Dresstinations™: Karina Goes To Spain
Lisa Weissler is an attorney living in Juneau, Alaska. She recently retired from a long career with the Alaska state government and is now putting her experience in natural resource law to work advocating for more public input in resource development decisions that affect Alaska communities’ way of life. There’s still time for fun, with hiking, biking and fishing in the summer, and reading, writing and mahjong to pass the dark winter months.
There are women who can get off a ten-hour flight looking as fresh as though they just got out of the shower, who can pack an entire wardrobe in a small carry-on and fit in anywhere they go. I am not one of those women. I literally have packing nightmares, where I’m frantically trying to figure out what to bring as the plane is about to leave. And in real life, no matter what I bring, I almost always feel rumpled and out of place. That all changed when I discovered Karina.
The challenge – a three-week trip to northern and central Spain in October packed in a single carry-on with the added complication that women in Spain tend to dress up even for a casual evening stroll.
The solution – two ¾ sleeve Penelopes and a sleeveless Penelope and an Audrey, along with a few leggings and a light dress jacket.
The result – a fabulous trip where no matter where I went or what I wore, I felt fresh, comfortable and well-dressed enough to blend in with the locals.
In the warm north, the sleeveless dresses worked great with the light jacket and flats. Our first stop was Bilboa and the Guggenheim Museum. The museum itself is a work of art – a titanium covered undulating building reminiscent of a storm tossed ship. I confess that I found the architecture more interesting than some of the art exhibits. Many of the contemporary pieces left me bewildered. A porcelain tub streaked with dirt and covered in mysterious symbols required a twenty-minute explanation on the audio guide. Personally, I like art to speak to me directly without the need for an interpreter.
Sunny San Sebastian was our next stop. It’s a lovely city with a perfect crescent beach, a charming old town and great food. The highlight of our stay was an extravagant meal at Arzak, a three-star Michelin restaurant. No problem fitting in with a Penelope, black jacket, tights, and ankle boots. The food was incredible – an eclectic mix of textures and flavors that somehow melded to create one taste sensation after another. Heaven.
From San Sebastian we traveled south to Burgos, famous for its gothic cathedral. With cloudy skies and cooler temperatures, I alternated between the ¾ sleeve dresses, adding long leggings and a jacket. Plus a hat bought from a delightful storekeeper who had no English but kept up a steady stream of conversation while bringing out hat after hat until both my husband and I found the perfect fit.
We left the cities behind to tour medieval villages in the high plains north of Madrid. We began in Segovia, a town of 55,000 with a towering arched aqueduct remaining from Roman times. From Segovia we went to the small towns of Sotosolbas, Pedraza and Sepulveda. Though far more casual than the cities, Karina still fit in, this time with capri leggings and athletic shoes. The shoes were a necessity for exploring Medieval and Romanesque castles and walking winding cobblestone streets. From the plains, we headed back to Bilboa for a final day before jetting back to the states. My four dresses held up great for the three weeks. I washed them in sinks, hung them in the shower stall and they’d be dry by morning. I never got tired of them, could dress them up or down as the occasion demanded, and add layers as needed for colder weather. I’m still a bit amazed that I lucked out in finding such great traveling clothes.
Now, back home in Alaska, I’m figuring out how to keep my new style. Sweaters over a Penelope with fleece-lined leggings work well, and a long-sleeve Josie is warm enough for now. Wonder if Karina might consider a heavier material for us Northern gals…
Wherever you live or wherever your travels may take you, in my experience, you won’t go wrong with Karina. Happy travels all!