Once again, let’s continue the “Mother Daughter Travel” series: this time it’s what to wear and take when you head for the airport.

I had first done a post on Travel Essentials before a trip to Provence. I’ve received so many personal emails in response to this post, and with further questions, that I thought it a good idea to update.


My first travel wear essential is still my black jeans. Then a top. A cotton scarf for color. A pretty necklace: faux or plastic works well in security lines. A nice big pashmina: if you can get one with some wool or cashmere , so much the better, for it will keep you that much warmer.

I carry an Hervé bag to put under the seat in front of me. Socks and cotton slippers are a must (don’t ever go into the bathrooms with just socks!)
And here I included my newest and greatest rain coat: from Merrell. I ordered it from Rue LaLa back in April and it is just perfect:  very lightweight; has a hood; nice deep,zip pockets; a two way zip closure; and it’s very stylish and feels great on.

Clothes for the Plane b_wm

Find it here:
1.  2.  3.  4.  5.  6.  7.  8.  9.  10.  11.  12.

My main objective is to be comfortable! You never know if the cabin will be too hot or too cold. I nearly froze coming home last year and piled on three blankets…although I really hesitate to use the airline’s “blankets,”  those synthetic almost-like-paper coverings that you never know where they have been. Ah well, when you’re cold, you do what you have to!

I always get a window seat. Which do you prefer? Why? I like to settle in and try to get some sleep and I find the window makes that easier. Of course, when you travel with someone it makes a huge difference in having that entire row, no matter how small or cramped, to yourselves.


Let’s take a look at what I actually use to pack for the trip, and the gadgets used on the flight.
A four wheel rolling suitcase is essential for me. See #5 below. I check my bag….yes, I am one of those people.

I do, however, always have a good sized carry-on in addition to my main suitcase. And, because I’ve had trouble with my elbow and shoulder in the past, I use a rolling bag. I can’t tell you how great these are when you have a few hours, alone, in an airport. When you cannot park your things with a friend or husband/partner, and have to lug them all to the ladies room, or just to walk around, a “rolly” is your best friend.

The polka dot “Allrounder Wheeled Tote” is my newest purchase. Cute design, can’t miss it from a mile away, it rolls easily but also has handles and holds a ton of stuff. Actually, I put this carry-on up top after I have taken out my plane essentials and put them into the smaller Hervé bag shown above. That bag I put under the seat in front of me. Are you following along here? So, basically, I have a bag within a bag as I walk through the airport. As boarding time gets near I “reorganize” in order to simplify and have just the one smaller tote bag right in front of me.

In it I have my Bose noise cancelling earphones. The best there is. Period.

And always lots of hand sanitizer. I love the individual packs. Yes, I wipe down the tray and arm rests first thing: they are loaded with who knows what!

And, what about a purse, you may ask. I bought the Michael Kors cross-body bag that can either be worn as is, or put into another bag. It’s sturdy, has zippers and sits close to the body: perfect for sightseeing.

Mother Luggage etc_wm

Find these here:
1.  2.  3.  4.  5.  6.  7.   8.

So there you have it. I hope this has been helpful and maybe you have picked up some ideas for your next trip. Of course, each person has different needs and likes/dislikes but the purpose is, after all, to


What do you wear? What kind of luggage do you carry? Any hints for the rest of us?




The late summer garden in all its yellow glory!

From Tickseed/Coreopsis



to a stunning yellow zinnia


to Helianthus/Sunflower



To one beautiful daylily


It’s a late summer garden!






We were in search of a few days relief from the all-encompassing heat and humidity that comes hand in hand with living in central North Carolina. A quick trip was what we were after. We considered the coast: after all, Ocracoke,  Kiawah, Bald Head Island and many more are within an easy drive and offer beautiful beaches. But no, the thought of the searing sand and relentless sun made us cringe.

The answer was to head for the mountains. And, lucky for us, the Blue Ridge Mountains are only about a three hour drive from our house, due west.

Are you familiar with the Blue Ridge Parkway? I had never driven on it. I assumed (WRONG!) it would be similar to our old stomping grounds, the Taconic Parkway in New York State. While the Taconic is lovely and offers a true view of the real Hudson Valley and beyond, the Blue Ridge is just plain dramatic.



For one who is “height challenged” I actually did quite well! The drop offs are buffered, somewhat, by stone walls.



This is a view of Bass Lake taken from the Moses Cone Mansion in Blowing Rock.


The best part of our getaway was staying at
The Mast Farm Inn

Yes, this is a first-class, lovely, understated, peaceful, no-request-is-too-much kind of place. Take a look at their site and see what I mean.

This was the view from our room:

View From our Window_wm

The upper left house, The Loom House, was built @1810 as the original building on the farm. It is now the oldest inhabitable log cabin in North Carolina. Yes, you can stay in it!

Look at all the moss and textures on these roofs. It was a wonderful sight to see!

Our RoomLovely blue toile fabric everywhere, including a comfortable sofa, two armchairs and a rocking chair. Every day a personal note would appear like the one above. The king size bed was very comfortable. There were plenty of
standing and table lamps. The bathroom worked perfectly. It was quiet.

And…ta da…. there are NO televisions in any of the rooms. My kind of place!

Each morning, at 8 AM, a basket was delivered to our door with pre-breakfast tea or coffee.


You know I am picky about my tea and can smell and taste a once upon a time used for coffee container….not so here. The thermos had only the freshest, pure water for my tea!

Breakfast was served every morning between 8:30-9:30. While I did not take any pictures of it, please believe me that is was lovely. One of the best things about their breakfast is having your own table. No, no communal tables here. That is probably one of our pet peeves about most B&B’s and small hotels. I do NOT want to converse with my fellow travelers at breakfast!

And then we have the gardens. The Inn grows (almost) all the vegetables and fruits used in the restaurant.







The garden is just across the road, in front of the barn, and can be thoroughly enjoyed by sitting on the front porch of the Inn in a rocking chair. Sounds good, no?


Early morning tea looking over at the gardens…

Do you have a favorite place to escape to? Have you ever been to this area? We would all love to know!




This was a totally, as in TOTALLY, new plant to me until just a few weeks ago.

Tibouchina urvilleana
aka   Glory Bush

Isn’t it magnificent? It can grow to be about 3-6 Ft. wide and high. I bought it at a very good nursery in Chapel Hill where I was told it would be fine in our zone. But when I go on line all the sites seems to indicate it’s hardiness in Zone 10-11 which is Florida. So…we will see. I’ll be sure to cover it on cold nights. But if it does well and is alive and well next spring, I will most certainly buy another one or two!











What a gorgeous color.

Happy weekend to everyone!




Some of you (bloggers) may know her. But if you don’t, let me introduce

Julie, of Peonies and Posies

Yes, Julie has invited me for a visit while I am in England. Julie and I met while taking the Blogging Your Way course from Decor8 and  were partners in a project. As I have said before, I have met so many wonderful new friends through this course. Another one is being offered in the Fall 2014 and is geared to the experienced, advanced blogger so I just might have to do it. Blogging friends, are you going to join me?

Anyway, when Julie and I started talking about my trip to England, way back in April, she invited me to stay.

I am so looking forward to this experience! Julie is, among many other things, a very accomplished gardener . You can read a bit about her path to gardening here.

On her blog Home page she has side “galleries” of her garden images broken down by season. It’s a very effective way of showing images and then being able to click  to enlarge.

Julie Collage

All images ©Julie King

Yes, her photographs are really good!

We hope to spend some time in Cambridge and then the next day visit some local nurseries, have lunch outdoors and maybe visit some friends.

Thank you, in advance, to Julie and her family for having me to visit: I am so looking forward to it.

P.S. You can like her Facebook page here.