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!!!!!!!!