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Posts from the ‘Travel Tips’ category

Great Expectations

 

A Young Daphne du Maurier

A Young Daphne du Maurier

No this is not about the Charles Dicken’s classic novel. It’a about how I always have such “Great Expectations” before I set off on a new adventure (vacation)!

My new adventure is Cornwall in the United Kingdom and I am really looking forward to it. So I have been doing some research (as always) and this time was led to books by Daphne du Maurier, an English novelist who wrote between 1931 and 1989. She was born in Cornwall in 1907 and died in Cornwall in 1989. So I think she would know about Cornwall! Three of her books were written specifically about life in Cornwall; Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, and Frenchman’s Creek. So I ordered a book from the UK that contained all three books. It was published in 1939 and the book itself was a treasure. The binding was like new, so someone cherished this book. There was that musty smell that old books have, with the pages yellowed on the edges. I felt the book had just left the library of Miss Jane Marple’s cottage in St Mary Mead! I have a good imagination, don’t I? Agatha Christie is another author I enjoy! Imagine my surprise to find out that the sweet looking, Daphne du Maurier, who wrote these fantastic romantic novels, also wrote The Birds, which was made into an equally famous movie by Alfred Hitchcock!

I read all three novels (they were romance) and I did get a good perspective of the sea, coves, bogs, moors, smugglers and inns in Cornwall. I got a good idea of the Cornish people as well; very sturdy those folks! So now in my mind I have “Great Expectations” for Cornwall. I googled Jamaica Inn with the plan of going there, since it still is a working inn. The reviews, however, were very dismal. The location is off a very busy road (as it was in the old days) but the Inn is more like a rest stop on a toll road. Very touristy. It did not meet my expectations, so rather than ruin my dream I’ll think of Jamaica Inn as written in the book.

Another book I read before my vacation was The Lost Gardens of Heligan by Tim Smit. Wow, this garden has been in Cornwall since the 1600’s and there is quite a story here! Heligan is on my “List of Gardens” to see during my Second UK Garden Tour. I won’t spoil it for you, but I must say, I think it will be the first garden I’ve ever visited that had an exorcism by a priest in the 20th century! Now that should interest you, it did me!

One of The Lost Garden of Heligan Sculptures

One of The Lost Garden of Heligan Sculptures

I was also inspired by all the documentaries, mysteries, and great TV programs to be found on the Acorn App (all British TV) that is streamed to my TV! I hardly watch anything else now! No sex, no violence, no filthy language here! How refreshing! I especially like all the Agatha Christie, Miss Marple series, with my favorite Miss Marple being Geraldine McEwan, who was the sleuth from 2004 to 2009. What a darling old lady she was! I am glad I got to peek into her cottage at St Mary Mead (on TV) because I know I will see small villages that are very similar on my Garden Tour and I just know my book came from one of those cottages! Hopefully, I’ve offered some inspiration for your pre-travels, it’s good to know something about the place you’re visiting, so you get a feel of it before you arrive! Great Expectations To You!

Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple

Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple

 

 

 

AnyList: A Must for Planners!

Make a List

Make a List

I am a list maker! And an itinerary maker, a book reader, a blogger, a plan maker, and oh yeah, a grocery shopper! So I am always looking for a better way to keep it all together! And I want it on my IPhone, my IPad and my computer, simultaneously. And all in one place!

This week I have been experimenting with the App ANYLIST and I love it!

Here are the reasons why:

I can quickly create any Organized Custom List I want and find it on my IPhone, my IPad and my Computer in one place. I can make Folders and keep lists in each folder. For example; I have a “Travel Folder” and in it I have a “Travel To Do List”, a “Packing List,” and an “Itinerary List,” to name a few. I also have a custom “Book Folder” with lists in it, and a “Blog Folder” with lists. All kinds of Lists and each in it’s own Folder! I can mark items off the Lists one by one or create a “Favorites List” to save items for the next time I travel and I won’t have to make each List over again. I can just add new items to the custom “Favorite List.”

I can share my lists with friends or family or mark them private.

It makes a FABULOUS Grocery List! It automatically puts your items in a grocery category and you can customize the categories to the Layout of your grocery store and how you shop there! For example; if you go down the vegetable and fruit aisle first at Kroger, the fruits and vegetables would be first on your list at that store. Do you shop for different items at different stores? Do you shop for bulk items or at vegetable stands? You can customize your grocery items to different stores or locations.

If your husband is like mine and wanders a different way in the store, the list can be set up for him with his shopping pattern!

You can import recipes from the web or write your own and save the ingredients to your List. It also saves the actual recipe and instructions too, and shows which item goes with what recipe. And puts the Recipes in categories too, like,” Main Dishes, “Breads,” “Pasta,” whatever category you want them in.

You can take a picture of an item, if you want a specific brand of anything. This is good too if your husband is shopping for you, as he will most likely come home with the only product you didn’t want, or buy several different kinds of something because he had no idea what you wanted! I know this from experience ladies!  You can also add a note to the Grocery item, such as to remind yourself you have a coupon.

You can add anything to any List by Voice by using Siri! I Love this, I don’t even have to open AnyList to add something!

Location Reminders alert you when you go by your Grocery Store, etc. that you have items on a List for there. So you won’t get home and say, “I drove right by the grocery store, or CVS, or the cleaners, and forgot I needed some things!” Your Lists can be categorized to your local store, how cool is that?

So, if you are a List Maker like me or an Organizer, this is the App For YOU! Enjoy!

PS…… I needed some help with one of the instructions and a real person answered my email promptly. Another great thing. And they send out new messages periodically to review a feature of the App, so you will get full use of it! Absolutely LOVE IT!

PSS… I am posting this under my Tuesday Travel Tips even though it is not Tuesday. I have too many tips to post and not enough Tuesdays right now.

 

 

 

Before you Go on Vacation You Might Want to TEP!

Let's TEP!

Let’s TEP!

Where are my emails? What info did I have in my Itinerary? How can I send a post and a picture to my family? How do I see all the maps I downloaded? How do I call my vacation host? What’s the weather for today? I need my Wi-Fi!!!

Does this sound like you when on vacation?

It’s that time of year again when I’m off for a vacation and absolutely DREAD turning on my International Service on my phone! The roaming rates are sky high to begin with and I am at the mercy of internet service at my place of lodging! We do not EVER use the free Wi-Fi services offered at coffee shops or other places. They are not SECURE!

So this year we are using TEP, a portable Wi-Fi, for Smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Why are we going this route?

Here are the benefits:

  1. It is a small hand held device that provides internet access with your own Wi-Fi network and your own personal password. It will fit in my husband’s pocket or my small purse!
  2. It will connect up to 5 devices at the same time, in every country that I would ever think of going to! Even on a cruise ship!
  3. It has 8 hours of battery life with a 20 hour standby time. It comes with a battery charger too.
  4. There are no set up or cables required.
  5. There is no Data limits or caps.
  6. You can rent the device or buy it. (We travel a lot so we bought one, the fees are lower per day and you are only charged for the days you use it. If you rent one it is mailed to you and then you are charged a flat fee for every day it is in your possession, whether you use it or not and we didn’t want to have the hassle of sending it back every time)
  7. There are no ROAMING FEES!
  8. 24/7 customer support. Get in touch via phone, email, chat, or social media!
  9. 100% No BS money-back guarantee, guaranteed.
  10. The reviews were fabulous!

This is going to be one less headache when traveling! And with the money saved I can buy another plane ticket for a vacation! Yipee!

PS I am posting this under my Tuesday Travel Tips even though it is not Tuesday. I have too many tips to post and not enough Tuesdays right now.

 

 

JustPark: How To Find a Parking Space ANYWHERE in the UK!

My Abarth, Zoom, Zoom!

My Abarth, Zoom, Zoom!

Time for the annual Garden Trip to the UK! YEAH! For Americans there is the thrill of driving on the wrong side of the street with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car! Now if that is not enough to say you are having fun then let’s add looking for a parking space in a village with unknown, very narrow streets where you pull in the side mirrors to keep from hitting the cars that are double parked on the only main street. And these are the villages that have only one main road!

Last year, after driving from Heathrow Airport to Tenterden, we thought we were well into the feel of the wheel so to speak. The hardest part is pulling out onto the road, we tend to forget and go back to our old ways on the wrong side. It’s good to have another person with you to remind you, “You are on the wrong side dear,” or more like, “What the hell are you doing? You’re on the wrong side!’

When we arrived in Tenterden we immediately began our quest for a parking lot. We wanted to go to the grocery store and have a look around town before we went to the B&B. We pulled into a lot and a spot after waiting for someone to pull out. It was a very busy lot to say the least, but we were so glad we had even found a parking lot! We got out of the car and noticed quite a few people were sitting in their car. Well that was good because we couldn’t figure out how to pay the meter. There was only one at the end of the lot. A very nice man came to our aid and said we had to put in the number of our license plate to correspond with the number marked on the pavement of our spot in the lot. Back to the car to get all the proper information. Then back to the parking meter and after having to get the correct change made from quite a few of the car sitters, we were making quite an impression. Then I noticed a very sick looking woman walking with crutches from across the street to the car park. As I looked up I saw the sign, “Surgery Parking.” It was what we call, the doctor’s office parking lot. OMG! So we went and moved the car. We drove down the street a little further and found the entrance to the grocery store parking lot. Imagine our amazement that you pay to park here as well! But at least we knew how to pay the meter and after again getting change from some more of our new car friends, we were able to get out and about. Now picture this scene, to some extent, in every town we visited. At least after that first day we always tried to keep a lot of change with us!

This year I found the App, JustPark, an app for parking in the UK. I tried it out to see if it would actually work in some of the places I was going. It did. Just put in location. The map pops up with the location of the lot. Then pick a lot, if there is more than one. Sometimes in really small places there is no lot, you may be parking in a private drive close to your location. It also shows how far you are from particular sights or events. Good to know! A virtual camera shows you the actual parking space. It asks you what day you want to park there and for how long, and you can extend it without returning to the lot to put more money in a meter, so no parking tickets either! The App shows you the fee to park there. Because I have put my credit card info into the app, at home on a secure computer, my spot is paid for when I get there. The map screen shows me exactly how to get to the lot! I hope this works as well as I want it to! It will make my day so much easier! Check out JustPark.com! Oh and how do I always have wi-fi everywhere abroad? Without the roaming fees that drive me crazy? See my next post on TEP!

PS I am posting this under my Tuesday Travel Tips even though it is not Tuesday. I have too many tips to post and not enough Tuesdays right now. And no I am not taking my Abarth!

 

 

Monday Windows: The Summer Window

 

Pierre Loti, Istanbul Turkey

Pierre Loti, Istanbul Turkey

It will soon be summer, so let’s look out the summer window!  What a great view! This could be your summer view from the hilltop village of Pierre Loti, in Istanbul, Turkey!

For more tips about visiting Istanbul look HERE!

Relaxing in London!

Relaxing in London!

Or how about a nice quiet spot to relax, in London? A good place to just watch the world go by and enjoy your Pimms, Beer or Coffee! This photo was taken at the St Ermin’s Hotel in the Westminster district, close to St James Park! It is close to all the sights and an underground too!

For more photos of windows, by fellow bloggers, just look at Monday Window!

Guest Blog: The Jazziest Tram in Rome

TramJazz Rome, Italy

TramJazz Rome, Italy

Doing tons of research about “things to do in Rome” I came across TramJazz.  This is typically only a little fun-fest known to locals.  Extensive research pays off.  TramJazz is basically what it sounds like.  It’s a “tram” that features “jazz” music accompanied by a traditional Italian 4-course meal.  There are different types of jazz music featured, but on the night I was able to attend with a friend, it was, “Wonderful World”, a tribute to Louis Armstrong.   When booking, you get a choice of sharing a table of four or sitting at a table of two.  We chose to sit at a table of four.  The TramJazz departs Piazza di Porta Maggiore at 9pm.  The tram is really a trolley car that is on a cable track.  When you arrive, they check your reservation and then show you to your table on the tram.  The tram seats 22 guests.  There are 3 servers and a 2-piece band.  Upon being seated we were greeted by our table mates. They were a cute Italian couple that didn’t speak any English!!!  Our server brought us wine and our first course.  The menu was in Italian only, and the tram had very little lighting, so seeing what we were being served was a bit of a challenge.  This was tough for me because I am a very picky eater.  The first course was a type of black licorice bread with sausage, ricotta cheese and honey.  The tram started on its journey.  It was night time so seeing the city all lit up was really nice.  The jazz musicians could only play music when the tram was stopped.  After traveling for about 20 minutes the tram came to a stop in front of the National Museum.  The jazz musicians began playing.  They played 4 to 5 songs while we were stopped.  We also were served our second course.  It was Eggplant Parmesan with tomato sauce.  We knew it had to be really good because all of the Italian people on the tram were licking their plates.  The tram was back on the move.  It took us through the “old city” and landed at The Colosseum.  We were able to get out here and take a few pictures.  The jazz music continued, as well.  We were served our next course when the tram started moving again.  This time we received Broccoli Lasagna, another homemade dish, using the freshest ingredients.  The last course was my favorite, it was Citrus Gelato! YUM!  We also were given unlimited wine the entire night!!!!  The tram was now back at Piazza di Porta Maggiore and we were off the tram and headed back to our hotel.  It was about a 3-hour ride.  The music was absolutely fantastic and definitely a fun thing to experience.  I mean, how many people can say they listened to Louis Armstrong on a Trolley through Roma?  

The price of the tour is $65.00 per person and if you want to have an authentic Italian meal with the locals, enjoy jazz and want to see Rome at night, this is the tour for you!

Ryn Jarrett opened her web business, Roman Holiday Italy Travel, in 2016.  TramJazz is one of the tours she reviewed as a recommendation for Roman Holiday Italy Travel.   Please feel free to check out her business page at www.romanholidayitalytravel.com.    

 

Where Do We Stay and How Do We Get There?

Bulleign Barn

Bulleign Barn

The Bulleign Barn

The Bulleign Barn

The Road to Bulleign Barn

The Road to Bulleign Barn

As I stated in my previous post I like to research my vacation before I hit the road.  I know, I know, a lot of you like to just “wing it,” but I would rather know all about places of interest, restaurants, and villages that I am am really interested in and then add to that, if something exciting turns up.  For this trip, I was glad I started early and took the time to look-up the gardens I was keenly interested in, on the National Garden Scheme, (NGS) so I could co-ordinate going from one garden to the next, (since our plan was to see several a day)  I  also needed to know how much time it would take to get from one to another, and where we would want to eat between gardens.  Although the gardens on the NGS are open on the weekends, for the most part, some had specific times they were open. We would have been quite dismayed to have arrived at a garden only to have to wait to get in. So when I had the gardens lined up I looked for a local pub close to the gardens we would be touring.  This was when I realized most pubs are open from 12pm-2pm for lunch and then re-open for dinner, usually 6pm-9pm. So I had to make sure we were at a certain place on schedule.

The first thing I learned was that there were GPS co-ordinates listed, for all the gardens in the NGS and all the historic National Trust estates, in their books. This would make the driving so much easier, in theory. But to be on safe side, I printed out maps and directions from garden to garden, to also have with me. As you can see from my work sheets, I made lots of notes. I also printed out the pub or special interest I wanted to see near every garden. I put all my notes, maps, and directions in plastic sleeves and then when I was ready for a particular day I just pulled out the necessary pages to carry along in the car. SB took a look at all my notes and quickly put together a spread sheet for me, so we knew where we WANTED to be everyday at least!

The Detailed Itinerary, Research, Research, Research

The Detailed Itinerary, Research, Research, Research

Now for reality. As Americans driving in the UK, it takes us at least three days to get used to, what is for us, a steering wheel on the wrong side of the car and driving on the wrong side of the road. We knew what to expect in that area. What we didn’t expect was   that once off the M25 we would be on a village road that got smaller and smaller as we got closer to our destination. These were roads meant for horse and buggy and then pony and trap, but were now meant for a two-car highway.  We were rear view mirror to rear view mirror! When we came to a village, the road narrowed even further in front of the stores, where the cars would be parked higgly-piggly in front of them. (I wouldn’t exactly call it parking)  Cars were just pulled up at any angle, as long as the car would fit in (or not), and the car abandoned.  Now this makes the road even smaller and one must wait your turn to go around and sometimes the car coming towards you is in a very big hurry so you have to creep past all the cars, zigging in and out at a crawl.  SB’s habit as we came to a village, was to roll down the window and pull in the rear view mirror saying, “Do you know how close you are to that car?” My reply every time, “I didn’t hit it did I?” This is not the best of ways to start a vacation meant for relaxation, but after three days I could move along with the best of them. I am a terrible navigator, even with a map, so it is best that I drive and SB keep me on the correct side of the road and upon entering a traffic circle tell me which turn-off is the one I want, because I would be just carousing that circle in total chaos.

Also, using the GPS in the car, as it was originally set up, to get from Point A to B in the fastest time, did not prove to be helpful. The GPS, in order to save a mile or two, would take us off the main road and into a tiny lane (and I mean tiny lane) to get to our destination. Now I can truly say I saw some lovely cottages and gardens, that were not on any of my maps, in extremely small clusters of village life, that I am sure the average American tourist does not get to see. I am ABSOLUTELY sure I am the only American who knows that the Swim Club in Sevenoaks is reached by going off the main road onto a 180 degree turn, after you have gone through a section of newly landscaped cottages found on the opposite side of the road to the one I was looking for, then up a steep hill into what had to be the Sherwood Forest, on a road that got narrower and narrower as we came to our supposed destination, Knole. Arriving at the back entrance, I think, where no one could get in, yes the GPS got us there, kind of. It was Knole, but not the proper entrance. But hey, like I said, I know now where the Swim Club is, the drive was nice and shady, it only added a half hour to our trip time, and I AM ON VACATION RIGHT? We did that on a lot of days to various destinations. You just have to go with the flow! We reverted to looking at my printed maps for extra guidance.

After much grumbling, and some hysteria about my driving, we arrived at our first destination near Tenterden. I have to say, also, that we had planned to stop at a local vineyard on the way, but under the circumstances that didn’t seem prudent, as I don’t think SB’s heart could have taken it, so we saved that for another day.

Main Home Section of Bulleign Barn

Main Home Section of Bulleign Barn

The Back Side of Bulleign Barn

The Back Side of Bulleign Barn

Bulleign Barn, a find on Air B&B, was perfect after our harried day. Turning off onto a narrow one-lane graveled road we poked along for a mile or so following the canal to one side and the rabbit warrens on the other. The lodging, near the hub of Tenterden, (a large village compared to others we had been through that day) was clustered in old hop fields, at one time belonging to the Boleyn family. The long black barns were used for storing the hops. Our Air B&B accommodation was one of the long barns converted into a home with several bedrooms off the main section of the home. Our room was very spacious and modern with WI-FI, located on the main floor, with a private entrance, and set in a small walled courtyard near the old stone horse pool. There was a fridge for our trips to the vineyards too.

Our Room at Bulleign Barn

Our Room at Bulleign Barn

Our Room at Bulleign Barn

Our Room at Bulleign Barn

Our Room at Bulleign Barn

Our Room at Bulleign Barn

Every morning we were served a delicious breakfast of fresh yogurts, fruits, home made jams, along with croissants and specialty breads, warm from the oven. The outdoor table was set to our time-table and it was nice to talk to the other guests, and watch the playful dogs, chickens and a duck named Jemima.

Jemima

Jemima

Breakfast Every Morning!

Breakfast Every Morning!

AirB&B, Bulleign Barn, near Tenterden

AirB&B, Bulleign Barn, near Tenterden

There was also a family of white barn owls, who nested in the eaves, and one morning we got to meet a baby owl, which had fallen from the nest overnight. Our hostess skillfully set about to replace the fallen chick.

Baby White Owl

Baby White Owl

It was so nice to have found this country accommodation and start our day in such a relaxing way before we set off on our daily adventures to the gardens. We looked over the listings for quite some time, since there were so many varied spots to choose from.  If you haven’t thought of using Air B&B you should give it a try. We had choices of garden sheds, gypsy wagons, tents, rooms in big estates homes, or entire homes in both rural and city settings.  It’s just fun to see all the offers available out there and we have never been disappointed with a listing we have stayed in. To top that off it is much less expensive and if you like true interaction with your host and other guests, Air B&B will be for you. See you in the garden tomorrow!

PS

Before leaving on our Tour of the Gardens, in the spirit of things, I decided to name my little house, The End Cottage.  Every proper cottage in England has a name, most likely used prior to streets and house numbers, so why shouldn’t our place have a name I say? The Star was placed in my yard because I was selected for the Garden of the Month by my neighbors! Thanks !!!!!!

The End Cottage

The End Cottage

An Adventure in Gardens, the Weald of Kent

A Garden in Kent UK

A Garden in Kent UK

Of all the delectable islands, the Neverland is the snuggest & most compact…… not large and sprawling, you know, with tedious distance between one adventure & another, but nicely crammed. 

J. M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan.

The Yellow Flowers

The Yellow Flowers

When it comes to gardens I like nothing better than to stroll, admire the collections of beautiful flowers, and imagine the inhabitants of the house and how they like to garden. I especially like the messy, scattered garden with vines dripping over the garden gate, and paths that invite you to explore. It’s even better if there is a flower box of riotous color haphazardly framing the window ledges of the small cottage, nestled in the garden, as if just plunked in, as an after thought. Pieces of art and sculpture placed in a specific spot draw your eye and add to the charm of the garden. I have just returned from several weeks in the United Kingdom, specifically in Kent and Sussex, traipsing through local gardens and visiting magnificent estate homes with acres and acres of gardens. Whew!  We lodged in a barn in the middle of the weald, down a mile-long gravel road, wide enough for one car at a time, passing by the field of rabbit warrens and watching for the hop of a bunny on our daily treks into the countryside.

Planning our adventure was one of the fun “bits.” I love the “planning” part! Where to go, what to see? One thing leads to another. First, I looked for places I knew would be of interest. What about the Chelsea Flower Show? No, too crowded and I wanted more rural. Hever Castle during Rose Week? Closer, but not quite right. Then I read a wonderful book, called A Fine Romance, by Susan Branch. It’s about falling in love with the English countryside and her adventures when visiting England.

A Fine Romance

A Fine Romance

I loved it and the more I read the more I was drawn to Kent  and the village of Tenterden. So, I set out to learn all about Kent and especially Tenterden. I also learned more about the National Trust.  The National Trust, since 1895, has been preserving the countryside and hundreds of historic properties in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. I first heard of it when reading all about Beatrix Potter and her home in the Lake District, which was left to the National Trust. The properties restored include huge estates to the small and quirky. Just right up my alley. So our first priority was to join the National Trust, (it’s called the “Royal Oak Society “ in the U.S ) which allowed us to receive a handbook with maps of all the places to visit with the National Trust and a pass to get in all of them for a year and a pass for parking at the different locations.

National Trust Book

National Trust Book 2015

What a must this is!  You don’t realize all the places available to visit until to see them on the maps! So that was a reference point to start with. Where could we set up our “base camp” closest to the sites we wanted to see? Well it still remained Tenterden for us. Then I heard about the National Garden Scheme. What in the world was that? Had to research it before final decisions were made!

The National Garden Scheme was founded in 1927 to open “gardens of quality, character and interest to the public for charity.”  Originally the admission fees raised money for district nurses. This was changed in 1948 with the formation of the National Health Service. The National Gardens Scheme has given more than 43 million pounds to nursing and care facilities since the time it opened. Since I am a retired RN this was near and dear to my heart.  These are “local” gardeners and their gardens. No big estates, (but some seemed to me like they were!) One woman I was chatting with on our walk through a local garden invited me to her garden, as well, which was not on the list, but exclaimed, “it’s only 12 acres, of course.”  So as you can imagine, we visited the “potager,” snuggled behind the small cottage, to large landscaped gardens with “rooms” of flowering blooms. All gardeners were proud of their gardens, more than willing to tell you about them and happy that they were able to do their “bit.”

In 2013 there were over 3700 gardens open, which were all vetted to make sure they are all of sufficient interest. Each gardener opens his garden (usually on a weekend), one or two days during the year. I was so excited! But, it takes some planning! “The National Garden Schemes, “Yellow Book”,” can be purchased each year, which lists all the gardens and when they will be open.

The Yellow Book 2015

The Yellow Book 2015

Maps, directions, type of garden, and particular interest are included. We were really in the thick of the countryside when directions would reveal, “just go down the gravel road for a mile and then when you get to the yellow mailbox turn right on that gravel road and proceed on to the canal road and windmill place. Light refreshments offered.”

The Countryside Garden

The Countryside Garden

In the Garden

Tea In the Garden

This as going to be one of our best adventures! So after months of looking up gardens and coordinating them with places on the National Trust we were ready to make our way to the “Garden of England,” Kent. We were about to set off on a gardener’s dream! See you tomorrow on our way to the garden!

Cady Luck Leedy’s Tuesday Travel Tips: #3

Do Not Travel Like a Hobo

You Do Not Have to Travel Like a Hobo

Tip #3: You Have to Know How to Hold ‘Em and Know How to Fold ‘Em!

Traveling in the summer months is easier to pack for. Clothes weigh less and are not bulky. I make outfits that mix and match. For any trip over two weeks;  seven tops and five slacks. Interchangeable. Period. This combo makes thirty five different outfits! For trips under two weeks; five tops and four slacks. Add a lightweight sweater that goes with anything, or a light-weight wrap.  Remember you can’t enter most religious sites wearing shorts, or having  bare shoulders. You’ll need a cover-up and appropriate clothing. I always have just two main color schemes, light and dark.  My choice is black and tan.  I choose tops than can go with all the slacks.  My slacks are capri length or long. This makes a very big wardrobe and believe me it so much easier to deal with.  To dress something up add a scarf! If I have a washer and dryer available on an extended trip I go with the 7/4 rule. Don’t be bogged down taking tons of clothes! You will tire of lugging them around, and will not wear most of them!

Sacs from Eagle Creek

Sacs from Eagle Creek

The next best thing to soap is  Compression Sacs from Eagle Creek, the kind that don’t need a vacuum to suck out the air. Put your clothes  in it, and then roll the sack like you are rolling out a pie. The air escapes and it is flat as a pancake. A miracle!  You will be amazed how much you can get into these sacs! The sacs come in three sizes.  Small, medium and large.  I take one large Compression Sac empty, to use for dirty laundry. I can  separate the dirty from the clean stuff so I always know what is what. They are extremely durable and I have been known to mail home my dirty laundry in these sacs, when I bought too many goodies on vacation. (You’ ll still need to find a box to mail them in, but it will be a small one!)  Also, if you go to a laundromat in Europe it is easier and less noticeable to carry your laundry to and fro in these sacs. Mark one for clean and one for dirty, so you can bring back clean clothes in a clean sac.  Put dirty clothes in marked dirty sac, roll it up, squeeze out the air and place  sacs in Veggie Borsa and off you go to wash!   Scented laundry sheets are a real winner. Place them in the dirty clothes sac and in your suitcase and everything will smell heavenly!

Smart-Compression Sac

Smart-Compression Sac

Evelopes

Envelopes

The other must have is the Eagle Creek Envelopes and it’s matching bags.  These come in different shapes and sizes, the items shown here are the ones I use.  One for pants, one for tops, one for underwear and one for toiletries.  I love it because it keeps my clothes sorted and I don’t have to pull  everything out of my suitcase to find something.  Also, if I am staying in one spot for a long time I take the envelopes out and put them in the dresser drawers. Easy! It is amazing how your clothes stay freshly pressed in these envelopes too.

How to do the Shoes

How to do the Shoes

For shoes, your new best friend, will be the plastic sleeves that the newspaper comes in.  Perfect for shoes, slide the shoe in and pack them. Keeps everything clean. I wear my heaviest shoes on the airplane and pack another pair in Papa Borsa’s front pouch, which is easy to get to. I take three pair of shoes total. One pair of black sandals, for dressier occasions without extensive walking. Also, two pair of walking shoes. We tend to walk a lot, so comfortable shoes is a must. One tan pair, one black. Again they will go with all my outfits. Do not take white tennis shoes! You will stand out in the crowd as the loud, touristy American! They make all sorts of colored, fancy or not, walking shoes and they are stylish anywhere, so you will blend in. I also bring a small roll of duct tape in a bright color to make a fashion statement. Ha Ha! Place a strip on the back of your ankles before you leave home and you will never get a blister, no matter how far you walk!

Small plastic bags in assorted sizes come in most handy for makeup, lotions or hairspray that may leak.  Place all toiletries in a plastic bag before it is put in the toiletry bag.  Bring only what is necessary and in small plastic travel containers. A small bar of soap and detergent is handy to wash out underclothes in my room. I also bring a small nylon stretchy clothes line.

I never take a hair dryer, too bulky, no matter the size. Most hotels, and B&B’s offer one to use. If not, I go with my “whatever” hairdo! I am on vacation!

Stuff to carry in your purse at all times:

A Tide to Go pen. You want to get at a possible stain before it has time to set. Ever been to a bathroom to discover no toilet paper?  Carry Handywipes  and a No Rinse Hand Sanitizer.  Carry a very small umbrella. If you have it with you, you will never need it.  Enjoy your next vacation!

 

Cady Luck Leedy’s Tuesday Travel Tips: #2

Tip # 2. It is very important to carry the right bag! This is a little story about bags, one of the most important parts of traveling!

The Borse Family

The Borse Family, Papa, Mama and Baby Borsa

There once were several Borse (Italian word for bags) that lived in  “The End” cottage. They were very excited to be going on vacation! Papa Borsa was big, blue, and handsome, with lots of pockets.  His favorite feature was a big pouch for an extra pair of shoes right on his front that was easily accessible. He could carry a newspaper, an umbrella, and all kinds of goodies in his side pouch. He also had a heart sleeve, a place he held dear, that carried the Mrs’s  lipstick and chapstick and anything small that would make the Mrs look good at all times. All the small items are easy to get to without opening the main bag.

How to do the Shoes

How to Do the Shoes

That’s why Mama Borsa fell in love with him at first sight. She knew he was the brains of the family and carried the computer, the Ipad, and IPhone and all their connectors, so he was always ready to compute. His big belly was ready for anything! Be sure to wrap the shoes in the plastic bags the newspaper comes in! You can never have enough plastic bags and newspaper bags are some of my favorites! Those bags are so handy! Papa Borsa was so thoughtful, with a plastic sturdy bottom on the outside, so he wouldn’t bring dirt into the cottage. He came from Lug and had lots of brothers and sisters in bright cheerful colors!

Mama Borsa was an organizer, she wasn’t too big or too small, but just right. She had lots of pockets and zips and came with several straps, so was very adjustable to all kinds of situations.  Since she was in charge of the purse strings she had a small change purse for credit cards, money and identity cards that clipped to her innards and could never be dropped or left on tables to be lost. She came from the family of Baggallini’s.  They were a family of zippy, deep pockets, and closures known for their endurance and strength.  She was called Odessy by her family, but just Mama at home.

Papa and Mama Borsa, had many children, but they decided for every trip,  that Veggie Borsa, should be one of the children to go. He was adopted from the check-out aisle at the market and was the baby and liked to carry lots of things with him all the time, because he was very stretchy.  Mama had to keep an eye on him when shopping, if he left her side.  He would be found with all kinds of gifts and goodies, and since he was so flexible he would stretch and stretch until he filled up. Mama and Papa were always surprised that he could carry so much and still not be too heavy to carry home.  Papa Borsa was so proud of him! Especially when they went to market.   With Baby Veggie Borsa along you didn’t need to pay for Papersacks Borsa to carry the groceries home.  Baby Borsa was glad to help and never dropped or broke one thing! Even wet he never let the family down. He was a real bagger!  After a big day when he was ready for his nap, he would fold up so tiny and could be tucked in almost anywhere! And he slept!

This year, the cousins Pacsafe and Secrid, were going on vacation too. Pacsafe was always so secretive!

One of the Pacsafe Cousins With Sacrid

One of the Pacsafe Cousins With Secrid

He had a very strong, wire-coiled exterior and strap that could not be cut through and tough locking straps so you could lock him to a chair or a post! Nothing was going to phase Pacsafe! No one would get away with him! Secrid was a small little fellow that always traveled with Pacsafe. When you saw one, you saw the other! He carried the credit cards and his strong aluminum shell prevented the theft of credit card numbers when no one was paying attention. But Secrid always paid attention! They were very happy to be joining the trip this year!

The Borse Family looked forward to the big plane ride. There was a big overhead bin where they all could cuddle.  Papa hoped he would meet a briefcase to discuss the world in general.  Mama hoped to delve into all the fashion and food of the world, with her new bag friends.  And Baby Veggie thought he might be the only one along for the ride. Pacsafe hoped someone would try to steal him on vacation, so he could show his muscles, and Secrid was itching to go shopping and zip his cards through the machines! After meeting up with all their friends, they finished their snacks and settled in for a nice long flight! See you on vacation! Enjoy!

PS  The Papa Borsa Bag sits easily on my small luggage and over the pull-out handle. Nothing to carry. My Mama Borsa Bag is a cross-over bag so it frees up my hands. Nothing to worry about leaving somewhere. I take Baby Borsa whenever I am out shopping or just going to the corner for baguettes!

 

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