Looking forward to upcoming vacations gets me through so many long workdays. However, packing takes so much planning and causes so much stress. It's even worse if I'm only taking a carry-on, which is the goal for all trips that are less than a week. The last time my sister and I got together, it was below zero in snowy Colorado, requiring my heaviest clothing. This time around we were seeking some much needed sunshine and beach time. Unfortunately, the weather did not agree with our plan. The days we arrived and departed were the warmest with 60s and rain in between.
Knowing the forecast we still weren't willing to give up our beach vacation, so I planned for summery clothing with warmer layers. I carefully choose versatile items that I could pair with several items I was packing. For example, a single long sleeved top could go with every bottom in my suitcase, covering different weather and activities. I also committed to bringing one warm layer and just two pairs of shoes that would pair well with all of my outfits. As a shoe gal, the hardest part was committing to so few shoe options. The rain in the forecast was the most difficult to plan for. I threw my raincoat in at the last minute, taking up a lot of my precious suitcase space, but I'm glad l did.
We arrived early enough to throw off our traveling clothes and head straight to the coast. Bathing suits and coverups were probably too ambitious, but we were warm enough. I went with my striped, lace up shift dress from Express. In case the weather miraculously changed for the better, I planned to wear this as a coverup for every suit I packed. Knowing that was likely not to happen, it was also a great casual dress option for strolling through La Jolla.
We were pleasantly surprised to meet so many of the local residents--the seals and sea lions! These guys put on quite the show and really entertained us with their dog-like mannerisms. They reminded me of Jax and his elaborate sleeping positions.
Thursday night we found a sushi restaurant with outdoor seating (under heat lamps) overlooking the ocean. I was excited to have an excuse to wear my floral, cold-shoulder dress from Target's Who What Wear collection. My favorite parts of this dress were the flattering cut and the ability to show off my shoulders, which are one of my favorite features.
Friday: Cinco de Mayo
We took a short road trip to see the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and Cabrillo National Monument. This area was gorgeous with sweeping ocean views and rich history. We did lots of exploring and also some playing! This was the warmest of the full days we had in San Diego, so I wanted to get at least one shorts wear in--I am on vacation, after all! I paired them with my pink striped shirt from J. Crew because it had longer sleeves, offering a bit more warmth. I love stripes but pink makes them even more fun, especially on vacation.
At night, we were ready to partake in some Cinco de Mayo celebrations! We found a local Mexican restaurant with a party atmosphere and margaritas. I honestly overlooked the fact that our trip was over Cinco de Mayo when I was packing, but I'm really glad I included this festive maxi dress from Express. With its long length and floral print, it was perfect. I love this dress because it hugs in all the right places, and I feel beautiful in it.
We were out and about in La Jolla and also did a bit of pampering. We started with an amazing brunch followed by mani pedis. I chose these flared crops from the Who What Wear collection at Target because they were the warmest pedi-friendly bottoms that I brought. I went with the blue blouse mostly because I love a bright blue and black pairing.
Later in the day we wanted to get some more beach time in, even if it was chilly and windy. We threw our gym clothes on (the closest we got to working out on vacation) and explored more of the coast. We found a shore to relax on and catch a few blissful minutes of sunshine. Best moment of the trip!
Later that night we craved Italian and found a wonderful place with a piano bar. I went back to the same jeans I had on earlier but swapped my top for an off-the-shoulder gingham blouse from Banana Republic. It was a very low key outfit yet I still felt fancy. We enjoyed a delicious Italian meal with live entertainment.
Our last full day was the worst weather, with constant rain and low 60 temperatures. I was hesitant to wear white in the rain, but it was my only pair of long jeans and they paired well with my coral pom pom sweatshirt from J. Crew (my warmest shirt). We found a movie theater with lounge chairs and seat cocktail service (what?!) for a dry, indoor option.
Afterwards I threw on my raincoat to walk the coast one more time. We had one last hang out with the seals and checked out a cave we heard about. The cave had a man made walkway of about 150 steps into the opening where the ocean waves lapped in. I've been staring at these ocean cliffs for the last couple days, and here I was standing inside one!
The rain got heavier as the day went on. We met an old family friend who gave us a driving tour of downtown San Diego and treated us to some fried chicken. Again, I stuck with my Madewell white jeans, this time pairing them with a black bodysuit from J. Crew and my AllSaints leather jacket. I loved the combo of high waist with the ultra-slimming bodysuit. Don't worry, I wore my raincoat over my leather jacket when we were outside for short periods.
I was sad to leave this lovely place and my sister behind. Of course it was sunny and gorgeous and I boarded my flight back to New York and reality.
How did my packing strategy do?
Even though I wanted to pack all of my shoes, two pairs of sandals were perfect compliment for every outfit I packed. The Birkenstock Arizona sandals are extremely walkable, perfect for all the exploring we did. We walked to dinner each night, so these Steve Madden block heel sandals added a touch of fancy while still being extremely comfortable. Both come in many colors to best match your vacation wardrobe. I also had my leather jacket with me for each cold night. It was the perfect option to keep me in style but also warm.
I wish I had packed more accessories, especially jewelry options. I walked out my door without earrings on, which is very out of character for me. A pair of fun earrings or a neckerchief could've elevated several of my vacation looks while not taking up valuable suitcase space.
I'd like to think that given the circumstances, this was one of my best packed vacations!
- May 2019
- Apr 15, 2019 Miami: Packing, Buying, Eating, Visiting Apr 15, 2019
- March 2019
- Feb 21, 2019 Winter Style Equation Feb 21, 2019
- January 2019
- Dec 30, 2018 A Celebration of 2018's Power Outfits Dec 30, 2018
- November 2018
- Oct 23, 2018 Season Transition is Hard. Seven Reasons it Doesn't Have to Be Oct 23, 2018
- Oct 8, 2018 Five Reasons Why I'm Choosing Jumpsuits Over Dresses (And One Where Dresses Will Always Win) Oct 8, 2018
- Sep 12, 2018 Cape May 2018: Humidity + Wine Sep 12, 2018
- August 2018
- July 2018
- Jun 28, 2018 I Manage My Closet from My Phone Jun 28, 2018
- Jun 13, 2018 A Tropical Vacation to Set my Wardrobe Tone for Summer Jun 13, 2018
- Jun 7, 2018 Sneaker addictions make for good sneaker reviews Jun 7, 2018
- May 25, 2018 A case for finding a forever seamstress May 25, 2018
- May 15, 2018 Monochromatic Style Experiment Turned Love Affair May 15, 2018
- May 9, 2018 Calling all shorties: DYIing your jeans length is so easy! May 9, 2018
- May 1, 2018 When watching TV turns into a shopping habit May 1, 2018
- April 2018
- Mar 20, 2018 White boots: yes or no? Mar 20, 2018
- Feb 21, 2018 Olympic training in Colorado...JK! Annual Sister Ski Trip Feb 21, 2018
- Jan 25, 2018 Seven Unique Ways to Layer Through Winter Jan 25, 2018
- Dec 30, 2017 My 2017 Style Dec 30, 2017
- Nov 5, 2017 The Perfect Leather Jacket Nov 5, 2017
- Oct 18, 2017 I accidentally bought a new wardrobe at Target...again (fall edition) Oct 18, 2017
- Oct 1, 2017 Caring For Your Red Bottoms Oct 1, 2017
- September 2017
- Aug 18, 2017 An outfit tour of London (Part Five) Aug 18, 2017
- Aug 17, 2017 An outfit tour of London (Part Four) Aug 17, 2017
- Aug 16, 2017 A Very Parisian Evening (Part Trois) Aug 16, 2017
- Aug 15, 2017 An outfit tour of Paris (Part Deux) Aug 15, 2017
- Aug 13, 2017 An outfit tour of Paris (Part Une) Aug 13, 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- Jan 27, 2017 Love what you wear Jan 27, 2017
- Jan 19, 2017 You can wear leather leggings and these are the ones Jan 19, 2017
- Jan 11, 2017 I wore a sweatshirt to work Jan 11, 2017
- Jan 2, 2017 Winter essential: black tights Jan 2, 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- Jun 29, 2016 I accidentally bought a new summer wardrobe at Target Jun 29, 2016
- Jun 20, 2016 Summer in the City Jun 20, 2016
- Jun 15, 2016 What I bought after a month of no shopping Jun 15, 2016
- Jun 9, 2016 My favorite pencil skirt Jun 9, 2016
- Jun 6, 2016 My take on the sleeveless trench Jun 6, 2016
- May 30, 2016 You can never have too many stripes May 30, 2016
- May 23, 2016 Embracing the sneaker trend May 23, 2016
- May 16, 2016 Getting creative May 16, 2016
- May 13, 2016 Bare leg dress weather is here May 13, 2016
- May 10, 2016 Ode to the day-saving peplum May 10, 2016
- May 5, 2016 A vow to not shop May 5, 2016
- May 3, 2016 Let's talk color May 3, 2016
- Apr 29, 2016 Business trip: the next level of planning Apr 29, 2016
- Apr 27, 2016 The great trench adventure Apr 27, 2016
- Apr 26, 2016 This rule is meant to be broken Apr 26, 2016
- Apr 22, 2016 The outfit-making necklace Apr 22, 2016
- Apr 19, 2016 The all-seasons dress Apr 19, 2016
- Apr 15, 2016 Casual Friday Apr 15, 2016
- Apr 13, 2016 The power outfit Apr 13, 2016
- Apr 11, 2016 One shirt, two ways Apr 11, 2016
- Apr 9, 2016 Winter in April Apr 9, 2016
- Apr 4, 2016 Just another Manic Monday Apr 4, 2016
- March 2016