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5 Must Have Pieces For Big City Travel

5 Must Have Pieces For Big City Travel

Guest post by: Lindsay Carreiro, Fashionista’s Travel Editor

Heading to a “big” city this summer?  You’ll want to be prepared, not just mentally but physically too.  Style runs cities like New York, Paris, London, Rome and fitting in doesn’t just mean buying everything they sell. It is so easy to spot a tourist, especially an American.  So if your ready to trade in what “you call style” then take along with you these 5 pieces of clothing/accessories that will help you fit in with out standing out.

 1. Lets just dive right in shall we and talk about the most dredged word in fashion history FANNYPACKS.  I completely understand the logistics of fannypacks.  I do not understand why they have to be so hideous!  Now don’t get me wrong back in 1992 when they were all the rage, yours truly owned a fluorescent pink one, but lets just say I have learned from my mistakes.  So if you are the type of person that likes having their items close to their body here are two suggestions that should get rid of fannypacks forever:

Messenger Bags: They wrap around your body, keeping your hands free.  Practically every company on the planet makes one, so finding one shouldn’t be an issue.  We like messenger bags by Vera Bradley and Coach.
Backpacks: I’m not talking about lugging around your LL Bean backpack from High School, I’m talking about much smaller backpacks that are also fashionable.  We like backpacks by Prada, Vera Bradley, and Bellino Luciano (at Walmart).

2. Comfortable shoes are a must on any trip, being a Fashionista we are not immune to the need of these items.  However there is a difference between comfortable and ratty.  We all have those ratty sneakers or shoes that are so comfortable we don’t dare throw them away, these should NOT be packed on any trip.  If you’re looking for comfort and style try these two that are perfect for any weather:

Boots: Such as knit boots, riding boots, something with a flat sole that will look good with several pairs of pants.  You can tuck in skinny jeans or straight leg stretchy pants or simply wear boot cut pants over the boots.  Either way you’ve got a nice looking shoe that’s easy to get around in.  We like boots by Ugg and Target.

Gladiator sandals: This is one sandal that everyone can pull off.  The wrappings around the ankle provide support and they are easy to go from jeans, shorts, to dresses.  Making it easier to only pack a few pairs of shoes.  We like gladiator sandals by JC Penny and Nine West.

Gladiator Sandals

3. You always need a dressy dress for your travels, especially big city traveling.  We find the best travel friendly dresses are those made of cotton and jersey knits.  Stick with darker colors, they hide the dirt better and almost always look dresser.  If you pair different accessories with this dress then you can get away with wearing it more often.  We like dresses by Old Navy, Target, and Nordstrom.

4. Sweaters are a girls best friend.  It doesn’t matter where I am traveling too I ALWAYS pack a sweater. In particular a boyfriend sweater (no this isn’t a sweater I stole from my boyfriend) this is a style that is longer and usually hits about your hip or longer.  It tends to be dresser then your average cardigan sweater.  You will want to stick with basic colors such as black, white, red, it is easier to match with these colors.  These sweaters also look great with dresses and pants; they are perfect for layering.  We like boyfriend sweaters by Old Navy.


5. Pants and shorts are a must for all seasons especially when traveling and you are unsure of the weather.  The perfect pant for traveling is one that has a little bit of stretch to it. Such as a skinny jean, legging, or stretch khaki or corduroy.  They give a bit when walking around and make for a more comfortable bus or plane ride.  Now as far as shorts go, this can be tricky.  If you are planning on wearing your shorts walking around a city but then also out to dinner you want to stick with a basic rule, your shorts should hit about 1 or 2 inches above your knee, depending on how tall you are.  These type of shorts almost always look dresser then “short shorts” and they are easy to go from a causal activity to a nice dinner.  We like pants and shorts by Old Navy, Levis, and Macy’s.

The goal when it comes to fashion and style is to take what your comfortable in and just extend it.  For example everyone is comfortable in stretch pants so why not buy a stretchy jean instead of sweatpants.  You don’t need to run out and buy all the new clothes in the cities you’re visiting.  Especially if its something you’ve never worn before your uncomfortableness is going to stick out like a sore thumb.  We would never tell anyone to change the way they dress just for traveling.  Being yourself with a few of these minor changes will not only help you feel better about the way you look but you might just get mistaken for a local.

1000Fights:  Thanks a ton Lindsay!  Some great ideas for us that are “fashion challenged”.  Visit her site!  Do you have a great fashion suggestion for taking on the big city?  Let us know!  Please leave a chic comment below.


Lindsay Carreiro, is Fashionista’s Travel Editor



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Adventures in Chinatown


I love Chinatowns.  I really do.  I am an egg:  white on the outside and yellow on the inside. Some of the best places to discover in our major American cities are their Chinatowns.  Chinatowns offer an affordable visit to another culture and country.  Taking a stroll down the busy streets offers the sights, sounds, tastes and flavors of the orient.  It is not to be missed!

Some of our favorite Chinatowns: Washington DC, Seattle, Vancouver, BC, San Francisco, LA, and Lima, Peru?!

To really enjoy Chinatowns we put together a few helpful hints:

1) Learn some Lingo

2) Check out the Art & Music Scene

3) Bings! (Chinese Dessert)

4) Hang out with the old guys!

5) Gwa-lious! (Our secrets to navigate a Chinese Fruit market)

Learn some lingo:

How to say hello in Chinese

Learn some Chinese!  I can’t tell you how many times, flashing a little of my mandarin skills has gotten me some great authentic grub.  At one establishment in DC, I engaged the waiter on the quality of koi fish in the tank at the entry in Mandarin.  After seating us in a preferred section of the establishments, I attempted to order a fish dish. My selection was promptly rejected. “Something better for you”. That little clue to what I was presented to eat was an understatement.  So good!  A little preparation can result in a huge surprise. After engaging waiters and owners of establishments, bills have discreetly disappeared.  It is a Chinese tradition.

Some key words to help:

Hello- Ni Hao

Goodbye–sye gian

Tastes very good- Hen Hao Chur

Thank you– xia,xia

Art and Music

One of the greatest attractions in Chinatown is the art and music scene.  The Asian genre of art is 1000s of years in the making.  Chinatown festivals include “double ten” day (Oct. 10th), Chinese New Year (early spring), and many, many other regional celebrations.  These are great chances to expose yourself to Chinese Music and Art.

Wall art

Chinese pastorals of falling water, green steeps, and animals are amazing:

Ever wonder what those little square red things are on Chinese paintings?  They are the artist signature, as well as his teachers, as well as his teacher’s-teacher.  You get the idea.  Paintings with many red marks is a really good sign.


Don’t know who Ming was or how he was awarded a dynasty, but they apparently made some really amazing pottery.


Chinese Music started at the dawn of Chinese civilization with documents and artifacts providing evidence of a well-developed musical culture as early as the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BC – 256 BC). Today, the music continues a rich traditional heritage in one aspect, while emerging into a more contemporary form at the same time.  (Wikipedia)

Take a quick listen to some of the most haunting Chinese Folk music:


Chinatown is a delight to all of the senses!  Not just sight and sounds, taste too!  We could delve into the many delicant dishs that you only find in  Chinatowns…but desserts are rare. With that said, there is one really good exception, “the bing.” Bings are pretty simple: shaved ice, condensed sweetened milk, and some fruit flavors syrups. In the more authentic dojos, you can get real fruit! A passion fruit bing on a hot day is nectar of the gods!

Have your ever tried one?



Chinese Chat

I really love to talk to old people. I love to chat with stringy bearded, glassy eyed gentlemen. They typically hang out in parks, around a board game, or they surround a small table with an elaborate tea set. Some of most meaningful conversations I have had in my life have been with these wise stewards. Conversation topics have ranged from expected topics: Sino-American relations, contrasting the traditional Chinese method of education.  We also covered some remote topics including the healing power of green tea, the long term harm that comes from drink beverages with ice(?????) and a particularly long and involved discussions of the virtues of breast milk.  Travel slow. Take a hot afternoon to sit in the shade of a with one of these fellows and the world will be opened to you.

The fruit

Asian fruit is so good! Some of my faves: yellow watermelon, yu longs, mega grapefruits, passion fruit. Some of these are available at different parts of the world, but there is nothing like an Asian fruit market. While living in Southern Taiwan, every morning we headed to the fruit markets for breakfast. These farmers markets offer fleshy fruits that are difficult to describe. We must offer a warning…fruit markets are usually adjacent to meat markets. These stands are not intended for the faint in heart. If seeing various family pets, snakes, and rodents displayed for purchase in non-living status, this is not the place for you.


Chinatown on Twitter:

 @sfchinatown  (SFO)

@312Chinatown (Chicago)

@scidpda (Seattle)

@OurChinatown (New York)

@LondonChinatown (London)

What is your favorite Chinatown?  What makes it special to you?

Leave us a comment and let us know.



Fontainebleau: “The Better Versailles”

Ok, the title of this post is a pretty bold claim.  I can see the anger boiling in Francophile “purists” calling us  names in French and waving their hands at us.  But before you say ‘off with your head,’  let us make our case.  The throngs of people who flock to Versailles primarily seek:

1)       Over the top opulence

2)      A location steeped in history

3)      A chance to do some “royalty” lusting

4)       Connecting with your inner Cinderella

5)      A stroll in amazing gardens

6)      A little bit of saucy intrigue

The grand entrance to Fountianebleau

The grand entrance to Fountianebleau


With these qualifications in mind, we guarantee that Fontainebleau  beats Versailles on every count. A Palace Primer: The Palace of Fontainebleau (named after a fresh water spring in the area) is located 55 kms from the center of Paris, is one of the largest French royal châteaux. The palace is the work of many French monarchs, building on an early 16th century structure of Francis I.

The building is arranged around a series of courtyards. The city of Fontainebleau has grown up around the remainder of the Forest of Fontainebleau, a former royal hunting park. (Wikipedia)  Besides being one of the most important royal palaces throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, it is also an absolutely exquisite example of French Renaissance architecture. Down with Versailles!  Let the games begin!

1)     Over the top opulence.

The entry into the Palace sets the tone for the entire Fontainebleau experience.  The Courtyard, called the garden of goodbyes, referencing Napoleon’s farewell message to his loyal military legions before his first exile. The art, sculpture, and design of the palace is breathtaking.  The palace introduced to France,  the Italian Mannerist style in interior decoration and in gardens, and transformed them in the translation. The French Mannerist style of interior decoration of the 16th century is known as the “Fontainebleau style” as it combined sculpture, metalwork, painting, stucco and woodwork, and outdoors introduced the patterned garden parterre. (www.arthistoryspot)

One of the greatest things about Fontainebleau over Versailles is you are really able to drink deeply of the opulence.  With Fontainebleau, you are not shoulder to shoulder with a bazillion other rude and smelly people.  At times you are alone, giving you time to imagine what palace life would have been like. On our visit in May, we saw only 30-50 people inside. Also, most of the pictures we had seen on the Internet did not show the magnitude and size of the palace. It’s huge.     The Trinity Chapel : Exceptional for its frescos painted under Henri IV by Martin Fréminet, one of Michelangelo’s little-known emulators, the chapel holds the memory of Louis XV’s wedding with Marie Leszczinska in 1725 and of Louis Napoleon’s baptism, future Napoleon III in 1810

The Library of Fontainebleau One of Mike’s favorite rooms in the entire palace is the famous library of Fontainebleau.  Massive globes run down the center of the room.  It is easy to envision Nappy and his crew planning world domination.

2)     A location steeped in history

Like Versailles, Fontainebleau  has been the center of both war and peace.  Highlights include:

  • Preliminary negotiations, held before the 1763 Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Seven Years’ War, were at Fontainebleau.
  • Napoleon gave his famous “farewell” speech on April 20, 1814 on the steps before being exiled to Elba.
  • For the 1924 Summer Olympics, the Palace played host to the riding portion of the modern pentathlon event.
  • The Fontainebleau Schools started with the involvement of the United States in the First World War.  At the instigation of General Pershing — who wished to improve the quality of US military band music — Walter Damrosch, then conductor of the New York Philharmonic, was asked to organize a music school in the area.
  • During WWII Fontainebleau also hosted the general staff of the Allied Forces in Central Europe (Allied Forces Center or AFCENT) and the land forces command (LANDCENT); the air forces command (AIRCENT) was located nearby at Camp Guynemer.
  • In July and August 1946, the town hosted the Franco-Vietnamese Conference, intended to find a solution to the long-contested struggle for Vietnam’s independence from France, but the conference ended in failure.

3)  A chance to do some “royalty” lusting

In all, thirty-four sovereigns, from Louis VI, the Fat, (1081–1137) to Napoleon III (1808–1873), spent time at Fontainebleau.  Take that Versailles! Philip the Fair (who also died there), Henry III and Louis XIII were all born in this grand château.   Every queen and empress of France since Marie de Médici has slept in the gold-and-green Empress’s Bed Chamber; the gilded wood bed was built for Marie-Antoinette. She never slept here. She lost her head.  

Look for the Letters! The castle’s most famous room, the Galerie de François I both glorifies the king’s royal egotism and serves as a testament to his patronage of the arts. Peppered with “F”s, the royal fleur-de-lis, and François’s personal salamander emblem, the gallery boasts vivid mythological frescoes glorifying François’s line and French royalty. Meanwhile, Henri II’s legacy pervades throughout ballroom; note the “H”s for Henri, and the entwined “C’”s for his wife Catherine de Medici—(which could also be “D”s for Diane de Poitiers, his mistress.)  Think of the couple fights back then!  It was here that Richelieu was knighted and the Duc d’Orleans (Louis-Philippe’s son) was wed in 1837.  (Lets go guide) Take that Sun Palace!

Fontainebleau is most known as was a favorite retreat for Napoleon. Bonaparte had two bedrooms, though he rarely slept: the first, a monument to both his narcissism and eroticism, is sandwiched between two mirrors, while the second is more austere, containing a narrow military bed.  Napoleon, in all his humility, outfitted the Throne Room with maroon and gold.  Today it is the only existing throne room in France that is still furnished.


5)     A stroll in amazing gardens

Be prepared to have your breath taken away.  The gardens and grounds of the Palace may be a slight step down in their manicured status, but Fontainebleau makes up for it in so many other ways. Just steps away from the palace is a scene out of a romance novel.  In the middle of the lake you can see this royal pavilion.  You could just picture stepping back in time with royalty in their finery taking walks in the fine gardens and having afternoon tea admiring the beautiful gardens.  Luci and sat lakeside for an hour without seeing another soul.  Try doing that the V-Palace!   Highlights beyond the lake include the Queen’s Garden and the lovely English Garden.

6)     A little bit of saucy intrigue

What would a palace be but with a little court intrigue?  The Palace at Fontainebleau is different. Highlights:

  • Part of America started here.  The 1762 Treaty of Fontainebleau, a secret agreement between France and Spain concerning the Louisiana territory in North America, was concluded here.
  • The Pope in Prison.  On 20 June 1812, Pope Pius VII arrived at the château of Fontainebleau, after a secret transfer from Savona, accompanied by his personal physician, Balthazard Claraz. In poor health, the pope was the prisoner of Napoleon, and he remained in his genteel prison at Fontainebleau for nineteen months. From June 1812 until 23 January 1814, the pope never left his apartments.
  • Truth or Dare!  The artist Madonna refers in her song “Secret Garden” from the album Erotica to it being located somewhere in Fontainebleau.

No contest!  Fontainebleau is the victor!

Seriously, regardless if you are a Napoleon groupie like Mike or a principled princess like Luci, Fontainebleau is a must see on your next visit to Paris.  Have questions?  Wanna know any tips about seeing the property?  Wanna know what we did for an hour by the lake?  Contact us and we will tell you most of the answers! How to get there: We took the train from Gare de Lyon in Paris. It was a nice train ride, about an hour. We started to worry. Because the train stop doesn’t say Fountainbleu. We were about to get off and go the other way,when the announcer said “Fountainbleu” we followed some other tourists. You can take a bus that takes you into town and drops you off literally in front of the palace. While the area is touristy, it’s nothing compared to the trap of Versailles (which we also visited two days later.) There is a nice commercial district to eat and shop. We purchased the Paris Pass and got the zone 6 train ticket as well.   Would you like to see more of our pics of Fontainebleau?  Hop on over to our brand new FACEBOOK site and see some of the amazing pictures.

Stay at the Airport?


I’m sure when asked, you would find more than one way to improve your holiday.  Now I know of lots of ways to improve your holiday, from finding an excellent Mojito bar to bungee jumping, but my tips are simpler and will make your whole holiday better.  First, book a stay in an airport hotel before you fly.  I’ve started doing it recently and it’s made all my trips fantastic.  Why?  I hear you ask.  Well it’s simple; it makes the worst part of any holiday almost enjoyable.

The worst part of any holiday is always departure day.  Take-away the excitement about the holiday to come and all you’re left with is stress, panic and irritable people.  Everybody’s in a hurry, they’re all worried about catching flights and checking in and most haven’t had enough sleep the night before.  This isn’t a good mix and it can make the start of your holiday less than pleasant.  This is where a night in an airport hotel swoops in and fixes everything.

Wherever you fly from there are airport hotels available and they’re usually really good.  I’ve stayed in Dublin airport hotels and Stansted airport hotels, and also recently enjoyed a Gatwick airport hotel and parking package, which have all been brilliant.  Not only are they high quality (a personal highlight was the massage room in one of them) but they are all really convenient.  By staying in one of these airport hotels you get a great night’s sleep after a really nice evening of wining and dining.  The effect this has on you makes it the best route to a better holiday.

You’ll wake up rested and refreshed already in a much better mood than you would have been.  Then, over a big tasty breakfast you remember that you’re in one of the discount Manchester airport hotels (or wherever you may be) just minutes from the terminal.

There’s no stressful journey to the airport, no worrying about being late, just a relaxing morning to enjoy before popping over to the terminal and checking in.  What is normally a bit of nightmare has been transformed in to a bit of a treat and the whole process until take-off will seem much simpler because you’re rested, calm and have nothing to worry about.  It makes your holiday that bit more special and all it takes is a few clicks on a website like


1000Fights: We want to share this guest post from Nick with  He makes such a great point and it is something that we really believe in.  Getting a hotel near the airport at the beginning or end of your trip takes much of the undue stress away.  Take for instance our recent trip to Venice.  Getting from the islands back to the mainland is more involved than you might think.  On top of just getting back across the bay, add in the time it takes to return rental car, go through security, and get rid of the left over euros that your have accumulated…this takes time!  Great advice Nick.  One less thing to fight about…(darn!)

Flight Fashion

Just like the bland food that some airlines put forward as food, flight attendant uniforms are headed for the same mediocrity!   We thought that it might be fun to highlight some of the best dressed flight attendants in the skies.   Luci and I are “fashion challenged” so we enlisted the help of some folks that know fashion and flying!

Please meet our celebrity judges:


Just click on any picture below for a larger view.

Qatar Airways

@isthisreallife2 The first word that comes to mind is ‘Safe’ and not in an ‘arm rests down, doors closed’ sense of the word.  No these uniforms are safe in a ‘good but not great way.’ While they look smart and the colour is surprisingly flattering, there really is no Wow factor here.  Thumbs up or down- If possible I would put a thumb half way between up or down its so mediocre!

@finalfashion:  There is a reductive, non-entity effect that suits the role of a service professional. Thumbs up.

@theflyingpinto Nothing exciting here. Boring cut, and the color would work on very few skin tones. Thumbs down.

@KIRAFASHION: It’s incredible how chic and glamorous a stewardess can be in a hat. I also love the choice of color here, beautiful. Thumbs up!

@TheSwelleLife A smart look, streamlined and minimal.  I like the deep plum colour and gestural ‘tie’.  Thumbs up.

Air France

@isthisreallife2 Chic, elegant, classic and timeless.  But to be honest, what else could we expect from the best dressers in the world.  Simple is the key here.  From the lines of the shirt-dress to the shape of the over-coat.  It reminds me of the golden age of air travel when air-hostesses were seen as the epitome of glamour and their clothes were coveted.  Thumbs up.

@finalfashion These uniforms are actually chic – and they’d have to be.  A remarkably deft feat of design. Thumbs up.

@theflyingpinto I can see a little bit of Kate Spade in the dress with the bow…but the white could look like a nurses uniform too. I hate the scarf, what were they thinking? Can you imagine wearing that huge thing in your face like that?  Love the red gloves and the over coat.  Thumbs up.

@KIRAFASHION It’s unfair to compare women from any nationality to French women. They have the fashion history on their side.  I love the long coats and the way they wear the scarf.  Thumbs Up.

@TheSwelleLife The chicest of the lot, naturellement. The jackets have the clean, tailored lines of a Chanel boucle, and no self-respecting French person goes out without the loosely bundled scarf, even when working on a plane, apparently.  Love the loose bow sash as well which is done in that none-fussy, French way. Thumbs up.

British Airways

@isthisreallife2 This is everything Air France isn’t.   Air France’s tailoring is to perfection where BA looks like they are all wearing too sizes too big for them, AF’s navy is deep and rich where as BA looks like they have all been put in a white wash in the dryer and come out a mucky version of ‘dark blue.’  It may be an unpatriotic view, but I am not really loving BA’s style!   Thumbs down.

@finalfashion Dowdy, military-inspired things that instantly add 20 years of age to the wearer. Eminently suitable for the purposes of a uniform but executed without flair. Thumbs sideways.

@theflyingpinto Are you sure this isn’t the Air Force posing in front of the plane? Everything about this uniform is up tight and stiff, even the bag that looks like it is part of the uniform.  Thumbs down.

@KIRAFASHION Too heavy and not appealing. Thumbs down.

@TheSwelleLife I’ve flown BA a lot and can attest to how uninspired these uniforms are in person, that navy couldn’t be more flat. They look like cadets. BA’s flight attendants are usually quite accommodating and deserve something with a little more ease and flair. But if they’re sometimes miserable, we know why.  Thumbs down.


@isthisreallife2 I really like how bold and brave Delta had been with their choices.  It may not aesthetically be perfect but it’s pretty and daring and is definitely eye-catching.  I really applaud them from trying something a little bit different and actually pulling it off!  Thumbs up.

@finalfashion The classic wrap dress works on any age and any figure and for that reason, it makes sense to adapt it to a uniform. However, it lacks a sense of authority. Thumbs sideways.

@theflyingpinto My favorite US Airline uniform. You only show the red dress, which I love, and for me a great dress is the best uniform. It’s easy to wear and you can dress it up with accessories. This particular dress was a little controversial because it is not flattering on every body type.   Thumbs up!

@KIRAFASHION Great at the runaway, but not so good in real life.  Thumbs down.

@TheSwelleLife Is that Richard Tyler? So this is what he’s doing now. If I were a Delta flight attendant, I’d be pretty thrilled with a wrap dress, even one with trench coat lapels, but the fabric looks to be a very stiff cotton.  I’m confused about the runway shot – is that a silk version? Is it for off-duty dates with the captain? Thumbs up.

Have you checked out some of the best Flight Attendant Blogs?  Here is our tribute!


@isthisreallife2 Nice colour and again nice to see the classic style of the golden age of air travel coming back but just not startling enough!  Thumbs up.

@finalfashion The wing-motif repetition, echoed in the spread collar, is heavy-handed. Remove two or three elements and there would be the essence of a decent uniform. Thumbs down.

@theflyingpinto Still looks feminine without being too revealing. I love the fit of the uniform, it’s not boxy like a lot of airlines. I specifically like the dresses in the 2nd picture, it looks easy to wear, but still fitted and stylish with the cuff on the sleeve. And, I love the red shoes with the blue dress! Thumbs up!

@KIRAFASHION So innovative and beautiful!  Thumbs up!

@TheSwelleLife This is the Russian airline that has had a lot of crashes?  Their uniform represents bravery, absolute bravery. It’s ok, the red’s a bit bright and it’s very layered but looks fairly lightweight. And if a wing falls off, they can glide to safety on her collar. Thumbs…instead of an up or down, can I give a nice level one?

Jet Airways

@isthisreallife2 I really like this.  The yellow colour is beautiful and really unique to have this exact shade as other airlines have gone for a more mustard colour when using yellow.  The clothes underneath could do with being a little more exciting than just black but the coat really does save the whole look.  Thumbs up.

@finalfashion The long coats have a dental-hygenist quality to them, however the yellow seems to work well on most of the models pictured, and the black pants seem utilitarian. A serviceable uniform, but that’s all. Thumbs sideways.

@theflyingpinto Looks like real estate agents living in a cold climate. Why else would those jackets be so long? And the color? Yuck!  Thumbs down.

@KIRAFASHION I love the yellow here, but the cut is too austere. Thumbs down.

@TheSwelleLife The pale yellow is friendly and cheery and the nehru style is a nice change from the traditional Western look (as this is an Indian airline). But why do the women have to be dressed like men because they’re working on a plane? I’m wondering if Nehru jackets move, they look pretty stiff. Do they, Steven Seagal? Thumbs up, I think.

(Editor’s Note:  We have nothing against dental hygienists, real estate agents or Steven Seagal.  We think.  Well… we don’t have anything against Seagal for sure.)


@isthisreallife2 Basically BA but with yellow instead of red.  Not a fan of this ill-fitting style at all and the colour is very draining on them!  Thumbs down.

@finalfashion A classic uniform that doesn’t try too hard to reinvent what isn’t broken. Small touches like the pocket square and the single braid at the cuff are sophisticated and work well. Thumbs up.

@theflyingpinto This uniform really didn’t stand a chance with me. I suppose it is ok, but it looks a lot like the tired old uniform I’ve had at my airline for my entire career! Being fair it’s not that bad, the fit looks good, but the hat tipped the scale for me. Ugly! Thumbs down.

@KIRAFASHION Original hats and traditional flight attendant style. Thumbs up.

@TheSwelleLife Now this is just mean. It’s stiff, dull, and masculine and the hat looks like an upside-down dog bowl. The harsh goldenrod and navy contrast is not very modern. Thumbs down.


@isthisreallife2 Again I like the bold-ness of the colour choice.  It’s a really lovely shade of blue in these images (although I have to say in real life, their uniforms never look this glamorous! Ha!)  I like the three-piece style too.  Thumbs up.

@finalfashion Wing tip collars, on an airline uniform? Sophomoric and literal. Somehow every small detail here seems obvious and unrefined. Thumbs down.

@theflyingpinto I love the way the uniform fits and I find the color very striking. It really stands out in an airport. But, what I see as a pro could become a long would it take to be sick of the color? If they keep the same uniform as long as my airline has (20 years) I can see it getting old!  Thumbs up.

@KIRAFASHION Nice blue, but maybe too blue. Thumbs down.

@TheSwelleLife I like the bright blue and more feminine style of jacket, but those neckerchiefs are just awful. I’m convinced the female staff frequently come into work with hickies – why else would they be made to wear these things? Crimson, gold and navy stripes against royal blue…pass the airsickness bag, please.  Thumbs up without the neckerchief.


@isthisreallife2 I adore their camel coats. Again they have the chic factor like Air France, there is a certain elegance with these two that the others don’t seem to have.  I really like the cultural nod too with their hats, I think it’s a really nice touch and again makes them stand out!  Thumbs up.

@finalfashion Simple and elegant uniform, in a beigey non-colour – it would probably work just as well or better if the suit matched the hat. The white scarf is a good choice for any face and colouring. Thumbs up.

@theflyingpinto Can you say dowdy office worker? Funny enough, even though it’s a similar style hat to Lufthansas this one actually works. Maybe it’s the color combined with the scarf? At any rate I would say that is the best part of the uniform, but what does your hair look like when you take it off?  Thumbs down.

@KIRAFASHION How chic and mysterious those women are. I love the way they mix the head scarf and the hat. The nude palette with the rouge look incredible. Thumbs up.

@TheSwelleLife Beige usually means bland and boring, but as a passenger I think I’d find this light, modern shade soothing. The traditional sash adds some softness to what is essentially a business suit. Thumbs up.


@isthisreallife2 First off, I would like to say that I love the fact that again, like Delta, they are taking a chance and doing something bold with their uniform, which I really think is great, but unfortunately, unlike Delta, I just don’t think they have pulled it off.  The print is far too big and just won’t flatter all shapes and sizes and it will date so quickly but at least its shows that they are making an effort!  Thumbs up (for trying,)

@finalfashion The satin shirt dress lacks authority and the shiny fabric looks cheap. The overall effect fails to suggest the role of the wearer. Thumbs down.

@theflyingpinto Is this silk? And, is that the designer in the first picture? What was he thinking? He should work in that dress. It looks like the lining in the dress I have now, that we all tear out because of how hot it gets. I’m also pretty sure I have a picture of my grandmother around here somewhere in that same dress!  Thumbs down.

@KIRAFASHION The worse uniform here. Printed clothes definitely don’t go with this job. Horrendous. Thumbs  down.

@TheSwelleLife A refreshing change of style in a more comfy fabric. But the pattern reminds me of a hotel or casino carpet which are designed to hide an array of dirty sins, so I’m thinking Quantas crew get thrown up on a lot.  Also good for disco dancing. Thumbs up for comfort and forgoing the masculine formality of the traditional uniform.

A huge 1000 Fights THANKS to our celebrity judges.  Some great style!  Please follow them on twitter, check out their blogs, and tell them thanks for participating in our project.

Now it is your turn to vote!

Leave your vote for best dressed in the sky in the comment section below.  Flight attendants prepare for crosscheck!

The Mystique of Savannah vs. the Luxury of Hilton Head

Savannah and Hilton Head are the perfect duo for a week in the South. While Hilton Head offers the view of the rich and retired, Savannah with its lush trees and dripping Spanish moss, offers a peek into the old South. Only an hour apart by car, you can easily see both places on a weekend or weeklong getaway.

Savannah- The mystery

“I recall my fleeting instants in Savannah as the taste of a cup charged to the brim.” — Henry James

Few locales have enchanted us like our visit to Savannah. Although our stay was  brief, the impression it has left on us is long-lasting. Savannah packs a powerful punch for types like us, who love places steeped in history, impressive art, and architecture offerings. But the best part about Savannah is the food! Savannah is truly the crown jewel of the Low Country. It’s best to start with what most folks know about the town. The city was the setting for “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” a book penned by John Berendt.  The book was transformed into the big screen in an adaptation directed by none other than Clint Eastwood.  The book (movie) highlight the best and seedy underbelly of the place. Many of the places featured in the book are now tourist traps luring those, like us, toting the book from square to square. Fortunately for you, the novel has long since fallen off the best seller lists, so the good news is Savannah is slowly sinking into the lesser known finds. A word of warning to you “Book Toters.”  The “Bird Girl” statue that adorns the cover is no longer situated at the cemetery outside of town. It now is one of the exhibits at the Telfair Museum of Art. The Museum is a must see. So what is on the must see list?

Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace (The birthplace of Girl Scouts)

Mercer House Carriage Shop & Museum

The Telfair Museum of Art The Davenport House

The Cockspur Light House

Owens Thomas House (For La Fayette lovers like us, this house hosted the Marquis de La Fayette on his visit to America.) It also has the coolest staircase that crosses over the house. For real.


The Olde Pink House

We asked our concierge if he had one night in Savannah, where he would eat. He suggested the Olde Pink House. Situated in a historic home, the Olde Pink House is like stepping back in time and the food is just as authentic. Yes, the house is really pink! If you like crab and seafood, this is your kind of restaurant. Dessert is always on our list when we eat and the Olde Pink House’s handcrafted praline cup filled with ice cream with a hint of raspberry sauce on the side still haunts Luci’s dreams.

The Olde Pink House on Urbanspoon

Mrs. Wilkes

Simply put, Mrs. Wilkes is an institution and is a must eat in Savannah. The restaurant is only open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. We got there at 10 a.m. to wait in line and it was worth it. Guests sit family style so if you don’t like people, you’ll struggle with the seating. We sat next to a family who drove to Savannah from New Jersey. The menu is all southern cook’n all the time. We ate fried chicken, corn bread, mac and cheese and any other carbo-licious, fattening item that was served to us. Go here. Your tummy will thank you. Your waist will not.

Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room on Urbanspoon

Hilton Head-Playground of the rich and retired

The best place to start our review of the Island is on the links (man lingo for golf courses.) The Hilton Head Island area is one of the nation’s foremost golf meccas. Is it any wonder that Golf Digest readers named Hilton Head Island No. 10 on its list of the world’s best golf resorts? Some of the very best holes in golf lie just a stones throw from each other. There are a number of affordable golf packages you can purchase on-line. The packages bundle a number of different course over a few days. It is perfect. One word of warning…if the ball goes in the “drink,” follow the words of John Lennon, “let it be” (see croc warnings). Another strong appeal to Hilton Head is its sandy beaches and warm water. Yes, the water is warm! For us west coast dwellers, warm water is the best! Hilton Head sports 11 miles of soft sand and gentle lapping waves. While Mike golfed, Luci walked the beaches. If you are up for adventure, one of the best pastimes it taking out an ocean kayak. We signed up for a bay tour that highlighted the flora and fauna and a bit of the history of the Island. We also saw dolphins jumping in the waves.  In addition, to wildlife, we  saw some of the massive secluded mansions. Really cool! Just make sure that your camera is waterproof.  Why not live like the locals? There are so many affordable options, there is a place to fit any budget.  The nice thing about this option, is candidly, we never really found a restaurant that we loved.  The self cater option lets you cook on your own. (See saving money! Yay!) Take on the mystery of Savannah then relax in the sun and sand of Hilton Head.  The perfect combination.

Our 7 Links

Tripbase recently started a new project meant to connect travel bloggers around the world & share their awesome content.  We were nominated by our friend Christina of Middle Seat View.  Thanks Christina!  We have been running our blog for the past year and a half.  We have learned a lot.  More important we have made some great friends all around the world.  People that we would have never met.  We are so grateful for their friendship.

So as a part of this project, we share 7 links.  These are out babies, so it was hard to pick ones for each question…Anyway, here they are.  We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we had writing.

At the end of this post, we nominate a few travel bloggers to continue on the project.

1)    Our Most Beautiful Post:

Our trip to South Africa was a tour of sights, sounds and images we will never forget.

2)    Our Most Popular Post:

Hands down, Mike’s  first Turkish bath has been far and away our most popular.  Not sure why?

3)    Our My Most Controversial Post:

Race is always a touchy subject.  It can elicit strong emotions.  This was a great guest post that took on the subject.

4)    Our Most Helpful Post:

This took us the most work to research.  We worked hard before we visited the sites to know what we were going to see.  Writing the we did equally the amount of research.  We have had a number of kind comments about it’s helpfulness.

5)    A Post Whose Success Surprised Us:

We decided to host a little “blog beauty contest”.  We wanted to highlight the great travel blogs out there.  We didn’t expect much,and candidly didn’t put a whole lot of work into it. Turns out it went crazy!  Folks voting and encouraging others to vote.  It was a blast.

6)    A Post We Feel didn’t get the Attention it Deserved:

Part of our blog’s mission is to collect great travel fights.  Read our best one.  Have a great travel fight, we would love to hear about it.

7)    The Post that We are Most Proud of:

Swaziland is not exactly on everyone’s destination list to visit on vacation.  We did.  We were better people for it.  So many lessons learned.  I just wish we could have spent more time there.

Now comes the fun part. I’m nominating the following bloggers to share their wisdom by publishing their 7 links on their blogs:

The Roamantics

Jack and Jill Travel

The 10 Year Itch

The Thinking Nomads

Dream a little Dream

Taking in the Twins

Are you looking for a place with a giant spoon balancing a cherry in the center of town, a nearby Spam Museum, and a great saltwater aquarium all in the Midwest?  Look no further than Minneapolis, Minnesota! America’s Twin Cities!

Minneapolis or Minnie as I  heard a few of the locals call it, has always been a layover city for us.  We go there 3-4 times a year, but never GO there.  Thankfully, we put the Twin Cities in the “really” been there column this month.

A few of our impressions:

Offfta-there’s some art for ya.

The Twins have some really great art!  It is all over the town.  We highly recommend a stroll around the Walker Sculpture Garden at the center of town.   At the center of the park is the now famous spoon and cherry.  As we were taking it in, I asked our good friend, a transplant to the Midwest,  so what does this say to you?  Her response:  “It makes me want to go and jump on the end of the spoon and kick that cherry into the sky.” My response, “Interesting.”  The only thing  the modern art statue made me think of was ice cream.  So off we went to get some ice cream.


As fellow “fighters” know,  1000 fights love gelato and like ice cream.  With that said, we LOVE Izzy’s Ice cream.  Izzy’s is located in a residential area surrounded by tree lined streets and stately homes.  You kinda feel like you are living that 70’s show.    Flavors are very inventive.  Take the Italian Strawberry, they soak the berries in Italian vinegar!  Soooo good.  I went with the Chocolate.  As an added bonus you get a little mini scooper called the Izzy Scoop on top of any flavor.  I mixed my chocolate with a raspberry sorbet.   Oh BABY!  Follow Izzy on Twitter.

The Quang

One of our great friends on Twitter My Battered Suitcase recommended Quang.  First impressions.  The neighborhood is filled with what look like family owned ethnic restaurants. There are Greeks, Dutch, Germans, and Chinese of every sort.  The king of the street is Quang.  A very authentic Vietnamese gastronomic paradise!  Pull open the first set of doors and you enter a room of foodie awards.  Right and left, top to bottom are a collection of accolades from every corner of the food award world.  (This is a good sign.)  Pass through the second sets of doors and we found ourselves the only Caucasians in the place. (Another very good sign.)  Menu is very strong in breath and depth.  The dishes speak for themselves.  They do throw in a couple Pad Thai dishes, but they come with a Viet leaning.  I went with their famous bbq pork. BEST EVER!  Highly recommend the Quang.
Quang on Urbanspoon

A Temple on the Prairie

What would a 1000Fight post be without a tour of a church or cathedral?  The Cathedral of Saint Paul is simply stunning.  Every summer the Parrish holds a rock concert/street party out on the front lawn.  We understand it is a great time!

A description from the church’s website:

“The Basilica of Saint Mary was the first basilica established in the United States of America, honored by Pope Pius XI in 1926.  Recognized as one of the finest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in the country, the Basilica of Saint Mary was constructed between 1907 and 1915 to the design of celebrated Franco-American architect Emmanuel Louis Masqueray.  It dominates its own city block on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.  In 1991 the old copper roof was replaced with a newer one to stop the water damage and leaks that were occurring. Restoration work on the exterior and damaged plaster within the church is ongoing.”

The Spam Museum

You know when you get a hankering for spam? You gotta have it!  Ok, we hate spam.  But an interesting side trip from the Twins is the Spam museum in Austin, Minnesota.  Take a spam tour!  Try your hand at canning!  Re-live some Monty Python moments.  Of special interest is the World War II exhibit highlighting the company’s involvement in supporting the troops.

Ok,  we haven’t talked about the Mall of America yet.  We did that on purpose.  Why would you go on holiday and go to the Gap?  If you do decide to go, please take in the new giant sealife aquarium.  It is a sealife park chain..but still worth the visit.

Get two vacations in one by visiting the hidden gems of the Twin Cities!  What are your favorite sites of the cities?  Have you had an Izzy’s ice cream cone?  Were we right?

Why I Didn’t Want to Go to TBEX and Why I am Glad I Did.

Why I didn’t want to go to TBEX and why I am glad I did.

1000 fights, the female half has a confession; I didn’t want to go to TBEX. We had just gotten home from two week trip to Slovenia and Croatia, the house was a disaster, our children were complaining about being orphans, I was overloaded at work, and most importantly I was exhausted. Mike kept telling me how awesome it was going to be and I just rolled my eyes. I didn’t want to go. (Fight #1)

Why would I want to go to a giant conference of self important bloggers? I had a mental picture of debate tournaments from high school where nerds haul in their boxes of “evidence” just to show how smart they are but instead of evidence it was lexile numbers, tweets, twitter friends, and Facebook followers. Ick-it was going to be my worst nightmare. I pictured cocktail parties where people look past you to see who is better to talk too (like the ones I attend for my job). No thanks.

I just wanted to stay home, watch chick flicks, eat cookie dough, and complain about how I exercise and never lose weight. Mike wouldn’t have it. (Fight #2)

“You have to go,” Mike begged. “We are the fighters. I can’t fight by myself. Plus, you are the fun one.”
The fun one, eh. Okay, you got me. I’ll go. So after work on Friday, I caught a flight (Mike was on a different one of course) and caught up with Mike in Seattle.

On Saturday morning, we walked into the giant Vancouver Convention Center and I felt like the new kid at school. I didn’t know anyone. It was going to be a long weekend. And then I met Journeywoman. I’d followed Journeywoman and as a suffragette, I thought. She was literally the first person we met. She walked up to us and said, “Hi I’m Journeywoman.” Wow. Then she was the key note speaker. It set the tone for the conference. This wasn’t a competition. This was about finding your voice, your mandate, your passion and living it.

The weekend only got better. What I found was every conception I had was wrong. These bloggers were friendly, helpful, and most of all insightful! They introduced themselves, looked you in the eye when they spoke to you and didn’t look past you to find a better option. I had found my peeps. During the short weekend, Mike and I connected with people from all over the globe. I made new friends. I was inspired. I left Vancouver full of ideas, contacts and most of all purpose. I don’t think the cookie dough at home would have done the same thing.

Cant wait until next year!