Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Vacation Report, and a Few Extra Thoughts and Goodies

I'm back! Both back from my vacation, and back from Florida... both were quite lovely. I must admit that I missed blogging A LOT, which didn't surprise me; this is one of the great jobs of all time...

Just as a reminder, this is what I packed for my 8 days in Central Florida. At the last minute, my black shirtdress was supplanted by a red linen dress. For the 4th of July weekend, a red dress is never a bad idea!


gingham shirt - Lands' End; red dress - Eileen Fisher (similar here); ballet flats -
Thierry Rabotin; star tee - Agnes B.; black dress - Eileen Fisher (similar here);
cardigan - Eileen Fisher; grey dress - Eileen Fisher (similar here); strapped
flats - Thierry Rabotin; black shell - L.L.Bean; black tee - L.L.Bean;
jeans - L.L.Bean; dotted shirt -
Lands' End; shorts - Equipment;
sandals - Thierry Rabotin; white shirt - Lands' End; pants - L.L.Bean

I was very happy with what I packed. Unlike what you might see in more "beachy" locations, central Florida is a place where you'll see quite a few people wearing black - head to toe, even! So I didn't stick out too much like a sore thumb.... And my silk shorts are perfect - absolutely perfect. They were quite the splurge, but I can hand-wash them and wear them the next day without ironing, and that's big plus in my world! They were the true work-horse garment of the trip...

There were a few other things that I had with my that I think worthy of mention. If you're easily embarrassed, or of delicate sensibilities, you might want to proceed with caution!


Modesty shields - Dimrs, Organizer - Grid-It;
wallet - Standard Luggage, earrings backs - Beadaholic

I've always been REALLY self-conscious about that... ahem... natural physiological response that happens when I walk into an air-conditioned building. I'm somewhat generously endowed, and sometimes I feel HIDEOUSLY conspicuous, if you know what I mean. These silicon "modesty shields" are wonderful. Seriously. You forget you're wearing them (and then sometime late in the evening one of them falls onto the kitchen floor, but that's a story for me to share when you're in Chicago and we've on our 2nd bottle of bubbly....) Just trust me on this one; if you share my modesty and embarrassment, you'll be SO happy to have these...

The weird looking red thing is for organizing electronic gizmoids. I have to charge my phone, my tablet (usually the same cord) AND my Fitbit Surge, and I carry extra headphones with me, too. All of this cordage was getting to be a spaghetti-ed mess in my bag, until I discovered this thing. It's rigid, it has a handy pocket on the back (which zips!), and mine (which is 7.2 by 9.2 inches) will hold my back-up Anker charger as well as all of my charging cords. These organizers would be useful for things other than electronics, if I gave it any thought at all...

My new wallet was a gift from the guys at Standard Luggage. I've struggled with wallets forever - I have big ones and small ones and pretty ones and utilitarian ones etc. etc. The ones that I had that were big enough to hold my passport would never fit in my cross-body bag, and the small ones obvious didn't hold my wallet. And NONE of them were RFID-proof, whatever that means. (yes, it means people can't scan your contents; I'd love to see how that's done...)

This one has been a winner so far; it holds my passport, but doesn't reveal it, because it's ALSO got a nifty little notepad and a wee pen - so handy, and it's been used about a dozen times already. There's also a couple of slots for a SIM card and an SD card, just in case I ever happen to carry those things with me. But I've got to give this a total thumbs-up, and it's not even BLACK. You know it's got to be working well...

Finally, I have a bad habit of losing earring backs - not when I'm wearing earrings, but when they're fastened to my postcard/earring holder. So I finally broke down and bought a MOUNTAIN of backs, and tossed them into my jewelry bag. They weigh nothing, take up the smallest imaginable space, and grip earrings in a vise-like security that's a true gift to those of us who lose things... And they're dirt cheap; why I didn't do this years ago is a mystery.

I should be back to a regular posting schedule within the next few days - it's taking a bit of time getting things sorted out chez nous; and I've got about 2 billion emails to answer...

love,
Janice


NOVICA

29 comments:

  1. Welcome back! It sounds like I need to come visit again for a couple of bottles of bubbly. Apparently there are stories to be told.

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  2. So glad you are back! My mornings has just not been the same without being excited to get up so I can see what you have invented/created/put together for the day.

    I like the electronics manager. My son in law gave me this tip and I have found it so very helpful: I use the smallest size packing cube, but a ziplock back could work for everything that goes on the bedside table...

    that would include my charging cables, "plug adapter" for Europe, a fan (small, accordion type) for after the shower or sightseeing cool down, my kindle or book, some pills, a small scented lotion, chap stick, "Midnight" (non-habit forming sleep aid that is handy when in a new bed and strange country), a few cough drops, and a folded scarf/shawl for over my shoulders. (my husband likes the air conditioning cold).

    I am carrying a clothes pin this year, as we travel to the "land of the midnight sun" where it is light most of the night, and it helps to pin the drapes closed so that crack of light doesn't fall across your pillow!(this would fall under "learned from experience" besides it is so small.

    I add a water bottle and the pen and notepad provided by the hotel. I write the room numbers/phone for all family members traveling with me so I can call and wake them up and be sure they are getting ready. So nice just to take this bag out of the suitcase and put it on the bed side table.

    Another good tip: I keep my journal on my phone, in Simple Note, which transfers to the computer when I get in range of of the home computer (as in, "return home"). I write it on my phone using a soft end tool which is much faster and more accurate for me than fingers. I can take notes on tour, catch it up on the bus or as it is charging while I am in bed before I go to sleep. I also edit my photos on my phone, for the day, deleting all but the best. I can text a couple to family at home so they know I am safe and well. This also allows you to read your Kindle while it charges, if you normally keep it in your purse for use while waiting at the luggage carousel etc.

    I learned audio files take up very little space on your phone, whereas video takes a lot of space. If you attend a class, meeting or concert you could record it for someone who isn't there, or to save taking tedious notes.

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  3. Welcome back!! I'm glad you had a good time!

    That wallet looks great, especially for traveling. I've been using the same Mighty Wallet for years now, although it's too small for a passport... Fortunately, my mother passed her cross-body travel bag to me. It's small with a ton of pockets and fits a passport inside perfectly!

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  4. I like the wardrobe, the red dress, the organizer.....
    On the wallet, you don't carry your passport on you outside the airport, right? If somebody were to pick your bag, it would be bad enough to deal with credit card and loss of cash, but passport? That's another level of headache. In much of Europe, you're supposed to have an ID on you at all times (which in 20 years I assure you I most regularly go without). But I'd rather have it be my driver's license than my passport. I keep my passport under lock and key.

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    1. I am that most reckless of persons who uses their passport for ID 100% of the time; I refuse to give the State of Illinois 1 penny that I don't have to! Yes, I'm skating on pretty thin ice.... sigh... I must behave better!
      hugs,
      Janice

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  5. Your holiday wardrobe looks fabulous...hope you had a great time.
    Those silicone gizmo's are worth looking into...oops a daisy...I bet you scooped it up off the floor pretty fast!
    I keep my passport securely locked up when not travelling...I use my drivers license as photo id as it is much easier and cheaper to replace if lost or stolen.

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    1. I don't have a driver's license! For what it's worth, I have NEVER had one... I'm a freak, I know it!
      hugs,
      Janice

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  6. Those silicon gizmos are genius!
    I really struggle with the wallet thing. And the one mentioned looks promising except there's no place to put coins. How do you deal with that? Dumping change in the bottom of my bag drives me nuts and often, I don't have pockets in my clothing (maddening in itself!).

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    1. I either dump coins in the bottom of my bag, pitch them into a tip jar somewhere, or make Belovedest take them...
      hugs,
      Janice

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  7. Welcome back! So glad you enjoyed your vacation and your travel wardrobe! Can't wait to hear more about your trip! I struggle with wallets too. Why is it so hard? I currently use a bag for all my cords, earbuds, etc but that gizmo thingy looks pretty interesting!

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  8. Oh no! When i started reading this post i thought the earring backs were the nipple protectors! Confusion now cleared. :-)

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    1. I am SO glad you shared your confusion with us - that was laugh out loud worthy....
      hugs,
      Janice

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  9. Janice,
    Welcome home ! Your candidacy is so funny ! Thanks for being so " real " ! Do you use a packing envelope when packing your clothes ? I keep going back and forth between which I will use the most -- the cubes or folders, or perhaps some of each ?

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    1. I use a sleeve for "foldy" stuff - few things are more gratifying than a perfectly-folded pile of clothing - and a cube for squishy things - undergarments, swimsuit, swimshirt, etc. I'm gradually whittling down my fairly huge collection of these things to just two folders and 1 cube, which is more than enough for any trip I will ever take!
      hugs,
      Janice

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  10. Just a thought re your banner - unless you dearly LOVE your toes, do you know you can use "Paint" to replace these with the cobbled background, thus giving you the choice of with or without toes!

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    1. I find Janice's toes cute as they personalise the banner... Carol S

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    2. I'm hoping to find someone to do a sketch and/or watercolor of the banner, complete with toes, in a reduced size that I can use on business cards. The more I think about it, the more I realize that a little bit of whimsy/personal oddity is a big part of what I do - too much of a generic logo wouldn't be appropriate.
      hugs all around,
      Janice

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  11. Could you ask the guys at Standard Luggage if that wallet will be coming in other colors soon? It looks wildly useful, but mustard is not in my palate.

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    1. Their answer was probably, but not soon. I think they're a pretty small operation, and that they're expanding very cautiously. I've found that I don't mind the mustard color at all - it's easy to spot, and since it lives in my handbag 99% of the time, it's not like it clashes with my ensemble!
      hugs,
      Janice

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  12. Love the red dress, and the whole wardrobe. I have a kind of Project 333 thing going at the moment -- 33+ work garments and 33 + non-work garments for the season, and I find that I don't need that many. I gravitate toward the black, white, and gray. It is so great to just pull out ANYTHING and have it match! The colored garments are much more versatile if they match, but it doesn't matter much if I'm mostly wearing black, white and gray with maybe one color or pattern. I didn't think that would be my preference, but it is! Just as I tend to like tailored and classic much more than I thought I did. I love other clothes, but I don't wear them!

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  13. Welcome home, that is a gift for all of your fans. I really like your new photo, you are smiling!! and wearing a scarf.
    Deb from Vancouver

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    1. Isn't it lovely? I don't feel like I EVER look that nice... Photoshop and a good photographer can work miracles.
      hugs,
      Janice

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  14. Well, $20 seems cheap compared to losing a passport. That's what Illinois charges for a non-driver I D card. When you reach 65, it's free!

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    1. You're entirely right, of course. I just have such an acrimonious relationship with the State of Illinois (you can't imagine what they do with self-employed people, for taxes...) that I just begrudge the money. And the photograph... sigh... Maybe they'd let me bring my own photo to use?

      But you're very sane, and I am going to heed everyone's advice. Thanks for keeping me honest, and sensible!
      hugs,
      Janice

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  16. I have a yellow wallet from Liberty, bought on my last trip to London (back in 2010, sob), that I love for at home use. For travel, I zip my passport in its own pocket in my small cross-body bag (yes, I carry my passport on my person rather than leaving it in the hotel/safe) and carry a very small billfold contraption for the few cards I take, as well as paper currency, metro ticket, and the hotel room key. Coins have their own zippered pocket in the cross-body. Also in that bag: small notebook + pen, sunglasses/glasses, phone, and sometimes a small point-and-shoot. In addition to the cross-body bag (currently a Baggalini), which is small and which I sometimes wear under my jacket (since it has the valuables), I carry a Chapelier nylon tote for map/guidebook, sweater/jacket, water bottle and any purchases. This 2 bag system has worked well for me for foreign travel for many years. - nancyo

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    1. OK, so I remembered that the kind of travel wallet I carry is called a "magic wallet" - I found mine at a J Crew outlet, but I have also bought one in a souvenir shop in Rio. - nancyo

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  17. Oh Janice, I have that issue too and that reminds me of my incident about 20 years ago. I was dancing at a party when a friend next to me said "Is this your fish?" (for that was its shape). I thanked him quickly not to bring attention to myself and slipped it in my bag. Well I wasn't going to slip it back in my bra, I'd managed to brush the whole incident off lightly so why blow it!
    He knew my son fished so maybe he thought it perfectly normal for a mother to have a padded fish with her at a party?!!

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    1. These will go NOWHERE, so long as you're still wearing a bra. But they're so comfortable that I often forget to remove them when I'm changing into my pajamas, and so later in the evening....

      Happily, nobody lives here by Belovedest and me, so we just make silly jokes about it. In a more diverse household, one might wish to be more scrupulous about remembering!

      hugs,
      Janice

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