Saturday, May 10, 2008

train travel...

I will get the rare chance to travel by train this weekend, and am wishing it was so much more common a mode of transportation for Americans. Why is our rail system so under used?

My first experience with a train trip was as a child, traveling in Europe with the entire family. I will never forget it… after flying into Paris for the Christmas holidays and spending a few days, we were traveling to Strasbourg on the German border for some snowy days exploring the town. In preparation for the trip from Paris to Strasbourg, I was allowed to go to a traditional French patisserie and buy provisions for the entire family. I bought what any young girl would buy when presented with breads and treats of all sorts- tarts. The most gorgeous strawberry and raspberry tarts with a shinny glaze and pistachios dashed here and there were tied neatly in a white cardboard box with twine. I carried the box like a treasure to the station and held it carefully in my lap until we were allowed to open it.

The train was as exciting to me as the tarts. My entire family found a box to ourselves with two bench seats facing each other and a door to close it off. I thought surely only princesses traveled like this, in private boxes on romantic trains heading through snowy fields. I had no idea the entire train was made of boxes, and to the locals, it probably signaled an old, out of date train. To me, it was heaven. As soon as Paris faded into the distance and the snowy white fields opened up ahead, I was allowed to untie the strings on my delicious package of pastries and share them with everyone around. To this day, French tarts make me think of an exciting voyage- a romantic means of travel.

My travel this weekend is slightly less romantic- DC to New York City- but will be a break from the usual hustle and bustle of airport security, turnpikes and interstates. I can open a book, have a coffee, and take in the scenery. It’s like stepping into another place, or another time perhaps. Here’s hoping that one day we all travel this way.

I’m taking the new chocolate leather carry-on for this voyage. Here's what's in in the bag below…

Scarf- I never travel without a scarf. If its chilly (or dirty) or I need a pillow, it cant be beat. It also adds a bit of flair to my outfit when I step off the plane or train looking less than perfect.

Tunic- Nothing is more comfortable for traveling than a breezy, loose tunic. It covers, its comfortable, and its oh-so chic. I’m wearing this one from Virginia Johnson with my denim trousers for a casual, comfortable, but polished look.

Flats- I never travel in heels. Whether hoping on a train, schlepping through security, or dragging a suitcase in and out of taxis, chic flats are the only way to go. I love these snakeskin ballets.

Chocolate Leather Carry On- This gorgeous pebbled leather bag holds everything I need for a weekend trip, plus all the amenities needed for the actual traveling. Essential interior pockets keep me organized and keep my smaller items from falling beneath mounds of clothes. An optional shoulder strap helps out when I get tired, too.

What’s in the carry on?

I’m never without my moleskin diary, perfect for jotting thoughts, keeping track of phone numbers, or sketching new design ideas for our emerging line of dresses. I also keep a beverage on hand. I’m addicted to Orangina (its so refreshing!) and the glass bottles keep my conscience happy with all the news of the perils of plastic bottles! I reuse it by filling it with water to drink, or with olive oil to serve at parties. I’m bringing along a big stack of Cerulean Spring catalogs for all my friends I will see, and the latest book I’m reading, Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. I might be the last woman on the planet to read this best seller (things have been busy lately, ok?) but nothing is better than a good book about not just travel, but a journey.

Happy travels.

No comments:

Post a Comment