Voici le soleil

Monday, May 02, 2011

This summer, the Hubster and I are taking a trip. A fabulous, fun-filled, family trip. We are going to visit Fin's dad and his family in California for nearly three whole weeks in June and I. Cannot. Wait.

Flights to the US seem to be inordinately expensive at the moment and it was difficult to decide whether to go or not, but now that we've booked up I am embracing it. We're spending most of the time staying with Fin's dad outside Sacramento, with a couple of days in San Francisco somewhere in the middle, and ending with a long, luxurious week in a beach house in Santa Cruz.

I love visiting his (our) family in California, even if I haven't always covered myself in glory when we've been there. The first ever time we went to visit Fin's dad, on our very first night there, I found myself standing out on the deck, savouring the warm evening breeze, alone for a brief moment. The rest of the family were inside somewhere (playing ping-pong, probably. They love a bit of ping-pong). I decided I'd better go and join them, be sociable and all that, so I walked from the darkness of the deck back into the empty living room.

Without opening the screen door.

It did not end well for the screen door. Or for Fin's dad's bank account.


Anyway, I'm sure that won't happen again. And now that we're into May and our holiday is officially Next Month, the excitement is really cranking up. I can't wait to feel the California sunshine seeping into my cold, creaky bones. Paddling in the Pacific, drinking wine in the hot tub, eating my body weight in Lucky Charms - it's going to be heaven.

And, of course, now that it's Next Month, holiday fashion planning can officially commence. I went on a pre-honeymoon Primark spree last summer (it was amazing, I just went round the shop picking up three of everything. It was how I imagine Victoria Beckham must feel in Harvey Nicks) so I can't really justify a whole new wardrobe, but there are definitely a few gaps to be filled.

In particular, I find myself unexpectedly lusting after a new swimsuit. Not a bikini, a tankini, or (God forbid) a monokini, but a good old covers-all-your-squidgy-bits swimsuit. (Incidentally, I hear Anthropologie are calling them maillots these days, which is possibly the most pretentious thing I've ever heard. "Hey, do you like my new chaussures?" "Why yes, they look marvellous with your pantalon!" Come on, Anthro. Get a grip. Also, it's a maillot de bain. Un maillot is a jersey. Just so you know.)

The swimsuit thing has partly arisen from the fact that my brother-in-law and his teeny-tiny Chinese dancer wife will also be joining us. Sitting next to her in a bikini would not be conducive to maintaining high self-esteem, especially not after all the Lucky Charms. Not to mention the fact that swimming in the ocean, as I know from bitter past experience, is often a bit too much for a bikini to handle. Nobody wants to flash their in-laws. Destroying their screen door is quite enough for one holiday.

Mostly, though, I am just loving all the retro-inspired suits that have sprung up everywhere this year. More 50s pin-up than Baywatch babe, they are classic, flattering and fun. I think I'd feel a lot more comfortable hanging out (hopefully not literally) with my in-laws wearing one of these bad boys than in any of the teeny-tiny honeymoon numbers currently crumpled at the back of my sock drawer:

Anthropologie, Undrest, Boden, New Look

But while I'm super excited about visiting the beach, and our family, and San Francisco (the only place I've visited in America where I could really imagine myself living), there is also the tiniest tinge of disappointment. Because if we were flying out just a couple of days earlier, there's a chance I could have been in San Francisco for the next APW book club meet-up there. Which would have been AMAZEBALLS. I could have met Meg, and Lauren, and who knows who else? It's like the APW mothership. Sigh.

However, all is not lost - it just means we get to have a Scottish APW meet-up instead! Now, I tried to organise one last time, and only two people were interested. Two! That is lame, Scotland. Lame. But since my graduate post went up a few more people have expressed an interest, which has got me really excited. So this is just an early heads-up that there will be a meet-up at some point in June, so if you're at all interested in coming along you should head over to APW and vote for a date that suits you, then buy the book, then leave a comment or send me an email to let me know, so that I can circulate the deets nearer the time. There will also be a facebook page set up once we know the date, so keep an eye out for that.

I am so excited that I might finally escape from behind this laptop and actually get to meet some of you lovely ladies! Almost as excited as I am about the beach and the sunshine and the Lucky Charms. It's a close-run thing.

All images are of the exquisite Grace Kelly, shot by Howell Conant in Jamaica in 1955. Because I thought we might all enjoy a little reminder right now that there was more to her than just her wedding dress.

9 boats moored

  1. APW book club Scotland! Yay!

  2. OMG Lucky Charms! Jealous!!

  3. Noooooo, just checked the dates for the Meet and both are my Hen weekends - yes I'm greedy! (Sat 4th is proper Hen night, the following weekend is Spa weekend with Mums and BMs!) I voted for the Friday night on 3rd June just in case but it's highly unlikely I could come :(

  4. You're adorable.

    Those swimsuits are AMAZING. I'm sort of in love with the 50's (my wedding dress is 50's) and I want one so badly.

  5. So excited you're coming to my home town (San Francisco)! I'll have already moved to LA by then, but San Francisco is my heart.

    June weather can be a bit hit-or-miss but I'll keep my fingers crossed for a super summery three weeks! (And I vote for the black and white striped bathing suit.)

    If you need any recommendations for things to do/places to eat in SF shoot me an email at newlyla@gmail.com (although your fam probably has that covered)!

  6. just came over from apw/twitter, and am drooling over these pictures of grace kelly. wow.

    your trip sounds wonderful- i'm jealous! my favorite part of trips is the anticipation/shopping. we need to decide on a honeymoon location so i can get on that. love all the suits-especially the b&w one! :)

  7. Your maternal grandmother had repeat issues with walking into closed screen doors, so don't take it amiss. For that matter, your Seattle-based cousin once went through a glass door at the house of friends of Mum and Dad, so if anything you're coming up a little short on the door-destruction front.

    The Lucky Charms thing though? All you. Still, it's nice to find something that's not prevalent in the local gene pool, isn't it?

  8. LOVE the swimsuits, SO excited about the anthropologie in edinburgh, although think the new look version is a bit more realistic...

    also super stoked for the APW bookclub, although to be honest i am unlikely to find enough time to actually read the book. but i'll pretend really well.

  9. Looks like the New Look number is a winner!

    Bex, that is such a shame! Never mind, we'll have another one - hen parties are lots more fun :)

    Lorna, don't worry too much about reading the book, you can wing it. I bought a second-hand one, but it turns out someone has already filled in all the questionnaires, so random!!

    Oh and Ashley, thanks so much for the offer, I will definitely take you up on it. We've done the main tourist stuff so some niche local recommendations would be very welcome.