It’s been awhile since my last post on my travel plans, and wow – it’s less than three months before I leave! September 15th is SO impossibly close now.
Remember there was Plan A (Iceland, England, and Egypt) and Plan B (Iceland, England, and Someplace Else)? And the decision between the two was really difficult. I went with Plan A largely because of the Egyptian Revolution, and my hope that I’d be able to get into the country while the hoards of tourists were still too afraid to travel there, but before anything major blew up again. I’m good with some civil unrest. But after it has become pretty clear that the Muslim terrorists attacking the current government are changing their tactics from attacking government buildings and officials, to striking the government where it hurts more – in the tourist trade – I’m almost 100% decided to go with Plan B. I’m not comfortable with the recent gunfire at the pyramids, and the suicide bombers at Karnak Temple. It makes me very sad for the Egyptian people though – tourism was just beginning to recover, and they depend upon it so very much.
So, Plan B. Iceland, England, and Venice! I’ll take the ten days I was going to have in Egypt and visit York, Bath, Oxford, Salisbury, the Cotswolds and still have one night in Venice.
Also, I’ll have time for a few more experiences I’ve always wanted – like hot air ballooning over Bath.
I’m pretty terrified of heights, but I love to do things to challenge that fear. A few years ago, I did this, and it pretty much took all the courage I had, and it was awesome.
I’m also spending a couple of days in the Penzance/Mousehole/St. Ives area, via the sleeper train from London. Taking a sleeper train has long been something I’ve been dying to do. And the beaches/coast? So pretty!
I hope it’s nice while I’m there. Or stormy. One of the two!
I’ve also been shopping for travel things. I found this wonderful skirt on Amazon. It really is fabulous; I love the fabric it’s made from. So comfy and cute, and I’ll be able to dress it up or dress it down. I think I want one in every color for when I’m home. It’s very soft and squishy, so it will pack extremely well. That’s important, because I’m taking ONE carry on bag…and it’s even smaller than the airline’s limit! Seriously, if I weren’t doing active things like riding horses, I wouldn’t bring pants at all. Skirts are so much more comfortable, packable, and versatile. Did I ever mention that I do all my outdoor work and gardening in a skirt?
I found a great day pack/purse for my “one additional personal carry on item”. It’s just large enough for my kindle, journal, and of course my various important papers.
And my big splurge – I bought this gorgeous and wonderful new camera.
I’ve had it for a few months now, and I love it to pieces. It’s everything I ever wanted in a camera.
And while I’m on the subject of reviewing products, I just remembered that I never said how I liked my experience wearing Jamberry nail wraps. Boo. Hiss. That was a HUGE disappointment. First of all, they do last quite a long time (I wore mine nearly two weeks before removing them) and they do look gorgeous on. But.
But. If you use your fingernails as tools as much as I do, no matter how carefully you follow their directions and stick them down, they are going to constantly get slightly ragged and rough at the tips. Which means you are constantly going to be filing your nails to make them smooth again – at least if you are driven mad by nails that constantly catch on fabric like I am.
The worst thing, though, was the removal. Soak them in coconut oil, was the top recommended tip for gentle removal. I liked that – no harsh chemicals, like with nail polish. I tried it. The wraps came off, but they also removed a layer of my nails – which was not obvious, until my nails started splintering and breaking like crazy. For months.
Months! It took forever until my nails were back to their normal strength. Then I did a little more research, and I find out that, contrary to what the sellers recommend, the company says you have to soak them in nail polish remover. Uh, no thanks. Isn’t this one of the major reasons why I picked Jamberry? To avoid the chemicals?
So between the constant filing (if I wore them regularly, I wouldn’t have any nails left!) and the difficulty removing them, they aren’t worth the pricy price tag. What’s left of my Jamberry sheet went straight into the trash.
That skirt is fantastic – I am a huge fan of multi-functional clothing pieces. It’s so blisteringly hot here that all I can do is look at linen skirts and dresses. I found a short one on sale and bought it, not sure how great the quality will be (might be a tad thin), but what I really need are elastic waistband ones for comfort that are maxi length. So far I only found a couple at AliExpress direct from China (one size fits most), and I’m not sure if those are too sketchy – the wait time can be up to a couple months to receive merchandise! How great would it be to find a maxi 100% linen skirt sewn with stretchy thread all up the top so you could pull it up and wear as a dress, too? I wish I had great sewing skills. Linen is pretty much my favorite fabric.
I’ve had iffy results ordering clothing from China – the quality is often extremely poor, and the sizing is very difficult. But sometimes there is a great bargain to be had; you just never know until it shows up. I have a caftan on order and I’m just keeping my fingers crossed it looks as nice in person as it does in the pics! Your idea of a stretchy linen maxi sounds very lovely. Have you been on vividlinen.com? I am so much in love with all their clothing.
Oh, great – a new addiction for me! I love the skirt there with the elastic on the sides of the waistband (but not the front), most of the tunics and several of the dresses. So expensive though, but I’m sorely tempted to try something from them. It’s super difficult to find dresses that fit right, especially in non-stretchy fabrics for me (long torso, large bust). Most are cut for the opposite of me.
I much prefer skirts to pants as well. Ugh, pants. So uncomfortable, ego-deflating (especially jeans!) and hot. Wide thighs run in my family which makes pants look awful on me, too. What material skirts for gardening do you like? Denim?
I’ve never actually ordered from Vivid Linen – it’s a bit too pricy for me. I look at it, drool, and think “I could sew that for a lot cheaper!” And then of course, I don’t actually sew anything. For gardening skirts, I go to the local thrift shop and grab long, lightweight, flowy skirts in pretty colors. Usually cotton, although I’m wearing this great linen one that I recently found. I stay clear of the heavier fabrics like denim, because I find them too hot and still constricting. I like being able to tuck handfulls of the skirt into the waistband to hike them up if I’m doing something messy, and tuck up the hem to make a pocket if I’m gathering veggies or fruit. Since they were super cheap, I also don’t worry about staining or ruining them. You should have seen the mess I was after I mucked out the goldfish pond! It all washed out, though…
I only wish I could sew that well! I have bought some linen, to make some dishcloths (nothing better for drying dishes!) and boxers for DH, but haven’t got around to it and need sewing skills refreshment. Even with 50-60% off coupons from JoAnn’s, the material was still surprisingly high in price though!
I like your idea for gardening skirts and how to use them. I am going to try to persuade DH to take me thrift shopping again (he hates thrift shopping and prefers buying new clothes, since growing up his family went thrifting a lot) so I can pick out some lightweight long skirts like you described. I’ve looked for something like that before, but it seems like slim pickings! Maybe the time of year they aren’t all snatched up is winter? Do you go to Value Village? We have them, some local ones, Salvation Army, and Goodwill (I kind of avoid the latter).
In the meantime, I took a chance and bought a couple of these (beige and brown) to see what happens: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-2015-spring-summer-Women-s-Linen-Skirts-Elastic-Waist-Original-Design-Vintage-Casual-Elegant-Long/1924940164.html
I liked the peasant/bohemian feel, and if they’re sheer it seems like the gathers will disguise that. Plus, the customer service rep gave me a small discount for ordering two, and the shipping was free. If they’re awful, at least I can garden in one, right? 😛
I do go to Value Village most of the time (largely because I usually have coupons there), although we have a really great Goodwill too. I grew up getting almost all my clothes from thrift stores, and now that I’m grown up I hardly ever buy anything new. I just can’t make myself pay high prices for things I know I can get soooo much cheaper! 😉 It helps that I have great thrift-fu; I almost always find just the thing I was wanting. I like those linen skirts you’ve ordered – do let me know how you like them when you see them! The pocket design on them is really cool.
I’ve been hot air ballooning once a couple of years ago, and I also have terrible fear of heights. Still I wanted to do it, and I do not regret that choice. It was both awesome and horrible at the the same time! Once-in-a-lifetime-experience indeed, but couldn’t go again since I now know better, and also because of the high price of the trip.
-A fan of your sites from Finland-
So cool to have a reader from Finland! Yes, it does cost way too much for ballooning, so whether I like it or not, it will most likely be a once in a lifetime thing for me too. I can’t wait to see what sort of experience it will be for me!