As soon as I get on the plane, all symptoms disappear. Have a great trip…hope you find Dany feisty and well.

    • Catherine says:

      Liz. I cannot believe you said that. I’ve been experiencing stomach issues and headaches and I know it’s all stress- related. It stops when I get on the plane too!!!! XOXOXOXO!! Oh..Dany is coming along. We’re going to see him next Sunday. He’s back at assisted living–out of the hospital!! Thank you so much!!

  8. You do make me giggle. I love your new red dress and the white shorts look fab whichever way you wear the t.shirt. I do have one complaint though – where are the wobbly bits you mention in the bikini shots? At a size 6 you clearly don’t have any and you look fab in both pics. I’m the opposite, I underpack and hubby complains that I didn’t bring a particular outfit (usually way too sexy and totally inappropriate for where we’re going) but I love buying an item or two in an independent shop a) as a brilliant reminder of my trip b) because hubby never seems to mind me spending the money when we’re on hols and c) I can be confident that no one else has one back home. Have an ace time 😃

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Olive. But I do have a bit of flab in the stomach and I don’t mind. That’s from housing three babies–one a ten pounder. My nest may be empty but the belly isn’t! The red dress will receive a ton of love. LOL–Bonaparte requested I bring at least one wavy, long hair–which I did but in summer, I’ll take the short bobbed wigs!!! XXOXOXOXO!!!!

  9. Fiona says:

    I wouldn’t say I have a meltdown but I never finish packing until the last moment. There are always things like hair straighteners that can’t go in until the very end. Now I can leave stuff in France it is easier, although last time I went I didn’t pack any knickers as I thought I had a load there. I didn’t. Had to make an urgent call to SuperU! Love the new shorts…you’ve got great legs, will have to throw some self-tan on mine before I go.
    Hey, you like Frero Delavega too! I have Chant des Sirènes on my phone.
    Bonnes vacances Cathe…can’t wait to read about it. Xxx

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Fiona. When Daniele was alive, I would always leave a few things at her Paris apartment. It really was more convenient. Hahaha–SuperU. MY hypermarche is Geant. OMG. I LOVE that place!!! Oh. I can’t wait to get a genuine fake tan on Wednesday. They do a much better job than I do!! Yeah. Frero Delavega is great—and also some nice eye candy!!! XOXOXOXO

  10. jilly tamba-nhabay says:

    Heavens sake girl REVISIT ! This is too–much–STUFF !
    Do this …… imagine being told, at the airport, that you are well overweight luggage wise and having to open those bags on the floor in front of everyone ( tired, impatient everyones) and repack taking only what you really want.You say it is casual and you have no-one to impress, so why have you packed all this ? Travelling like a pack mule is tres, tres un-chic .
    I know from where I speak, this has happened to moi .
    Turf it all out and re-pack/stuff in only what you can’t live without. Do it at the speed you would do if under the eyes of an infuriated check-in line and take what you really have to have.
    Also, dump that shoulder high blue check shirty thing, it swamps your shape and looks like you have had a Scarlet O’Hara moment and tried to make a top from one of Bonaparte’s old shirts. .
    All the above advice means that you can shop while there and have room to pack it to come home, tres sneaky, non ?

    J xx

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jilly. The big dirty suitcase isn’t overpacked. It’s light enough to bring stuff back home that I’ve shopped for. I know it’s casual, but I’ll tell you, there’s just “stuff” I need to have. I’m a travelhoarder! As far as the checked shirt goes. I don’t care how it looks. I love it and that’s all that matters. I don’t have to wear a bra with it–that’s a biggie for me!!! Tee hee!! XOXOXOXOXOXO

  11. Susan D says:

    I thought I was the only one. I am super organised but it takes a lot of work as I also do my husband’s packing once I’ve managed to get him to decide what he wants to take! He says I turn into a mad woman not nice to be around!!
    You look amazing in a bikini and also shorts. I can’t wear either regrettably.
    Bonne vacance.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Susan. See? You are not alone. We are a force to behold when prepping for travel!!!! Hey–thanks for the compliment on the bathing suits and shorts. It’s important to me to show that women should not be told what not to wear!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  12. Peggy says:

    Which phone did you get? You rock the bikini! Have a great time.

  13. nathalie says:

    Have “de bonnes vacances ” and if you come in the center of France ,come visit us ! i ‘d like to present to you good friends you’d adore !!!

    • Catherine says:

      Thank you Nathalie. Bonaparte wants to spend some time in the Dordogne at some point. He’s been there many times before–is that where you are? Man–I wanna visit you sometime!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  14. Gail says:

    You look fantastic in a bikini! If that’s what 62 looks like, I’ll have what you’re having! Have a lovely holiday. I am getting ready for ours, starting in 5 days. I take the biggest suitcase you’ve ever seen and pay for extra baggage allowance. I like to take everything!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Gail. I replied to you had have no idea where the damned comment went. Maybe it’s in my suitcase!!! Maybe our paths will cross in the air!!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  15. TURNER says:

    For some reason, packing doesn’t freak me out. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, LOL. If I am traveling with my sister or friends (in other words, sans my anti-shopping husband) I pack a lot lighter to allow lots of space for shopping. With him, not so much but I really hate schlepping a heavy bag – even just at the airport but heaven forbid on and off a train – so I always try to pack light. At least warm weather clothes don’t weigh much or take up much space! I’m happy to see you went back for the Bonjour tote. If they had one with Buongiorno it would be mine in an instant.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Turner!! Surprisingly, as much of a spending police that Bonaparte is, when we are in France, he changes–it’s probably because when he’s in France he becomes more animated and comfortable. He starts speaking to me only in French and half the time I’m like “Whoa–buddy- slow down, I can’t understand everything you are saying. That’s actually one of the things I love about being in France–he lets his guard down and laughs a lot!! Oh..that tote. It’s just adorable and tons of room–it’ll be my “purse” for the flight (and God knows I’ll be shoving a ton of stuff into it!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  16. nathalie says:

    YESSSS !!! I am near Dordogne ! in Corréze ! Bonaparte knows i’m sure !

  17. nathalie says:

    ….and we have a Géant too …….!!!!!

  18. eveange33 says:

    We are going to miss you and your post ! In the meantime Have a wonderful time and enjoy your holiday. I do not know when you leave for France but, as luck goes, you might be there on time for the sales which starts July 12th in Alpes Maritimes when you are staying (and June 28th in most of France baring exceptions). If you want I can chase some Repetto for you.
    You look very elegant with your white trousers and blue gingham shirt: I am not in bare shoulder, not practical but I did wear a one bare shoulder shirt more than once on the 90’s too: not practical either by the way but I liked it then. Close to me there are a Leclerc (at a 15 mn walking distance so very convenient for me with no car) and a Carrefour, in a large mall (is that correct?) in the North of Paris suburbs. And a market where I go shopping every saturday morning for fresh vegetables and fruits.I like your way of packing! and would not do better. Again wish you a good time.

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Eve! Ugh. That’s one of the reasons I miss our stopovers in Paris–we were always there during the summer soldes. However, the airport always has great prices and the Rondini sandals I love never go on sale!! Thanks so much for thinking of me! I will be writing, writing, writing and reporting when I return!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  19. Adryana says:

    I loved the post! Do you know how to get a perfect bikini body? Put bikini on and BAM! you have a bikini body 😃 Simple as that! I hope you have a great vacation! 💕

    • Catherine says:

      BAM!!!! Adryana!! I LOVE what you said about a bikini body!!!! That was perfection!! Thank you!! Do you have any recommendations for me on European makeup brands that may not be sold here in the states?????? XOXOXOXO!!!!

      • eveange33 says:

        If I may, you could try a french brand called Innoxa which you can find only in pharmacie and parapharmacie. Not the cheapest but far from being the most expensive. Made in France, not organic but quite good. I have always been satisfied with what I bought, baring a few fails. The lipstick are really great. If you can find it, try also Arcancil that can be found in Monoprix mostly. And the own Monoprix brand which is good as well. That’s all for me as I am more organic kind of girl.

      • Adryana says:

        You’re welcome! 🙂 I don’t know if I can help you with recommendations because I’m not that familiar with the selection in France. Maybe if you can find then there’s Affect Cosmetics (Polish brand), JOIK and Turbliss (Estonian skin care brands), Lumene (Finnish brand). I don’t know if you know those or if you have them in US. Expect for JOIK, they have been on a market some time.

  20. Jenny says:

    You look fab in everything including your bikinis, shorts and the gingham shirt. Well worth all that hard work of the last year and I don’t see any post baby bumpiness, although it is inevitable. I only had one baby and I can’t get rid of my tummy. I recently read The girl on a train and really enjoyed it. I haven’t seen the film so it was a real surprise ending. Looking forward to pictures of you enjoying your lovely bit of France. It doesn’t seem like a year since you last went. I don’t like long holidays so my packing is much less fraught. Although, of course our British weather can do anything and frequently does it all in one day, so we do have to pack for every type of weather.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jenny! Doesn’t it seem like we were in the South of France only a few months ago? I’m excited because next Sunday we see Bonaparte’s dad, Dany. He’s been released from the hospital. We’ll drive to St. Tropez from the apartment and revisit during the week via ferry! The weather here in the Northeast USA has been sunny for two days now–what a thrill. But it’s in the 90’s and I don’t care!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  21. JulietC says:

    The hair with the fringe is gorgeous!!! and you absolutely rock a bikini. If I go away I make lists – and even lists of lists (it allows me to day dream while I am at work) and then I take the basics after having figured out what I will wear each day along with spare underwear and a couple of spare t shirts – as I am a mucky pup. My rule is 2/3 of a suitcase packed and the rest empty as you can always buy things over there (and I love to do a supermarket sweep or pharmacy run if I am off to Italy or Spain or anywhere like that). Love the red dress and scarf too

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Juliet. I need to make a last-minute list. I picked up a new tweezer to pluck those chin hairs. Dear God, I can’t be seen on the beach with those awful lady whiskers!!! I was going to get a wax job on my origin of the world but decided against it–nothin’ a razor and shaving cream won’t take care of!! I’m already making a mental list of the shopping that is needed!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  22. Charlotte says:

    Love all your choices. And meltdown over packing? Always! I travel for work and have for 20+ years and I swear I overpack almost always and when I don’t, I’m always regretting what I brought and wish I had different/more options. You would think as many fashion blogs as I read and as many trips I have taken I would be an expert on packing, yet the capsule-packing-gene has eluded me for years and life is still going fine. 🙂 Enjoy your trip!! I’ll miss your posts! And saw in the comments that Dany is doing better-so glad to hear!

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Charlotte!! You know, I thought, that as a blogger, I was a total fail because I am not as adept as the other bloggers when it comes to packing–and the capsule wardrobe? Fuggetaboutit! I can’t. I just can’t! Oh. I will definitely enjoy the trip and seeing Dany will be great–although Bonaparte told me that he won’t “be himself” but I’ll be happy to see him anyway!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  23. Cathe says:

    I was stressed out when I saw your pile a few post ago! But figured you’d pull it together. I’m a lazy packer; jeans, t’s, and a really expensive jacket. And then I buy what I what I need when I get there. It really works when you rent an apartment with a washing machine. So jealous that you’re headed to the south of France. Please keep us up to date on your adventures!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Cathe! Hahahaha! I did pull it together, and as I write this I realize I need to go back and do a bit of a purge because I do have a washing machine. I’m getting very antsy now. I just want to be there!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  24. Q.D says:

    I love a dirty battered up suitcase, it shows people that you TRAVEL! To me brand new luggage always looks like this is my first trip OS and people might think I am a cashed up bogan on my first trip to bali (no matter where in the world I am, possibly I am paranoid and a snob), when really I adore travelling and the more time spent on planes each year the better! I am also unlucky in that airlines routinely destroy my luggage, so end up with a new big bag every couple of trips, I have come home from three separate continents with holes ripped in my bags, I am now trialling a hard case, so far it is dirty but not holey!

    • Catherine says:

      Q. Lost luggage is my travel fear. I would rather lose a passport than my “stuff”. I’ve had lost luggage before and it is no fun. At all. One one of the trips to Paris our luggage arrived two days after we did. But at least I got to do some clothes shopping!! Please–I’m sure that my filthy suitcase is going to be even more filthy after this trip!!! XXOXOXO!!!

  25. Rhonda says:

    YES!! I have to start packing weeks in advance, just so I can weed out and add things as I rethink ten times over! I’m NEVER done until the suitcases are lugged out to the car! And, of course I always take 3 times what I need, cuz “I never know what I’ll feel like wearing until I’m there”! I know you are “done” packing, but I’d rethink taking those long blue jeans–your cute white ones can be your weight reminder and you’d probably wear them over the blue ones–saving room for purchases while there😉 Btw, ALL of your hair is SO CUTE! You rock, girl!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Rhonda. It’s so funny you mentioned to rethink the jeans. I was thinking about that all day–in order to lighten the load it may be a good idea. Besides, we’ll be doing a ton of walking when we aren’t beaching it or swimming. I think tomorrow evening I’ll be going through the stuff again!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  26. doodletllc says:

    Incredible post, Catherine…packing is a bear and we always take more than we should but I hate to not be prepared….my saving grace for not over-packing is staying at a place with a washer…do laundry every day…I never care if it’s after a day at the pool/beach/sighseeing. Love the Old Navy finds…simple, flippy, easy to pack. But for the craziness of this year, we’d be in France right now…I will just have to enjoy France through your travels…that will be fun.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jeanne. I hope all is well on the homestead. Trust me, I’ll be writing plenty about the travels. And I’ll be thinking of you when I’m there!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  27. Sandra says:

    I used to bring almost everything I owned with me when I started traveling to France. Fast forward fifty years later: I have become very disciplined as I was only wearing about 20% of what I brought. I now have a master packing list that I adapt for each trip and do laundry every 10 days. So far this system works and I never miss anything that I left at home. This formula works even for a 3-month stay that we had a few years ago.
    Bonnes vacances, Cathy!

    • Catherine says:

      Merci Sandra! Upon our return home, I am going to take notes on what was worn and what wasn’t and will do up a sort of master list as you have. I’m definitely going to do a final look and weed some stuff out. Especially since I have a washing machine and iron and ironing board!!! XXOXOXOXO Thank you for the tip about that list!!!

  28. Bridget says:

    I’m a person who does really well packing for a long trip, but freaks out and overpacks majorly for a long weekend! Go figure.

    Oh I can’t wait to hear about your trip! And I’m jealous that you will be able to get another pair of those fab sandals …

    • Catherine says:

      Bridget–that’s funny!!! Give me a long weekend and I’m literally packed in less than fifteen minutes. I’ll wear one pair of jeans for three days! I’m very good at the short trip pack!! Ohhhh. I don’t know which ones I’ll be getting this year. I can’t wait!!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

    • Q.D says:

      Oh I am the same Bridget, I live overseas for months on one single suitcase, but a weekend at my parents, a CARLOAD!

  29. 3C Style says:

    Love the first bikini and the white shorts. You look great. Hope you have a fabulous time in France. I have to say, I’m envious. So take lots of pictures please!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Dominique. I’ll be taking loads of pics and will be posting during those elusive wee-fee moments. No laptop but I’ll be taking lots of notes and will have some fun stuff to write upon our return. Thanks. I dig those shorts and the bikinis are my comfort zone. I can’t move in a one piece and then after swimming those one pieces take forever to dry. Bikinis are the lazy way!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  30. You went back and got your tote-Cool! Michael is packing right now for a Canadian fishing trip-can you believe I don’t even have a passport anymore?

  31. Juliet says:

    Second comment – saw this and thought of you….

    I think we need an international wear big hoops if you’re over 40 day – I’m out to get some at lunchtime in your honour 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Juliet. You just inspired a blog post. It should be up before I leave on Friday. This pissed me off and threw my into another tizzy!!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

      • Juliet says:

        Excellent! I am like a junkie – the more posts you feed me the more I need, what will we do when you’ve left us for south of france

  32. Lusty says:

    My best packing job was for a 3-week cross-country motorcycle trip. Since I was wearing my motorcycle gear all day every day, I just had 3 sets of bicycle shorts/sport bra/t-shirt to go under the gear, and 3 pairs of socks and underwear. At the end of each day I hand-washed the garments from the day and let them dry overnight. I had one pair of slacks and shoes with a couple of different tops to wear out to dinner if I decided to do something other than crash into a bath and bed. All of my clothes and toiletries fit into one saddlebag. The other saddlebag had rain gear and other emergency supplies.

    My typical method of packing is just to make sure everything is washed. Then either the night before or the morning of, I gather up everything I’m taking, throw it in the suitcase, and go.

  33. Alexandra says:

    Theoretically I know how to pack my suitcase in an optimized way, to get as much as possible, as wrinkle free as possible and how to combine the pieces of clothing to wield the most outfits from as few clothing as possible. That’s the theory.

    Now whilst I don’t have meltdowns, I have to admit that I still end up overpacking – tho that becomes less each round, one learns no? – and taking about 3 days to complete my own travel bag. But I know I’ll be doing at least some limited shopping, so I’ve trained myself to leave out about 1/3 of what I want to pack.

    Have fun in France 🙂

  34. Super article – love your humor! we recently returned from our trip to France – I have similar issues. It’s funny how I procrastinate and wait till the last minute to pack. And always pack things I never wear.

    Dreaming of my next trip to France. And I’m sure I’ll wait till the night before to toss things together.

    Keep up the great writing.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Suz. Can you believe it???? All the s__t I packed and relied on a bit over 5 pieces. I never learn! Even underwear! I did laundry every other day so there was no need to overpack!! Let us know when you next leave for France!!!!!! Thank you so much!!! XOXOXOXOXO

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