Saturday, April 26, 2014

Seven Glamour Tips Before a Trip to Europe

Things to Know Before You Go

Seven tips without a chip


Everyone has been raving about the new gel polish that lasts up to two weeks. My plain manicure chips by the time I open the car door. I refused to believe it.  There’s just a little toxicity issue, the gel requires you to put your hands under a UV lamp and the removal requires acetone. But for a vacation—you don’t want to be spending time touching up your nails or getting a manicure. This is how my nails look after 10 days.  So please, pick your poison.


If you have long hair, for God’s sake, go to The Dry Bar the day before you leave and get a blow out and buy a dry shampoo, a spray. This way you won’t have to wash your hair for up to a week. Just like your  mothers and grandmothers used to do.  And you will be spared the misery of standing in a hotel bathroom with a blow dryer and a curling hot iron wasting up to 40 minutes of valuable vacation time.


These shoes are meant for walkin'

It goes without saying that you will have had a pedicure. But here’s the most important thing, you have to buy the most comfortable, durable, but, of course, glamourous, walking shoes. Why? Because on a European tour you will be walking miles every day. My favorite brand is Arche, a French company— buckskin leather on top, which feels like you are in bedroom slippers, and a latex sole that will never make it to heaven because it just won’t die. You gotta spend the dough ($299) if you want to save your toes.

The beautiful solution

Cute but not gonna work
When you announce that you are going to Spain the only thing previous travelers say is that you are going to be pick-pocketed. Gypsies, tramps and thieves everywhere. If you are a large-pursed woman who thinks you will magically turn into a small-pursed woman during the trip, forget it right now. I bought this smart little nylon bag and knew I could wear it across my chest and be safe. I was safe but boy was I miserable. I wanted all my stuff from my big bag. Since no glamourous woman would sport a backpack, the other solution seems to be the cinched bag string backpack. If you want to buy one before you leave that says Coach or Louis Vuitton, go ahead, if you can find it, but most likely you will be in a souvenir shop buying one of these, throwing the small purse in it and thinking it was the best purchase you ever made.


Okay, you love nothing more than a travel morning run. Go to the hotel desk, ask for a local running map and start your day exploring the neighborhood to get oriented and the adrenaline flowing. My husband told me to take money in case I got lost and needed a cab home. But I would show him. I did everything  wrong—I didn’t ask for the map, I had a wonderful run around downtown Madrid and while climbing the steep steps to get a closer look at the sculpture of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, I gouged my shin. I became hopelessly disoriented and had to hail a cab to get back to the hotel. The moral of the story here is skip the morning run. You will walk so much that you will exceed your daily cardio workout. 

Be in Good Shape:

Oh that’s right; you already are because you are glamorous. But fair warning, you are going to be walking, hiking and climbing up 37-story bell towers just about all day every day.  Sometimes on medieval streets, cobblestones, dirt roads,and marble. You must be ready for this. Everyone in my family has XXlong legs so I would describe our pace as intense. We can’t help it. 

Facial care:
Neither fish nor foul
Wherever you stand on the carry-on versus checked luggage, we all agree the bag of liquids is a pain. There is no way you can get your large Lancome Milky Cleanser through security, so give it up. Use facial wipes. Any brand you like. These goofy little things are neither liquid nor solid, neither fish nor foul, so they don’t count in your liquids bag and they are remarkably effective and refreshing.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Margo and Peter in a horse carriage in Sevilla. Much more to come.