Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Packing is the Pits!

It's even harder to figure out what to pack when I keep hearing a voice yelling the most tiresome advice: "Pack light!"

There actually was one time in my life when I packed light for a trip. Back in the 70's, when a husband, three daughters, ages 14, 12 and 5, and I packed for a 4-week camping trip through seven countries in Europe, each of us had one suitcase. The sizes varied depending on the size of the owner, and we only brought what we could fit into our suitcase. This worked well because the popular fashion fabric was polyester, which was not only lightweight, but wash and drip dry, which we did most nights in the campground sink.

The problem with the 5 suitcases did not become apparent until we arrived in France and found the only car for rent was a very small car, with no trunk. So, there was nothing to do but tie everything onto the roof. By "everything" I mean the rented tent, cots, sleeping bags, camp stove, lantern, table, folding chairs, and of course, the 5 suitcases. To say we looked comical would be an understatement; however, it did save us time traveling across the borders. The guards would see us coming, realize the magnitude of any kind of inspection, and wave us right through.

Thirty-three years later, when I was trying to come up with a fun and whimsical idea for the cover of "Cruising Connecticut with a Picnic Basket", that image came to mind, prompting the oversized picnic basket tied to the roof.

Now, for the second time in my life, I am determined to pack light. Since I am flying to Denver to begin my driving trip, just like our European trip, whatever does not fit into my suitcase will stay home. But, what is interesting, again, is all the other stuff I need, or feel I need: a cooler and ice packs, extra pillows, eating utensils, including dish, bowl, cup and silverware, copies of Cruising Connecticut, gifts, a canvas bag for my front seat to hold maps, schedules, book/journal, tape recorder, CD's, and (many!) miscellany items.

All these "must have" incidentals will require a rather large carton to be shipped ahead to my grandson who I plan to visit on the second day. Well, at least this time, I'm pretty sure the extras will fit in the car!

1 comment:

Patricia Sheehy said...

Jan, have a safe and wonderful trip. Can't wait to read all about your experiences. What a journey this will be and hopefully it will give you material for another wonderful book. I've subscribed to your blog so that I can keep up with your experiences. Write often!