Now that I’m back from our trip to France, I can tell you what I did wrong and what I did right.
In all my years of traveling to the Cote d’Azur, you would think I had mastered the art of packing light.
As usual, I overpacked. I know, I know. I am constantly reading about “capsule” wardrobes and it just isn’t my thing. But I did make note of what I did wear. And I wore on repeat. I packed five wigs and only wore two. One only two days. Do the math! I’m telling you, I really “wronged” on the packing. Big time!
Here’s what I did end up wearing and all but the navy dotted shorts were worn on repeat.
First of all, this getup was my “hanging at home” go-to. Most dinners on the terrace were eaten wearing this tee and knit pj shorts. YES!! PJ shorts! Once a slob–always a slob!
I cleaned up well for our visits to St. Tropez. I wore this dress for every visit except on to St. Trop. I even wore it to the funeral. This ten-dollar dress was worn at least 7 times during the stay. Luckily I was able to wash it!
The 11 euro bikinis. Who cares about the soft body. I wore these practically every day. I ended up buying two of the paisly suit!
Another dress on repeat. And this was a whopping $16. at Primark! I was super comfortable because I didn’t have to wear a bra with this dress! Notice the Rondini Tropezienne sandals. I wore these almost every day!
I knew we would be doing a lot of walking in Ensues and Marseille so I wore sneakers. I wore shorts and a bobbed wig too.
This was the only other day I wore short hair. It’s Millie by Bobbi Boss and I love her! Another braless day with this off-the-shoulder shirt and white shorts. I did wear sandals!
Same white shorts, black Rondini sandals for a dressier look!
Date night in my other ten dollar Old Navy special! I ordered two more the other day. These swing dresses are so flattering!
My Rondini Bikini sandals were also worn a lot!
Honestly, all the outfits I wore in the above photos were all I needed. I wore an old Gap shift to the beach and pool as a bathing suit coverup. And underwear. All my clothes could have fit in a carryon!
Due to circumstances beyond my control, there wasn’t a lot of time to do shopping. But it really didn’t matter much because my goal was to purchase another pair of Rondini Sandals.
The red sandals are just as comfortable as my other Rondini sandals and ..they’re RED!!! RED!!!!! Shopping Goal completed!
Other shopping goals were small—more Fleur d’Oranger from Fragonard and more French music CD’s.
I stocked up on my Fleur d’Oranger Eau de Toilette at Fragonard, but also treated myself to the Fleur d’Oranger Intense. Pure Orange Blossom is my favorite scent!
Another goal was to find a great summer scent for my daughter, Oona. She gets very bad headaches from many scents—like mother, like daughter. She’s very particular. After over an hour of sniffing, spraying, and repeating, we decided on the Figue. And guess what? She loves it!!
We sent a package to Oona with the Figue eau de toilette, some samples, another scent from Adopt parfum and a Fragonard tote that she can use while grocery shopping!
I picked up another one of these totes as well. You can never have enough!
With a bit of time before our flight home, I went into the Duty-Free Longchamp shop at CDG. I hadn’t planned on it, but ended up with an expandable travel bag. The price at the airport was 130 euros. In USD that comes to $149.80. The same bag retails for $255 here. It was a great price!
This expandable travel bag is remarkably roomy and it was purchased at a great price!
Other little doo-dads included a gift for my neighbor, candy for my co-workers, my fabulous bikinis, and odds and ends. Cosmetics was not to play into this trip.
I know it’s kitchy and tacky but I love pushing the button in the back to hear the cicadas!
Stickers for the cars, Expandable wine totes from Nicolas..
These are great to load up on and give as a little something extra with wine bottles.
I did manage to pick up a couple of lip balms. This brand is great!
Treats for co-workers..
Think outside the box. A menu from my favorite restaurant will be framed and hung in the kitchen!
La Ponche is the area of St. Tropez where Bonaparte spent his summers…and we purchased this inexpensive sign at the marche in St. Tropez..
Dany’s hat now hangs on the wall…to the left is one of his prints!
What I did learn was that the Tuesday Market in St. Tropez is freaking unbelievable. My goal for next time is to purchase one of those vintage LV bags—I want one with a history!
Oops! I forgot. I picked this graphic tee up at the marche. I’ll be dressing it up with jeans and a blazer in the cooler weather!
But my goal for next year is to pick up one of these for a fraction of the cost. And they are genuine because France has very strict laws..
My shopping advice to the traveler who isn’t wealthy, but likes pleasant things (the category that I fall into). Save a few bucks each payday. Open a small bank account and use that money for one great item that’ll give you years and years of memories. Honestly, I look forward to my annual Rondini purchase because I now have a little collection of summer sandals—and I wear those sandals in rotation practically every day during the summer heat. And they are unique because nobody else around these parts has them!!
WRITE. Get a journal and pens and write, write about ANYTHING that pops into your head. Maybe you see something that brings old memories to mind. Journal your trip because you can also use those entries as references for the future. Take a half hour or an hour every day—it’s also a fantastic way to unwind after a busy day of touring and sightseeing.
I’ve got journals dating back ten years of trips to France!! Writing is a great reference!
Oh, I forgot about this too! Magazines. Gossip magazines are fun to try to decipher what is being written and a great practice is translating recipes from French into English!! There are some gems of recipes in here!
Don’t listen to others when it comes to safety. France is incredibly safe. Yes. France has had its share of a few attacks—but that’s nothing compared to the random murders and homicides in the USA. Every wacko here owns a gun. The like to pontificate that it is their right to bear arms. Well, it’s my right to life and I don’t want any moron going bang-bang when I’m around! Every day innocent Americans are the victims of murder—I call that domestic terrorism.
Not once did I feel even the slightest fear or anxiety. And the same goes for when I’m in Paris. It’s safe. So, don’t you let anyone tell you that it’s dangerous! Those are the people who live their lives in fear.
The food—what can I say? I’m paying for my sin of gluttony. My body is saying that I gained a good eight pounds. And it is not easy to take off. So, I shall be returning to writing about weight loss. I wronged on my diet but it felt so right!!! Vacation is the time to indulge—and I did!
Although I tried to stick to healthy choices..
I drank too much–empty calories that went straight to my belly!
This went directly to my thighs and was so tasty that I don’t care!
Observations—the French are a race onto their own. The French tan so naturally and well. They worship the sun. They bake like little roasted chickens on a spit. Their skin achieves various stages of caramel. From a light fleur de sel caramel to a more burnt caramel. I’m jealous. Not even a spray tan could make my skin as perfectly browned as the French. Bonaparte is living proof.
The French Tan–is to be compared to various colors of caramels..
Perhaps I could have just used this as fake tan!!!
In fact, he told me that I don’t know how to tan correctly. I need equal time on my stomach and my back. My answer to that is, I’ll just continue to sit under the parasol with sunscreen and fake it because I don’t want any more skin cancer!
France is also the capital of the Man Bun. Oh, if only I had taken photos of every man bun I saw—I would have no space either in my phone or camera. Not even iCloud could keep up with those delightful tufts of messy bun man hair! Man buns must never, ever go out of style. I asked my sons to grow their hair long again and wear man buns. They laughed at me.
Ohhh. Soccer Manbun!
YSL Man Bun. Best Man Hair ever!
When you take pictures, don’t take them all of yourself. Take pics of the scenery and items of interest. If you notice, there aren’t many photos of me at all—only what I wore. I don’t like taking photos of me when I’m traveling. I like to take photos of where I am. Make videos fun. Even if you are a newbie. Trust, me, this was a learning experience for my videos and now I’m hooked!
An old boat makes for an interesting photo
A lazy street
A ceiling at a restaurant made of tree branches and hats hanging down
A wedding you stumble upon–two brides, one groom?
Art work on a building.
And you don’t have to be a great photographer either. Just snap away!
That’s about it. It’s a wrap!!!
The song I’m showing you tonight is one of the reasons that I love buying French music. I’ve been listening to the Alain Souchon & Laurent Voulzy CD non-stop since my return and this song “Consuelo” is one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
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