I’ve just returned from an incredible stay in Provence, France; a trip for which I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to take. One little snafu; my luggage – apparently drawn to the lifestyle – took up residence in Amsterdam rather than accompanying me to France. For 6 days, I did without. This was not the first time such an event occurred; as a matter of fact, it was the third in recent history where a layover at Schiphol delayed my thoughtfully packed sachel. (Delta, what do you have to say for yourself? Hmm?) Needless to say, this wasn’t completely unexpected, so I had a well edited collection of essentials in my petite carry on. Cell phone charger, euro adapter, one city-worthy outfit with shoes, pashmina (I do not care one whit that they are no longer the height of fashion; they are immensely useful), cosmetics, laptop, a good book and the one item I would genuinely loathe to try to find in Paris, a swim suit.
While my clever planning would get me through a day in Paris without having to stage an encore of my yoga attire from the plane, it most certainly would not be appropriate for my stay in the countryside. I had 2 hours in Paris to shop before we headed south. Now normally, I welcome unexpected shopping occasions; especially in Europe. Though for a woman who is “above average” at a size 18, it can be tricky and time consuming. I’m typically up for the challenge, and able to find a few exceptional treasures. But this was different. I had to be practical. I had to shop for a stint poolside, going for walks in lavender fields, gardening and fending off scorpions. I had to be fast and it had to fit.
Which brings me to the part that I’m sort of mortified to admit. See, I couldn’t just walk into Bon Marche or Colette to find the right thing. Instead, I went to Gap Body on the Champs Elysees. That’s right. I said it. I went to Paris and shopped at the Gap. It’s my cross to bear. Bless you, Gap, for having everything I expected you would have.