Home again

29

Here I am with the splendid city of Porto as a backdrop, walking across a beautiful bridge to the town of Gaia, at the end of an exhausting but satisfying day—one of many we had on our trip to Portugal. There were lots of highlights, but here are a few: the professional soccer match we saw in Lisbon (Portugal is a soccer-mad country and I have a soccer-mad boyfriend) and the late dinner we had here afterward;  another meal here on our first night in the country; having a picnic with cheeses, bread and meats we bought at Porto’s Mercado do Bohão in the gardens at a gem of a contemporary art museum, the Serralves Foundation. And even though I bitched and complained all the way up the very steep hill you must scale in order to visit it, the Palacio Nacional da Pena in Sintra was stunning. We rented a car and drove almost 1,000 miles—from Lisbon up north to Porto, then south to Evora, with many stops in between, and I have to say that you really get to know a country in an interesting way when you travel its roads (check out this footage of our rainy day drive through the Douro Valley). The food was excellent, the people were lovely, and pretty much everything was deeply affordable (alas, the shopping did not thrill me, but I wasn’t so much preoccupied with buying stuff on this trip, and that was a refreshing change). Obrigada, Portugal, and may we meet again. Meanwhile, here are the items I was most pleased to have taken along with me.

I packed a couple of gauze Xirena tops and am so glad I did, because they pack down to nothing and don’t show wrinkles too much. The Avery Top came in especially handy—it was so cool on hot days—and now I’m considering acquiring it in the white as well.

I was also pleased to have brought along a pair of grey chinos by a brand called Crippen that sadly doesn’t exist anymore. These are a very good stand-in, though, and they’e pretty cheap.

There are few things I love like I love European pharmacies, where you can find all sorts of luxe brands that are way marked up here in the U.S. When my lips got chapped, I had the perfect excuse to go for this Sisely Lip Twist in Berry (#5), which provides a satisfying wash of color and kept my lips nice and hydrated.

I am a big fan of Away luggage, and before going on the trip, I stopped by their Lafayette Street store and bought their Everywhere Bag, which fits airline requirements for a personal item, and slides under the seat in front of you with room to spare. It’s big enough for everything you need on the flight—iPad or laptop, travel blanket, etc.—and has about a zillion handy interior pockets. It also slides over the handle of Away luggage, and would probably work with a lot of other suitcases too.

I just wrote about these Adidas Sambarose sneakers a couple of weeks ago, so maybe it’s a little lame of me to be re-posting them so soon, but I can not overstate how comfortable, versatile, and durable they turned out to be. I went to Portugal with a person who likes to explore cities by foot, so we did a ton of walking, and at the end of the day I wasn’t dying the way I would be with just about any other shoe. They also come in a ton of colorways, in case blue and black isn’t your thing, and the platform sole adds a nice amount of height.

On a similar note, I can’t not mention my black Chan Luu scarf even though I know that those of you who read GOACA regularly are probably sick of hearing about it. It’s a silk and cashmere blend that’s lightweight enough to stuff in your bag once the day gets hot, but that really keeps you warm when it’s chilly.

We had a lot of gorgeous and sunny days, but quite a few really rainy ones too, so I was very pleased to have brought along my Marimekko umbrella, which is, like the Chan Luu scarf, compact enough to stuff in your handbag, but big enough when you open it to really keep you dry.

In the picture at the top of this post, you can’t really see it well, but I’m wearing my new silk Mandarin jacket from 6397. It is soft as the day is long, incredibly warm, and so damn chic, especially layered over a hoodie (I know I say that about everything, but it’s especially true of this little number). And right now, it can be yours for a whopping 50% off in the black and also the very good navy. Just enter GOACA at checkout, and do it before Friday at 12a.m.

 

 

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29 Thoughts on Home again
    D.Morgendorffer
    2 May 2019
    10:48am

    I don’t know if anyone will see this comment, but I kept thinking about this post and had to say it. I happen to like that the Chan Luu scarf is regularly featured in travel posts. Midst all the frenzied consumption in the world, it makes me happy to see another person made happy by her trustworthy scarf. It’s one of the things on this site that indicates that this is the sharing of a person’s style, both newly discovered elements and personal classics; it’s not some commercial calculation like one sees in so many places on the internet.

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      Viajera
      2 May 2019
      11:38am

      I agree very much, and, I think it is excellent that Kim takes real breaks sometimes. Even though we miss her posts. It is setting a good example for overworked Americans, and others, plus, imo you can tell when people are just throwing up stuff because they’re afraid they will be forgotten if they don’t. Sort of the flip side of what sometimes happens to columnists – they are forced to talk more than they really want to do. I don’t want to feel like I am forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do.

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    Mary
    1 May 2019
    9:46am

    Sounds like an amazing place to visit! Right up my alley.

    I absolutely adore my 6397 jeans you recommended a while back, the Mini Skinny, so tempted by the jacket.

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    Suze
    1 May 2019
    10:42am

    Love a platform sneaker. Do they run true to size?

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      Kim France
      1 May 2019
      12:45pm

      They run a little big—maybe not even a half-size bigger, though. I fixed the problem by using an insole.

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    Viajera
    1 May 2019
    10:43am

    Yay, you’re back! Nice photo.

    Look, someone accidentally made full length pants, maybe!

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    Tamara
    1 May 2019
    10:45am

    Welcome home…to you AND the xirena blouse that’s now on its way to me…as for the sneakers…I bought them in the silver which is practically black tie, lol 😂

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    Joannawnyc
    1 May 2019
    10:57am

    I am LONGING for those blue and black Adidas!

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    Kate
    1 May 2019
    11:05am

    Yaaay, you’re back! Yaaaaaaaay! Oh, and I am glad you had a great trip but…….Yaaaay, You’re back! Yaaaaay!

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    Krista
    1 May 2019
    11:33am

    Great post! We MISSED you!!!

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      Kim France
      1 May 2019
      12:56pm

      I missed all of you too.

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    Sherri
    1 May 2019
    11:49am

    Welcome back! Great post! Did you have to size down in the Adidas? A number of reviewers on the Adidas site said they did…

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    Amy
    1 May 2019
    11:49am

    Looks like a great trip! Is the handle on the away bag long enough to put over your shoulder?

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      Kim France
      1 May 2019
      12:46pm

      It comes with a shoulder strap.

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    Kate
    1 May 2019
    12:40pm

    So glad you’re back! I hope you had a wonderful time.

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    MaryAlice
    1 May 2019
    12:50pm

    Welcome back Kim – looks like a beautiful trip. May I ask, does the Xirina top run true to size? And do you know if the white is opaque or sheer?

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      Kim France
      1 May 2019
      12:56pm

      Yes, runs pretty true to size. It has a loose fit. Other white tops I have from Xirena are on the semi-sheer side—like sheer enough that if you weren’t wearing a bra that matched your skin tone, it would show through, but not a lot more sheer than that.

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    Kathi
    1 May 2019
    1:07pm

    Welcome back & great post! Bet the puppies were glad to see you.

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      Kim France
      1 May 2019
      1:48pm

      It was a very joyful reunion, yes.

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    Mamavalveeta03
    2 May 2019
    1:53am

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time. So glad you’re back to fill the GOACA-sized space in my heart!

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    Lori
    2 May 2019
    3:17am

    Welcome back! And what a lovely photo! … Would be interesting to read your observations re. the fashion/style of people you saw in Portugal!

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    Gablesgirl65
    1 May 2019
    5:45pm

    Kim, I was going through withdraw! Thanks for the Adidas recs. And the European pharmacies–I’m off to London.

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    Alexa
    1 May 2019
    7:30pm

    Welcome back! I hope to visit Portugal myself within the year- now I *really* want to go. And thanks for the packing suggestions: )

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    c.w.
    1 May 2019
    2:54pm

    Welcome home! So glad the trip was a success and the photos you posted on Instagram were lovely and inspiring. Ordering the adidas sneakers.

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    elise
    1 May 2019
    3:07pm

    Great post – I ordered the Adidas in white last week for an upcoming trip to Provence so glad to know they are good for lots of walking! FYI to those asking about the sizing – I am always a solid 9.5 and returned to get the 9 – they def run big. Hoping the smaller size works. Welcome back – we missed you – Instagram isn’t the same 😉

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    Cherie
    1 May 2019
    3:46pm

    So glad you’re back. Made my day and ordered the Adidas!

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    Teresa
    1 May 2019
    1:39pm

    Welcome back! You were missed. I have the Away Everywhere bag and love it, though I wish I got it in navy instead of the grey. And I got a Chan Luu scarf because of you–and I left it on the plane to India in January. Broke my heart.

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    Lorna
    1 May 2019
    1:40pm

    Do those sneaker have any arch support? Welcome back

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    Liz
    1 May 2019
    8:25am

    Welcome home Kim! Thanks for sharing what worked for you – lots of great choices.

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About

Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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