Tag Archives | traveling

Weekend Adventures

Over the weekend this little city girl escaped San Francisco for a weekend of wind, water, and family at dreamy Fallen Leaf Lake near South Lake Tahoe – Virtually the same weekend as last year actually.

After a short stop in sweltering Sacramento we headed up to the breezy, welcoming mountain air of Tahoe. I’ve been visiting my family’s cabin on Fallen Leaf Lake since I was a baby and it holds so many memories.

Day-long hikes gone awry with their destinations never discovered, swimming in the freezing snow-melt lake, climbing up waterfalls, boating on the lake in everything from a canoe to a kayak to a Sun Fish sailboat, and even flipping one of the boats & getting stranded at the opposite end of the lake with a friend.

Needless to say a jolt of excitement and anticipation always thrills through me as soon as I can see the distinctive roof top and the vacation actually begins.

And this was an especially fun weekend as the boy and I joined my parents, aunt, uncle, and grandparents at the cabin for a relaxed weekend of hikes, boat rides, reading on the deck, vino, and huge family meals. I mean the amount of food, not the number of people by the way. 🙂

How was everyone’s weekend? Do you like to get out of your hometown on occasion and relax in the country or are you a city mouse through-and-through?

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Links You’ll Love

Happy Sunday!

I don’t know about you, but I had another amazing weekend. The perfect combination of relaxation, family time, and social events. Before we get to this Sunday’s Links You’ll Love post, I just wanted to say a quick congratulations to my childhood friend Sophie who got married in a beautiful, moving ceremony yesterday.

Fashion:

Let's go!

Are you going to start a new internship or job this Summer? Not sure how to prep your wardrobe? Refinery 29 has you covered! The No-Fail Guide To Dressing For A Summer Internship (On A Budget).
If you’re in the mood to mix up your style this season head over to Little Tin Soldier who has rounded up a handful of Do It Yourself clutches if you’re looking for a project or FabSugar has tres cute DIY: Thread-Wrapped Bracelets that would complement anyone’s jewelry collection.
Check out the Harper’s Bazaar piece on The Best Of What’s New– The best of pre-fall’s modern takes on timeless pieces. But I should warn you first. You’ll want ALL OF IT. All.
Health/Fitness:

Interesting news on the supplement front from Natural News – Vitamin D and sun exposure work synergistically to prevent breast cancer.

Here’s this week’s healthy recipe round-up: Kale Salad with Oranges, Almonds and Avocado (the “detox” salad) from Eat, Live Run, 10 Flavor-Packed Tofu Recipes from Shape Magazine, Broccoli White Bean Soupfrom FitSugar, How to Make the Perfect Big-Ass Salad (and the Best Dressing Recipe—Ever) from Fit Bottomed Girls, Healthy Zucchini Breadrecipes from FitSugar readers, Sun-dried Tomato Cheezy Kale Chips from the brilliant OhSheGlows, and 15 Gluten-Free Recipes from Heath.com.

Video time! Check out these two motivation and instructional videos to get you in the mood for healthy eating and working out this Spring .

I think that this is a great idea! I’m always looking for something fun to do with friends that doesn’t revolve around eating or drinking. Yes, I love a cocktail as much as the next workaholic, but with my early mornings a booze-fueled “school night” is never a good idea. Barry’s Bootcamp – Party Fitness: 7 Workouts Better than Happy Hour. From a yoga rave to a Zombie Run, there are some great ideas here to try out.

How do you stay healthy and in shape when you have a hectic schedule and lots of traveling on the horizon? See what Miss Garance Dore has to say about her routines here.

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Reader Request – The Chilly Tourist

I received a cry for help from a reader who was planning a trip to Washington DC and needed some cold-weather outfit ideas. Specifically, she had planned a day of solo wandering around historic Georgetown and needed something warm & comfortable, two days of hanging out with a friend, a low-key date night outfit and cute PJs for the PM.

Moi Contre La Vie to the rescue! 🙂

The number one thing to keep in mind about in this situation is the weather – This is going to be all about layers and winter accessories so that she can stay warm but keep her looks cute.

Girl About Town:

While Emily wanders around DC seeing the sites she needs to be comfortable and be able to lose her layers easily & stylishly when she heads indoors and the temp rises. This look is going to be centered around the perfect boots for sight-seeing.

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Whether you go with knee-high hiding boots, combat boots or flat ankle boots, a comfortable, cute boot is a must. The two ways that I especially like to wear boots are either with slim pants or with a skirt – both looks can be “winterized” and both looks can go with most varieties of boot.

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You can take either of these models as inspiration and pair a dress, tunic or flowy maxi skirt with riding or ankle boots. I specially like the look off thick tights and warm socks with a skirt or dress in Winter to make sure that you keep warm. If you choose to wear a dress, tunic or skirt & top combo and want to go for a more classic style wear a long coat (like below) and if you want a more fun & funky style, pair it with a cropped jacket at or blazer, maybe even a short coat layered over a cardigan for extra warmth. 

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Another way to pair your boots is with jeans, slim pants or leggings for a sleek daytime look.

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Both shots do a great job of showing how to layer over pants – scarves, cropped jackets, ponchos, sweaters… The options are endless. It’s also a great idea to carry a larger bag rather than a small handbag, so you can carry gloves, a scarf, an umbrella and other cold-weather accessories.

Low Key Lady:

Whether you’re running errands, hanging out at the local coffee shop chatting or catching an exhibit at the local museum, a good trip always has some down time. So the question is, how do you dress for your less active days without sacrificing style?

My go-to downtime look is either a shift dress or a tunic over slim pants with ballet flats, both of which can easily be layered over to stay warm and tweaked to fit your personal style. Here are some of my recent acquisitions for trips to the farmer’s market and lazy walks along the Bay on weekends.

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What I love about each of these dresses is that they can be worn a million different ways – just add tights, a pashmina, flats or boots, a cardigan or cropped blazer and tons fun jewelry – et voila!

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The same goes for a tunic or oversized sweater over pants or leggings, you can wear this combination a million different ways and make the look as interesting as you’d like – brightly colored skinny jeans, corduroy pants, leopard leggings, a colorblock tunic, an oversized boatneck sweater or even a basic tunic with a jean jacket on top. Layer away!

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Check out EatBreathFashion.com’s Candy Colored Legs post for more ideas on bright skinnies.

Date Night:

For a mellow night out when you’re traveling you can easily reorganize the pieces that you already packed to put together a cute nighttime look, all you have to do is mix & match and accessorize accordingly.

My suggestion would be to throw on either a dress, tunic, or slim pants with a sweater, add a blazer on top and then pumps or booties, fun jewelry, a pashmina and a sleek up do. Both a dress or pants with a blazer will keep you warm and they’re also both fun, flattering silhouettes.

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It’s a perfect look, comfortable but cute, ideal for a low-key night out and using pieces that you’ve already packed for your daytime or traveling outfits.

Pajama Party:

Personally I’m partial to Victoria’s Secret and PINK pajamas & night-shirts, they’re soft and come in fun, funky colors and patterns. You can also check out Forever 21 which has some pretty cute sets, rompers and oversized t-shirts or Bloomingdale’s sales for great deals on Juicy Couture, Betsey Johnson, Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Oscar de la Renta sleepwear.

So whether you’re in the mood for short shorts and a tank, old-school PJs or a girly silk night-shirt, there’s something for everyone’s comfort zone.

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You can see other packing and traveling related fashion posts if this is a topic of interest for you: Reader Request – Packing & Traveling or Wanderlust.

And please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any styling or fashion questions that you may have.

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San Sebastian

Aside from the beautiful, intimate wedding at La Durantie, my favorite part of my recent vacation was our two days in San Sebastian. If I suddenly disappear from the internet, it’s because I found a way to move there and am living in a little hut near the beach with no wi-fi.

No, I’m serious.

Let me preface this by saying that normally I’m not a beach girl. I don’t love sand or sunscreen or really even salt water. And from a fashion standpoint, I’d much rather wear gorgeous winter outerwear and elbow length gloves than a bathing suit. Not to mention I’m so pale that I practically glow in the dark…

And despite all of that, I am so head over heels in love with the Spanish coast that I don’t even know where to start!

Fashion: Given its beach-side location its pretty easy to guess that the fashion uniform for the women of San Sebastian tends towards dresses, breezy skirts and slim fitting Capri pants. Lots of white and lots of bright colors. The clothes were pretty but fairly basic, the fashion was definitely all about the accessories. Lots of beachy totes and shopper-style bags, chunky jewelry and big, ornate necklaces, and embellished sandals. Not a heel to be seen! What was I most surprised about? The city-wide pastime appeared to be tanning and as a result, the women had awful skin. Awful. My boyfriend described them as “beef jerky in bikinis.” Not cute. Sunscreen ladies, listen to your mothers!

Fitness: In addition to two days of walking around the main city and Old Town, I got in my first run and my first swim of the trip while we were in San Sebastian. The main cove that the city sits on has an island in the center so its perfect for swimming, especially after working up a sweat watching the swimmers and sunbathers as we had verano de tinto overlooking the beach.

Food: San Sebastian is on the North-Western coast of Spain so in addition to traditional Spanish influences, the cuisine also has French and Andorran (Basque) undertones. Quite a combination. Lots of seasonings and interesting spices, seafood, vegetables and bread. We found some great wine and some cute little restaurants during our wanderings. My favorite dish was the patatas bravas, which I tried at about half a dozen restaurants.

Lodgings: In an attempt to help me “relax” my boyfriend planned the second half of our vacation, including booking the hotel for San Sebastian. I was skeptical, I’ll admit, but it turned out quite nice. Well… Except for the two twin beds aspect. But we had a pool and a view, and a spacious, clean room.

Sights: The San Sebastian that we saw consisted of an older part of town with beautiful architecture and old buildings, a more commercial, modern downtown and a touristy section near the beach with hotels, restaurants, cafes and small shops.

Travel: The trip from Bordeaux to San Sebastian consisted of a 5 hour train ride to the French-Spanish border and then a 20-30 minute ride on a smaller, local commuter train through the mountains near the border and over to the coast. When we left San Sebastian (sob) we went to a different train station for a very early morning train ride to Madrid.

Highlights: I don’t think I can narrow down my favorite part of this city, I loved the view of the beach, the sangria, the chevre salads… Let’s just saying leaving it was my least favorite part of the trip!

Stay tuned for the final part of the trip, steamy Madrid, and my second celebrity sighting!

Need to catch up? Check out London, Paris, La Durantie & Southern France.

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London

This has been a whirlwind trip, lots of family time, lots of travel time and some really great experiences. Three days in London, a week in France and four days in Spain. But I wont get ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning…

Jolly old London!

To be honest, London was a bit of a blur, we touched down Sunday afternoon and hopped on the Chunnel Tuesday night. London consisted of lots of jetlag-induced napping, some work and some seriously yummy food.

Fashion: The first thing that I noticed when I arrived in London (which was quickly echoed by my boyfriend) was that the men are EXTREMELY well dressed. Well cut suits and pressed slacks with blazers & button downs were everywhere, I only saw a handful of men in what we in America would consider “street clothes.” Needless to say, I was in heaven people watching. 🙂 As for the women, lots of flats, tights and crossbody bags. I wasn’t really blown away by the female fashion, so apologies for only touching on it briefly. For the most part they looked put together (no tennis shoes, no backpacks, no baseball caps, no gym clothes on the street…) but it wasn’t terribly memorable.

Food: I’ll dedicate a separate post to the restaurant that we went to our first night, Manna, which was absolutely spectacular. The second night’s dinner was a hodgepodge affaire after we found a Whole Foods in Soho (where, I might add, I saw Bill Nighy). Overall the food was good, but there wasn’t a huge selection of vegetarian/vegan fare, as I had expected.

Fitness: Lots of walking and that’s about it. My boyfriend took advantage of the hotel gym & pool, but between working and a bout of food poisoning I didn’t get a chance to enjoy the facilities personally.

Lodgings: We stayed at the gorgeous One Aldwych hotel in Westminster, which was walking distance to my office. The room was small (I’d forgotten that about European traveling!) but sumptuous. Overall it was a good experience, great central location and very attentive and helpful employees, I’d definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood to splurge.

Travel: We flew United (via AirCanada) from SFO to Toronto to Heathrow, took the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station and then took a taxi to the hotel. London has awful traffic though, so I would recommend public transportation if you’re traveling around the city during peak hours. Our exit from London after three chilly days was via EuroStar, and after a two-hour train ride we arrived in Paris!

Highlights: For me the highlight was dining at Manna, the food was great and it was an adorable little part of London that we probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I highly recommend a visit to Primrose Hill if you’re in the area! 🙂

Stay tuned for a review of Manna and my Parisian adventures.

Cheers!

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