I’m Packing It In
That is an abbreviated version of her reply. Her actual answer would have taken most of my 500 – 700 word self-imposed size limit for this blog.
What she said is true. She has perfected the Art of Packing to such a degree that, if she had worked on the Apollo Project we could have sent 23 people to the moon instead of just three. She could get 12 people onto a five-man bobsled and UPS the entire population of Pittsburgh in a 12” by 7” cardboard box. She’s good.
For our next Ireland trip the unnamed airline (Oh, look. Your shoe is UNTIED.) lets you have one, count ‘em one, suitcase for free and bag number two will cost you $100. Well, bite that.
Dawn has already started planning how we can get all of our necessities, plus a couple of books, collapsible dish drainer, laundry baskets and detergent, zip lock bags (expensive over there for some reason), ice trays (so we can make our own iced tea), pens, pencils, legal pads, and a few DVDs. All the comforts of home – minus the shrine to the SF Giants Baseball Team (probably). If it is made in a “Collapsible” version we give it a serious look-see. I’m still looking for collapsible hiking boots.
It is kinda like preparing to hike the Appalachian Trail. Weight and size versus absolute necessity determine what goes into the backpack. (Watch the movie, “Wild,” for an example of how this works. And it’s a good movie anyway.)
Then there are the ubiquitous “Carry-on Bags.” This same unnamed airline (“The people UNITED, will never be defeated!”) allows two carry-on items. One of those will have my computer, my meds, and an emergency pack with just-in-case socks, undies, clean shirt, and whatever else I can cram into it. We have had too many instances of our luggage going on an unplanned journey of its own.
One thing that Dawn has discovered and fallen in love with is – are – Packing Cubes. These are little synthetic zippered gizmos where you can cram and stuff things, then zip it up and it keeps things together, unleaking or leaked upon, and more or less rectangular – which enables you to make a suitcase pack like the deck of one of those seafaring container cargo vessels.
I’m thinking that, if Dawn does her magic on our bags, we should be able to take along a month’s supply of clothes, and what have you, with there still being plenty of space left for shopping. I’m not much of a shopper while traveling, but Dawn is on better terms with more people than I am, so she buys little tchotchkes for them all.
Dawn’s packing skills are amazing. I remember one trip where, when we unpacked, she pulled a full-sized Mr. Coffee machine out of the suitcase.
If the packing job was left entirely to me our suitcases would look like everything had been pawed and gone through by a band of hungry chimpanzees looking for bananas. My packing would be so bad that the TSA clowns would open up our bags, take one look, and assume that another TSA agent had already gone though them and stolen anything of value.
No, I’ll leave the packing to the Expert. I’ll just try to not look overly suspicious when we go through Security – and not make too many wiseass remarks. We enjoy travelling together.