Getting Anxious

The other day, Rooth posted a drool-worthy picture of a box of Ladurée macarons, with a question on the pronunciation. Since I have dubbed myself the unofficial Queen of Macarons (evidenced by my many posts on the delicious subject here, here, here, and here), I decided to weigh in with the correct answer: it’s maca-ROHNS in French. And then, because I’m a total nut job and spend an embarrassing portion of my day googling macarons, I found this poster on Etsy which answers the debate even better than I could:

from here

If that just isn’t the most darling print I’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is. I feel like I need one printed wallet sized so I can break it out whenever I run into the same debate, which is surprisingly frequently. Macaroons and macarons are not the same thing, and I get more than a little defensive when someone assumes they are. Mostly because I think macarons are Gods gift to cuisine and were put on this earth to make me happy. Yes.

Of course, all of this macaron talk is just getting me more and more excited for my trip to Paris & Belgium in May (6 weeks to go!!). In fact, I had a dream about Paris the other night and actually woke up crying. Happy tears, obviously. And it wasn’t like the dream was anything specifically magical, I was just walking around the city. That’s all. And my heart swelled so much that even dream Erin got all weepy. I’ll pause while you judge me.

Dream Erin is also as neurotic as Real Erin, so there was one part of the dream where I was freaking out because I hadn’t remembered to take a shirt-dress to the dry cleaners to be pressed in time for our flight, and oh my god what was I going to wear? My subconscious is finding ways to remind me of all the stuff I still have to do before we leave. I’ve made list after list of things to pack, things to see, outfits for each day with alternatives for weather, but I’m still super anxious that I’m going to forget something. I’ve been pretty good about sticking to a budget for this trip, made easier by the fact that we’ve only had to pay for 1 sleeping accommodation so far thanks to tons and tons of hotel points, but I’m sure all my brilliant planning is going to backfire somehow. Here are some things I still need:

1. Trench / 2. Train tickets / 3. Lipstick / 4. Ballet flats / 5. Chill Pill / 6. Outlet adapter

I’ve been waffling over whether or not to buy a trench coat, since I don’t know if the weather will warrant it, but after talking with my friend Aisling about it, she convinced me to buy one to have just in case. Neither of us are the type of people who can roll with the punches, so if I didn’t buy one and it was chilly in Brussels one day, I would have a nervous breakdown trying to find one to buy. It’s better to just save myself the stress and be prepared. Thanks, Aisling!

I’m not going anywhere, not even to Paris, unless I book train tickets soon. Thalys has a route-monopoly on the train from Brussels to Paris, but tickets are only €39 per person each way. Considering we’re staying in two luxurious hotels for free in Paris, I think I can handle the cost of the train. But I actually need to buy tickets, and I’m a nervous wreck about it for some reason. Obviously I need a chill pill, so that little ice cube tray set is meant to be a joke at my own expense.

I realized halfway through my packing list that remembering to bring my laptop/camera/iPod chargers was useless unless I had a way to plug them in. This inspired a crazy stint of research trying to figure out if the outlets in Belgium and France are the same, since I know UK outlets are totally different. This all-in-one outlet adapter is under $4, which is all well and good but the price is irrelevant until I actually buy one. Get on it!

And while things like an outlet adapter and train tickets are vitally important, there are also less vital but exceedingly vain items I still need, like black ballet flats and poppy lipstick for looking chic and European. I had forgotten all about Poppy King’s collaboration with J. Crew, and last I checked that signature lipstick had sold out. Not so! I hesitated last week on buying it and missed out on free shipping. Drat.

I’m not the only one who compulsively makes packing lists and still finds ways to get anxious over forgetting something, am I? What’s your travel-secret for making sure you pack everything? Anyone ever traveled to Belgium in May? Any weather tips you can throw my way would be greatly appreciated!

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March 26, 2012 / art / photo / fashion / vanity / Travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 17

17 comments

  • Aww, thanks for posting my macaron dilemma on your blog. And thanks for your help on it. I’m glad you got the trench – I always underestimate how chilly it is going to be and wish for a jacket. Advice for packing? Roll all of your clothing. And leave room for things you’re going to buy there! I almost always forget that part and end up with a bursting bag

    • That’s such a great tip about rolling my clothes! And I might have to bring an extra suitcase just to bring back goodies. I plan on doing lots of shopping! haha

  • I last went to Paris on the last weekend in May and I have never been so cold in my life. I was wearing trousers, and top and a cardigan and I was still bloody freezing. If I were you I’d dress as if you were coming to London. I.e. be prepared for every possible type of weather that can be chucked at you. Layers and lots of warm scarves, just in case. Trenchcoat is a good option. And don’t forget your brolly!

    I never think about packing really although that’s a bit of a lie becuase I’ve already planned my two evening outfits for Cannes in June. I always forget adaptors and my toothbrush. Richard forgets his glasses every single time away but now he’s had his eyes lasered it won’t be a problem. I also always forget to take a book.x

    • Good reference about London. I always bring a huge wardrobe because you never can anticipate the weather there! I walk outside and have to go back in and change, but by the time I’m done the weather has changed again. Maddening! But still, now I know how to pack! I expected Paris to be a lot warmer than Belgium, but we really won’t know until we get there. Six more weeeeeeeeks, gah.

      Toothbrushes, yes! I’ll make sure to pack J’s glasses so he doesn’t forget.

  • That picture is hilarious and quite appropriate with Passover right around the corner. The Manshevtiz macaroons might be close in pronunciation to macarons, but no where close in taste.

    Also, I can’t beleive you found the perfect trench at Target! OK… maybe I can. I always leave there with atleast 100$ more worth of merchandise than originally planned. I may just have to take your approach to shopping Target online.

    • I love that the Passover macaroons come in a tin can, too. Like, really, how different can you get from Ladurée? Haha.

      I thought you were better at Target shopping because you always made lists and stuck to them? That’s my failing, I literally drop way too much money there without ever intending to. Online shopping is sort of my forte, haha. Thanks again for the recommendation, doll! xo

  • Passover macaroons in a tin? I’m about to be sick! And, just for the record. I HATE macarons.
    Ok. we can now move on …. Oh, I think that Etsy poster is genius!

    I don’t plan my packing but seriously, the longest I’m ever away is a few days. Last Christmas I was away for 12 days at friends so no need to worry about anything.
    Strangely, I often dream about flying off without my luggage, or forgetting my passport etc. Not sure what that’s about. We’ll have to investigate:) Of course, it’s never happened in reality.

    Annie’s advise is good. Just be prepared with layers. And an umbrella. About 2-3 years ago I had to go to the South of France for 24 hours. It was November. I have NEVER seen it chuck down so hard and I kid you not, you couldn’t get an umbrella for love or money. ALL were sold out!!! It was a hoot.

    Here’s a great site (the best) for train travel round the world. There’s nothing that M doesn’t know about trains…. http://www.seat61.com/

    Not long now….. I can see myself saying this for the next 5 weeks….. x

    • You obviously have no good taste, but I won’t hold it against you ;)

      Thank you so much for that link! What a helpful little tip. And yes, I’m definitely going to pack an umbrella, there’s nothing I hate more than being stuck in the rain without one! That would definitely put a damper (no pun intended) on a nice vacation day! xo

  • Blimey Erin, you put so much strain on yourself, it will all work out fine and if you forget something, you just go buy a replacement when you get there (sounds like fun actually) or do away with it altogether. Never been to Belgium, but last time I went to Paris it was in March and the weather was dry the whole time, bit cool and windy in parts but dry. I’m with Annie, it’s going to be like being in London (apart from this week’s freak weather where it’s just about reaching the 80’s), so lots of light layers, a coat and perhaps a jaunty hat (damn, didn’t mean to give you another vetement to think about).

    Those flats you’ve chosen are fabulous, cute little strap.

    I don’t think I can give you any helpful advice since your build up and packing regime is the complete opposite to mine. I don’t do any real trip planning, I just pull what I have out of the drawer and pack it the night before. I like to do a bit of shopping en-route at airports etc and when I get there so it pays to not take much at all and even forget stuff so you can go buy other stuff. tee hee.

    Have a glass of vino lovey and try and relax x

    • Jaunty hat! Adding it to the list :) Yes, I’m a bit neurotic and high strung, especially when it comes to traveling or packing anything. Even on overnight trips somewhere I plan obsessively so as not to forget anything. My dad always said, “You’re traveling to the first world, if you forget your soap it’s not like there won’t be stores.” Which is true. And frankly if I had to buy a new pair of shoes or a nice coat in Brussels, I don’t think I’d be all that sour, haha.

      Ten points for using “vetement”!

      I’ll definitely have to work on calming down over the next few weeks or I’ll never make it to the actual trip! I love your method of planning and packing, I wish I could be that laid back! xo

  • What a sweet and helpful little poster! I think The Right Honourable Macaron itself would be disgusted and horrified to be compared to such a lumpen mass. :)

    Your happy dream tears made me well up a little. God, what a pair of saps we are! I totally understand – I cry/get emotional about the most unfathomable stuff sometimes and that happened long before I became a mother! :D

    I applaud you for your efforts to arrive suitably attired and equipped. I hardly ever plan for my trips. I over-pack at the last minute, hope for the best and buy the rest on arrival. Not even parenthood has changed that! :D

    P.S. Your excitement is extremely cute and infectious – I don’t know if I can hang on for another FIVE weeks! Perhaps I should get some of those chill pills ………… ;)

    • Oh my goodness, I’m SUCH a sap it’s ridiculous. I get teary over everything. I don’t really have any other coping skills other than to just cry. Quite embarrassing, actually. At least I know I’m not alone!

      I admire that you can do a sort of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of packing. I’d give myself more anxiety if I did that!

      You’re very sweet and far too flattering! Feel free to call me a lunatic, I won’t mind :) xo

  • I hope you paused from all this trip shopping and bought yourself that poster from Etsy, yes? Sometimes I think all the neurotic planning and shopping pre-trip is almost as much fun as the trip itself. There’s a great line from a Manhattan Transfer song that’s making me think of you…the whole song’s making me think of you actually, but this line in particular right now (it’ll all change when you get there). “The obsession’s in the chasing and not the apprehending. The pursuit you see and never the arrest.”

    I’ll save the rest of the song for when you get a little closer, duck.

    • Ha, I didn’t buy it, because I’ve been on a crazy shopping streak recently and I need to scale it back. I bought the scarf and necklace from last week’s Friday Five and then had to shell out for that ridiculous inhaler that I have to lick out of my hand. Oy. Still weird!

      I’m not going to look up the Manhattan Transfer song just yet, I’ll wait for you to revel the lyrics to me piece by piece. But I already know I’m in love with it. xo

  • I love the ballet flats, trench (great buy!), and poppy lipstick! I could also use those chill pills. Please send me your dealer’s number. :) I also want to have a dream where it’s so good I cry real happy tears.
    Well, when we went on our European holiday, everyone going was challenged to bring one Northface backpack. We we’re gone for 14 days. Needless to say, we had to get creative, bring mix-and-match outfits, and wore pieces of clothing twice (aka dirty). Yes, lists upon lists were made and checked numerous times. Sadly, there’s just no way around it. (Imagine adding children to the mix!)

    • I can’t believe you survived with 1 backpack! That’s so crazy! I’m very impressed. Though the thought is making me even more anxious, haha. Talk about getting creative with your packing. Wow. I’m really, really in awe. xo

  • I notoriously overpack, but If you do your outfit planning in advance (which I know you are already on top of), it will def help weed out all the excess. A great black V neck sweater was a go-to for me on my last trip abroad and a couple of basic J Brands. I always bring a ton of jewelry/scarves and wear my favorite hat on the plane so I can use those to mix it up. As the trip gets closer, just remind yourself that all you really need is your passport and your wallet – if you forget anything else – you can buy it there!!