Tag Archives: hotels

Travel Guide: An American in Paris

Paris flowerso-PARIS-900

If we asked you to name the most romantic getaway in the world, many of you would probably say it’s Paris.  Yes, it is quite romantic.  But, we’ve learned that it’s just as fun to jet over to the City of Lights with a group of old friends, and leave your man at home to take care of the kids and pets!  HEUCY Gal Veronica recently visited lovely Paris with some college friends, XX years after living there as a student.  What did she take with her?  A suitcase full of HEUCY and plenty of joie de vivre!  Here are Veronica’s recommendations for the perfect short jaunt across the pond, to one of the most beautiful and memorable cities in the world.

1. What to pack…

Parisfashion

According to Veronica, “the French know effortless style.  HEUCY fits right in there.”

HEUCY dresses and jumpsuits can easily get you through a 4 or 5 day trip.  Added (major) bonus: jersey doesn’t really wrinkle, so it looks good after a long flight.  And it’s perfect for an unpredictable climate, where lots of layering is involved.  In this photo, Veronica’s friend Saya is wearing the Weekender, and Veronica (right) is in the black Perfect Ten.

2. What to see…

Paris coffeeParis strawberriesParis flowers 2

Paris is a city where you can pack every minute of every hour with museum visits and sightseeing, but don’t overlook the simple treasures that line the streets.  We don’t know if it’s Veronica’s camera, or the fact that in Paris everything just looks better than it does here!  Regardless, walking around and looking (and eating and drinking, of course) can be your activity for the day…and the day after that.

Paris streetParis shells

3. Food…

Septimeseptime food

Septime was Veronica’s favorite restaurant.  Other fabulous places to eat include:

Pirouettepirouette-paris-e1370254220714

Pirouette

la-buvette-paris-2buvette paris

Buvette

caillebotte outsidecaillebotte inside

Caillebotte

4. Where to Stay…

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 12.40.22 PMScreen Shot 2015-04-28 at 12.39.58 PMScreen Shot 2015-04-28 at 12.40.57 PM

–“We stayed in an adorable boutique hotel on the Rive Gauche called Le Signature

5. When to go…

–Now! Or whenever you can fit it into your schedule.

Happy travels, HEUCY Gals.

xx,

The HEUCY Team

The HEUCY Gal’s Guide to Rome: Five Days, Four Outfits. True Story.

One of us recently jetted off to Rome (okay, flew…via Alitalia) sans kids, with hubby and four HEUCY picks in tow.  We thought it would be interesting to see how HEUCY really travels.  Is it possible to eat, drink, sight-see and gallivant, entirely in HEUCY?  Now we can say — emphatically and from experience — YES, it is possible.  And enjoyable.  You feel so much freer with just a carry-on!

We also thought, wouldn’t it be nice to post a travel guide for a real modern woman — someone who wants to see the sights, but also enjoys a little downtime while on vacation?  Real life is hectic.  Travel should be relaxing.  And somewhat affordable.  Just like our clothes.

So…Below is our itinerary, which includes a list of outfits plus lots of great Rome travel recommendations.  Enjoy!!

Friday: Arrive in Rome, around noon.  Wore the HEUCY #PerfectTen dress for roughly 24 hours, including on the overnight flight.  As comfortable as PJ’s, but sophisticated enough to garner lounge access.

Stayed at: Hotel de Russie.  An incredibly chic, smallish boutique hotel right off the Piazza del Popolo, just steps from the Borghese Gardens.  When we saw the courtyard, we were happy.

hotelderussiecourtyard

After a piadina, some espresso, some vino biancho, a nap, a shower and a change into the HEUCY #HighSchoolReunion (hey, you never know who you’ll run into in Roma), we walked around the Spanish Steps and met up with our friends for dinner at Dal Bolognese, also on the Piazza del Popolo.  The most. amazing. truffles. ever.  The weight gain begins here, but we tell ourselves that a) European wine does not have tannins.  Therefore no hangover.  And b) you can’t gain weight in Europe because the food is not processed.  No looking back now.

HSRHP

Saturday: sight-seeing, eating, drinking and shopping

After a good night’s sleep, we woke and ambled toward the “historic heart” of Rome — Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Campo de Fiori.  We stopped by Sant’Eustachio for un caffe e agostina with nutella.  OMG.  Words cannot describe how delicious.  I wore the HEUCY #AlterEgo Jumpsuit all day — comfort with a little bit of edge — perfetto for walking around the ancient city.

Quattro Fiori Pantheon

I remembered being absolutely floored by the Pantheon twenty years before, when I had studied in Rome (we’ll get to that later).  Built in 120 A.D., still standing, a true architectural marvel.  Oh, and Raphael is buried there.  What, exactly, have I been doing with my time?  Hmmm.

After a stroll around the Campo de Fiori, we were hungry again.  We had a long, leisurely lunch at Pier Luigi…a fabulous seafood restaurant in a secluded alley off the Campo.  Afternoon light, some delicious sea bass, vino biancho and espresso.  Heaven.

Pierluigi29676_stdIMG_0581

After lunch, we strolled down to Il Giolitti for gelato.  It was a bit like an arms race to get my cone of straciatella, but definitely worth the fight.  Conveniently, there was an adorable children’s clothing store, Boutique ZeroSei, located just a few steps away.  I had my HEUCY for the trip, so didn’t really need to shop for myself.  My daughter got very lucky that day.

Back at the hotel, we were delighted to see paparazzi.  I started to help myself to a bar that seemed to have just “popped up out of nowhere” in the hotel lobby, but was swiftly turned away because I was not “with Universal.”  My imagination was abuzz, who could it be?  I decided to wear my HEUCY #DateNight dress that night, to wow this celeb.

We dined at a charming open-air restaurant called Antica Pesa that eve, in Trastevere, and discovered that our hotel celeb was there too!  I mean, what are the odds?  And can you guess who it was?  None other than Richard “Riccardo” Gere.  Luckily, I felt like “Pretty Woman” in my Date Night!

DateNightHP

Sunday — day trip to Castelgandolfo and Nemi, two very cute villages on Lake Albano.  Normally a thirty minute drive outside of Rome.  But we had forgotten how seriously Romans take their Sunday lunch, so it took a bit longer than expected to get to our first spot.

Nemi viewNemi view2

We lunched on the terrace at Antico Ristorante Pagnanelli, in Castelgandolfo.  Delicious grilled herbs.  And wine.  And espresso. You know, when in Rome…our just outside…

Skyline

Back in Rome, we caught the sunset at the Borghese Gardens.  And then dined outside at Emma, a wonderful new pizzeria off the beaten path on Monte della Farina.  I was sporting my HEUCY #HighSchoolReunion dress again.  Too comfy to just wear once.  And the elastic waistband was forgiving.  I indulged in pizza con funghi e prosciutto as well as a few Peroni.

Monday — a tour of the Vatican and a stroll down memory lane (literally and figuratively)

Monday morning we woke very early and I put on my HEUCY #PerfectTen (shoulders covered, knees sort of) to meet our guide at the Vatican for a semi-private tour of the Vatican museum, St. Peter’s and other surprises we were definitely not expecting.  Angelo Amorico, our wonderful guide from Access Italy, greeted us at a cafe and told us he had just taken Oprah truffle hunting in Umbria.  I thought to myself, hey, if this guy is good enough for Oprah…then I suppose he’s good enough for me.  It turns out, Angelo is fairly well-connected in Italy and in Hollywood.  And he looks a bit like Robert de Niro.  Surreal morning.

Inside the the Vatican museums, the Raphael rooms, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s, we were again reminded that we are just mere mortals.  Honestly, how did people build structures like this without modern technology?  And how did Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel and sculpt The Pieta with chronic back pain and corrupt clergy breathing down his neck?  Seriously awe-inspiring.

Raphael2RAphael1St PetersCreación_de_Adán_(Miguel_Ángel)

One of the surprises Angelo showed us was quite impressive.  We went “backstage” to meet some of The Vatican’s renowned mosaic artists, who create the works that Il Papa (The Pope) gives to world leaders.  The level of detail and craftsmanship in their works is truly amazing.  Does the picture below look like a painting?  It’s actually a mosaic.  We got to see some of the artists in action.

MosaicMosaic work

We kissed Angelo goodbye, promised to say hello to Oprah for him…and headed toward the Aventine Hill, where I had studied abroad almost twenty years ago.  It’s located near many awesome Roman ruins, such as the Roman Forum on the Palatine Hill, an ancient aqueduct, the Circus Maximus, the Arch of Constantine and the Colosseum, the Via Sacra and the Arch of Titus. And much, much more.

Arch of Constantine with colosseumPalatine_Hill_Rome_Panorama_from_Circus_Maximus

I felt like Jason Bourne as we walked through the lovely orange grove park where I used to “study” and we found the Convento di Suore Camaldolesi, the convent where the students in my program had studied and lived.  I was having flashbacks of discotheques in Testaccio and not really studying.  The Suore were kind enough to house and feed us, and to turn a blind eye to our night-time activities.  We were 20 and in Europe, sine parente.  Nuff said.

130709_Rome_Aventine Hill_shutterstock_132242153aventinohillromeClass photo

I really should not be sharing this class photo, for a variety of reasons (namely, my roots and a very obvious love of carbs)…but I have to.  What on earth was I thinking, wearing a chunky cable knit sweater when I could have been wearing easy-to-pack jersey dresses and feeling like Audrey Hepburn?  If only HEUCY had been available then.  Oh, well.  You live and you learn.

Feeling a bit exhausted — mentally, emotionally and physically — we headed to Da Pietro, a lovely Roman hosteria recommended by Angelo.  Really yummy pasta y fagioli and — yep, you guessed it — vino biancho.  We were on vacation, after all.

PerfectTenHP

After an afternoon nap and a stroll around the Piazza, we had a lovely dinner at the bar at Roscioli and a nightcap in the courtyard at the hotel.  I paired my HEUCY #PerfectTen dress with my mom’s vintage belt, and some diamond earrings.  Full disclosure: the carbonara did make my belt feel tighter…but that’s the beauty of accessorizing.  You can just take the belt off!

Woke up the next morning, put on my HEUCY #AlterEgo jumpsuit, and readied myself for the long journey home.

Arrivederci and Happy Thursday!

xx,

The HEUCY Team

P.S. Coming soon: a London travel guide from one of our fave #HEUCYgals, Brett Tyne, the super-chic yet incredibly down-to-earth designer/founder of Wilbur and Gussie handbags.