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When I was at FIT, my dear friend Erin gave me my very first LL Bean Boat and Tote bag.  With a body of creamy, natural white cotton canvas, contrasting forest green straps, and my initials monogrammed on the front, it was, and remains, a thing of utilitarian beauty.  The bag that started it all way back then, is now keeper of my eclectic collection of pastels.  It’s canvas a bit softer, it’s handles ever so slightly worn.  It’s just as strong and sturdy as the day Erin gave it to me.

For years now, our go-to summer vacation luggage, is a matched set of these LL Bean totes.  Whether we’re spending a week on Cape Cod or Nantucket, these workhorse bags are the perfect carryalls to haul everything we think we’ll need.  Who wants to stress over packing the perfect suitcase, when all you want to do is just be on vacation already!

Such a non-fussy way of keeping things organized.  The flat reinforced bottoms keep ‘em upright, while the heavyweight canvas keeps them from flopping around as you’re trying to pack.  Perfect.  Each one of us has a designated natural and navy bag, custom monogrammed with our initials.  Into these we stuff our clothes.  The other totes, having red handles, haul everything else; from our kitchen stuff and linens, to our essential books and board games.  A couple of monogram-free versions fill out our line-up for the inevitable overflow, which is especially important for the return trip.  The flexibility of the canvas sides, allows it all to fit beautifully into the wagon.

Our red, white and blue totes not only carry their weight in gold, but also continue to hold a lifetime of wonderful memories.

Happy trails!

Love, Nora


  1. Kim on July 18, 2015 at 8:54 am

    As a Texan who loves New England and has had a chance to visit a few times, I must say Nantucket Island is a destination my bucket list. If you have time sometime, could you tell what time in fall is a good time to go. It seems that I would prefer Nantucket over Martha’s Vineyard…………..am I correct? Would we stay overnight? Or, are the accomodation pretty pricey? a day trip instead?
    Dreaming of New England again………………..

    • Nora on July 19, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      Hi Kim! Thanks very much for your note! Nantucket is quintessential New England at its best! A good time to go in the autumn is Columbus Weekend, when the shops and restaurants are still open….and the water is warm! There are lots of wonderful B&B’s….as well as cottage rentals that I always find on http://www.weneedavacation.com! Cape Cod is also a family favorite, and I find to be more affordable and less of a haul to get to! Some favorite towns – Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans, Chatham, and Sandwich!
      Please let me know how you do! Hope you get to go! Love, Nora 🙂

  2. Catherine Hamer on July 20, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    I love this post. Several years ago I ordered a new LL Bean bag and needlepointed a piece to go on the front where a monogram would be. Really makes it a custom piece. I start each day with a visit to your blog and look forward to a trip to Kent and Mystic in September!

    • Nora on July 20, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Catherine! I was hoping there would be fellow LL Bean tote lovers out there! I love the idea of how you customized it!
      Thanks so much for starting your day with us Catherine! Yay!!! Love, Nora
      (P.S. Enjoy Kent and Mystic!!)

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