Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Packed for Amsterdam, Bordeaux, Paris . . .

OMG, she's still here, and still showing us pictures of her garden!! I know that's what some of you will say as you open this post. We're actually heading out to the airport this afternoon, havnig crossed three all-important final items off my list: get massage, get facial (including clean-up of brows and upper lip), and get pedicure. I know, tough, eh?

But I couldn't resist leaving you with a last few photos of the shady part of my garden, especially because the dainty epimedium flowers were in bloom. As the top and bottom photos show, you have to look twice to notice these, but they're worth bunching yourself down for a closer admiration. Such an intricate little flower, and I love the soft yellows of this one.

I can't believe it!! Previewing this, I see that Blogger has let me somehow delete the very photo i really built this post around -- and I don't have a back-up copy on this computer. You'll have to imagine a very danity, intricate pale two-tone yellow flower, and if I remember, I'll fix this up when I get back. . . . Dommage!

And while I'm lingering, I will apologise for spending my camera time wandering the garden rather than doing a Polyvore-on-the-Floor of my packing. I've managed to do those posts for other Paris trips to show you how I manage 3 or 4 weeks (last year 6!!) from one carry-on case. This year, I want to say I was too busy to do that (you know, the facials, the pedicures, the massages. . . ), but the truth is more about how much dithering I did around what to take, the packing and re-packing. And now that it's all in there, I daren't risk taking it out to photograph for fear of the second-guessing that might begin.

So I'll just tell you, quickly, and then we can play a game wherein you spot the items in photos over the next few weeks, assembling a Polyvore-in-our-collective-minds. (No, that phrase is NOT catchy!)

What I've packed:
Skinny Jeans
Dark Denim Pencil Skirt
Grey-Green Linen Midi Skirt, Artsy-Style If you know what I mean . . .
Long knit tank dress, Gap, navy-white skinny stripes
Knee-length knit long-sleeved v-neck dress, grey-navy-black stripes
Light blue cashmere cardigan, un peu grandpa-style
Rust-coloured lightweight Eileen fisher pullover
Several scarves
3 white short-sleeved Gap t-shirts
black 3/4 sleeve t-shirt
navy-white v-neck t-shirt
brown linen-knit v-neck T
Birkenstocks (I've ended up buying a pair on Two separate trips because weather heated up - the Gizeh style is seen often on Paris streets, don't worry!)
Running shoes (& running gear) -- these are a pair ready to discard after the 50 or 60 miles, tops, we'd put in, so they will release some space for what I might buy there.
Bronze ballet flats
My recently-purchased but decently broken in Fluevog brogues, lightweight enough and made of perforated suede so they'll be comfortable even on warmer days, I hope.
On the plane I'll wear my:
Black low-heeled granny-ish booties, bought in Paris last year and turned out to be stellar for walking the city.
A black cotton-hemp (so looks/feels like linen) shirt-dress, black tights, a teal handknit  silk scarf for colour. I'm going to tie my Hermes scarf to my black M0851 knot bag so that it's not so sombre and I've tucked a very fine zebra-print cashmere scarf in the pocket of my raincoat just for extra choice . . . and, okay, because I couldn't quite decide and it took almost no room . . . Over the shirtdress, I'm wearing a very light black leather jacket and then a simple black wet-look raincoat over that (by Linda Lundstrom, super-easy to pack and to wear -- takes very little space, looks smart, is roomy enough to fit a layer of warmth under if necessary. As well as my big knot bag, I'll wear a blue Roots cross-body that keeps my passport safe but ready for easy access. (and in my suitcase, I've tucked a midnight-blue M0851 clutch that will be good to have to give my neck and shoulders a break on shorter outings, restaurant evenings, concerts, etc.

I've loaded up my Kobo Touch, but I don't trust it completely, so I've also grabbed a few paperbacks I don't mind leaving behind. Right now, I'm reading a fun French novel (Francine Ruel's Maudit que le bonheur coĆ»te cher) about a woman's mid-life adventures in Quebec, so that I can get my brain thinking in French by the time we arrive in Bordeaux. Of course, that will mean my brain will be quite confused while we're in Amsterdam. . . .

Paul's in charge of the Netbook which will keep us connected while we're away. We've also both brought some simple sketching supplies and hope to begin our illustrated journals. And, of course, I've borrowed space in his plastic 1L bag for some of my cosmetics. For now, it all seems to work, and whatever we're missing can certainly be supplied in Amsterdam.

And I think it's time to start heading there soon. I'll leave you with these West Coast garden photos, but I hope to be back within a few days to share a completely different visual feast. Perhaps in the meantime, someone can help me remember the name of this woodland plant -- I bought it for the way its leaves marvellously un-pleat themselves, each spring, into this lushness. Somewhere, in some drawer, the label is tucked away with a Latin name neatly printed in indelible ink -- I hope I recognize it when I find it . . .

Au revoir for now . . .


  1. Your carry on sounds like it is very well stocked not surprising considering that you are a savvy traveller
    Bon voyage!

  2. Beautiful photos and I'm beyond excited for you (and also beyond envious - but that's not a very attractive quality). I hope you have the most wonderful time in NL - well, everywhere but esp. NL as it's the new part of the trip for you.

  3. I am most impressed with your packing. I have pretty much cracked travelling light but I am not sure I have also cracked travelling stylishly - sounds as if you have! Have a fabulous trip. Don't suppose you are coming to the UK, or, even less likely, Wales?

  4. Looking forward to your Amsterdam photos. It's been 5 years since we were there, and just loved it! If you need a shopping fix while there my friend introduced me to Purdey, a stylish and affordable clothing store. I still have a white wrap blouse from there that I wear often. Safe travels!

  5. Have a wonderful trip. Bordeaux is beautiful - will you have time to visit St Emilion?

  6. Wheeee! Tell all- but only when you wish to take time. Your travel posts are always so inspiring!

  7. Methinks on your next travel that you should set up a live cam of your garden and we can all keep an eye on it while you're gone. Would love to leave my atrocious trainers somewhere in Paris!

  8. See you on the other side!

  9. So you will get to Amsterdam a month before we do! So I shall enjoy seeing it through your eyes first. Yes, it is a real shame we will not hook up, unless you are in Berlin in June too! Time flies though so here is hoping for next year, with more organisation I could even meet you in Paris! Happy sketching, you'll love it.

  10. I learned a new word -- Dommage! Sorry about the computer glitch.

    The garden photos are always lovely and welcome and by now you must be on your trip :).


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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