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.