HOW NOT TO PACK FOR A BUS TOUR

Hello! I have returned from a most wonderful vacation to Scotland and Ireland, and I can’t wait to share some pictures with you, but before I do that, I thought I would do some post-trip analysis on what I packed and what I wore. Before I left, I showed you what I was taking and how I packed.

In the hopes that I might help someone else who is packing for a similar trip, and in the hopes that I myself will do it differently next time, here are some thoughts about what worked and what didn’t.

What didn’t work:

  • Like most people, I overpacked. I did not need a different outfit for each day. Most days I was wearing a jacket, and no one even saw what I had on.
  • I packed too many shoes, even though it was only four pairs. Next time I will pack one pair of comfortable walking shoes and one pair of flats.
  • I packed too many accessories. I wore one belt one time, and could have gotten by without it.
  • Packed too much jewelry…only wore my gold necklace and earrings.
  • Packed too many dresses….one would have been plenty.
  • Packed too many sweaters. I never once wore any outfit that included a belt and a sweater.
  • Did not need capris at all. Summer in Scotland and Ireland is not what we call warm 😉

What I should have done:

  • Packed my travel vests, and worn them most days
  • Planned simple outfits consisting of a pair of jeans or pants, and one top, with maybe something underneath or on top (like a vest)
  • Stuck with one basic color scheme, instead of two… pack everything to go with either black or navy, not both
  • Taken my basic black dress and several colorful scarves

What I did right:

  • Took layers and a good rain jacket
  • Packed my down puffy coat
  • Packed leggings to wear with my dress
  • Packed comfortable shoes
  • Took my long black thin cardigan
  • Took red and black large cashmere scarves
  • Took colorful chevron scarves
  • Packed Skinny Shirts and camis to wear under tops
  • Took small cross-body black leather purse to wear for dinners out

I’m sure I will think of some more things after I finish unpacking, but I know that the next time we go on a lengthy trip that includes bus touring, I will pack differently.

Having said that I thought I would show you what some of the other people on the bus were wearing, and you will see another reason why I would pack a bit more simply.  Let me just say this:  There were some days that I looked better than others, but I am proud to tell you that I won the BEST DRESSED ON THE BUS AWARD!  This prestigious award was presented on behalf of the three distinguished judges, Me, Myself, and I, after careful consideration and analysis of TOURIST BUS FASHION. Totally tongue-in-cheek, but I hope you will represent the USA better than this if you go on a bus tour:

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You know what…just don’t wear capris. You will be safer that way. Especially if it is cold. And you know what else?  Just don’t wear big white sneakers. I have told you that before.

While we’re on the subject of don’ts, just don’t do any of these:

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Well, that’s all for today. I will be back next time with some beautiful scenic shots, and you will see several more pictures of my lovely blue rain jacket. 🙂

14 OUTFITS Part 4

Final post on packing for my trip. My last post was about the dress I am taking. Today, I am showing you the rest of my outfits. You might notice that everything I am taking is either black or navy…a good way to minimize how many pairs of shoes I need to take.

And my Fourth of July outfit:    🙂

Here is a picture of my travel purse:

It will be with me at all times. 🙂 RFID protected, and locks. Plus it is not too big.

Here is a similar one on Amazon:

Travelon Anti-Theft Signature E W Shoulder Bag, Black, One Size

 

No packing would be complete without my trusty black Athleta pants. They have gone with me on every trip in the last few years!

Bettona

http://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1035856&vid=1&pid=819227002

To recap, here are the outfits I am taking for a fourteen-day bus tour of Scotland and Ireland in June:

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Since I took these photos, I have eliminated the red plaid top, and added another knit dress, and swapped out the pink pashmina for a red one. I also changed my travel outfit, after reading another blog and copying her look. Here’s what Laurie from Laurie Pop was wearing, and I liked it so much I ordered one for myself in gray:

That should do it! I can’t imagine that anyone has read all 4 of these posts about someone else packing for a trip, but if you have, many thanks 🙂  I hope you take a trip soon, and hope you have gotten some packing ideas.

I will try to post a couple of times while we are away, but don’t know how much internet we will have. And of course you will be subjected to some vacation photos after we return!

  If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram@over50under20.  Also need to let you know that if you purchase anything from Amazon by clicking on the links, I make a small commission.

 

14 OUTFITS Part 3

In my last two posts, I gave you a glimpse of the outfits I plan to wear on our two- week tour of Scotland and Ireland. Let’s take a break from my “bus clothes” and look at what I am taking to wear if and when we go out in the evenings. I am only taking one dress, so don’t be expecting too much. LOL

Here is my basic black dress with several various accompaniments:

I decided I should take leggings since I saw recent pictures of friends on vacation in London all bundled up in coats.

Showing you this so you will know I will always have something attached to me that has my passport. 😉   Will probably forget the necklace. Just seems a bit much.

And just so you know, these shoes are BLACK and WHITE, but in photographs they look navy. After seeing these picture, I am going to call them my BLACK OR BLUE shoes and wear them with either color.

Don’t know that I will wear any of these, but if we have dinner in a great Irish castle, I will not have to wear my jeans. 😉

After I took these photos, I did decide to take another knit dress also. You will just have to wait to see my vacation photos to see what I actually wore.   😉

  If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram@over50under20.  Also need to let you know that if you purchase anything from Amazon by clicking on the links, I make a small commission.

14 OUTFITS Part 2

Today I am continuing my series on packing for a tour to Scotland and Ireland. We are only allowed to take one suitcase plus a backpack, so I am thinking carefully about what to take.

In my first post, I showed you my army green pants. In this post, I am showing you my jeans outfits. Remember that this is a “casual and comfortable” trip…not packing a lot of jewelry and accessories….just don’t want to be the frumpiest one on the bus  😉

Since I am on the subject of packing, I will tell you that one of the best purchases I have ever made for travel is lightweight luggage. I first bought the 20 inch size, and later added the larger one for longer trips. They have four wheels and are very easy to maneuver.

Skyway Luggage Mirage Superlight 28-Inch 4 Wheel Expandable Upright, Black, One Size

 

 

Skyway Luggage Mirage Ultralite 20-Inch 4 Wheel Expandable Carry-On, Maritime Blue, One Size

 

I bought the bright blue color. The smaller one only weighs 5 pounds! I compared this to a similar-size suitcase that I had, and it weighed 9 pounds!! Really makes a difference when you are hauling it around a lot, or when you are packing it full….means I can pack 4 or 5 pounds more of clothing,shoes or souvenirs, and still not be overweight for flying.

I’ll be back next time with some more travel outfits. See you then!

If  you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram@over50under20.  Also need to let you know that if you purchase anything from Amazon by clicking on the links, I make a small commission.

14 OUTFITS FOR 14 DAYS

You already know how much I love to travel, and I feel so fortunate to be at the age and stage of life where I have the opportunity to do it fairly often. Happily, my husband also likes to travel, and is very good at surprising me with trips.  🙂 We will be leaving soon on a two-week tour of Scotland and Ireland! So excited, because this trip has been at the top of my wish list for years.

We both enjoy being on bus tours where everything is taken care of for us, and we have knowledgeable tour guides all along the way; that way we don’t wander around aimlessly and wonder what in the heck we are looking at. Plus we both tend to get lost easily, and for sure would be in trouble driving on the opposite side of the road!

OF COURSE, you know that I will have all my outfits planned ahead of time. I have often told you that I have so much more fun when the stress of trying to decide what to wear is removed. I spent the afternoon putting outfits together, so thought I would do a series of posts to show you how I pack for a two-week trip.

I plan to take four pairs of pants, 1 dress, and 12 or 13 tops, some sweaters, scarves, and belts, plus silver necklace, gold necklace, and 3 pairs of earrings. Will limit underwear and sleepwear to the minimum and wash out a couple of times in the hotel. Oh, and will also take black leggings to wear with the dress if it is cool.

Will also need a jacket and raingear because the weather can be unpredictable. I would like to get by with 2 pairs of shoes, but could only manage to narrow it down to 5 pairs…. black Nikes, blue Nikes, black flats, blue flats, and black and white striped flats.  Just need a choice depending on how much walking we are doing on any particular day.

I have already told you that I am a rumbler, so I am really trying to keep clothing and accessories to a minimum. I don’t want to constantly be rumbling in my suitcase, especially since we will be in a different hotel almost every night, so can’t really unpack.

I don’t remember if I have posted about my index cards before, but I actually make cards which tell me what to wear. HaHa….kind of like what you would optimistically send to camp with your child…

An example of what I put on a card would be something like this:

Light colored jeans, black skinny shirt, black and white striped top, silver necklace, silver earrings, black Crocs

Laugh if you want to….I laugh at myself! I most certainly don’t take any of this too seriously. Just don’t want to see vacation photos of ugly or unflattering outfits, like my lumberjack look that I rocked in Alaska. LOL

This will definitely be the kind of trip where comfort is king, so will plan to take comfortable and casual clothing. Remember, we will either be on a bus or walking around tourist sites for most of the trip.

If you are a new reader, you can check out my previous packing post here .

For the first post in this series, here are the outfits I will wear with my army green pants:

Had to show you my backpack. It will be with me every day!

And here is the hoodie that I am taking since the weather is predicted to be cool.

The shoes are tried and true and very comfy, but will probably wear Nikes if we are doing much walking. The good thing about the black Crocs, though is that they are waterproof, so if it is really rainy will wear those.

I call the black outfit at the top of the page my traveling clothes, because it is a very comfortable outfit for a long plane ride, and won’t show dirt that much. 😉

If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram@over50under20.  

And…I would love for you to subscribe to this blog. If you subscribed, and are not receiving notices, check your spam, and add inbox@inchev.com to your address book.

TWO ANNIVERSARIES

My rambling for today is about anniversaries. I celebrated two this week! The main one is, of course, the anniversary of our wedding, which was……48 years ago!!! I think we are going to make it. LOL

The second one is the anniversary of this blog. I made it to one year! Yay! Not quite as momentous as the first, but considering that I had no idea what I was doing when I started (kind of like marriage, now that I think of it 😉 ), I am pretty happy about that.

To celebrate our wedding anniversary, we had a little mini-vacation that was so much fun. We drove up the road about an hour and a half and visited Rock City and Ruby Falls. If you don’t know what Rock City is, you are either young or not from The South. When I was growing up, (which you already know was a loooong time ago, since I have been married for 48 years), SEE ROCK CITY was painted on every barn below the Mason Dixon line, and before the days of interstates, you passed them all on your way to anywhere.

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We got an early start, and headed north.

Had a great time wandering the trails:

 

We enjoyed a lovely lunch at the outdoor cafe:

After lunch we took a cave tour and saw Ruby Falls deep underneath Lookout Mountain:

Such a nice day! And the best part was yet to come. We stayed overnight in a TREEHOUSE. Yes, we did. And it was awesome. Had all the amenities, including air conditioning.

Even after 48 years, it was very romantic to sleep under a tin roof with the sound of rain above us. We had a bird’s eye view of the storm that night, and our little loft was very cozy!

So Happy Anniversary to all my dear readers, and Happy Anniversary to my dear dear husband, who loves me enough to read every blog post. 🙂 Love you honey!

f you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram@over50under20.  

And…I would love for you to subscribe to this blog. If you subscribed, and are not receiving notices, check your spam, and add inbox@inchev.com to your address book.

WHY YOU NEED TO WEAR THE RIGHT SHOES

Hello! I am sorry my post is a little late this week. As you know, we were in Utah last week, and I just could not get this done before now.

Well, first of all, it was a GREAT trip! Whenever I travel, I am always surprised at how little I know. I knew there were some parks in Utah, but had no idea that there are FIVE national parks there! And they are spectacular! Each one has its own personality and distinctive features.

We started in Salt Lake City, rented a car, and drove about 1500 miles, but we saw them all, plus took a tour of Monument Valley, which is actually on Navajo land just across the border in Arizona.

MONUMENT VALLEY

As you know from last week’s post, I planned all my outfits before I left,and I am so glad I planned layered clothing, because we had every kind of weather you can think of except maybe hail and really hot…warm, cool, windy, snowing, sleeting, cold, and even had a rainy day in the middle of the desert.

The one thing I kind of messed up on was footwear. I had decided to take my hiking boots, because there are lots of great trails in the parks, and not a lot of wild animals (which is why I don’t usually like to hike–terrified of bears).  Sounds like a good idea—take hiking boots if you plan to go hiking.

HOWEVER, and please listen to me about this…..if your hiking boots are very old, and you don’t go hiking very much, they could have dry rot. And if they have dry rot, the whole bottom part could come off. And if the whole bottom part comes off, you could slip and fall when you are climbing down a big rock that is actually part of the trail, and if you slip going down a big rock, you could sprain your ankle, and if you sprain your ankle on the very first day of your “hiking trip,” you will not be doing any more hiking; in fact, you will barely be walking, but if your husband is as nice as mine, he will fix you up with an ace bandage, an ice pack, ibuprofen, and some crutches, (which you may or may not know how to use) and you will enjoy the rest of your trip anyway. 🙂

ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

 This is what I hiked to see before the big fall. Too bad you can’t see my hiking boots! Actually, no one else saw them either  🙂

Now I could have worn my Nikes and been just fine. They are comfortable and have a lot of traction. But no, I thought I would look so much “cooler” wearing actual hiking boots. HAHAHAHAHA   You have to understand that most of the trails we were going to attempt were no more than a mile or two. We are not talking rugged overnight hikes that require special footwear. And not one person on this earth would have looked at or noticed the shoes I was wearing. Again, HAHAHAHAHA

But they probably did notice what I wore for most of the rest of the trip:

                     I do NOT recommend this look!

But as I said, it really was a great trip, despite being a little incapacitated. The scenery made up for everything, even if I did have to see most of it from the road.

Here is where we stayed in Springdale, right outside Zion National Park. The mountain behind our room lit up and turned red around sunset for about 5 minutes, and we happened to see it!

Don’t want to bore you with too many vacation photos, but just have to share a few more.

Thanks for letting me share my vacation with you! If you get a chance to visit Utah, I highly recommend Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and/or Zion National Parks.

P.S. Ankle is healing nicely. I am going to get it x-rayed tomorrow, but don’t really expect any problems.

If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram @over50under20.  

And…I would love for you to subscribe to this blog. If you subscribed, and are not receiving notices, check your spam, and add inbox@inchev.com to your address book.

 

WHAT I AM WEARING IN UTAH

In my last post, I told you that I was packing for a trip to Utah. When you read this, I will be somewhere in the desert. 🙂

Packing for this trip was a lot different than packing for the cruise last summer. No dressing up, no captain’s dinners, no fancy restaurants. This trip we will do a lot of driving and a lot of hiking, so it is a “jeans trip.”  My husband and I are flying to Salt Lake City, renting a car, and spending a week making a loop around Utah, visiting the national parks.

Having said that, I will tell you that I still planned all my outfits. In  years past, my method of packing for a trip like this was to throw some jeans and some tops in a suitcase and hope for the best.

After seeing some really bad vacation photos, I decided that I needed to turn over a new leaf. It’s fine to wear casual jeans outfits, but they don’t need to look like something I picked up off the closet floor.

I really did decide to keep it simple for this trip. I am taking one pair of light jeans, one pair of dark jeans, and my comfy black pants for the flight.

I am also packing my three travel vests, which have a million pockets, so I won’t need to carry a purse. This means I will pretty much be in a “uniform” every day, but that’s okay. I will be comfortable and ready for whatever the activity of the day is. I added some tops to go with the vests, and I will also take a couple of jackets because the weather can still be cool in April. And you won’t believe this, but I am only taking three pairs of shoes–my black (not white) Nikes, my hiking boots, and comfortable Jambus.

When I get home and look at my pictures, I will not be aghast at what I had on. I might not look like a fashion expert, but I will look like someone who is having a great time in a nice, appropriate outfit that goes together and fits pretty well. I will be happy with that. 🙂

Here is what I am taking:

Travel Outfits

            Black vest

             Green vest

          Red vest

           

If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram @over50under20.  

And…I would love for you to subscribe to this blog. If you subscribed, and are not receiving notices, check your spam, and add inbox@inchev.com to your address book.

TBT #7 Packing

Is it spring break in your part of the world? Are you going to the beach? Or is that something that only college students do?

I am not going to the beach, but I am very excited about the trip we have planned. We are going to spend a week in Utah visiting the national parks. Since I am using this week to get ready for the trip, I thought I would re-post about packing.

After a few long trips, I finally figured out that I have a lot more fun if I organize everything before I go, and make it easy to find things to wear and to find things in my suitcase.

You will not be surprised to learn that I plan all my outfits ahead of time. Yes, I try them on. Yes, I take pictures.  I even write them down on index cards. Don’t judge. It works for me.

I  have also learned that organizing my suitcase makes for a much better trip. To be honest, I am a “rumbler.” No matter how carefully I pack, I can never find what I want in my suitcase without rumbling through it. Whatever organization system I have breaks down pretty quickly, and I get really frustrated trying to find my stuff.

A couple of years ago, I found something that totally revolutionized my packing……packing cubes!  I now pack different items or categories in the appropriate size cube (I even label them) and can find anything in a jiffy. And it is so easy to unpack my suitcase and put things in drawers. Most people would not have to label them, especially if they are different colors, but I need the extra visual reminders.

The ones I use are from eBags, and I love them. I have several sets in different colors, because I do share some with my husband, but he only uses one or two.

http://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/value-set-packing-cubes-slim-packing-cubes/115846

These are also available from IKEA:

http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/20323061/

If you want to be thrifty, you can use Zip Loc bags in different sizes.

I admit that I am probably a bit overly zealous about this, but I have learned that the less I have to think about on vacation, the more fun I have, and the more it seems like a vacation.

Here are what my cubes look like. Most people would be able to remember that the purple one is “tops” and the green one is “pants”.  LOL

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In my next post, I will show you the outfits that I packed for this trip.

If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram @over50under20.  

And…I would love for you to subscribe to this blog. If you subscribed, and are not receiving notices, check your spam, and add inbox@inchev.com to your address book.

TOTAL FASHION BREAK

I have just returned from a trip where absolutely ZERO fashion was in evidence anywhere. Every year in July, I host a camp for my grandchildren and my great nieces and nephews. Cousin Camp only lasts three days, but it seems like three weeks! This year there were seven children between the ages of two and eight, and it was held at my sister’s country house in the middle of nowhere in Alabama.

It is the kind of camp where you are lucky if you take a shower, much less put on a nice outfit.  I wore some lovely men’s t-shirt- and- old shorts ensembles, but I will spare you the pictures. LOL

Here is an example of what one of the boys wore one day:

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It is that kind of camp!  If you can’t find two shoes that match, who cares?

It is a LOT of fun for the kids, and I look forward to it every year, even though it is more than exhausting for the adults. (The adults consisted of my sister and myself, and a teenager. I have learned that it is worth any amount of money to hire a helper ).

I spend time during the year planning for it, and have plenty of games, crafts, and activities ready for the kids. I have to overplan, because I have learned through experience that when you read a Pinterest post that says “This entertained my children for hours, and they said they never had more fun”, it is good for about 8 minutes, and at least 3 kids will say it is boring.

It was almost 100 degrees every day, so had to make some adjustments in the outdoor activities I had planned. Picnics and relay races were definitely not a good idea. We needed water activity!! We found some, but it did not turn out exactly as planned. (Nothing ever does at Cousin Camp.)

Here is my total fashion fail story:

One day we took the kids to a lake about an hour away. It was supposed to be about 25 minutes away, but we got lost, and ended up in Mississippi before we turned around. Do not ask me why we drove over 10 miles into the state of Mississippi when we knew the lake was in Alabama. Maybe our brains were scrambled from lack of sleep. We finally made it and the kids had a great time swimming.

As I said before, my sister’s country house is in the middle of nowhere, and since the kids had eaten almost all of the three tons of food I had brought with me in the first day and a half, I decided that I would have to stop by the grocery store on the way home, since it was about 30 minutes from the house and I did not want to come back. I did not want the children telling their parents that we had been eating white bread for snacks.( It was true, but I did not want them telling their parents. LOL)

You cannot possibly imagine what I looked like. I had on an old bathing suit and an old men’s shirt, water shoes covered in sand, and my hair was wet and sticking up.  I told myself that I did not know anyone in this country town, and I would never see anyone here again. The kids were hungry, and I just had to suck it up and go in the store! So I did.

I truly hoped that no one would notice my odd appearance. You have to remember that the grocery story was nowhere near the lake or any other water source. I did notice that people were doing double takes when they saw me. As I was checking out, the “lady” (I say that in quotes because she was buying cigarettes, beer, and snuff) in front of me stared a hole through me for about 3 minutes, and then asked, “You been swimmin’?”

I hope I never have to relive that visit to the store, and I am so glad that other than the security cameras in the grocery store, there is no photographic evidence of my “fashion.” You will just have to use your imagination.

The point of this post is that sometimes some things are more important than how you look.  And making special memories for seven of the most awesome children in the world is in that category!

I love to read your comments. Do you agree that sometimes how you look is not at all important? What is your biggest fashion fail? Was it for a good reason?

Thanks for reading! Back soon with more pictures of myself. I am sure you can’t wait for that!

Today I am linking up with Tania onWednesday’s Wardrobe.