Thursday, December 10, 2015

Paris! What I'm Doing Differently, This Time...

I'm leaving today! Early this evening, in fact, which is a little bit irritating, because I don't get to Paris until 10 a.m. Sometimes this flight leaves much earlier, getting one to Paris in time for an early breakfast. Some day, I will understand why the airlines change things so often...

But no matter! I'm going, and I'm going to have a wonderful time. If you want to keep up with my running around, please follow me on Instagram. (it's that little camera-ish thingy in the right margin area)  I plan to post something there at least hourly when I'm awake, so everybody will know that I'm okay...

Differently? My primary plan originally was that I was going to be pretty informal - jeans and nice athletic shoes, and rather low-profile. Since I want to be an observer on this trip, I wanted to take the focus off of myself as much as possible, at least in my own mind, by wearing simple basics. That works well with the changed circumstances of the city; I think being conspicuous might be questionably intelligent, and I don't think it's ever in really good taste...

Otherwise, I intend, when I leave the hotel each morning, to be sufficiently self-contained that I could end the day in a different hotel, or a different city, depending on how things work out.

I hadn't wanted to carry a handbag, this trip. I will have a coat on all the time, and I thought that I would just carry my wallet and my phone in my pockets - easy peasy. But I want to be more independent of my hotel, if circumstances require, so my crossbody bag is going along...

Let me explain a little bit. I'm staying near a pretty major Paris monument - the kind of place that could be subject to security alarms. It isn't beyond the realm of possibility that I could turn a corner going back to my hotel to be greeted with the news that the area has been cordoned off for an indefinite period of time. Not likely, but not impossible.

So? I carry my prescriptions with me at all times, rather than leave them in my room. I keep my ID on my person, as well as a reasonable amount of cash, and credit cards. Maybe my toothbrush, too.

And staying in touch with people at home is essential, so in addition to my phone, I'm going to carry an Anker backup battery, and a charger cord with adapter. The Anker will recharge my phone twice, so I should have no issues with a dead phone, leaving people at home wondering about my well-being.

I'm NOT taking a rolling bag - I'm taking my Standard Bag, which converts from suitcase to shoulder bag to backpack. I'm going backpack style, again, in case I have to walk long distances. This could be caused by closed subway stations, bad weather that makes street tough to drive - lots of reasons. I will be prepared!

Specifics?


cardigan - Rika Amsterdam; scarf - street vendor in Washington DC; earrings -
Rika Amsterdam, ring - Alexis Bittar; bracelet - Alexis Bittar; tee shirt - Lands'
End
; pants - Eddie Bauer; coat - J. Crew; boots - Munro; crossbody bag - Tumi;
suitcase - Standard

I'm packing rather more clothing than I strictly need for 4 days, but I'm trying to accommodate the possibility of getting bumped from a flight and staying an extra day, or for varying weather conditions.

v-neck sweaters - Uniqlo; skirted leggings - Eileen Fisher; white shirt - J. Crew;
black tee - Lands' End; striped turtleneck - Lands' End; black shoes - Munro;
athletic shoes - Nike; square scarves - vintage Hermes; infinity scarf - Club Monaco,
star scarf - Becksondergaard; turtleneck - J. Crew; jeans - Eileen Fisher


This is really quite a lot - I could be stuck for a few days and still be in very good shape, clothing-wise...


The scheme for packing was built around the 2 v-neck sweaters (I don't remember why...)

This is the "dressier" of the 2 clusters - if I get to see Tish, from A Femme, I will DEFINITELY be dressing from this side of the bag!


This is the more casual cluster. Of course, the white shirt and black tee shirt from above could wander into this grouping easily!


The black turtleneck is a fall-back garment in case of an extra day, or unexpected cold, or just a desire to change up something for dinner. And the Nikes are for sore feet, or just a change from the black shoes. They are feather-light, and insanely comfortable!

These are a few items that are going to be living in my handbag, and which I consider pretty important for this trip. The Buff gizmo is particularly interesting - it's essentially just a seamless cylinder of knit fabric, which can be worn as a headband, hat, face covering, or who knows what. (don't say tube top). I think between changes in temperature, and the possibility that I will be out longer than expected, this is a smart little thing to tuck into a corner of my bag.

Anker portable battery, Buff headwear, Pill organizer, Bestek adapter

I have an idea for a few posts while I'm away, so definitely look here tomorrow to see if I got sufficiently organized to write something useful for you.

much love,
Janice

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies


38 comments:

  1. Have a nice trip!

    I lived in France, right outside of Paris, for a year, and one thing I learnt was to always have a plan B. And C. And then the improvised plan when everything else fails. This applies all the time, not only in times like these. There's always something to interfere with your plan A; a strike, angry farmers blocking the streets, subway station closed, bus rerouted because of random parade, trains cancelled at last minute, just someone having a bad dat... Annoying when you're in the middle of it, but this is also why I love France.

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  2. Buffs are great, I'm glad you have discovered them. Have a wonderful trip!
    Alice

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  3. Janice,
    When you have time, would you check the link on the pill organizer. Have a wonderful trip.
    Karen

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  4. I think the back pack is a great idea. I have seen many women struggling with rolling bags on cobbled streets when they have had to walk to a hotel. I love your clothing choices, you will have so many options. Have a fabulous trip. Can't wait to see your pictures on Instagram.

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  5. Thanks for walking us through your pack- some really good contingency planning-very insightful- may your visit to Paris go well

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  6. Have a wonderful and safe trip!

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  7. From Margie in Toronto - Love what you are taking - I could live with those clothes for a long time! And your planning ahead is so wise. I tend to carry snacks like granola bars and a bottle of water - you just never know when you are going to get stuck somewhere.
    I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time and I'll be following you on Instagram.

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  8. Hello, I wanted to let you know that I went to Paris the week of Thanksgiving for about 7 days. My trip was wrapping up during the first 2 days of the COP21 conference and as you know, the memory of the attacks was still quite fresh.

    We stayed near Canal St. Martin area and Republique, which is now serving as the main memorial for the attacks, was our primary subway. My packing strategy was near identical to yours - even similar color palette. I packed 4 pairs of pants, around 5 tops and 3 cardigans. Two outfits were dressed up with scarves for nice dinners. I even had an Anker battery. Similarly, the goal was 1 rolling 21" and an expandable carry-on tote serving as personal item.

    The cafe culture with people sitting outside was in full effect, restaurants were full, subway was running fine (and free a couple of days), and I used the trip to see a few amazing temporary museum exhibits and to walk as much as the city as possible. So I only packed two pairs of shoes, a super comfy pair of red Remonte slip ons and a pair of mid heel black Rieker booties - both extremely suited for walking.

    I never doubted cancelling my trip for a minute and I'm glad that I went to support the people of Paris. You will see more police in heavily touristed areas, but not excessively so. The city is demonstrating its resilience.

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  9. I'm impressed with your packing skills yet again. I checked the measurements of your Standard bag (21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5) and I can see how your clothing will fit. Will you also have room for all of those other things - cosmetics, hair styling tools etc. that take up space and add weight? I'm not as disciplined (or as experienced) as you are and I know I couldn't pack as well.

    Mary mcm

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  10. Have a safe and wonderful trip!

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  11. This is how I pack too, but with v versus turtlenecks because I find they look dressier in evening. Also,in Paris, you can easily pick up anything you need. Have a wonderful holiday time there!

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  12. What a delightfully simple and attractive set of clothes. So many options in a little space! Have a wonderful trip -- can't wait for the Instagram pics. : )
    Sue G

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  13. This is brilliant!! I love the idea of carrying everything with you. It's very freeing. Have a wonderful trip!

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  14. As always, super coordinated, striking, versatile AND festive with the choice of red and green in the Hermes scarves! Perfect.

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  15. Have a wonderful holiday and safe travels, Janice! Looking forward to your Instagram posts.

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  16. Janice, have a wonderful trip! Would love to see Paris this time of year.

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  17. Janice,
    I love how you planned the two tops in each cluster, and obviously you could do more clusters with what you're taking -- so versatile ! Have the most wonderful time ! Can't wait to hear all about it when you return ! I have fallen in love with that piece of Standard luggage !

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  18. Have a wonderful trip. You are so well prepared which means you will be able to relax and savour. I expect the visit will feel more intense because of the circumstances. I agree with other that we need to keep doing these things.
    Deb from Vancouver

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  19. Wonderful ideas as usual, Janice. Have a wonderful trip. With all your preparations, I'm sure you will. I'll be following you on Instagram. Safe travels.

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  20. Wonderful ideas as usual, Janice. Have a wonderful trip. With all your preparations, I'm sure you will. I'll be following you on Instagram. Safe travels.

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  21. I'm in Paris now, arrived Dec. 3' leave Dec. 13. Very secure, I would not worry. Weather has been good, not too cold, warmer than Chicago.

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  22. Love your travel wardrobe!! Black & white is so classic. Have a wonderful trip, will look for you on instagram.

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  23. Looks like a great travel wardrobe as usual. Have a wonderful trip. Great idea to carry a few necessities on your person the whole time just in case. I have a Turtle Tube(similar to your Buff) and wore it in all kinds of ways when I was in Iceland for New Years.

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  24. My luggage was lost for a few days last summer and I was so glad I had a change of clothing, a sweater, underwear, toothbrush etc in my handbag. Your even better ideas make me wonder if we should invest in some fanny packs--probably the easiest way to carry things. Is there a fanny pack on the market that doesn't look weird?

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    Replies
    1. The Groom Safran:
      http://www.groomparis.com/detail.php?idp=1338

      I have two of them, Can be worn on waist or carried over shoulder, washable.

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    2. Thanks as always, Duchesse! You know everything!

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  25. Love that! Have a great trip! I am really intrigued by the skirted leggings but wondering if I should just buy some leggings and sew a skirt on to them... I do not have an Eileen Fischer budget. Anyone know of a decent brand you can buy for, say, $24???
    BTW, thanks to this blog I bought an expensive garment today!!! I have bought various used expensive garments for almost nothing, so I am not counting them. I mean I invested in a really nice garment (that I still got at a great price because I am on a very tight budget) with Christmas money I know is coming. It's an Aran sweater from Ireland, made of Merino wool, on sale for $39 at Marshall's. The clerk was actually English and she told me it was a fantastic buy, and that her mother used to knit them! (She said the key is practice, practice, practice, in case anyone wants to know). She also said "happy Christmas," which made me happy indeed because I have only ever read that before. Anyway, I bought this garment because I already have ALL the basics I need and this is something classic I can wear for years. So THANK YOU!

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    1. There are some skirted leggingsin the exercise clothing at Lands End--not as nice fabric, of course. Have not seen them in person.

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    2. I like the idea but found the skirt too short for me (18.5"). Even with the leggings I felt exposed. My alternative was to pair some leggings with a 22" black knit skirt that I got on sale from JJill years ago. Not only do I get the look I want, I can also wear the pieces separately if I choose. NO - not leggings as pants! I wear them under a dress or a long tunic for lounging around in my room.

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    3. I found some skirted leggings at QVC and they hit me right above the knee. I like them a lot and have them in a couple of colors. They are by Legacy. Hope this helps.

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  26. Great travel wardrobe Janice!! Enjoy your time in Paris!

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  27. I love all these possibilities. Have a great trip.

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  28. Great packing ideas, as always, Janice. I now aim to go hand luggage only when flying, though we also travel to France by train, so I take a slightly larger case (which also means I can buy things in France!) just because I can! Hope that you have a wonderful trip. The comment above by Anonymous sounds reassuring. We also have friends who have just returned from Paris who said similar things. Bon voyage!

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  29. Love this post; love the entire concept for traveling - have a fabulous time! xoxox

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  30. Excellent and inspiring as always. I have given up on my super attractive (but large) pill container thing and bought some ziplock pill bags - tiny, waterproof and useful for so many tiny things. Drugstores have them near the prescription area. Use them for earrings, travel teabag stash, everything. Saves tons of room. Hope you are staying in my favorite hotel by the Pantheon

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