20-20-20-4 hours ago . . .

The Ramones . . . they wanna be sedated. I can relate. It's countdown time until my mom and I leave for Paris. Less than 36 hours!!!!!! My mom came today to help me figure out what to pack. I had an idea but I had stacked up about twice what I needed. There's just something about your mom telling you "No." that makes you focus.

Anyway, I've been wanting to blog but we're back into the big rowing season which means weekends are full as are a few days during the week. I am in awe of the families who are participating in rowing with more than one kid. NO. WAY.

Also, the days of just popping on to spew whatever is in my head are gone. Having grown kids limits what you can talk about and also limits explaining yourself sometimes. But, for now, I'm going to Paris. In less than 36 hours.

Never, ever thought I would get to Paris. And, I worried about being able to get there and get dressed. That's one advantage to traveling when you're young - you can get away with wearing almost everything. Over fifty? What you wear will definitely have an impact on how you are treated and how you feel. (At least that's my impression.) In my online searches for what to wear in Paris in winter, I keep finding cute 20-ish people and cute 65-ish people. I don't fit into either category.  I also don't have money.

So, I'm sharing what I'm going to be wearing in Paris - including where I found it and what I paid. What works in Paris is not what I normally wear in Orlando, FL. (That would be overalls and a tank top - sometimes shoes) I had time to do some scouting and searching. I like black, you'll notice. But, I think what I'm packing would work in any major city. And, if you are willing to spend the time (yes, time = money so do your own math) you can get a great travel wardrobe for next to nothing. I despise having my picture taken but I will get my mom to take a picture everyday so you can see if what I packed works or not.

travel-dayTRAVEL DAYS:  Repeatedly I've read that you should wear your bulkiest stuff when you travel. It lightens your suitcase. We're traveling in winter so I'm okay with that.

I found this Jones New York leather jacket at my favorite thrift store (thanks to Ian's help) for $16.16. The blue pashima is something I picked up at a thrift store years ago for about $8 - it's silk and big enough to use as a blanket on the plane. Underneath the jacket is a man's cashmere turtleneck from Theory that I found for $8. It's soft, squishy and the cashmere makes it less sloppy than a sweatshirt. Skinny jeans are Levi's and the Born boots (most comfortable shoes EVER) were both from Goodwill. Total $12.

I will wear this outfit coming and going from Paris. I'll wear individual parts of the outfit throughout my trip. $44.16 (or $22.08 each way)

awesome-sweater-dressFANCY DAYS:  We are figuring on a pretty casual trip. However, there are a few things that I think might be more comfortable if I'm a little more dressed up. This dress was the find of the century. I had two dresses marked on Ebay and ThredUp (both over $60) when I happened on this one in Goodwill (I was there looking for a frame!). Add some dark red tights from Big Lots and the awesome $6 Born boots?  A necklace or a scarf. It doesn't get much better. In fact, it's kind of like looking really good and fooling everyone because you are essentially wearing your pajamas. I think this outfit might turn up a lot in pictures.

 obligatory-striped-shirtMUSEE DAYS:  There is sooooo much I want to see in Paris. We have it narrowed down to several museums. I think this will be my uniform. The striped shirt that is apparently de rigeur if you're in France and these awesome Parker pants I found at Walmart. The pants are seriously amazing - especially at about $15. They run big so try them on. They have tons of prints. The fabric is lightweight, wrinkle resistant and they hold their shape all day. Tossing in the Banana Republic driving loafers for a bit of red. Found these shoes at a now closed consignment shop. I think I paid $18 for them about six years ago. Love, love, love them. I would actually pay full-price for them when these die.

night-outNIGHT OUT:  I picked up a great travel skirt ($2 b/c of half off color)  before my mom and I went to Costa Rica. I didn't bring the skirt to Costa Rica but hung onto it. It's a jersey knit and is easy to roll up or down depending on how long you want it. I love skirts and dresses. I think they are so much more comfortable than pants - even yoga pants. For this skirt, I'm thinking of dressing it up for a night out with as crinkly blouse ($3), fun necklace ($7) some ribbed tights ($4)  and my granny boots.

scarf-and-jeansRANDOM DAYS: We have a couple of mornings and afternoons that are not planned.  For those, I have my v-necked cashmere cardigan (again from the men's department at the thrift store - $11) and a couple of extra t-shirts. I have extra scarves and some black skinny jeans that will work will with any of my shoes.

Now, we wait and see what goes wrong and what I regret. For now, I feel like I'll look okay without being too young or too old.

Did I mention I'm going to Paris and I can't believe it and I keep squealing? Pity the cab driver that we get at the airport. He/She's going to have to absorb all of my excitement and endure me practicing French on him as well. My hope is that he/she will leave thinking, "She was weird but, sheesh, what a great outfit."

Remember my friends . . . It is better to look good than to feel good. 8)  (I can't post video on this site - Google Billy Crystal if you need a reminder!)