Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Packing for Paris
Whew! Now that I've got those memes done and shown you Pater's new shoes, I can get to some of the posts I've been thinking of over the last week or two. I also have a huge file of garden photos to share, altho' I'll try to save most of those for May Garden Bloggers Bloom Day next week. Just a quick preview -- here's the Clematis Alpina I luckily remembered to look for the other day and found they'd popped into bloom -- I love, love, love this mix of light and dark purple against the green.
Since I'm soon going to be walking the streets of Paris, gazing in shop windows, sitting on cafe terraces drinking wine, visiting galleries of inspiring art . . . Sorry, did I mention I'm going to Paris soon? I tend to get a bit distracted these days . . .At any rate, I thought you might be curious about how and what I pack. For two of our last three visits, each of which was 9 to 12 days long, Paul and I have managed with a carry-on bag each, altho' last year we indulged and took the next size up. One year, checking in with carry-ons only, we were congratulated on our packing skills by the ticket agent, who was quite impressed. When I replied that if I found I was missing something, I'd be in Paris where I could happily shop for what I needed, though, he quickly offered his condolences to my husband. Drôle!
While I'd probably pack more heavily if we planned to go to Michelin-starred restaurants or to jazz clubs night after night or to the ballet or opera, for our Paris activities, I'm pretty confident we'll be able to manage with a carry-on. Because we have an additional ten days this year (which we'll spend in Portugal), we may need to find a laundry at some point, but that will simply provide another European experience, no? I've simply heard too many stories lately about luggage not arriving with the traveller, and in some cases, never appearing at all. I'd rather have a few well-chosen items with me than have lots of great pieces having a great time in Hawaii while I'm in Lisbon. Besides which, our hotel room in Paris is small and the closet's not at all capacious -- we'll just be more comfortable with less stuff in the way.
So in case you're curious about how much I can pack into this carry-on, I'll take some pictures for you over the next two weeks. I'm going to try to wear pants on the plane and pack two pairs of jeans. I'll wear a long-sleeved cardigan with a heavy cotton short coat over top on the plane and fit my very light black somewhat dressy rain slicker into my case. I know I can roll up a silk skirt and maybe another light skirt, three dresses (two of which work over leggings and or jeans as well as on their own), and six t-shirts plus a tunic top or two. A bathing suit for the pool in Portugal. My toiletries/cosmetics can fit into the requisite see-through zip-loc bag for inspection. Anything that can't will be on my shopping list for the first day in Paris. Heeled sandals, silver Birks (don't comment, really, they do wear these in Paris -- they're a very simple thong in a metallic silver and I can walk for miles and miles and miles in them), black ballet-ish shoes by Nike, and my Cydwoqs will be on my feet. It will work -- I'll show you soon.
Meanwhile, I found and bought these at The Gap last weekend and I just love them. Wide-leg jeans in a crisp, fresh-looking denim, and they're designed as ankle-length (they also come in a longer leg, cuffed). In other words, short people like me don't have to have them hemmed! I've been wearing them around town with flats and I just know they'll be great in Paris.They're a lighter weight than my usual jean, so they'll be comfortable if the weather gets really warm.I also bought a pair in a similar cut but in a linen/cotton tweed-y blend. These have a cuff, and I like them better with a heel, so I'm going to take them in to get them hemmed just as soon as I go back to try on the Cydwoq sandals I've been pining for (I went back weekend before last and they didn't have them in my size, so they're bringing some in). Given that I usually pay around $200 for jeans (Citizens for Humanity, Fidelity, Sevens), these pants are a bargain at just under $70 and a great way to try out the wider legs. The waist is just a tiny bit higher, just enough to make tucking in without anything bulging an option. I've been really pleased with what's happening at The Gap lately -- the whites designer collection's worth checking out, if there's anything left!