At the beginning of the summer I traveled to the French Riviera to attend the Cannes Film Festival with one of my best friends, Rachael, like you do. Like one does, one who isn’t me. Anyway no surprise: I loved it, every minute of it, especially the naked massage on the beach. I might just up and fly to France one of these days just to experience that again. The grocery shopping and resulting food purchases were ridiculous (insanely delicious.) France is awesome, and the Cannes Film Festival, the reason Rachael and I headed to the South of France in the first place, was otherworldly.
I didn’t know this prior to heading into the festival, but one cannot purchase a ticket to the Cannes Film Festival. Period. You either are “someone” or you know “someone”. I obviously belong in the latter category, which is awesome. I was given a ticket to not only the film festival but all sorts of behind-the-scenes shenanigans as well, for which I’m super grateful. I only had about 48 hours notice to get a red carpet dress, which proved trickier than you might imagine. I would’ve been in a huge pickle had I … >> find out more…
France. It’s okay I guess. If you happen to like gorgeous countryside, cold sparkling water, French men (that’s a whole post in and of itself, short story: they’re hot), cheese, delicious bread and shopping of any variety. Oh, and the south of France is the WORST. So boring and perfectly sunny with warm wave-less ocean and blue skies forever.
Basically France and Spain were a wonderland. Plural. It’s a thing.
A few months ago I went on a whirlwind 2 week trip to France and Spain with one of my very best friends, (BEST IDEA EVER) and when I came back I was so exhausted from the amazing happiness of it all, I basically took the entire summer off to dream about it by the pool.
I did manage to post about what to do on the French Riviera should you ever find yourself in Antibes, Cannes or Nice and are out of ideas (you shouldn’t be).
The short version is that France and Spain are beautiful and fun and lovely in every possible way. The long version will be laid out in a whole bunch of future posts, starting with this one. So let’s get … >> find out more…
Having to pack before a trip, any trip regardless of how awesome, is the lamest. I hate packing. I loathe it, detest it, want to scream every time I do it, procrastinate until the very last minute, and in the end stay up until the wee hours of the morning of travel jamming stuff into every available corner of my suitcase.
But now, after traveling extensively over the past several years, I’m here to tell you I am now a packing ninja. Let me repeat that, for those of you who know me and have traveled with me in the past:
I am (now) a NINJA, of the packing variety.
(You see these ancient, winding stairs, 4 flights up in our apartment in Barcelona? Yep. They were a breeze for my carry-on. Not so much for my traveling bestie Rachael and her ugly American suitcase.)
Learning how to pack properly took me years to figure out, YEARS of trial and mostly error. Since I’m OCD, the thought of coming home from a trip and tagging everything I didn’t use in my suitcase with a post-it note, writing down what I used, keeping a master pack list of useful stuff, then … >> find out more…
What to do, what to do.
Let’s say your friend calls you randomly one nasty freezing grey day in the Spring and says casually, ‘Hey so I’m headed to Cannes at the end of May, wanna come?’. How would you react?
I was on my way to swim practice with the kids on my headset in the car, on a cold and rainy grey day in early April. It had probably snowed 6 inches the day before. I was in an endless cycle of work, swim practice, dinner, groceries, dishes, and laundry with a touch of regular migraines thrown in for spice. What would you have said?
I’m pretty sure some profanity came out of my mouth, let’s get real here, and I sputtered something along the lines of, ‘DUDE. Dude. DUUUUUDE. What the fuh? For serious? DUDE.’
My speech gets really articulate under duress, stop judging me.
Initially I said no. No, I’m sorry, I can’t leave for two weeks at the end of May right when the kids are finishing school for the year and doing all the end of school performances and plays and all the rest of the end-of-year-wrap-up-nonsense. We don’t have piles … >> find out more…
// While I’m away in Europe (hopefully not getting knifed on commuter trains) I’m running a series of Top 10 Favorite Posts on Petit Elefant for your reading pleasure. These 10 posts are some of the most popular posts on Petit Elefant, so enjoy! See you soon. //
I travel a lot, too much sometimes. No that’s crazy, there’s no such thing as too much travel. I love roaming the globe, but I hate packing. It’s the worst thing. It’s the most chaotic, stressful, over-involved what-am-I-supposed-to-take-what-if-I-pack-the-wrong-things events of travel. It’s a necessary evil, the packing business, but I’ve figured out the least stressful way to make it work for me.
I roll my clothes. I roll them on hotel beds one piece at a time until they’re so compact there’s extra room to do a little airport shopping. I always bring a snow globe home for my little guy and now the only way to get them through airport security is to buy them on the other side of said security.
Next time you pack a bag, try it and see. You may like it, Sam I am, you make like it on some ham.
ROLL YOUR CLOTHES TO PACK … >> find out more…
It’s time for a top 10 countdown, of the blog post variety. I’ve never done this, but I thought it would be a fun idea since there’s a lot of content some of you haven’t seen. There’s a lot of good stuff in the early years, and I’d love to share it with you because, today I’m leaving on a jet plane. Don’t know when I’ll be back again.
Just kidding, I do. In 10 days. But it’s always a good time to throw out some John Denver lyrics to make things sound melancholy.
Things are actually pretty awesome because today I’m heading to Paris! I know, don’t hate me. I’m jealous of myself. It wasn’t a planned thing, it just happened, and when life presents you with amazing opportunities, the thing to do, I’ve found, is grab the brass ring and get on board. No matter what. When my husband booked 4 tickets to Warsaw a couple of years ago I packed my bags and rearranged our whole life so we could take a month-log family trip to his home country. It wasn’t super convenient at the time (it never is) but we did it anyway.
We … >> find out more…
How to make a travel laundry kit; it’s what’s on the agenda today.
I travel a fair amount in my life, mostly with kids, plenty without. Regardless, there’s always, ALWAYS some sort of laundry emergency when I travel. I tend to spill when I eat, all over the front of whatever it is I’m wearing. It’s kind of an epidemic, but whatever, no need to alert the authorities or anything, it’s just part of the treasure of being me. And at some point of all this regular travel (it was pretty early on), it occurred to me I needed to bring a travel laundry kit with me wherever I go. Goest. Goeth. Trip, trippity, travel. That way I’m presentable for at least a portion of my trip, wherever in the world I happen to be.
It’s pretty simple really, how to make a travel laundry kit. The trick is remembering to replenish it every time you unpack your gear. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on the road only to realize I have no quarters, or you know the important stuff like, oh, laundry detergent.
Here’s how it all comes together:
// Trip to London for the weekend? Hey, a girl can dream. I’m dreaming, always, of England. (Okay, let’s be honest, sometimes, a lot of times, I’m dreaming of Costa Rica). But guest travel blogger Gemma lives in Sweden and travels wherever she can, whenever possible, lucky girl, and today Gemma lays it all out for us: exactly what to pack for a weekend trip to London, and why. This is the business. // (Editor’s note from Allison)
Have you ever suffered from “vogue shock”? You step out of your hotel room, thinking you’re a foxy lady… Until you realize you’re surrounded by a million modelesque European women that have a natural taste for exquisite style. All of a sudden, you’re stuck on Oxford Street wearing your “comfortable shoes” that are covered in grass stains, and a baggy “I heart NYC” sweatshirt. You feel totally self-conscious and want to dump your luggage into the Serpentine or secretly desert it inside of a double-decker bus.
I feel ya. I travel quite a bit. I took a break from university life and currently live in Stockholm, making spontaneous weekend trips to random cities, thanks to low-class airfare and my … >> find out more…
A nice road trip with kids? Is it possible? Today we have 3 road trip tips for a nice (no really, NICE) road trips with kids from editor Lyndsey Payzant Wells, a brave traveler with toddler in tow.
(the tulip festival in northern Washington)
Road tripping is one of the great American pastimes. Load up your car, gather the family and you’re on your way. But when you’ve got kids in tow, there are a few extra road trip tips you need to take to be prepared — whether you’re driving to the next city or all the way across the country. To save your sanity, I’ve put together my 3 best tips for a family road trip…along with a few photos of fun places we’ve successfully “tripped” to over the years.
3 tips for a nice road trip with kids:
- 1. Pack accordingly. I’m always tempted to over-pack for road trips, since it’s not like I have to get all my stuff to fit in one carry-on or something like I would if traveling by plane. This gives you a little extra leeway to be super prepared. In addition to your regular daily sets of clothing, toiletries,
… >> find out more…