When I woke up yesterday morning and looked at the date on my phone, my reaction was “Oh Merde”. It’s June 12th already! And for a fleeting moment, I wave of sadness came over me. But then it left quickly because I had to get ready for work.
No time to for a pity party! I gotta get ready for work!
The wave of sadness was because at this date and time of year, my bags are packed and repacked and packed again because Bonaparte and I are getting ready of nearly three weeks in France. Our summer pilgrimage to the Côte d’Azur. Theoule-sur-Mer. Final destination Aéroport de Nice!
I’m not gonna be at the pool in Theoule this summer…
Nor will I be hanging in Antibes
This year we’re not going. Mostly because I started a new job in February and getting that much time off just wasn’t in the cards. Add to that, my husband really isn’t ready to head back to St. Tropez after the death of his dad.
Some of my best memories at St. Tropez are the times we lunched with my father-in-law, Dany at La Ramade Restaurant!
If you are new to the blog, his dad passed away when we were there last summer. Much of our vacation was spent spending as much time as we could with Dany before he passed. And trust me, I’m not complaining about it. It was a blessing to spend time with the rest of the Lartigue family because they are very welcoming to me. (The Link to Dany’s Funeral: The Tropezienne Funeral—Or Don’t Rain on my St. TroParade Part Deux)
It was quite the beautiful send off. Before the church services, the mayor of St. Tropez gave a speech about Dany.
And as I brushed the sad away, I decided to have some fun. I dressed in an outfit that I call “My Air France Flight Attendant” outfit. Yes. I wanted to look like the women who take special care of us while we are in flight.
Bienvenue et bonjour mes amis! Café? Téa? Ou Eau?
Out came my simple navy sheath dress. I purchased this dress quite a few years back at the sale price of $7.00. It truly was a TJ Maxx find! Around my neck I wore a little faux scarf that I picked up at J. Crew Factory. I kept it simple with pearl drop earrings and wore my favorite classic bob wig. I felt as though I was ready to greet the passengers for a flight to Paris! And it felt great!
In my little delusional world, I was an Air France flight attendant. I’ve always wanted to be a flight attendant but there’s one obstacle. I sort of don’t like flying too much!
When I arrived to the office, all I wanted to do was serve coffee, tea, and other beverages to my co-workers. Why—I even wanted to offer them fluffy blankets, headsets and pillows!
I would also be so great at explaining what to do……..
We won’t be going back to France until November and our trip will not be a long one, but I’m looking forward to returning—in fact, I can’t wait!!
In the meantime, if you are traveling this summer and going to points a far or a near, I’ve got a few little tips for you. Nothing life-changing but these are little things I always remember to do when going on vacation.
Leave the good makeup at home. By that I mean don’t pack the luxury brands. If you leave them behind at your vacation spot, or hotel, you will feel awful and in the long run, you’ll have thrown money out the window. Bring drug store brands. Trust me, you’ll look just as beautiful with an inexpensive mascara as with a higher end.
I “made” this palette out of drug store brand “Essence”. This is a great neutral palette to travel with!
Buy a phone charger to travel with. Here’s the scenario. You’re at the airport. You are at your gate and you find out the flight has been delayed for two hours. To appease your anger and frustration you want to play Candy Crush but you realize that you forgot to bring your phone charger. Do you really want to pay airport prices for a charger that you could have purchased at Walmart for a lot less? You’re welcome!
Travel or not, I carry one of these in my bag because you just never know when you need a charger! Especially at the airport!
Makeup Remover/Diaper wipes. Bring these. And yes, you can use diaper wipes to remove makeup. If they are gentle enough for a baby’s butt, then they are gentle enough for your face! But there’s another reason that I always travel with these—especially overseas. Not everyplace you stay will have a supply of facecloths. And even in hotels—the thought that other people were using those washcloths at one time is gross to me. When I’m finished with a wipe that I’ve used on my face, I’ll wash it really well. It’ll be my wash cloth for the next day. Those wipes are strong and will not fall apart. Maybe it’s just me but I swear those wipes make fine face/washcloths!
Bring these. Or makeup remover wipes. They multi-task as wash cloths!!
Two watches. When I’m in France and when I was in Australia and Ireland, I wore two watches. It’s important for me to know US time when I’m away so that if I want to call “home” to my kids or anyone else for that matter, I don’t have to spend time trying to figure out what time it is. I wear one watch set to the country I’m in and the other watch is set to my time at home. It’s also a great fashion statement!
Although some may think it odd, in my opinion, it is perfectly pragmatic to wear two watches when you travel to a lengthy time zone!
Tote Bag. Traveling by plane? A large tote bag is essential. You can use it as your “purse” and carry a change of clothes (in case the airline loses your luggage), shoes, magazines, makeup—and even stick your regular purse in the tote!!! Bonaparte is constantly amazed at the amount of stuff I manage to throw into my travel tote! It’s epic! Another reason you need a tote is because the grocery stores in Europe do NOT supply you with bags. You need to bring your own. Use the tote!
One of my everyday totes. This one is by Tory Burch. It’s too expensive to bring on a trip. I ain’t impressing no one–I’ll bring the cheap tote with me! (Actually I bring a few totes with me)
I am the bag lady of travel. I purchase a large bag when we are at Fragonard because I use it as a grocery tote when we’re away. The Wythe tote–that’s my godsend for travel. It’s a beach bag, it’s a grocery bag and it holds six bottles of wine easily. I love it so much that I have two. The straw clutch stays home.
Cheap Hoop Earrings. I can’t stress this enough. Do not bring the good jewelry when you are traveling. If you are going to be swimming all day or sight-seeing all day, why would you want to schlep the fancy gems with you? For around six bucks you can go to Walmart or Amazon and get a card full of hoop earrings. If you lose a pair or three so what? Hoop earrings can go from extremely casual to totally dressed up!
Inexpensive hoops are the ONLY way to travel baby!!!
Pens and a Journal. You would be remiss if you did not bring with you, on your trip of a lifetime, or any trip for that matter, if you did not write about all the fun you had. Journal. You can write about the restaurants; what was good and not-so-good; shopping; the people. Keeping a running log of the events you’ve experienced will bring back wonderful memories later on. I’m not kidding. I’ve got journals that go back 13 years ago. Every now and then, I’ll go back in time to my first trip to Paris when I met Bonaparte’s aunt, Daniele and I’m so filled with happiness and gratefulness that I had the experience. It’s also a great reference for you.
My biggest regret? I forgot to bring these to Cincinnati! It’s so important to journal ANY trip!
Tweezers. Yes. Ladies. Come on now. You know why we need these. If you wake up in the morning with a few lady whiskers and you do not have a tweezer, your entire day will be ruined. There is no need to elaborate any further.
You do not want little lady whiskers sticking out of your chin when you travel. And those nasty little hairs have a strange habit of popping up at random times during the day!
Umbrella. If not for anything else in this blog post, and if you are just going to get one thing from these tips, make it the umbrella. The weather is fickle no matter where you travel. Living in Manhattan for a good part of my life, I’ve learned to always carry an umbrella because you just never know. This is where I would also say you want an umbrella that is also pretty decent and strong—not a two buck one. My umbrella of choice is this Kate Spade number that’s on it’s third year. It fits in my tote very nicely. People may laugh but you’ll have the last laugh when it starts pouring and everyone wants to come under your umbrella!
My favorite umbrella. But I DO have a travel one as well!
Travel clothes. When I’m on a longer flight, I like wearing comfortable clothing. That means knits—leggings a tee and ballet flats on my feet. Or, a knit tunic dress. I don’t like fussy dressing either when traveling because these days if you aren’t traveling first or business-class you are thrown into economy like a bunch of cows to slaughter.
You can still travel in comfort and not be a slob. I like a simple one like this or a knit dress.
Got downtime? Sure, you do. We all have that hour or two every day for some chill time—usually after a busy day and before dinner. You can journal now …. or……….and this is a fun thing—if you are in a country where the language is completely foreign to you, go to a newsstand and get recipe magazines. Try to translate the recipes. You’ll do fine because there are so many similarities in the way the ingredients are spelled. This is like a game and it becomes slightly habit-forming.
And reading these food magazines has helped me learn the language too!
Well, that’s about it! I hope you enjoyed your time on my flight!! My flight to nowhere!! But it’s fun!
Here’s a little “Idea List” from my Amazon page that I created for this post. Little Travel Helpers just to give you an idea of what to carry along when you travel. Have fun looking at it!
No matter where you travel, travel smart and have a great time!
Au revoir! And bon voyage. Tell me where you’re going this summer because the only place I’m going to is the office!!!!
So Go-Go and have fun!!!!!!!!
Superb! Keep sharing, stay motivated remember age is just a number…
Thank you!!! I shall stay very motivated!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!
Lovely travel attendant!
I have not been to France…..es terrible!
At least you can look forward to Nov.
There us nothing like international travel to teach one how to pack.
We are not traveling anytime soon…..we are cleaning and packing as we are moving and there will be cleaning and painting etc on the other end. Kinda cranky these days.
I took a very luxurious trip to London years back with 5 star hotel and a driver.
Too bad for me, I learned that it is very nice to travel first class but my budget does not allow it .
And what was I thinking years ago when I moved to west coast……..plane rides are so loooooonnnnngggg from here……I kills me. I don’t drink or use drugs but on plane I would like to be put out of my misery.
It was 11 hours to Dublin from LA, after 4 hour hold over in LA airport, that’s after 1 hour drive to airport and 1.5 hour flight to LA…….OMG…..I’m not cut out for this. ….I need a Concorde.
So, now that you are a cute fight attendant and sooooo knowledgeable about travel, can you get us a discount?
Kidding aside, wouldn’t it be fun to plan a girls trip with your peeps…..meaning your followers…..in a few years so we can save
and we can all meet somewhere. . .my neighbor who is from Switzerland days Geneva is very lovely……….ok to dream!
Have a safe flight!
Hi Chris, You must have had some trip to London! It would be an incredible experience to travel first class but it isn’t in my budget either. But the thing is, you can still travel well with the first-class accomodations.
You know–when we fly home from France, there’s always people that have to make a connection to California and points out west and I admire their stamina. It’s a haul all right. LOL My husband used to go sking in Switzerland when he was young. We’ve lived opposite lives!!! XOXOXOXO!!!
Oh my goodness Chris….I was thinking the VERY SAME THING. I would love to see Paris with a woman who knows the city and likes to do what I also enjoy; girl talk, shopping, wine, good food, etc etc. I did a bit similar trip several years ago to Provence (but never have been to Paris…insert very sad face here). It was hosted by 2 women who had a popular radio show in Chicago …we had a fabulous time.
This could be a great possibility…….XOXOXOXXO!!!!
Oh how I love the Go-Go’s Vacation!!! What a nice way to wrap up a fabulous post!
HI Kellyann! Hey. Those printed shorts you have on in your blog post are GREAT vacation attire!!!! The Go-Go’s rock!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!
Hi! Love your blog all your tips are amazing. I live in Scotland but am reading you blog in Gillette Wy. Here for two weeks travelling. Just been to Arches Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Oh and Salt Lake City only everything was shut in centre as it was Sunday. On our way to Deadwood, Wall, Cheyenne then back to Denver for three nights. Having a great time 8n your wonderful country
Hi Karin!! You are on a tour of the great West!! Enjoy your stay here and I hope that the people are treating you as well as you should be treated!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!
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OMG, Catherine…you just NEVER fail to crack me up!, “…you are thrown into economy like a bunch of cows to slaughter.” It is SO true and it gets the Democrat in me REAL fired up!!!!!! I think we can all accept that the level of service in the various classes of flying will differ, but when did it
become acceptable to treat people flying in coach like sub-humans???????????? A backlash is building and something is gonna have to give soon because it has gotten way out of hand! Anyway, on a more pleasant note, I thoroughly enjoyed this post. If I cannot be traveling then I like to read about traveling…..My sister and I watch “How to pack carry on luggage” videos the way other people watch porn. I love videos about what to take, how to pack, etc., etc…. I just came back from a week of dog sitting my grand-fur baby in San Diego. I take the train down from where I live west of L.A. and that’s a lovely way to travel ….the only other potential trip on my radar is back to your neck of the woods, southern New Jersey to visit family. Hoping to do France and Italy this fall if I can make it all come together (fingers crossed)… Anyway, thanks again for another entertaining post —it made my day!
Hi Deb! Am I right about the way we in coach are treated? It’s disgusting. And in coach, you are still paying a hefty price for international travel. I remember years ago getting free champagne on domestic flights. Now if you want so much as water you better swallow your own spit!
I’ve traveled by train in Ireland and it was great. From Dublin to Belfast.
Oona and her boyfriend leave for Italy at the end of August. I’m so excited for them because they love travel and haven’t traveled overseas together yet. Oh if I only had the salary of a royal I would be flying all the time. I will keep my fingers crossed that you make the trip to France and Italy!!!!!!!!!!!XOXOXOXO!!!!
I am casting my vote too that Catherine start planning/ plotting a girls meet up! I have 2 definite trips in the works, August visiting my brother in Georgia and October my sister in Florida. If I manage my funds judiciously, I will celebrate my birthday in December in Hawaii.
Karen it would be amazing to have a girls meet up! Possibly in NY? Philly? Your trips sound like good ones. Florida is always a good place to visit and although I’ve never spent time in Georgia, I’ve always wanted to visit Savanah. Hawaii??? Now THAT sounds like a GREAT trip!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!
Hi Cathe, like you I have a foreign husband and we were travelling yearly in summer to his home town which also happens to be a sea-side tourist destination (on the Black Sea), as well as a very ancient UNESCO heritage site town – and it was my annual highlight. Well, now for the last three years we live there/here permanently so I am in my slice of heaven. The holiday comes to us – many hundreds of tourists from all over Europe. I was walking on the beach just now, weather is fabulous, sea water is warm and stacks of happy tourists catching the sun 🙂 Lise
Oh Lise. You ARE very fortunate!! Are you living in Croatia by any chance because that is one place I would love to visit. And Malta. And many other places!! XOXOXOXO!!!!
I live in Nessebar, Bulgaria, A very ancient Trace/Greek/Roman town – dating back to 600BC. The Old Town is actually in the sea! Has ancient walls and looks very similar to Croatia. The houses are Bulgarian Renaissance style and have to be preserved as such for Unesco. One mile away is Sunny Beach – very modern tourist complex. So we have the best of old and new. All joined together by 12 mile strip of golden beach sand 🙂
This was a timely postfor me to read! My daughter is leaving for Europe on Friday for 3weeks.
Also, I totally imagined you going into work and serving everyone from a little cart like a flight attendant LOL!
Hi Jessica! Your daughter is going to have the greatest time. LOL–make sure she packs an umbrella!!! LOL. Whenever I bake goodies I run around the office just like a flight attendant!!! XXOXOXO!!!
I love your air hostess look – maybe there is scope for a team challenge amongst your readers to try and wear things differently, who knows 🙂 but anyway you look amazing. Love the travel tips – the tweezers had me absolutely snorting into my Ricard (I have a colleague who sits erm… close and sometimes when Glasgow is sunny and I glance up and she is sitting at a certain angle… I want to just grab hold of the most prominent of her chin whiskers and scream at her, but really her chin whiskers are the least of her irritations…). Love the travel tips, I also make a list of all my stuff on my phone with a tick for everything that goes in my bag, and everything that gets used – stuff without 2 ticks doesn’t come next time 🙂 I do find as I get older (and maybe wiser) that simplifying stuff is key to a happy travel experience (and packing the freebie samples I snaffle when I am out and about 🙂 ). Anyway you look adorable, love your outfit and look in total
Hey Juliet! Give me a shot of that Ricard!!! I got a good chuckle over your colleague. Oh we all know someone like that. Do they see those short hairs at all????? It’s not pretty!!!
I like your two tick thing. Like you, I’ve also simplified my travel wear. When we go to Paris in November I’ll bring a pair of jeans and black Pixie pants and a couple of shirts. I just want to blend in these days!
Glad you love the outfit!! Thank youXOXOXOXO!!!!
Liking your hostie look Cathe! I was a flight attendant for 15 years but I don’t think I ever treated anyone like a sub human! Although some of the passengers were quite special. Like the ones that leave shitty nappies in the seat pockets, the ones that have sex under a blanket with a person they just met on the flight, the women that expect you to entertain their children on a flight to Geneva cos they’re too tight to pay for the nanny to come along.(55 minutes, 393 passengers,breakfast, drinks, tea/ coffee, duty free) You get my drift.
I’m off to France on Monday for three weeks….cannot wait. I’m sorry you won’t be going to Theoule this year, I enjoyed those posts immensely , at least you have Paris to look forward to. Xxx
Fiona. The stories you can tell would be great entertainment at a cocktail hour. Ugh. I can just imagine the lazy and filthy slobs who would leave a shit laden nappy and why does this not surprise me. And if anyone on a flight ever had sex next to my seat I would to tell them to “f–k off in the bathroom” lol!!! Don’t even get me started with the people who expect you to babysit. I’ve witnessed that behavior from parents of babies on quite a few flights and can’t even process that one!!
Enjoy your three weeks in France!!!! Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh. I wish we were going but it’s time to be an adult for once Tee hee!!! Safe travels my dear!! XOXOXOXO!!!
I almost snorted my seltzer with your cows to slaughter comment – so true!
So many great tips and your style is impeccable! How I would love to be able to carry off the Flight Attendant look, or the slim pants and boat neck tops — I can’t. These curves will rebel every time~ but, like you, I have several well made totes ~ I always check my luggage through (too short to shove it into the overhead anyways) and carry everything I need and then some in the tote 🙂 Cheers! MJ
I love this!! Thank you for sharing!!
Thank you Sarahjean!!!! XOXOXOXO