Archives for category: Travel
Bullet wardrobe for road trip and light hiking

Travel: Munich, Neuschwanstein, & Zugspitze

Sometimes you want to take a whirlwind trip–it’s just time to hit several priority spots and you don’t have time to leisurely explore. That’s okay! You can accomplish the list below in three days–drive Friday from Frankfurt to Munich, walk around, eat dinner at the Hofbrau Haus. Go back to the hotel and enjoy the hot shower! Saturday, drive to Neuschwanstein and hike up to the castle! Eat lunch while enjoying an incredible view and pick up some souvenirs. Hop back into the car and drive to Garmisch. Drive through a 15 minute section of road that is in Austria, and pop back into Germany. Breathe in the incredible beauty of the alps and the alpine air. Check into the hotel and eat dinner out! Next morning, go up to Zugspitze, the highest peak in Germany, and wear your hiking shoes! Buy a pretzel, cross over into Austria again, feed the birds, hike some more, and buy souvenirs. Get a stamp (in your passport if you have it with you) of Zugspitze! End the active morning with a lunch at Berggasthof Almhutte with a comforting potato soup with vegetables and then have the Kirschbeutel (which you have to wait for–they don’t serve sweets until after 2:00 p.m. on Sunday). Oh, and the four cups of whipped cream are not sweetened.

The priority spots for us were:

  • Altstadt Munich
  • Hofbrau Haus
  • Neuschwanstein
  • Zugspitze
  • Almhutte at the Berggasthof

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Here’s the bullet wardrobe list that plans for temps from 58 – 80 degrees F. with sun, clouds, rain, wind:

  • Hiking shoes
  • Black cushy walking tennis shoes
  • Birkenstocks to wear in the car
  • Stretchy comfortable easy-to-hike-in jeans
  • Three scarves–black, cotton print, Edelweiss print neckerchief (must look touristy)
  • Rain layer — very lightweight, leopard print to up my game in Munich
  • Wear linen dress/tunic over knee covering leggings
  • Sweatshirt or sweater
  • White button down shirt
  • Off white peasant shirt

And that fits in a small suitcase with beauty and Rx necessities.

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What to pack for a long weekend: Beauty & Rx

Being over 50 has some new guidelines for what is necessary to take on a long weekend for beauty & Rx medicine categories. Here is a bullet wardrobe reminder of what I “need” to be comfortable on a long weekend–that still comfortably fits into my one small suitcase. I rely on travel sized items, beauty samples, and premiums–those nice little extras that come with a cosmetic purchase. I also rely on my favorite brands and their special travel-sized, age/skin-type related items–I usually purchase some as I see the kits available, as well as ask for some as a gift idea every year! My go to is Clinique–the comfort of knowing how it smells (or doesn’t smell) as well as how my skin feels when I use it makes it part of my travel routine. You will see that I use many other brands for other “must-have” items, but I always come back to Clinique for the foundation of my skin care routine.

Here’s the bullet wardrobe reminder list:

  • Cleanser
  • Eye makeup remover
  • Toner
  • Serum (only the small format bottle, the larger serum stays at home)
  • Eye cream
  • Moisturizer
  • Moisturizer with Sunscreen for daytime
  • Sunscreen, sensitive skin
  • Eye primer (Urban Decay)
  • Concealer
  • Eye shadow set (usually just one, but sometimes two–I will use any brand with the right combination)
  • Eye liner
  • Eyebrow pencil (found a great version for salt and pepper haircolor–Bobby Brown!)
  • Urban Decay 24 hour makeup setting spray (only brand I use and it is a lifesaver, since I use layers of moisturizer around my eyes)
  • Mascara
  • Blush, cream stick in perfect neutral for me
  • Zambeezi lip Balm (favorite brand)
  • Lip color, gloss, stick in my wear everywear neutral (find your perfect neutral–don’t use someone else’s–because then it’s not perfect on You!)
  • Brushes, cotton balls, cotton swabs (Q-tips, because I wouldn’t know what a cotton swab was)
  • Extra washcloth or two (I can’t tell you how many times I wanted an extra washcloth and couldn’t seem to get one from housekeeping at midnight, or in a pensione sometimes they are really rough)
  • Hairspray (I only like Dove right now)
  • Small travel size shampoo & conditioner (just in case they provide a pump of all-in-one gel in the shower)
  • Spare bobby pins, hair comb (just in case need to put hair up and look a little more “evening”)
  • Brush
  • Toothbrush, paste, floss, picks
  • Eye drops–for allergies, dry eyes
  • Extra contacts, in case glasses get lost/broken
  • Shaving gear (I know, at my age?!!)
  • Medicine: allergies, chronic conditions, aging stuff (we’ll talk later), migraine, muscle relaxers, ibuprofen
  • Aloe Vera gel, with lidocaine (good for more than the occasional sunburn!)
  • Disposable wipes for whatever needs wiping (door knobs, toilet seats, hands) or many times, if I don’t need the antiseptic element, I use wet paper towels in a zip lock bag–better for the environment, your health, etc.
  • Black Electrical Tape– This is my best secret essential! For people with light sensitivity–inevitably, I am kept awake by the blinking smoke detector light positioned right over “my side” of the bed, or other LED lights that unfortunately, cause migraines

It all fits nice and neat in the usual bags. This is not for carry on bags! We have been traveling by train and car to our destinations, and I have had to check my bag when I fly, due to the small size of the airplanes. So there has been little to no need to do the extra work of a carry-on plan here in Europe. I will do a break down and show a carry-on Beauty & Rx in a later blog post.

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It all fits easily!

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Traveling to Berlin for a weekend had me solving the weather problem: rainy, humid, hot, sunny, and chilly, and windy– all in the course of three days. On top of that, it was my 16th anniversary, so I knew that at least one nice dinner was on the itinerary. Other than a nice dinner, we planned to go to museums, see a memorial to fallen Russian soldiers, see the Berlin Tiergarten Siegessaeule, a monument honoring victories in the “unification” wars. We also planned on seeing Charlottenburg Palace, and hopping a bus over to Potsdam to wander around Sans Souci, built by Friedrich the Great inspired by Versailles. In addition, we couldn’t see Berlin without going to the Helmut Newton museum. So, comfortable shoes were a must — there was so much walking on cobblestones, dirt paths, steps, and streets.

Here’s my bullet wardrobe reminder. I followed prevailing fashion advice, neutrals–white, gray, black–with one predominant accent color–petal pink. After all, it was my anniversary and I certainly wanted to look light and feminine, summery and happy! Additionally, I wore some beautiful Alexis Bittar jewelry that my hubby had purchased for me a few years ago.

  • Rain windbreaker: packable, white
  • Trenchcoat: short, pink, not super waterproof
  • Dress: pewter, lightweight, comfortable, nice enough for most restaurants
  • Pants: white
  • Jeans: black motorcycle
  • T-shirt: floral, Balmain
  • Tank: floral, charcoal
  • Birkenstocks: silver
  • Sneakers: white converse
  • Walking cross trainers: black and white
  • Scarves: microfiber pastel print, pink mesh, linen white print
  • Vintage accessory: charm bracelets

 

A few Berlin highlights: There is a street called Strasse Juni 17th — so if that is your Anniversary date–it’s perfect to celebrate on that street, on that date.

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Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

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Strasse Juni 17th looking at the Seugessaeule, or Victory Memorial. There was a bicycle race that day, Juni 17th!

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The Reichstag — the German capitol building with the flag flying in the wind!

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When I go to Paris (or Prague) and I only want to take one suitcase, I look at the weather, decide on a “look” and then write down what I will take. Here’s a reminder of a Bullet Wardrobe that has worked for prior trips taken in spring and summer to these wonderful cities. You’ll notice the simplicity of color choice: black, which 1) rates high on the style index, especially when spending time in art museums and cathedrals, and 2) transitions into a decent dinner look with a little extra eyeliner and jewelry. Accent with white, if you have salt and pepper hair, and forget an accent color. Yes, minimalism is all the rage. Let the scarves do all of the work.

Here’s the Bullet wardrobe list:

  • Jeans: skinny, black
  • Jeans: moto, black
  • Jacket: Lightweight Black leather biker
  • Jacket: Satin Bomber–Black, Olive, Burgundy
  • Sweater: Black hoodie
  • Shirt: L/S Button up Silk, Black (dress up or down based on shoes/jewelry/scarf)
  • T-shirt: S/S Vintage Chanel Logo Black
  • T-shirt: Sleeveless, lightweight & drapey, zebra-striped print, vintage Saint Laurent
  • Walking shoes: Black and white power walking shoes with inserts (a must for cobblestones and hills!)
  • Walking shoes: Black Converse are lightweight, stylin’ and still okay for walking
  • Pumps: vintage or just old? Zebra-striped pony pumps for when you want to go out at night!
  • Two scarves (because you’ll buy at least one on the trip): silk red and purple floral, lightweight animal print
  • Umbrella (which you could lose and so you will purchase another one)
  • Packable rain coat (not shown)
  • Straw fedora (to keep sun off–not shown)
  • Vintage accessory: charm bracelets

 

Now that I’m comfortable with my 50’s appearance, it only took 5 years, I am helping myself remember which packing plans have worked best for me here in Europe. This post covers our trip to see the WWI history in Verdun. The weather forecast was rainy; the itinerary included light hiking in the woods,  staying at a pensione in the country, and going to a community flea market.

Bullet wardrobe for a long weekend in Verdun, Lorraine, France over the July 4 holiday.

  • Jeans: stretchy, straight leg
  • Jeans: skinny
  • Knit shirts: L/S french stripes
  • Shirt: Crisp, white button down
  • Cardigan: White, light weight
  • Rain shell: white, packable
  • Rain coat: mustard yellow tin cloth
  • Down vest or wool pullover (wished for on trip)
  • 3 scarves: linen, vintage silk, microfiber
  • Hiking boots: should have been waterproof, legwarmers were a plus
  • Sneakers: leather, walking
  • Birkenstocks: good for pensione & car
  • Bag: cross body
  • Backpack: waterproof
  • Extra wash cloths!
  • Other usuals: socks, medicine, cosmetics
  • Vintage accessory: daisy print silk scarf with sunny yellow border, charm bracelets

Focusing on wearing white makes selfies seem lighter and somewhat more flattering. Using the old wardrobe rule 2 neutrals+1 accent color keeps it simple. Remember that in these wet, cloudy, and breezy climates, layering allows accommodation for temperature fluctuations. The folks in Verdun were kind and in the country, were just like all country folks-hospitable and pragmatic.