Getting there and back is not half the fun

09/05/2011 12:00 AM

09/05/2011 12:07 AM

After a month of vacation, re-entry into the real world is tough. Digging through a tall stack of mail, sorting through e-mails and jotting down voice mails — a person just has to keep thinking about the great memories made during the time off. And the things you learned or remember from your last trip.

For example, fall — not summer — is the best time to go to Italy. We knew that, but we had to work with our granddaughter's school schedule.

Many shop owners take their vacations in August. And because they take their "holidays" very seriously, they close up shop and go. Yes, they lose income because it's tourist season, but that doesn't seem to matter as much as taking time off. Maybe they have the right idea.

It's the closing of stores from 1 p.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. that makes me crazy. Granted, they stay open late. But we're spoiled about getting in and spending money whenever the shopping mood hits us.

I figure this practice does save me thousands of dollars during my travels.

It's much more fun to shop when the euro and the dollar are approximately the same value. Not so this time.

"Just add half to the price," my husband explained, knowing my brain is missing the math chip.

That meant if a piece of Italian pottery was 100 euros, it was 150 good old American dollars. Aargh. It was more fun a few years ago when something was $50 if it cost 100 euros.

The first week of August I spent in Paris with our 16-year-old granddaughter, Ashley. She and I had a trip that we'll never forget. The best part for me was seeing someone enjoy such a beautiful city for the first time.

We had lunch on one level of the Eiffel Tower. Then Ashley said she wanted to go much higher. The elevator was not working, and, when I couldn't look at the disappointment on her face, we started up the stairs. And up. And up.

What we do for those we love.

Everything for four weeks went like clockwork until we got to security at the Minneapolis airport. They checked and re-checked my carry-on. We missed our flight by three minutes and had to wait eight hours for the next flight.

Long day.

"Getting there is half the fun" just doesn't ring true. Now it's more like "travel isn't for the weak."

But, in the end, it's all worth it because once you're home and unpacked with the laundry done, the hassle isn't what you remember.

Fashion Night Out — Keep your eye out for stores participating in Fashion Night Out (FNO) on Thursday. It was created to celebrate fashion, restore consumer confidence and boost the industry's economy.

Started in 2009, it's now worldwide, with 1,000 retailers, designers and beauty brands offering special events or discounts.

Ann Taylor in Bradley Fair is one of the local stores taking part, with discounts on new fall merchandise. See my e-newsletter Tuesday for details. (If you don't receive it, visit to sign up. It's free!)

Fashion show — Some members of Project Beauty will be models for the fashion show that will be part of the annual Project Beauty Membership Tea on Sept. 15 at Botanica. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 316-267-2737.

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