What's in My Suitcase: Napa Valley, CA

1st trip of 2014!  

In the 1st of many planned this year, Big Ronnie & I traveled to Napa Valley last week.  Pretty sure I read something about this in my horoscope - I'm rolling with it!  Also, most are places I have never been.  So, in order to get my travel jitters out of the way, and ensure the best time while I'm there; I always enjoy the art and organization of good packing.

If you've been following along, I've written about my "suitcase" here and here.  When I took my first trip to Europe, I started the packing process a month ahead of my flight!  A little nutso?  Maybe... but I found that taking the time to write lists, plan & try on looks for each city I'm traveling too; just makes the vacation fun start that much sooner!  Like many women, I used to get upset, even anxious, not being able to have my entire wardrobe in my back pocket, while away from home.  1/2 thru vacay - lamenting over what OTHER pair of heels I WISH I had tucked in a bag - No more!  

If we slow down, and take the time to plan ahead with: flexibility, climate, duration, activities and cohesiveness in mind - we can turn that suitcase into our very own mini-travel wardrobe!  Below is a general list to get started.  Refresh the way you pack, have a fashion show before you fold it all up - and most importantly - have fun!

  • 1 dress - at least!
    • print, pattern, stripe or solid - a good dress is far too flexible an item to leave out
  • cohesive inter-changeable pieces 
    • your personal vibe of the destination
    • each should have 3 different variations, (amount based on duration)
  • shoes
    • ONLY 1 casual/comfy/sneaker (always use as your travel shoe)
    • dressy flat (go for a pop of color)
    • heel(s) - bring the pair(s) you will wear with more than 1/2 of what's packed
  • accessories 
    • for each outfit, make sure you have something special that finishes the look.  Since you are going for a cohesive vacation collection, everything can be switched-up, so bring a variety! 
(Left: top, Cynthia Rowley; striped skirt, American Apparel; Right: top, Anthropologie; sleeveless dress doubles as skirt, Anthropologie; accessories, wedges and flats; Anthropologie)
Now all of this might sound completely logical and down right common, but look again: do you pack at the last minute? throw in way more than you end up wearing?  think to yourself, more is better and just bring as much as your suitcase will hold?

Taking the time to have some fashion fun before your trip, will save you the stress and from the "oh sh*t moment" of not having the right clothes to wear.  Don't pack as much as possible either - if you have extra room after you have packed enough, well my dear.... you have room for SOUVENIRS!  

(Car print Orla Kiely carry-on luggage; grey Rocco bag, Alexander Wang; clutch, Anthropologie; men's weekend bag, briefcase & toiletry case; Jack Spade)

I wanted to include Big Ronnie's travel gear also.  When we started dating, he was shopping for a new briefcase.  It was a no-brainer for me to suggest a leather, (not canvas) Jack Spade.  He has really taken a liking to the brand, adding the leather weekend travel bag, and toiletry case.   It's totally worth shopping the original SoHo store, friendly staff and good display.  The briefcase is only getting more beautiful with age, and holding up to the daily abuse. 

And 1 more picture of my new Orla.... I love it so!  I promise - a piece of printed luggage makes the airport way more fun to run through!

Hotel Room Selfie!
Artesa Vineyard & Winery
Meritage Resort & Spa
Meritage Resort & Spa

All the places we were able to visit in the short amount of time:

The Meritage Resort & Spa (where we stayed!)
Ca' Momi Enoteca, our favorite spot at Oxbow Public Market
Artesa Vineyard & Winery (private tour)

I really can't be a critic, I loved it all!  I had a blast visiting with a few friends who were in town, and being able to travel with Big Ronnie makes both of us very happy.  I love wine, but I wouldn't dare say one was better than another.  Napa, despite being February was beautiful, the food was yummy, and I lived in the moment - enjoying everything during the brief stay.  No complaints, and I was relaxed - because I was completely prepared.  Well not completely - I did come back from the flight with a cold.... 

One thing I won't forget in my next suitcase - AirBorne
Meritage Resort & Spa

Travel safe, plan ahead and most importantly ....enjoy every moment!

La vita è bella,

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