Pop of Color, Packing Review,
and First Impressions of MA
Despite my best intentions, for the first time since I began the blog, I missed my weekly post last week. It bothered me because I have been committed to consistency. However, I also believe that when life creates other priorities, it’s best to go with the flow. Hence while I was traveling last week, the blog just wasn’t fitting in among the commitments of the training I was doing.
As a result, this post is full of everything! A little about fashion (that pop of color), little about my packing experience, and a little about my impressions of the cities I visited in Massachusetts.
Incorporating a Pop of Color!
While planning my travel outfits, my good friend Sarah suggested that since most of the week I’d be sitting and that only my top half would be visible, incorporating a pop of color on top was the way to go. This presented a bit of a dilemma because most of the tops I own fall into the rainbow spectrum of white, gray, and black! So I did what any reasonable fashion conscious person would do – headed to the mall!
The easiest way to create multiple colorful looks was to add a few cardigans to my outfit options. I found some great and inexpensive cardigans at one of my favorite stores: Uniqlo. The quality is always above expectations at the price points.
This cardigan retails at Uniqlo for $19.90. I’m SERIOUS! It’s pima cotton (super soft) and comes in 10 colors. Check it out here.
Reflections on How I Packed and How I Should Have Packed
I won’t spend much time here, but I thought it might be worthwhile to review what worked and what didn’t in my packing strategy.
Quick review – I worked hard to keep my bag to a carry-on size for a six-day trip. This was quite a challenge for me as I ALWAYS overpack. I have been a big fan of packing cubes for keeping clothes and other packed items organized and for compact packing. And I used them to pack six days worth of stuff into a carry-on size bag. Everything fit (I also had a tote bag), but zipping the bag was a bit of a challenge. When I repacked to travel to Boston, I decided to forget the packing cubes and use the rolling method to test out which packing method was truly better. I have to say, rolling my clothes turned out to be a much better way to fit my six days worth of clothes into my small bag. When you roll each piece, it’s easy to fit items into the nooks and crannies and corners of the bag.
However . . . I am still a packing cube fan and have used them with great results in the past. I’ve decided that the packing cubes work best for me when I am not focused on packing my clothes into the smallest bag I can. They are great, for example, when I pack for our long weekend trips to the Monterey Jazz Festival – we are staying put and I have no problem bringing a large suitcase. The packing cubes really help keep things in place and organized.
I’ve realized that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and the method of packing can be situational.
Take a tiny visual stroll through parts of Northampton and Boston!
My first visit to Massachusetts was limited to two cities: Northampton and Boston. My takeaway is all about first impressions. One thing I know is I will definitely return to Boston. Here are a few first impressions of Northampton (home of Smith College) and historic Boston.
- There are A LOT of beautiful and historic old buildings – something this California girl hasn’t experienced much.
- Tattoo shops are abundant.
- By the number of music stores (instruments), there must be a vibrant music scene.
- Yum! I’ve seen so many small eateries that I wish I was staying longer.
- There seem to be a number of drivers who don’t notice pedestrians – I seriously almost got hit three times on one day.
- History permeates the Smith College campus. It’s a really cool place.
- Cool tunnel bar – actually a bar built into a railroad station tunnel!
- Boston reminded me a lot of San Francisco, minus the hills.
- Boston is a VERY walkable city (no hills).
- It’s very clean.
- The history of our country’s beginnings is, of course, everywhere. I was surprised at how powerful and emotional that was.
- Next time I am DEFINITELY eating Italian food in the Italian neighborhoods.