Tag Archives: Vacation

Packing Genius

I can’t believe I am actually sharing this weakness. I have serious issues about being inadequate.

I have a packing deficiency-you know-for traveling. The harder I work at being more efficient in this area of my life, the worse I get.

Like, I need a 504 plan; some accommodations. Because I simply can’t figure it out…on my own. Maybe I need a life coach…a sensei who can help me pack less like Rose Dawson from The Titanic.

My whole family knows this about me. Of course, they know, and they would probably like to add that I also may struggle just a teensy bit with time management.

And they’re over it.

For them, traveling with me, looks like this: me struggling with overloaded bags, feeling miserable/angry/sweaty during our quest for the terminal, me begging, pleading asking for a family member to hold, roll or drag an item I can no longer bare, or to stuff something else into their bag of roomy wonder while I lag behind desperate not to let them see the tug of war I am playing with my tears as they have either said, “No” or “Fine” with an eye roll that makes me feel blue.

I must deal with this.


Because I will not continue to be a loser getting judged by judgy judgers love them.

My attempt to remedy this, of course, began with several hours of squandered time relinquished to the YouTube lords which led me directly to Amazon, and soon after that, to my plan to go forth and pack.

Upon receiving the Amazon purchases, I spent time in my closet secretly laying everything out, making notes and checklists carefully putting together a game plan that rocked.

And finally, it was time. We would be flying out the following morning, and I was ready.

The morning came fast and furious as it always seems to on a day of travel, and I was ready to triumph. I began unwrapping my Amazon purchases of toiletry cases (yes, there was more than one and that number is not necessary here), my neck pillow, passport holder, and blanket that would not only keep me warm, but contained pockets that would hold things.

I got my packing cubes in order and grabbed my Knock Knock Pack This! Pad Packing List (courtesy of Amazon…that’s right, it’s amazing) and began furiously checking off each item as I tucked it away into my suitcase.

Luckily, I had already whittled down my outfit choices (after several edits) to a bare minimum, so packing it all up was a pretty quick process…or would have been had I already brought down the extra suitcase I ended up needing to pack all the things I purchased to help me pack light…

I have never needed two suitcases.

Time to load the car.

The bag that was supposed to be loose and full of room for foreign country purchases seemed a little heavy upon zipping, so I decided to do one final edit.

I removed a sweater.

And put it in the other suitcase.

I thought about more, but just couldn’t seem to part with any of it.

So, I zipped it up, choking out the feelings of failure poking at my brain like a hungry mosquito in the Amazon jungle.

Nah, it’s all good.

Luckily, My husband had enlisted a friend’s son to take us to the airport so, we had one less travel stress.

As I was the final one to leave the house due to my last minute decision to lighten up, I was faced with a sea of bags that already claimed a space on the floor of my spacious Armada. Help was offered, but not wanting anyone to feel the weight of my bag, I alone, hurled it into the back of my car where it landed on its side awkwardly balancing on the tidy heap of small bags neatly tucked in. (I am convinced it would’ve been easier to throw a murder victim wrapped in an 8×10 rug over a bridge.) Then, I quickly tucked the uninvited but necessary, like a family member you want to hide, bag into the one last crevice available.

I am sweating already.

No worries.

I still did good.

It’s funny how you talk to yourself desperately trying to persuade your brain not to buy into the thoughts pecking their way in begging to be heard. It’s like when you have acid bubbling up in the back of your throat and you know without a shadow of a doubt that you will be throwing up in the very near future, yet you tell yourself that Your fine, I’ll just brush my teeth, I’ll get some fresh air, That’s all I need, and then in that same breath you throw up violently all the while thanking the Good Lord above that you threw up.

Yeah, it’s the same.

I knew I packed too much. I knew I had to purge.

It was like some madness came over me. My husband was sitting in the front seat, while our friend’s son, Grant, drove. They were deep into a conversation about baseball or football, who knows, and I had a window.

A window of opportunity to undo the doing, of the incompetent packing.

As I turned toward the backseat facing my two teenage daughters, I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. They were blocking my path to keeping my insanity a secret.

I asked one of them to unzip my bag. My question was answered with a death stare.

I had to actually crawl between my lovely daughters and kneel on the console that separated them in order to reach the third row seating where my bag sat.

At this point it didn’t matter. They knew.

While on this crusade, I had to keep shifting my weight to balance on that console with my butt in the air and my high heels desperately trying to find somewhere to land as I poked and prodded around in my bag looking for less amazing things.

We were getting closer to the airport so, I furiously began plucking out items discarding them one by one on the floorboard behind me. At some point, I bravely leaned back ever so slightly just to steal a quick glance at my daughters imploring them to help.

I was met with a glare less like we should help and more like we are so over this, we can’t even look at you right now.

I guess not.

After what felt like a good 30 minutes on the stair master, I decided that I had lightened up enough, zipped my bag up, turned around and plopped back into my seat. Glowing. From all the sweat.

I was done just as we arrived at the airport.

They looked at me. I looked at them.

My husband was none the wiser.

Packing genius.

Unreasonable Requests

At some point in time in your life, you have most likely been faced with an unreasonable request. Was it peer pressure? A family member you didn’t want to disappoint? Or was that request simply from a straight up lunatic?

Well, I have recently been faced with such a situation and am still trying to decipher the best way to answer the aforementioned question.

So, my family and I are embarking on our annual summer vacation where we explore some distant land in the United States in the desperate attempt to have major fun, make memories, and experience extreme relaxation.


Now, of course, these journeys encompass a stressful moment at some time in the journey (maybe more than one)–that’s life!

Usually, the stressful moment happens somewhere in the middle of the journey, but no, not this time. Our stressful moment lands front and center–on our way to the airport.

It all begins with a simple conversation…of course.

Husband:  So, since I am a member of the Clear program with Delta, I will just drop you guys off at the gate, which makes it convenient for you, and then I will drive back to Park-and-Ride and travel in.

Me:  Why? What makes it convenient for me? We should all just do Park-and-Ride together.

Husband:  Well, that way you will get a head start going through security.

Me:  Why do I need a head start?

Husband:  I have the Clear pass. (Angels singing) I can bypass security.

Me In My Brain:  Well isn’t that nice for you…abandoner.

Me:  Oh, ok.

So, we continue to travel in the stress-free zone of our vacation to the airport when Husband decides to deliver another sliver of the puzzle that he has so obviously carefully crafted beforehand.

Husband:  So, I will drop you off at curbside check-in.

Me:  Right–got it…what we always do…when you aren’t going on the trip.

Husband:  You go ahead and take my bag too.

Me:  What? That’s never going to work. You have to be there to check your own bag.

Husband:  It’s fine! just take it. It will be fine!

Me:  Are you crazy? Why do you need me to check your luggage anyway? You are already doing Park-and-Ride which will basically be the exact same thing I am doing with the girls. You will be getting dropped off at the curb and won’t have to worry about dragging your luggage anywhere. Why can’t you just take it? It’s one freaking suitcase!

Husband:  Whatever. (His go to) Just leave it there. I will get it.

Me In My Brain:  Just leave it there?  Leave it where? Have you lost your mind?? That’s fantastic–set my ass up to be a terrorist. Have you ever listened to the recordings they play on a continuous loop about never leaving your baggage, and if anyone has had contact with your luggage…blah, blah, blah? Perfect. My husband hates me.

Me:  K

Me In My Brain:  Why, Jesus, Why????? Has he truly lost his mind? What if his luggage gets stolen? Does he even care? I don’t!! What is his secret agenda? Since when was he too good to check luggage? What the hell? I will not leave it. I will not do what he says. I will stand there and prove to him his plan sucks. I will not tell him these things.

So, as I am calming the fury in my head, I realize there is truly no reason to continue down this path of complete pandemonium because we don’t know if anything will even be a problem at this point. I am going with the motto, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”

That works right?

Anyway, as I am living in the world of acceptance and not being angry until there is something to be angry about (already have something to be angry about but choosing the high road) I realize that I have clearly made the right choice. We are chatting. I am not getting angry about him taking all of the business calls he’s getting on the way. I am Zanax happy without the Zanax–pure choice. I like this me. It’s new.

So, as we pull up to the curb, I can already feel the stress rising as I watch my husband’s eyes dart around scouting out his prey in the hopes of scoring the coveted curb drop-off spot carefully gauging how long the tearful goodbyes and trunk luggage removals will take. Me–I’m like what are they going to do? Everybody is doing this…why are we the ones stressing out like we will be stoned if we are here longer than twelve seconds? Screw it! I got luggage.  I dare you to look at me wrong. I am a traveling beast.

So, after sliding into the stressy drop off space, as the dutiful wife I am, I take Husband’s bag and the Delta Sky Miles credit card he shoves in my hand (as if that will be the saving grace when they look at me to fix the problem of the bag with the missing man) and begin my journey into illegal land.

Well, Of course, it doesn’t work. No matter how many bulky George Washingtons I have rolled up in my hand there for the taking if you hook me up–it’s inconsequential. So many things I want to say. So many victory dances I am envisioning, but no time for that now. I must focus on…what we gonna do now?

So this God awful plan takes us straight inside the pit of hell the airport where we now must stand in line–in line I say–and check our bags. What? Is this 1980? We must already be red flagging the place.

This is such a straight up hot mess with, admittedly,  a few hiccups on booking where the girls aren’t actually booked under my name but his–oh yeah–another reason FOR HIM TO BE HERE WITH US so we just get in line and basically watch time stand still.

Of course, we called his cell phone.

No answer.

Well, in the distance, we finally see baggage free Thomas on his crusade to destination Clear pass.

I try to act nonchalant and am careful not make eye contact with him as he would immediately read my Can you see what you made us go through? eyes and go on the defensive.

None of that mattered.

Completely unobserved, I am forced to send one of my daughters sprinting into the crowd to CATCH DADDY!!!!!

As he is being summoned by our daughter and briefed as to the quagmire we are in, I see him look towards the direction I am standing in.

I look away. Not desperate or pitiful…just dutiful mom style. I…will…do…whatever…it takes…

Whatever that means.

Me In My Brain:  I told you so…Stop that.  I told you so…Nope.

Hee, hee, hee…


So after being plucked from the angelic Clear line by his twelve-year-old daughter, he makes his way over to the pathetic hillbilly line where I am granted the opportunity to enlighten him on the situation I TRIED TO WARN HIM ABOUT IN THE CAR.

He then tells me that he can actually take the girls with him through Clear, deal with all of this luggage situation, and that I should probably go ahead and get going so I wouldn’t miss the flight.

Well…isn’t that something.

Upon being dismissed, I forged ahead on my solo trip through the Six Flags on a hot summer day maze of security, the walking through security with strappy high heels because we were told NOT TO TAKE OFF SHOES, the humiliating beckon to go back and take off the strappy high heels and walk through again, the forever putting back on of the strappy high heels, catching the train where I almost fell to the floor in my strappy high heels but didn’t thanks to the strong man who chose to reach out and grab the lady (me) who clearly jumped on at the last-minute and couldn’t find a place to neither plant her feet nor grab a pole and pull her in slow motion to safety (my hero), the near sprint in said strappy high heels, and finally the arrival at the gate  sweaty dewey-faced sitting next to the sweat free relaxed looking family who had been there waiting for me…for a while…ready to rock this vacation.

In the end, despite that unreasonable request, things worked out. We made our plane on time. Our destination was beautiful. Memories were made.

Good memories…








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