Travel tips for going to Europe in 2011

I’m writing this post hopefully to be helpful to someone else, but also as a reminder to myself for next time!
– pack less. pack less. pack less. There is an H&M in every country these days. You (me) can buy something to get along if you haven’t taken enough. But you took enough. My Dad always says take half the clothes & twice the cash — I’m sure this is some famous adage, but I attribute it to him. Soooo very true!
– Neutrogena face wipes are a fabulous, life improving invention. Take a packet. It will make your day.
– Collect shampoo/conditioner samples (the kind in the little foil packets that won’t break open) when you buy products at the beauty supply store. Some hotels give you these, a lot don’t & they can be very hair (or life saving).
– Take a lot of adaptors — maybe I’m an electronics freak, but I had 2 cameras & an iPad that needed daily charging & I only took one adaptor. This was a tad challenging to manage in the evenings. It’s nice you only need an adaptor (& not a converter) these days, but get a couple. I promise it will make you happy.
– WiFi is everywhere & it works just fine with USA phones & the iPad. You have to be careful about not turning on the 3G/roaming/broadband connection as that costs a fortune to use, but WiFi is great. Loved being able to stream TV shows onto the iPad at night. (I’m including this just because I couldn’t find an easy answer to this question before I left).
– Google Voice is handy too. Between WiFi & Google Voice, I didn’t miss my regular cell phone coverage — Google Voice isn’t perfect, but it does transcribe your voicemail messages (not always very well, but enough to get the jist) & sends you an email with the message in it. I’m sure it does more than this, but I liked being able to get my VM in writing & keep up.

Here’s another favorite shot, taken in Paris . . .

Hopper Stamp!

How cool is this? The US Post Office has issued a “forever” stamp of one of my favorite Hopper paintings done on Cape Cod outside Provincetown. I just adore P-town — Bill & I took an amazing vacation there a few years ago & as a kid, I was on the dorkier side & I collected stamps. My grandfather used to send me pretty stamps in a letter every week — I may have to order some of these to keep his memory alive. I love when public entities get artsy, I really do.

San Francisco City Hall – outtakes

So Elle just shot a really lovely wedding at San Francisco’s City Hall — the old fashioned, down at the courthouse, fill out the paperwork on a lovely Friday afternoon kind. It’s not something we usually do at Elle, but this couple was so sweet and City Hall is such an awesome location, we couldn’t resist. Pics from that wedding are coming soon, but in the meantime, here’s the first of a few outtakes from the day — it was so fun, there were brides everywhere in all varieties. This rocker couple seemed perfectly matched — cool, happy, in love. One thing that we did learn is that City Hall really doesn’t police the number of people there to watch the couple get married — their website is really strict, but as far as I could tell, no one was doing a “guest headcount.” Pretty good to know, I thought . . .

Cavallo Point Engagement Shoot

I just love love love Cavallo Point — it’s an old military base, right under the Golden Gate Bridge on the Marin County side. It’s just a little bit hidden so it’s not the first place people think of or the view that you’re used to seeing of the lovely GGB. Accordingly, I was oh so happy when Ana & Sean wanted to do their engagement shoot there. They were looking for iconic, classic San Francisco & it doesn’t get better than this.