A Tale of Two Cities

We are finally almost there! All the gods permitting we should be on a plane to London in less than 24 hours.  I have mentioned before in these pages that Mrs. Working Stiff calls me The Planner, and I suppose I come by that moniker naturally.  I do like to research and plan.  As a wise person should say sometime, one need not be a boy scout to appreciate being prepared.  Hhmmmm, maybe I’ll say that myself.

I have been planning and researching, and re-planning and re-researching for so long that I’m sure I deserve an advanced degree in something or other. (Mixology?)

I plan to do several blog entries from London and Paris, so please stay tuned to these pages for updates. You could call it….  A Tale of Two Cities.  Please forward to everyone you know, and many people that you don’t.

One thing that Mrs. Working Stiff has been very concerned about is the heat.   Specifically, the heat at night in our rental flats when we are trying to sleep.  Air conditioning is not as common over there as it is here.  Also though, since we plan to do lots of walking and hanging out at sidewalk cafes, the summer heat in general has been a subject of concern.

While planning one of our trips to the islands five or more years ago, we discovered a product called “Cool Offs”, and I wrote about them in an early blog entry. They are a little disposable wipe, not unlike a handy wipe or one of those little things that a BBQ restaurant might give you.  They are impregnated with a top secret formula of witch hazel, alcohol, lemon extract, aloe vera, and a long list of other stuff.  The thing was that you’d tear one open after the beach or whenever you wanted a cool-down, and wipe it around the back of your neck, arms, upper chest, whatever (not in your eyes). They had a nice light scent and gave you a powerful cooling sensation that lasted for maybe thirty minutes.

Alas, the company that made Cool –offs is no more!

Fortunately there are other companies making similar products, with varying levels of success. Some are marketed for cooling off after a workout. Others are marketed to women of a certain age who might on occasion be experiencing what my sister calls “personal summer”.  In any case, the idea for all of them is to wipe the thing across your skin to cool you down.  In preparation for this mid-summer vacation, I have ordered and tried several of them.  I have found a few that I believe are worth mentioning.  I’ll include Amazon links in case anyone is interested.


Zero K wipes

I ordered some of these several months ago and was disappointed. I left some constructive criticism on the company’s website and that began a back and forth with one of the principles.  He thanked me for my input and told me that they were working on an entirely new formula.  Several weeks ago he sent me some samples to try.  Both of us here at the Chateau Working Stiff think they are now pretty good and we are taking them on our trip.  If you buy any though, be sure that you get the updated version that has the printing on the bottom of the packet that says “98 percent naturally derived mild peppermint scent”.  I have noticed that on Amazon, the heading now says “New Formula”.  If you are looking for a small cooling wipe, we can recommend these without reservation.  With the 30-pack, they are only about 85 cents each.  ZERO K Cooling Wipes.

Zero K Individual Cooling Wipes



Which they appear to say as “Ice Cubed”. These really work and are very strong. Don’t wipe around your eyes or other sensitive areas.  I tested these out and found that I could still feel a cooling sensation about forty-five minutes later.  We are taking several of these along with us as well.  These really had a strong cooling effect. Ice Cubed Wipes.

Ice Cubed Cooling Wipes


Moist Cotton Towel

Yes, that is exactly what they’re called! These are a very nice thing that we experimented with and I will have several in my backpack.  They are not impregnated with anything but a little water.  Looking at their marketing, it looks like the intent probably is to put out a big bowl of them at your outdoor summer wedding or croquet party.  Or perhaps your guest bathroom.  They don’t have the witch hazel or alcohol or whatever, but they are quite nice.  We bought and have tried the lavender and the lemon scent.  We will use these on the plane tomorrow to pretend we’re in First Class since they are similar to the little towels that get handed out up there in front.  Moist Cotton Towel.

The aptly named “Moist Cotton Towel”


Stay tuned for dispatches from London and Paris!


The Working Stiff

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