Travel Close to Home

We never let things like a limited budget, very little free time away from our businesses, and failing knees get in the way of having fun. It has been more than twenty years since I took a week-long vacation with no work involved. I can’t even imagine taking three weeks off to travel to a foreign country.


Mr. Mickey is the best travel partner ever! We plan for many things that we would like to do over the weekend. We discuss what we would enjoy, make reservations where needed, and then do some of the things we planned until we get tired. It isn’t fun to explore when your knees are hurting and you are too tired to enjoy what you are doing, so we know when to stop and take a rest.

Our travels are not usually more than a three-hour drive from our homes. We do research using TripAdvisor and Google to find out about things we would both enjoy. Mr. Mickey subscribes to many magazines such as “Our State” and other publications about things to do in Western North Carolina, Virginia, and East Tennessee.


We enjoy having an occasional glass of wine with dinner, so a trip to visit some of the vineyards and wineries in the Yadkin Valley was something we wholeheartedly agreed on. Rather than picking up the same old bottle of red table wine at the grocery store, we decided it would be fun to visit the vineyards, attend a tasting and learn about the families that started the vineyards and the grapes. Each time we enjoy a bottle of that wine, we will savor the wine as well as the memories that go along with the experiences shared when we purchased it.

When we go on weekend trips, each of us takes only mix and match separates, which can be worn in more than one way so that we don’t have to lug around a ton of clothes we may not even need.

On our travel day, I wore ankle jeans and a white tank top (old from Chico’s) with a white linen moto-style jacket, also old from Stein Mart. The scarf is old by Vince Camuto. The bag is old from Saks Off 5th.

  1. As always, thanks for the great look! I think I can pull this one off with some things I have in my closet. It’s casual enough for my lifestyle and yet doesn’t look unkempt. Thanks!

  2. The joy of traveling has really decreased for my husband and I due to airport security lines, over crowded planes etc. so we are looking for some things to do for 2-3 days at a time. Places we can drive to sound much better plus we don’t have to take loads of luggage. I think we will spend the winter researching places to go.

  3. I recently took your advice on a 12 day trip to Eastern Europe. I decided to go with only 2 color palettes: black/white/gray, and brown/beige. That way I could mix and match and wouldn’t have to pack as many clothes and accessories – not to mention shoes! Unfortunately, it didn’t work well for me. I felt as if I looked very bland and boring. My three friends wore all these cute prints and colors and here I was, day after day, in the same old thing. I think from now on I will pack whatever suits my fancy – even if it takes up a little more room.
    Thanks anyway for all of your other good advice and for posting all the nice pics. I LOVE your blog!

    1. I am sorry that my personal examples didn’t work out well for you. I have never taken into consideration what my friends wear when I think about what is right for me. Wearing solids with a few well-chosen accessories makes me feel elegant and timeless.

  4. You are lucky to like in a part of the country that is abundant with beautiful places to visit in a weekend. Out here on the high plains of Texas, there are few opportunities for a mini-vacation.

  5. My husband and I still have kids at home, but we’re really looking forward to the short driving trips once they’ve flown the nest. I love your style very much (the solid separates, with great shoes, bag and jewelry) and I love how you look different but consistent every day. I’m totally inspired by your example of having fun despite the bad knees (I assume they’re Mr. Mickey’s, considering your high heels), as both my husband and myself have pain issues, but we still enjoy travel and I still love clothes!

  6. Love short trips close to home but also a longer trip when possible. Just got back from two weeks in southern Italy. It was once in a lifetime opportunity that was totally fabulous. Sorrento and the Amalfi coast are the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Followed your mix and match style and packing tips but still ended up with too much. I’ll do better next time.

    1. Did you go to Italy with a tour group or on your own. I am hoping to visit Italy this spring, but so many decisions…..

  7. Great idea! I think I am going to try to do this also. I save and use all my vacation time to visit my son and family, but this is a nice break in between. Plus see some sites close to home. Thank you I have learned so much from you.

  8. My husband and I also enjoy short trips but we have done Italy and Ireland for longer vacations. This coming weekend we are going to our favorite bed and breakfast in Avon by the Sea, New Jersey. I also love solid colors that mix and match. Susan, your style works well for you and I have learned from your blog how to find styles that work for me. That has been invaluable so thank you! My husband and I were recently in Asheville at the Biltmore. On the way there, we passed a sign for Johnson City and I immediately thought of you! Thanks again for all of your inspiration!

  9. I have learned much from your blog, and even though my coloring and stature/size differs from yours,,,,I have taken many helpful hints and incorporated them into my wardrobe planning. I am also trying to be better about taking clothes on trips. I haven’t mastered it yet….but getting there. I find that laying all clothes out on the bed that I am thinking of, putting together outfits…and over the course of the day putting things back in the closet that don’t make sense. I often use scarves instead of jewelry. It is hard to travel with my favorite jewelry pieces as I am afraid of breakage. A scarf, I have found, can wrap around my wrinkly neck, be a stole for warm, be a head wrap – and add color to the neutrals that I normally wear. Thanks again! I look forward to your blogs!

  10. Enjoy your vacation Susan. I love your blog and have learned so much from you. Mostly, stop shopping in stores and instead shop in my closet. I love experimenting putting separates together I had never thought of before.
    You are my inspiration.

  11. Terrific look on you! Oh how I wish I could wear spring-like separates in October! And the accessories – shoes, bag, and necklace are fantastic on you.

  12. Thanks Susan for your thoughtful ideas for travel nearby. Two nights in any hotel is enough for me and I’m ready for my own bed. It’s fun to get away though and visit places that inspire me to live a graceful life. You have given us some good recommendations that are not too far to comfortably drive. Cheryl Ann

  13. Love the scarf! I have been on the look out for silky scarves such as the ones you frequently use to accessorize an outfit. They do seem hard to find because most stores offer the thicker, chunkier, much larger ones. Can’t wait to see more pictures of this trip.

  14. Your outfit is as terrific as your post, as usual.

    There’s NOTHING the slightest bit bland about your look, solids or no, because your scarf, shoes, accessories, cut of the clothes, drape of the fabrics — and mostly your smiling face — are all so interesting.

    You’re preaching to the choir with me (as a natural blond I use navy & cream for my black & white) but I always get an idea from your posts, poses, and experience. Mr. Mickey is a lucky guy, and it’s clear that he knows it — you two are adorable.

    Happy Trails!

  15. We are retired but very active. We returned recently from a week in Colonial Williamsburg. We stay there for 7-10 nights every year. After Williamsburg this year, we had planned to drive the entire Eastern Shore and stay a few nights in historic Annapolis but decided it was time to go home. The older we get the less time we want to be away from home. After reading your post, I am beginning to think an extended weekend vacation might suit us best!

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.