Saturday, October 03, 2015

Vacation: TODAY!!!

To say that we're excited would be a bit of an understatement! Two weeks (which is SO un-American, the country that has NO law requiring any vacation, at all, for any person, ever) in Wales and England, including attending a Rugby World Cup match! And dinner reservations at some amazing places, and a few days in London, and a visit to my English relatives, AND a bunch of driving around amazing places etc. etc.

This is gonna be good...

If you don't follow me on Instagram, you might want to start. You'll be able to see what I wear every morning (I lay out my outfits and photograph them), and we'll take some pictures of beautiful or amazing places. I'm not one of those people that buries you in photographs, but I'll make sure that I share the really great things with everyone. 

To follow me on Instagram, click on the teeny tiny little camera image over to the right, next to the Twitter birdie. Above the blank space to put in your address. I'm not sure what happens when you click it... I can't follow myself! But it would be great fun to see you all on Instagram while I'm so far away.

Now, to one of my very favorite activities - PACKING!

Travel outfit - pretty expected. No scarf, because I'm wearing a brooch (note the Irish shamrock, married to pearls = quintessentially me!). I'm afraid I'd have snagging issues...

(please note that I'm only putting links up for things that are of a remembered brand, and are still available...)

cardigan - Lands' End, earrings - Majorica;
pants - Eddie Bauer, bag - Standard Luggage, boiled wool jacket - L.L.Bean

I debated between a cashmere v-neck sweater and this cotton cardigan, but chose the cardigan because the cotton is less bulky and less likely to shed all over my boiled wool jacket. Plus my body temperature has been swinging wildly between super-hot and super-cold; super-hot and cashmere are a terrible combination, especially on a long flight! I'd rather shiver than pour sweat...

And I'm pretty excited about my carry-on bag; it was a gift from Standard Luggage, and you know how seldom I receive swag to review here on the blog! And I'm sort of a suitcase fanatic, bordering on fetishist...

So the bag hasn't been out of the bedroom yet, but I'm already pretty impressed. When I opened the box, my bag had orange leather trim on the black, and I was (I'll admit) a bit crestfallen - I had been hoping for turquoise trim. 

When I opened the bag, in addition to the shoulder strap, and the rain cover (yes, the bag has a wee raincoat of its own!), there was a bag of leather goodies IN TURQUOISE, which could be swapped out for the orange! Including a velcro-attached logo patch for the front of the bag. So I did indeed get the bag that I wanted...

The bag that I'm checking is a beaten but undaunted Tumi hard-side bag. This is truly a case of "the quality is remembered, long after the price is forgotten." I remember thinking that I had lost my mind when I bought this bag, but it's been paid for long since, and it shows no signs of wearing out. And it's acquiring that patina of travel abuse that I love.

Black and turquoise bag - Standard Luggage, black hard-sided bag - Tumi

In addition to the few necessities for the flight (tickets, ID, phone, empty water bottle), I'm going to pack all of my running gear in the Standard bag. So far, I've got so much space that I'm really tempted to take 2 pair of running shoes...

This trip is going to be a head-to-head comparison of two wool tops - one from L.L.Bean (I believe made by Smartwool) and one from Icebreaker. Wool athletic tops are expensive, and I want to know which ones perform best! 

And yes, I love my running skirts. They're great when you want something fairly tight (they have lycra shorts underneath), but you want some... modesty... around your anatomy. Plus the swishy of the fabric makes me feel faster, which I desperately need...

grey tee - Under Armour; black wool top - Icebreaker; fleece - L.L.Bean;
gloves - Nike; skirt - Nike; shorts - Nike; socks - Swiftwick; shoes - Nike;
tights - Nike; gaiter - Buff

I know for some of you that's WAY too much athletic information...

This is what will be packed in the hard-sided bag, and checked, to be left to the fates of the airline staff:

black cotton turtleneck - Lands' End, white shirt - Lands' End; pearl necklace - Majorica;
bag - J. Crew; white tee shirt - Lands' End; floral scarf - Ted Baker; athletic-ish shoes - Munro;
skirt - Eileen Fisher; black & white scarf - Julie Egli; ballet flats - Thierry Rabotin

My logic in choosing to check THESE clothes rather than my running gear was that it would be really hard to replace running shoes at the last minute, while jeans and more "normal" clothing might be easier to find. I hope this theory is NOT put to the test!

 We're gone for 2 weeks, so laundry is definitely in our plans - I know that most of the places that we'll be have same-day laundry services in town... it's always interesting to see what happens with your clothes!

This is a visualization of how I might dress. I'm sure it won't actually pan out quite the way I'm picturing it, but doing this at least reassures me that I have tons of choices and options!

Yes, this is all sort of "long" on Irish imagery, but in the future, when I see these images out of context, I will be able to remember which trip and which blog post this was!

I hope you all keep well and safe until we're in contact again. I won't be able to answer emails for the next 2 weeks, nor respond to comments. But DO try to follow me on Instagram - I would love to be able to be in touch at least a little bit...

For the next 2 weeks, there will be posts here on The Vivienne Files 6 days a week - I went through all of my old posts, and chose 12 groups of posts, with 12 themes, that are among my favorites. While it's not a full-blown "new" piece of work, it might lead you to posts you've overlooked, or remind you of an old favorite. I hope these are okay with everyone...

much much much love,
and big hugs,

NORDSTROM - Shop New & Iconic Eileen Fisher 


  1. It's easy to see which team you will be cheering for!! Look out for the All Blacks too!!! I'm away too for a shorter time and had pack my black jeans, black linen pants and black sweat pants- a bit of an all black experience down under but it certainly does make it easier to have a variety of coloured tops. Enjoy your holiday- we will enjoy looking back at some of your old posts in the meantime- always good to dig into your treasure trove of past posts.

  2. How wonderful! Have a glorious time!

  3. I will try the Instagram to follow along. Have a wonderful time. And yes, I would rather take my chance on a pair of running shoes than those gorgeous scarves in my checked luggage.

  4. Have a wonderful time!!

    (I will be there for 12 days in the spring... Very much looking forward to your photos, comments and experiences!!)

  5. Will definitely follow you on Instagram. Have a wonderful trip!

  6. Please put a copy of your itinerary & contact info into a ziplock & inside the checked bag. Put it in the top front pocket of the carry on bag as well. These are the first two places the baggage service office checks when the conveyor belts eat what ever is hanging off the bag. Also take a picture of the bags, inside & out. Take a picture of the barcode (it's how the bag is routed & tracked). Remove any barcodes from previous trips or the bag could have an adventure. Don't ever ever ever pack your medicine or car keys or wallet.

  7. From Margie in Toronto - have a wonderful time - I am very envious! :-) I will make my first attempt at following someone on Instagram - keeping my fingers crossed.

  8. Have a lovely trip and.. if you are in Cardiff, go for a coffee at the Music school in Bute park (email me first!)

  9. I love that the travel outfit includes red socks

  10. Janice,
    Have a marvelous, well deserved trip and ------take a rain jacket !

  11. Hey girl, don't apologize for chatting about your running gear. It shows you really enjoy the activity, which is absolutely true. I would have never thought of coordinating the running gear, but then you know I am wardrobe challenged Looking forward to both yours and your beloved 's Instagram posts. Photographer friend.

  12. Have a wonderful time. I am not on instagram but will do my best to follow you.

    Deb from Vancouver

  13. Hi Janice What dates will you be in London? I'm going to be there from 14 - 20 October (I suspect that we will miss each other from what you've said about your plans) - if I'm landing while you're taking off, I'll give you a wave! Hope you have a wonderful time! Hugs. Sue

  14. Have a wonderful time on your trip. I don't use Instagram now, but I will so I can follow you. I don't mind 'reruns' of your posts at all. I often go looking in the archives for a specific topic in your massive body of work. Thanks for your hard work and the inspiration you provide. Enjoy your well-earned vacation!

  15. Bon Voyage!

    It's always fun and inspiring to see your choices and how they work together. I especially love that grey small print dress. The best piece, though, has to be the superman tee shirt.

    I hope your trip makes tons of beautiful memories for you.

  16. Bon voyage - travel well! Thanks for the travel wardrobe - great!

  17. Have a most wonderful trip!

  18. After talking about your trip last week, it's nice to see what you decided to pack. Have a wonderful time and enjoy your time away from the blog. Everyone needs a break, even from things they love.

  19. Safe travels!

  20. I may just learn how to dress, with your help! Do you wear panty hose or tights with the dresses, etc?

  21. I am saddened that the US has no law to cover a minimal vacation requirement. That is so not cool. Enjoy yourselves and come home to make this change!

  22. Since I take a lot less for trips twice as long, and do carry-on only, this seems like a lot of stuff to me. I hope the luggage for both of you fits into whatever car you rent. The clothes do look great together, as always. The Tumi spinner bag is lovely, but much heavier than my Lipault spinner of a similar size. I do like the one you are going to carry-on. If only my back would still handle a backpack! Light packing rule of thumb: if you won't wear it at least 3 times, don't pack it. Unless you are staying places with gyms, or wear them over the tights, I can't imagine where you will wear those running shorts. An avid cyclist friend of mine took 2 pairs of cycling shorts and one of long cycling pants on a trip to Ireland in July a few years ago. He never wore the cycling shorts because it was too cold and rainy! Please report back to us on what you wish you'd taken, on what you didn't need or wear and on what turned out to be inappropriate for the trip and the weather conditions. Like someone else said, I see no real rain or wind gear here, so I hope you added that at the last minute or can find something perfect over there.

  23. Hard to believe you need two suitcases for two weeks, not like your usual minimalist packing posts at all. Perhaps you won't be able to do laundry. But based on my frequent trips to England, what is missing is the waterproof coat to wear over your boiled wool jacket. Bon Voyage!

  24. Have a glorious time!! I will be checking Instagram!!

  25. If you see this before you return to the US, please please go to the Cafe Crypt in St Martins in the Field in central London. Go for lunch, or a simple tea, or to look at the beauty in the basement. You won't regret it.

  26. I, for one, would love to hear more about balancing the workout clothes and the regular clothes on a long, or even short, trip. I am a walker and often take workout clothes with me. This does take up space. It was fascinating to see a bag dedicated to workout clothes, but I understand given your race and need to keep training.

  27. I will be really intereseted to read a comparison between the smartwool and icebreaker tops. I am planning on purchasing similar items soon, and have been vacilating between these and sewing my own with wool jersey.