September 1, 2015

Finding The Perfect Carry-On Bag

Although I write a blog about travel, I am sorely lacking in the "packing light" department. I have been working hard to do better recently, but it still seems like on every trip I take my suitcase is heavier than I would like and I always end up bringing home a few unused items. Sound familiar? Or, do any of you manage to pack for a week or more in a small carry-on? If so, will you please write a guest post to share how you do it?!

In anticipation of my upcoming Ireland trip (fingers crossed that I will be able to go!), I am challenging myself to try to pack for a week in just a 21" international size carry-on. Hmm...just the thought of that makes me incredibly nervous. 

My old carry-on bag is too big for the new international carrier restrictions AND it is the two wheeled version. With a bad arm, I need to make sure my luggage is easy for me to manage. So I need to find an ultra light spinner carry-on that can hold a weeks' worth of clothes.  

Here are a few of my options...I would love your input...which would you choose? Or, do you have another one you would recommend?

This may be the most stylish choice but how practical is it? Believe it or not it is also the lightest weight of them all, at just 5.8 pounds! Of course, it is also the most expensive.

I love that this one is SO lightweight and it looks like there may be some "give" for me to overstuff it a bit, plus I am tempted by all the fun color options...BUT, will it be sturdy enough?

 Delsey Luggage Helium Titanium Carry-On EXP Spinner
Everyone seems to be carrying "clamshell" luggage these days so they have me intrigued...definitely sturdy but will it be light weight enough? The Delsey website claims it will hold 10 shirts, 4 pairs of pants, 2 coats, 4 pairs of shoes and two toiletry bags. 

Travelpro Maxlite3 21 Inch Expandable Spinner  

This is the brand the flight attendants and pilots swear by...that should be a reliable recommendation, right?

    Victorinox Luggage Avolve 2.0 20  

All my other luggage is Victorinox and I love the brand, but this just isn't wow-ing me.  

Okay, my friends...I would love for you to help me out...which would YOU recommend?

August 28, 2015

On My Radar Screen

Happy Friday everyone! I really had hoped to get back to a regular blogging schedule, but as all of you know...sometimes life just gets in the way. Our youngest son arrived home after his summer in Hong Kong for a whirlwind visit before heading up to Providence to begin his Senior year...seriously, where does the time go?! Plus, with just one good hand/arm, everything I do takes ten times longer than normal.

Photo by Daniel Kordan, via
  Here are a few things pinging my radar screen lately...

My buddy Katie from The Preppy Empty Nester shared highlights from her European Cruise this summer here and here...she and her sweet husband always seem to have SO much fun!

Emily from Splendid Market is always traveling somewhere exotic...this summer she was on the Amalfi Coast - go here, here and here if you don't mind being green with envy!
A new instagram favorite...Daniel Kordan's photos are breathtaking...

The latest issue of Virtuoso Life...

Meet the man who flies around the world for free...


Vintage photos of cruising on the Cunard Line... 

What it is really like to be an airline pilot...

A 3 year trip around the world in under three minutes...

That is about it for me for this week! I hope you manage to sqeeze every drop out of these last few days of summer...wherever you may be wandering...


August 20, 2015

Rendez-vous au Ritz Paris

In one of my earliest blog posts back in August of 2012, I wrote about the Ritz Paris closing for what was expected to be a two year renovation. Alas, the new re-opening date for the Ritz Paris is now March of 2016. 

 Will it be worth the wait? I predict it will be the "hottest" hotel in Paris even with recent newcomers Shangri-La and Peninsula stealing the spotlight while the Ritz has been shuttered. 


The new Ritz will feature the first ever Chanel Spa

Want to be one of the first to stay at the newly reopened Paris icon? They are now accepting reservations for stays beginning March 14, 2016. I would love to book your room and add the following Virtuoso amenities to your reservation:
  • Guaranteed upgrade at time of booking
  • No set check-in/check-out time
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests (valid at restaurant or in-room)
  • Complimentary two-way private airport transfer (with VIP meet & greet at the airport on arrival)
Rendez-vous au Ritz!

(all illustrations via Ritz Paris)

August 18, 2015

I'm Back!!! (Sort Of...)

No...this is, unfortunately NOT where I have been for the past month!
Hi everyone! I wanted to check in here on the blog since it has been almost a month since I last posted. For those of you who may have missed my last post - sadly, I have not been relaxing on an exotic vacation somewhere, but "enjoying" a rather lengthy and painful recovery from a badly broken humerus.  It is amazing how one little spill can turn your life upside down. I am still looking at 4-6 more weeks of having my arm stabilized - arggg! It is amazing the things you can't do with only one arm/hand. However, I have become pretty adept at  one handed typing and so it is time for me to get back to blogging!

There are silver linings in every cloud and all of your wonderful emails and comments have definitely brightened my days - thank you SO much, my friends!!!

by Jeanne McKay Hartmann
  The highlight of all my Mondays has been reading the latest installment of Sharon Santoni's story "Coming Home" on her blog accompanied by the absolutely delightful illustrations by my friend Jeanne of I Dream Of.

Another positive - I have blown through my summer reading list and then favorites have been Villa America, Tiny Little Thing, At The Water's Edge and Eight Hundred Grapes.

And, I discovered an EXCELLENT travel video series - Smart Travels With Rudy Maxa. I will probably dedicate an entire post to his series, but if you are looking for something to satisfy (or possibly ignite) your wanderlust, these videos are perfect.

Anyone going through a rough time needs bright spots in the future to look forward to...The day before I fell, I finalized an early October trip to Ireland. It is up in the air as to whether I will be okay to go but it gives me a defined goal to work towards as I begin physical therapy. 

And, for something to really look forward to - I booked flights for two+ weeks in Italy next Spring!

Hopefully, I will be back to a fairly regular blogging schedule...with all my time to read lately, I have lots of travel info to share with you. Enjoy every minute of these gorgeous summer days!