Room With A View: Chantilly - une femme d'un certain âge

Room With A View: Chantilly

Chantilly park view. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

It’s so nice to be back in France! We arrived late yesterday afternoon, after two flights (one long, one short) and a 40 minute drive from the airport. Door to door, about 20 hours. We’ve learned from past experience to take it easy the first couple of days to give our bodies and minds time to adjust, so chose our first destination based on proximity and environment.

Here’s the view from our window. You can’t tell from this photo, but there were sheep grazing in the far meadow. This morning we watched the shepherd and his dogs move the flock of sheep from one pasture to another. It was impressive seeing them work! We’ll be touring the Chateau de Chantilly and gardens, as well as the Horse Museum today. I’ve found that spending as much time as possible outside and moving around is one of the best ways to reduce jet lag.

Travel Wardrobe Updates

Real-world airport style! Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Here’s my travel outfit in action. It worked out beautifully, and I’m totally in love with this sweater. If you’re wondering about the blue suitcase, yes that’s the one I checked. It’s half empty, but my tripod wouldn’t fit into my smaller suitcases. The purple bag fit easily into an overhead bin.

In the morning before we left for the airport, I did one last weather forecast check, then made a couple of swaps based on that.


Lightweight navy weather-resistant jacket. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I switched out the silver Birk’s for this gold pair I purchased earlier this year. After picking my accessories I thought the gold ones were a better choice.

I feared my olive green utility rain jacket would be too warm, so left that one behind and packed a navy Eileen Fisher lightweight weather-resistant jacket. It’s not as spiffy, but I think this will be more practical. Mine’s from a couple of years ago, and no longer available. Here’s a similar style, just a bit longer.

I decided to leave the black jeans at home.

How do you deal with jet lag?

Stay in touch.

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  1. Carlene
    May 24, 2018 / 4:36 am

    I love Chantilly! There is a wonderful showjumping competition there in which my daughter competed Your travel ensemble looked great. Bon voyage!

  2. May 24, 2018 / 4:57 am

    Before having kids, I would take half an Ambien just after eating on my transatlantic flight–it was just enough to get me past the noise and discomfort so I could sleep, but not so much that I’d be groggy on arrival. Now I count on strict meal times and lots of exposure to sunlight to adjust.
    Enjoy your trip!

    • Nancy Cohen
      May 24, 2018 / 5:31 pm

      My doctor refused to prescribe ambien for flying. Her point was “what if there was an emergency?!” I figured that was a pretty good point. I do take a Xanax, and wear my noise cancelling headphones (best invention ever) and eye cover. Off to sleep I go. We recently flew back to Seattle from England on a 787 Dreamliner. Higher cabin pressure, more room, and special lighting, all designed to lessen jet lag. It was fantastic! We felt fine when we got home.

  3. Cindy
    May 24, 2018 / 5:31 am

    When going east the jetlag doesn’t seem to have much impact on me anymore.. I realized awhile back that it is better not to think about what time it is back home, how “should” I be feeling, etc. Just BE in the time zone of your destination. Get outside. Scheduling arrival towards the end of the afternoon doesn’t hurt either. However, I haven’t found the magic bullet for return flights to the west. I’ve been home for one week and am still getting up way too early in the morning!

  4. Eileen
    May 24, 2018 / 5:46 am

    Husband and I just got back from 3 weeks in Paris . We usually take things easy for two days, walk in parks, nap, just look around the neighborhood, fresh air helps after 11 hour flights. Enjoy!

  5. Eva
    May 24, 2018 / 6:07 am

    I combat jet lag by doing nothing. I just go with the flow & do what my body tells me. It’s strange how it’s so very easy to adjust to your new time zone in Europe (I guess it’s excitement) & totally crash when you get home. I’m enjoying your blog so much!

  6. May 24, 2018 / 6:32 am

    We get outside as well, after a long day of travel. Last year we were 28 hours from home to Buenos Aires. We arrived at 8 pm their time, had a casual meal and a glass of wine across the street from our hotel, and fell into bed right after. The next morning we were a bit groggy, but a leisurely breakfast, and a stroll around the neighbourhood helped. The heat was the biggest problem for me.
    Have fun in France, Sue. We adored the French countryside when we were there in 2015. This year it’s Italy for us.

  7. Kathleen
    May 24, 2018 / 6:32 am

    My husband and I did a day trip from Paris to Senlis in 2014 (we took the train to Chantilly, then bus to Senlis). Very charming, highly recommend!

  8. Kellee
    May 24, 2018 / 6:33 am

    I am the odd bird that doesn’t seem to get jet lag, even after a trip to China. My trick, after an overnight flight, is to keep on going and get to bed at my normal time – no naps! Coming home, I try to schedule flights so that I am home in plenty of time to get to bed at my usual time. The only thing that seems to affect me is altitude – thank goodness for coca tea in Bogota!

    Enjoy your trip!

  9. Marina
    May 24, 2018 / 6:54 am

    new to your blog. Hello from California 🙂
    We use No Jet Lag (I buy them on Amazon) for years, never failed.

    • Nancy
      May 24, 2018 / 10:05 am

      Same here…a travel agent recommended them and worked for trips both to France and Italy but in all honestly I was so excited to finally go abroad I don’t think I could have slept.

  10. risa Wolfson
    May 24, 2018 / 6:56 am

    So excited to read about your adventures! I just love your travel sweater. You posted a similar one the other day that wasn’t cashmere and I will have to go back and look at it again. How serene is the photo that you posted! Enjoy every second of your trip!

  11. Laurie
    May 24, 2018 / 6:59 am

    You look tres chic! Jet lag? I wear compression stockings and drink lots of water and eat very lightly. No alcohol it makes a big difference in how I feel the first couple days of a trip.

  12. Lyn
    May 24, 2018 / 7:51 am

    That is in elegant travel outfit!

    We had two flights, a train trip and a 40 minute drive, but the real killer was two 3-hour stretches of empty wait time between the legs. Next time I will plan the journey more carefully and spend the first day somewhere closer to wherever we arrive. You did it right.

    Your packing posts are my favorites, especially the recap afterwards .

  13. Alison M.
    May 24, 2018 / 8:32 am

    You look chic and ready for an adventure!

  14. Suz
    May 24, 2018 / 8:36 am

    With the excitement of our vacation, we don’t usually have jet leg on our arrival. On the way home, it often takes a few days to get back into our normal routine; sleep, meals, exercise…… Luckily we are both retired so have the time to adjust.
    Have a great trip – sounds wonderful already!
    Suz from Vancouver

  15. Darling Lily
    May 24, 2018 / 9:15 am

    You look perfect! Very elegant and as someone mentioned upthread, ready for adventure!

    Like Kellee above, I do not seem to get jetlag internationally. Not really sure why, other than we always fly at night for international trips, don’t ever nap and perhaps not being able to sleep on a plane helps, since I am always good and tired by bedtime! I do have an incredibly strong circadian rhythm, in that I get sleepy immediately upon nightfall, and am wide awake at dawn’s early light.

    Going from my Central time zone a mere 2 hours to the West Coast, on the other hand, really messes me up! As does Springing Forward each year with the time change.

    I can’t wait to read about your trip, I hope it’s your best one yet.

  16. Hiluhilu
    May 24, 2018 / 1:03 pm

    I don’t remember ever seeing the entrance to the Bradley terminal at LAX so empty! How did you manage that? As to jet lag, I agree with you ragarding moving around and spending time in natural light. I also swear by No Jet Lag tablets, lots of water and no alcohol during the flight, and trying hard to stay up until a regular bed time in the new time zone. Enjoy your trip!

  17. May 24, 2018 / 4:09 pm

    From Australia it is always more than 20 hours to fly to France. I do what you do – take it easy, go for walks and try to adjust as quickly as possible to the new time (and season!) zones. Oh, and don’t eat too much! Very light meals and no alcohol until the second day (ha ha).

  18. Rondi
    May 24, 2018 / 5:24 pm

    I am writing about your last minute packing swaps. You seem very comfortable doing this. I’m impressed! Historically, every time I remove something from my packed bag I end up regretting it. If I remove a sweater I think about it every time the weather gets chilly. If I take out a pair of shoes I am thinking the whole trip that they would have been perfect for several outfits. Its ok for me to make changes during pre packing but taking it out of the suitcase has been a disaster. Is it because you are not removing but swapping that it works for you? I would love to swap!

  19. vtaloni
    May 24, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    You look fabulous as always! Is the in-cabin bag a Lipault?

    • Susan B
      May 24, 2018 / 9:12 pm

      Thanks, and yes!

  20. Jo
    May 24, 2018 / 7:06 pm

    I recognize your purple Lipault! We just returned from Paris, and I bought the same purple Lipault at Galeries Lafayette to house the 3 pairs of new shoes (and other sundries) that would not fit in my suitcase!

  21. Jill
    May 24, 2018 / 11:27 pm

    After traveling to Europe I stay awake and get in sync with the local time, eat healthy, hydrate and I take 1 Ambien the first night. After that I’m fine. Returning home is a different story. It take 2-3 days to get over the jet lag

  22. Karen G.
    May 25, 2018 / 5:33 am

    I am a recent convert to No Jet Lag. I think it does make a difference, but it’s hard to remember to take it every two hours while in transit. I change my watch to local time while on the trip over, as soon as I think of it. An eye mask, no more than one glass of wine on the plane, or none. I eat light, use headphones, drink copious amounts of water, and get any sleep I can grab. I do exactly what you did, getting into daylight as much as possible upon arrival and especially in the afternoons. I drink tea for a mild caffeine boost in the afternoon (usually a no-no at home), and don’t have much trouble turning around when heading east. Coming back west is usually my problem, and this year it just wasn’t difficult. That’s why I’m thinking the No Jet Lag may actually work. We have also learned to take the first couple of days easy once we arrive in Europe, soaking up sun and enjoying just being there.

  23. Cheryl
    May 25, 2018 / 10:27 am

    Are those your gunmetal Cole Haan sneakers? How are they treating you? When we went to Greece with 18+ day of travel, we hit the floor walking the streets of Athens, witnessed a Greek wedding in the streets, sharing a lovely rooftop dinner with a view of the Acropolis before falling into bed and sleeping soundly. Being outside helped a bunch and moving at leisure. Happy Travels!

    • Susan B
      May 26, 2018 / 4:41 am

      Hi Cheryl, yes they are, and they’ve been great! I’ve worn them almost exclusively since we’ve been here. They’ve been comfortable and supportive.

  24. Anon
    May 25, 2018 / 12:08 pm

    I usually get terrible jet lag going west to east. I mean terrible, with stomach sickness. All the flights to europe are overnight ones where I live, so I arrive exhausted. I cannot function, so it helps to find a hotel close to the airport and simply go to bed, get up for supper, and head straight to bed afterwards.

    Maybe it helped to choose a route that had a short layover this trip because jet lag was minimal. I have never experienced jet lag going east to west, but it happened on my last trip. Don’t know why?

  25. Suzi
    May 25, 2018 / 1:01 pm

    Thanks for the travel wardrobe update! We just got back from France and my only mistakes were taking a couple of tops that were unnecessarily fancy. Even at the one star restaurants, the mood is elegant, but casual. I definitely want the cheaper version of your travel sweater (not going to put out the $400!) but when I went to buy it, it was sold out!! Boo Hoo. It was a great substitute. Maybe Nordstroms will get in back. Please. Pretty Please.

  26. Pam
    May 27, 2018 / 2:05 pm

    On a recent trip to Japan (13 hrs ), I experienced zero jet lag. First time I’d flown in a first class “sleeper”. That made a huge difference for me. Other types of long flights, I usually take 2 Benadryl to force sleep at a time consistent with the nighttime hours of my destination.

  27. MarianL
    May 28, 2018 / 5:45 pm

    Simply reading that you decided to leave the black jeans at hope nearly gave me a panic attack! But then I wear black jeans twice, sometimes three times a week at home. I still have the first pair of “skinny” EF black jeans I bought for Italy in 2013 – they now seem positively wide legged! And last year in North Holland, where we biked to a different town nearly every day, I had to force myself to wear anything else. This year, to Germany & Austria, I may take two pairs!

  28. June 9, 2018 / 1:20 pm

    I’ve been travelling six months out of every year for the past 8 years, and usually fly from Seattle to Iceland, where I spend a few days dealing with jet lag. I have found that I can function for 27+ hours with no sleep, and sometimes when arriving in Iceland at 7 a.m. their time, have been forced by circumstances to function. You have to get from the airport into town, and that requires getting your bags, getting on the bus into town (taxis are over $100 each way, so most people who aren’t renting a car take the bus). Then you’re at the bus station, and from there, you transfer to a smaller bus or to a taxi. So by this time, it’s close to 9:30 or 10 a.m. their time. But if you haven’t booked a room for the night before, or even if you have rented an apartment/airbnb, you still have to deal with the schedule of the locals. Your room or apartment might not be ready, so you have to wander around or sit in the lobby until your room becomes available. So it’s entirely possible that you will wait for a room until 1 or 2 in the afternoon. I’ve taken to making sure my reservation allows me to get into my room when I get into Reykjavik, because otherwise, there’s no rest, no shower, no nothing, until they let you in. Because of this, I would never take any kind of sleep aid. It’s a 7 hour flight from Seattle that leaves at about 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon. That means I get into town at about 11 p.m. my time, but I don’t go to bed at home until at least 2 a.m. anyway, so my experience of jet lag has been to suffer through the Reykjavik “experience” get some food, and crash into bed by 5 or 6 p.m. their time, take a muscle relaxant, sleep about 8 or 9 hours, and wake up in their early morning, by which time I still have jet lag, but at least I’m on their schedule, more or less. I then am able to add about an hour every subsequent day, until about a week later, I’m on a normal human schedule.

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