Wednesday, May 14, 2008

paris packing, part two

Thought you might be curious to know what I'm packing and whether it will, indeed, fit into a carry-on. My wardrobe will really not be quite as blue as it appears from the photo above -- the scarf draped across the top is for last-minute consideration and may, or may not, make the final cut. The blue beret tucked into my silver Birkenstocks is for Jennifer, our hotelier. And the light blue Diesel sneakers in the top right corner are just there to hold the space until I retrieve my faded gold sneakers from the Vanc'r apartment (the Diesels have already had one trip to Paris, and they were a bit of trouble since they clearly don't "go" with everything!).
So what have I managed to fit in here?

-pair dark-wash Citizens low-rise cropped jeans;- linen/cotton wide-leg pants
- mid-calf black silk skirt, broomstick-pleated -- very comfortable on a hot day, can be dressy enough for dinner
- cream-blue-grey knee-length silk skirt, also dresses up or down
- blue cotton dress, short enough to wear over jeans as a tunic, long enough to wear as a dress, altho' I prefer to wear it over leggings
- orange-navy-cream paisley silk shirtdress, length as above (this one I'm still debating; it may well stay behind)
- navy cotton, knee-length shirtdress
- cashmere v-neck pullover, debating whether to bring black or powder blue
- 5 short-sleeve t-shirts, black, dark brown, cobalt, white
- 2 smock-tunic-like t-shirts, navy
- 2 cotton tank tops
- long-sleeve t-shirt, navy and white stripes
- light cotton 3/4-sleeve cobalt sweater (goes with both skirts and jeans)
- Swimsuit (I really should try to make time to buy a new one before we leave, but that may not happen!)
- an extra bra, 5 pairs of undies, 3 pairs of socks, leggings (yes, I will be using the hotel room sink to refresh these!)
- Crushable sunhat
- gold sneakers
- silver Birks
- black ballet-type Nike sneakers
- new Cydwoq bronze croc-print sandals (2.5 - 3 inch heel but quite comfy)
still debating adding a scarf or two, but think I'd rather leave room for bringing home another
- Portugal/Lisbon guidebooks, Paris arrondissement guide,
- 2 paperbacks (Paul's bringing 2 in his bag as well and we'll swap): Given that we may be spending some days relaxing poolside in Portugal, reading material is important, and although we can buy English books in Europe, they're really expensive! We will buy one or two romans policiers in Paris (I hope Fred Vargas has another one out!), but some days, I know we'll just want to escape into a well-written mystery in a language we can understand easily after struggling in another. I also choose mysteries, though, because I know I won't mind abandoning the books once we've read them. I have several books I'm eager to read this summer but won't take along because I know I'd never be willing to leave them behind if my case is too full.

I'm planning to wear my new wide-leg ankle-length Gap jeans on the plane, with the new gold Cydwoq shoes that are meant to cover the most kilometres in Paris. And there will be layers: t-shirt under a black, silk-cotton fine-knit hip-length cardigan, all under a navy heavy cotton swing-coat (hits somewhere between hips and mid-thigh), which will in turn be covered by a very lightweight black rain slicker (can fold up to tuck into my purse). And a scarf. Of course! I think I'll wear the red cotton batik one I bought in Paris two years ago -- it's probably my very favourite AND it matches the red suitcase.

As for my purse, as Patricia guessed in an earlier post, it's quite capacious, and will carry all the usual sundries along with passport and tickets and my flight reading material. I may also tuck my cashmere pullover in here rather than in my suitcase, so that I can use it rolled up as a pillow for back or neck support. Then there's my knitting (still debating what to bring -- that's another post), and possibly some cosmetics. As for cosmetics, I'm quite confident I can fit what I need into the appropriate-size zip-loc see-through bag allowed, and I'll happily buy shampoo, conditioner, and other such sundries in Paris (Paul will be picking up shaving cream as well).

In case you're doubting whether the case will actually close with all these items inside, I'll try to show you a photo of the 'After' when I'm done. Meanwhile, if you notice any glaring omissions, let me know what I'm forgetting.


  1. I find this so interesting! I can't believe you're really going to get all that in there :) But I know you will!

  2. How well though out about the reading materials! Very good idea.

  3. To the previous post: I've been thinking about this a lot too, as I plan to move away with Charlie sometime in the next few years. I want to do it, but then the people, the places...and when I start to think about it, I wonder if I am really as tired of Vancouver as I think I am.

    This post: the case always closes. I don't know how - a glitch in physics - but it does.

    Small request - if you happen to come across a men's fashion magazine in Paris that you think I would like, would you pick it up for me? Rewards both monetary and otherwise shall flow.

  4. Well, what can I say? I am truly impressed! And you'll be away for how long? 2 or 3 weeks? What make is your carry-on? This has given me a lot of inspiration for our trip to Greece in June, although I fear I am unable to leave the proverbial kitchen sink behind - but I will try! Patricia

  5. Jillian: I'm still skeptical myself -- as Thomas says, there's some law of physics that makes this happen -- or is that the metaphysics of wishful thinking?
    Gina: Planning the reading is one of the most important aspects of any holiday for me. I simply can't understand those people on planes, trains, ferries, and buses who have no reading or knitting -- and then who expect me to chat with them!
    Patricia: Not sure how well I could have done this during the trips with kids (in those days, I could count on needing the kitchen sink at some point!). A big motivator is knowing just how long our walk from the train station to the hotel is (about a 25-minute walk) and how much more comfortable it is with a lighter bag to roll along.
    Thomas: It's a dilemma alright -- to go, to stay, loved ones, new adventures. Most of the exploring I did in earlier years was of a kind that didn't involve travel, altho' we did move a significant plane ride and a whole new set of friends and activities once or twice. The costs and benefits of moving/traveling require many posts and perhaps we'll write those one day. . .
    And absolutely, if I see a men's fashion mag that I think might please your discerning eye, I'll see if we can stretch the laws of physics for it. Does language matter?

  6. very impressive, but where do you plan to pack your purchases for the return trip???I got the "Tumi - just in case" bag which folds up to the size of a small envelope and is made of durable material. Hilary and I packed one each in our carry-on when we went to Boston and then checked them full of our purchases for our return trip. I will be taking this handy travel accessory on any future trip. I also pack with the air tight Samsonite travel bags which #1 reduces the size of the items you bring and #2 allows you to pack clean or dirty items on your return trip. They are extremely handy for packing purposes.

  7. Rachel: That Tumi bag sounds ideal. For this trip, I'm not planning too much shopping and what I'm thinking of, I should be able to get into my case. If not, though, I'm prepared to buy a small foldable bag and do what you suggest -- my worry, though, is that then I'll be checking my new treasures and trusting them to the huge maw that consumes luggage and spits it out . . . somewhere else!
    So before I do that, I'll be using up every cubic inch of my carry-on space -- and Paul's ( a huge resource, his bag, right?)
    The air-tight travel bags sound great -- are those the ones that vaccuum seal?

  8. I find the limitation of a small case quite liberating, my sister always does carry on, as she is always the last to check in.
    I always make my girls wear a bikini and 2 outfits on the plane in case the luggage goes missing, they think I am mad, but I may try your method for our next summer holiday, that should focus their minds.

  9. That looks like some clever packing (did you remember socks?). Anything that you forget can always be purchased in Paree. I suggest you "forget" a buttery soft leather jacket, your Hermes scarf and Chanel dress.

  10. Good work! I'm not sure if you're going to have Pseu's experience in that underpacking = no wrinkles, but who cares on holiday? And also good one on the Gap denim trousers. I'm wearing mine right now, and love them for all that nice stretchy comfy spandex, which will serve you well on the plane! I have two pairs (I'm in the larger size now, dammit), my mom has one, and we love them. Bon voyage!

  11. Such an inspiring post--and comments, too--for so many reasons. The only trip I have planned so far is to Minneapolis for a friend's wedding in July, and I'm not expecting packing issues, but reading this post makes me want to start packing now--despite the fact that I'm not going anywhere!

    Fun, fun post!

  12. Yes you basically seal the bag and then roll them and the air releases from inside the bag. And you're right, you do have to be careful what you pack in your checked baggage.

  13. Alison: Brilliant! The wearing-two-outfits is my possible last resort if I need to bring back more than I took -- I may layer a shirtdress over jeans with a cardie on top under my jacket and my rain slicker! (plus I could probably sneak my swimsuit over the bran and panties, under the dress, no?)
    Cybill: Oooh, you're an enabler, aren't you! The best kind of Internet friend!
    Dana: You're right, there will probably be wrinkles, but I'll count on shower steam (and a willed inability to notice wrinkles OR a declaration that Parisian wrinkles are different, more cosmopolitan). Plus much as I would love to look chic in Paris, I will be, as you say, on holiday, and anonymous there as well!
    Puttermeister: There's an act of imagination involved in packing that does make it interesting (and anxiety-provoking). The possibilities of identity in another place? Glad you're enjoying the conversation (I'm loving this community of bloggers, truly!)
    Rach: Good to know you don't have to lug a vaccuum along to make them work -- the system sounds worth a try.

  14. I have said it before, but you are one amazing packer. I don't know how you got it all in there. I so want to see pictures of the Nike black ballet flats. I would also love to hear which shoes your feet were happiest in during your marathon walks in Paris.

    I think I will take a picture of my suitcase before we leave for France. I am sure it will make you laugh. I am a big time over packer--with a deep desire to be able to pack like you.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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