Thursday, October 12, 2017

PACKING FOR BARCELONA


Packing with Two Carry-On Bags Only

What a pleasure traveling with only carry-on baggage!  No worries about checked suitcases! No extra time and money spent on checked luggage!  No waiting for checked suitcases!  Off the plane...and your vacation begins!
We have traveled for two weeks using our packing techniques. We take everything we'll need ...plus room for souvenirs and gifts!  This trip, we'll be traveling three weeks, using our same packing techniques ....a week in Barcelona and then a 2 week transatlantic cruise.
Here's how we do it!


Mary K.'s Luggage 

1.  Buy the lightest weight spinner wheel suitcase (airline carry-on compatible size). Empty, my old carry-on weighs over double what this 4 lb. suitcase weighs. Believe me, that lighter weight is significant when hoisting it into the overhead compartment!
2.  Choose 1 or 2 dominant wardrobe colors (such as black and blue jean blue ... my favorites.   I replace blue with white for warm weather destinations ). Mix and match with your dominant colors for a wide variety of outfits.   I prefer mostly solid colors, when traveling, with only 2 or 3 pieces with patterns.
3.Two scarves and a few pieces of jewelry are all that is necessary to give you a variety of different looks!  They take up little room in your suitcase yet, an everyday outfit can quickly be transformed into suitable dressy attire.
4. Layer your on-plane outfit.
    Coat (depending on your destination's weather)
    Sweater
    1 Overblouse or top
    Shirt under the overblouse
    Shelf bra tank top under the shirt 
    Pashmina or shawl/scarf
All take  up room in your suitcase...so wear them!  On the plane, you can adjust for comfort.
5.  Bring, what I call, "disposables".  Don't we all have good looking clothes in our wardrobe that we're just plain tired of?  I know I do!  I have a box in my closet, marked "travel disposables", that I fill throughout the years, ready for my next trip.  I do the same with shoes...and underwear I've had a year or more.  Two weeks supply ... 14 panties take up alot of suitcase room!  Check out my photos.

This 3 week trip, I'll leave behind ... dress shoes (old, worn, but still look good and suitable enough for just this one trip; 21 pairs of panties (throw outs); 1 pajamas; 1 pair of slacks.  Thus, I have room for souvenirs and gifts.   
Here we go......
How I fit all of this in that 4 lb.  carry-on suitcase.......








The following items are now in this suitcase!  
1 sheath dress --- 6 tops/blouses ---1 blue jeans ---1 black slacks --- 1 black leggings --- 3 long sleeve turtlenecks --- 2 short sleeve shirts --- 2 shelf bra tank tops ---1 nightie (double as a swimsuit cover-up) --- 1 pajamas --- 1 pair dress shoes --- 3 pairs of socks and 3 stockings/shoe insoles (tucked inside shoes) --- 1 pair fold-up ballet slippers --- 1 swimsuit --- 1 scarf --- 1 bra --- 21 undies --- 1 pair tights --- 1 cosmetic/toiletries case --- 2 bags of jewelry (3 pieces in each) --- 1 flat tam hat --- 1 large fold-up travel bag ---  1 small fold up shopping bag.

The suitcase's two front zippered pouches are empty.. but, before traveling, I'll stow my traveling papers, kindle, a magazine.  There's plenty of room for a paperback book, a few snacks, a scarf, gloves, hat, etc.  Very handy!


My second carry-on will fit nicely under the plane seat.  It will carry a case for basic medications we might need, band-aids, prescription medication and vitamins.  A small case carrying a small flashlight, batteries, phone wall charger, portable phone charger, pens  Blow-up travel pillow.  On flights snacks.......and....my purse!  
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Peggy's Luggage 

My new carry-on weighs only 4 lbs. and it has spinner wheels -- it's amazing how much it holds!



I try to roll all of my clothes -- it saves space and the clothes are actually less wrinkled.  Here's how I layered my packing:

Layer #l - Black dress slacks
                 2 pair black leggings
                 Black jean leggings                          
                 Blue jean leggings

                Black turtleneck
                Black bra tank
                Black/brown top
                Blue tie dye top
                Floral blouse top
                Leopard blouse
                Teal top





Layer #2 - Black dressy top                                                
                  Black/blue dressy top
                  Wild print top

                  Tankini top & bottom

                  Black long sweater

                  2 nighties

                  Black ballerina flats (w/4
                   pr. undies in each shoe)




Layer #3 - Make-up/Medicine Bag








I also was able to put a black beret and a fold-up extra travel bag in the mesh pockets above the main part of the luggage.



12 more pair of undies (rolled) went in the lower pocket on the outside.  The upper pocket is empty....ready for my airline ticket.



It's amazing, but I was able to pack 5 pair slacks, 10 tops, l tankini swimsuit, 1 sweater, 2 nighties, 1 hat,  1 pair flats, my make-up/medicine bag and 20 pair of undies along with an extra fold-up carry bag for my purchases including a Barcelona coffee mug, a Barcelona charm and a Christmas ornament-- i.e., things I always purchase from each city I visit!

I also will be carrying a small personal bag with my prescriptions, jewelry, blow-up neck pillow.
my kindle and I-pad with chargers and 2 pr. black socks.  I'm sure you can count on some "last-minute" candy and snacks in there too!

We're now ready for our first transatlantic cruise....and a week in one of our favorites places, Barcelona!  No worries about any checked luggage!  No extra time or money spent on checked suitcases!  Off the plane....and straight to the beginning of our wonderful vacation!!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

St. Patrick's Week-End at the Beau Rivage

We were lucky enough to schedule another trip to the Beau Rivage in Biloxi for a 3 day week-end, thanks to the M Life Club.  They have a great deal....3 nights at the hotel, airplane from West Palm Beach to Biloxi and bus transfers to and from the airport to hotel -- PLUS they give you some free-play!  The cost depends on your level in the Club and it's super reasonable.

Another beautiful floral display between the shops at the Beau....



And of course, we couldn't miss the postcard express machine in the lobby....you can mail a picture, put it on facebook, etc.....not many people take advantage of this free service but we found it and love it.



Had a lovely room overlooking the pool and it was OPEN.



The Hard Rock Resort and Casino next store offered free tickets to Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo on
Friday night and, unbelievably, I was able to get a seat in the 5th row from the front -- comp tickets!
Thank you, Hard Rock.  And thank you, Priscilla Short for emailing some pictures of the concert to me.  (Again, unbelievably, I left my phone in the hotel room!)



This was a wonderful concert....just Pat and her husband, Spyder...no back-up band.  They were terrific!  Her voice is as good as ever and the crowd roared when she sang, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot".  If you get a chance to see the two of them together in concert -- it's well worth it!



On Saturday, I sat on the patio outside the coffee shop and a large, beautiful wedding party came out to the patio for pictures.



And that night, I picked up my comp tickets for Loretta Lynn at the Beau Rivage.  As you can see from the pictures, I was in the very last row of the balcony (nose-bleed seats)




But Loretta gave a terrific performance and her voice is clear as a bell....she'll be 84 years young!











Monday, December 12, 2016

Winter Wonderland at the Beau

We just got back from a wonderful trip at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi.  The Christmas decorations are some of the best we've ever seen in a hotel.  Kudos to all the Beau's employees who were responsible for this beautiful display!






Here is a picture of the large lobby area...notice the huge colorful Christmas balls hanging from the ceiling!




Even the check out/check in counter had a beautiful display behind it, including life-like and true-to-size soldiers....shocking at first!

















Even the desk clerk said it was like someone was always watching him!


The area next to the coffee shop was beautifully decorated with a sleigh with a santa bear pulled by huskies...magnificent!



Even the shops in the Beau had beautiful displays.








Yes, it's the right time of the year to visit the Beau and make sure you join their M Life Club on-line before you go.  There are several hotel/casinos connected to the M Life Club...many in Las Vegas and the more you gamble, the higher your tier in the Club.  We've managed to reach the Pearl (or 2nd) Tier....not big gamblers but the
Beau Rivage sends us several great offers throughout the year. 


This time, we received an offer for a round-trip flight from West Palm Beach to Biloxi, 3 nights in the beautiful hotel, shuttles between the airport and hotel, and free play when we arrived at the casino.  By the way, the free play covered the cost of our package so we were able to enjoy this mini vacation free!  (except for the $$ we gave back to the Beau, of course). 

When we arrived at the M Life Players Club, we were given our free play (covering the cost of our trip), plus an additional $200 in free play (their Christmas gift to Pearl Players during the first half of December) and a beautiful Beau Rivage microfiber jacket, another gift to Pearl players.



Each tier of the M Life Club has different offers for players....we've noticed the big players sitting in first class on the plane and the limos are waiting to take them to the casino.  (We're just on the 2nd tier so we ride the bus.)  But what a terrific 3 days.....oh, and when you play, you're also rewarded with "comps" which can be spent on food or in some of the shops!

While we were there, we also went next door to the Hard Rock.  Peggy received a Christmas offer in the mail from this casino and on one day, she picked up a free 3 pc. cookie sheet set....



and on another day, the Hard Rock gave her an electric Oster turkey roaster free!


We took turns dragging it back to the Beau....that baby was heavy --it roasts a 20# turkey!--and it felt like the turkey was also in the box.



We also took some time away from the slot machines by grabbing a cab to the Edgewater Mall on Beach Blvd.  It's a whopping $18 cab ride (next time we'll call Uber) but we DID have a singing karaoke cab driver who serenaded us until cars started honking.  Just another crazy adventure, folks!




The Mall itself wasn't decorated very well for Christmas (but remember, we just left the spectacular Beau) but we found a lovely shop called "My Oh My"  filled with Christmas trees, each decorated with a theme....



  The Cowboy Tree                                              The Beach Tree





 The Outdoors Tree                           The Elf Tree


        This gorgeous tree has a beach theme and stays up all year.

Mary K also found another interesting display in My Oh My....the Pooh-Pooh Spray.....


In a main part of the Mall we spotted this beautiful horse -- it's made from the driftwood left after Hurricane Katrina.



Our singing cab driver also pointed out several wooden sculptures in the center median on our way to the Mall which had been carved from the dead trees after Katrina.  Biloxi and Gulfport were devastated....the casinos were built on barges in the water....but most have rebuilt on land and both cities seem to have recovered very well.  We still miss the Grand Casino/Hotel in Gulfport which was totally destroyed. 

After doing a little Christmas shopping, we headed back to the Beau and sat in the bar playing slot machines and sipping Kahlua and cream made by our favorite bartender, Jimmy. 






A terrific singer/guitarist was playing in the bar and every song in his repertoire was one of our favorites.  Anderson Domingues shouldn't be missed if you make a trip to the Beau.




And we enjoyed the talented  Dian Diaz who was playing in the lounge with some great dance music.



We headed out to take a few more pictures of the lobby area....










Must have been thousands of live potted poinsettias throughout the display area -- simply beautiful.


And we discovered this neat interactive photo machine.  You can take selfies with several foregrounds and post them in facebook, in emails, etc.





After each long day at the Beau Rivage, it was great to come back to our beautiful, huge, clean room with comfy beds!


Thanks, Beau Rivage, for a great trip and Merry Christmas from
                                        the Travelin' Sisters!