In Real Life: East Coast Travels & Link Up

The Husband and I are in midst of a trip to the East coast so this month’s In Real Life feature is, in essence, an introduction to our planned travels. We’ve made this journey to attend the Bat Mitzvah of one of the daughters of a first cousin of my husband and we made a similar journey back in early April when the twin daughter and son of another cousin had their Bat and Bar Mitzvah. The East coast is a fair way to travel from the Los Angeles area for just a weekend event so in both cases, The Husband and I stayed/are staying another week to do some traveling. During the Spring trip we headed to the south and with this trip, we are headed to the north in search of Fall color and other points of interest.

Last November in a post called Travel Plans, I wrote about my desire to visit all of the other 49 states (many of which I’d never been to) within the next 5 years or so. Since that post, we’ve also set seeing each of the state capitals as a companion goal. During our April trip, we visited four states, four state capitals, and took pictures in front each of the capitol buildings. Coincidently, the first capital we visited was the nation’s first state capital, Dover.

Our starting point had been Morristown, New Jersey and after visiting with friends in Brooklyn, The Husband and I drove to Asbury and then headed down to Cape May. From there, we took the ferry over to Delaware and began to loop back towards returning to Morristown.

#1: Dover, Delaware – First Capital




#2: Richmond, Virginia



#3: Annapolis, Maryland


#4: Trenton, New Jersey

We had a great time on this six-day mini road trip (even with The Husband’s bout of food poisoning) and these were not the only stops or sights we saw. I had planned to do one or two posts on that trip but I never got them finished. This time around, our travels will be fodder for a few posts and this is the first one.

In another post from last November called “What’s In The Suitcase?”, I wrote about my first experience at creating a vacation capsule and in the follow-up post Nine Days, One Suitcase, I showed what I wore each day of that trip. Likewise, this post will include photos of the capsule and there will be two additional posts on the trip itself.

I don’t have a specific format for a vacation capsule other than I kind of like how my 4x4x4x4 formula worked out last year so I used that the framework again. This current trip will be 11 days long with one day spent at the temple and then the next day for the party, so I would need at least 9 other outfits and the 4x4x4x4 ensures that I won’t have to wear any item other than footwear or jacket more than twice. With an eye on the East coast weather forecasts and seeing that we might encounter some rain and temperatures ranging from the 40’s to the 70’s, my 4x4x4x4 consists of 4 pairs of pants, 4 lightweight tops, 4 mediumweight tops, and 4 sweaters for layering. Add on to that two jackets, two dresses (for the Bat Mitzvah), and four pairs of footwear plus undergarments. I also brought two pairs of gloves and two scarves (not shown below). We were going to check our luggage so I wasn’t confined to the limited space of a carry-on.

Knowing that I should establish a color palette and that I wanted to include a bit of burgundy, I decided to go with black and gray as my neutrals and for my footwear. I selected my pants first and of course I included a pair of blue jeans (a universal neutral).


The 4 lightweight tops are blouses that can all easily be worn under any of the heavier tops or on their own if the weather is warm enough.


With the prospect of blustery weather, mediumweight tops for layering seemed a smart idea and I also threw in a graphic t-shirt that can double as an undershirt. The Husband and I had underestimated the weather during our Spring trip (as in we were really cold a couple of those days) and I didn’t want to repeat that mistake. I even brought a sleeveless chunky sweater.


These are the heaviest layers (except for the jackets) to be worn as completers depending on the weather.  Call me crazy but I’m looking forward to real Fall weather and full on bundling up on the layers.


For footwear, I selected a pair of black low-heeled booties, a pair of black mid-heeled tall boots, a pair of gray loafers, and my burgundy patten-leather pumps (for the party).


I brought two dresses to wear for the Bat Mitzvah itself.  The dress on the left was bought in August and I will wear it for the party. I wore it previously to dinner for our anniversary in September (see In Real Life: 25th Wedding Anniversary).  The dress on the right is a recent purchase and I’ll wear to the temple service with the tall boots and the light colored cardigan. Both dresses are by Simply Vera.


I realize that up until now, I’ve been a bit vague about the itinerary of this trip so I’ll lay it out some of it for you now. The Bat Mitzvah is taking place in Manhattan and we are staying in Hoboken. The Husband and I left from LA Thursday morning and we will be in the NYC area until Monday morning. On Monday, we will head out in a northerly direction until our return to LA six days later. More on the specifics of our travels will be shared in an upcoming post, however, I do want to show you how I plan to style the dress on the left both for sightseeing in the Big Apple and for the party.



The look for sightseeing with low-heeled booties and a pull-over sweater.




The look for the party with burgundy pumps and color matched tights.


Let’s Wrap This Up

Now, onto the Fine-Whatever link up for this week. My featured contributor is a relatively new link up participant. Joy, from Outfit Zest, says that her blog is a “land of quirky, sustainable fashion choices and gallery of people embracing their sense of personal style”. Her style focus is on sustainable fashion and like her name, she expresses a lot of joy in her looks and in the topics of her posts.


Where have you been and what have you been doing in real life? Are there any travel goals on your bucket list? What’s your approach to packing and creating a vacation capsule?


Let’s connect! Subscribe, tweet, follow, friend, love, pin, stumble … all options are available and waiting for you. I look forward to hearing from you. And don’t forget to add a post or two to the link up.


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22 thoughts on “In Real Life: East Coast Travels & Link Up”

  1. First of all, Rena, this floral dress has me swooning! So gorgeous! Second, I need to follow your 4x4x4x4 rule in planning my wardrobe for the December Blogger Meetup in LA (Yes! I am attending!) I love how you planned out your outfits. I wish you safe travels and an fun and exciting trip. If you venture near upstate NY (very upstate), do let me know!


    1. Shelbee, thanks for the dress love and I’m glad you like my 4x4x4x4 concept. Unfortunately I will not be traveling close enough to you for a meet up but I’m looking forward to seeing you in December at the LA blogger event.

  2. That’s an interesting formula for packing—of course it’s totally different driving than flying–I would think! We always end up flying, so I try to limit myself to 3 pairs of shoes and 2 or 3 pairs of pants!!
    So that dress has a lace trim at the hemline? It looks so pretty!

    1. Yes, Jodie, the method for packing does depend on travel mode. Packing for driving is so much more freer because you can just throw stuff in the car and not worry about it fitting in a suitcase or being under a weight limit. The hem on the dress is just a sheer fabric, not lace but still pretty all the same.

  3. Madly in love with your party look, Rena. It’s such a versatile dress that’ll get loads of wear, I just know it. Plus the burgundy bits go so well with your complexion 🙂

    Travelling? Well, I’m actually writing this from a hotel room in Dallas where I’m attending the Sally Beauty Summit. Whilst my heart sings at the opportunity to meet so many brands (established and new), and be privy to loads of innovative products, my feet (on the other hand) aren’t quite as pleased with all that walking and standing GRIN

    1. Thank you, Sheela, and I’m glad that you like the dress and it’s colors as much as I do. Traveling and experiencing new things is so much and I think that all of that out weighs some of the hardships. Other wise, we are stuck looking at the same four walls all the time.

    1. I highly recommend that you visit Annapolis. We found it to be very quaint and pretty (at least the area near the State House) and we loved seeing all of the old colonial architecture.

  4. I enjoyed seeing both ways you styled your pretty dress. It has such a fabulous hemline. Great packing tips and I also would like to visit more states in our country.

    1. Thank you for the compliments, Jennie, and I’m glad you like the dress as much as I do. We’ve been enjoying our exploration of the states and you would too.

  5. Great travel wardrobe! Your party dress is fabulous – I love it styled both ways!

    I did a capsule wardrobe for our summer trip and just pulled a few pieces from it for our short trip to LA, and I loved how easy it was to pack, and I felt good in what I was wearing.

    I hope you are having a fabulous trip! Sounds like you escaped for part of that insane heat wave in LA… I’m impressed by your goal to travel to all 50 states and see all capitals!

    1. Andrea, we are quite happy to be away from the heat in LA and enjoying a bit of real Fall weather. I do find that packing with a capsule in mind helps keep me from over packing and assures that I’m happy with my outfit options during my trip. I hope you enjoyed your brief stay in my hood and it’s too bad we didn’t have a chance to meet in person.

A comment from you would be lovely