Saturday, March 12, 2016

Upon Friendship and Travel Tips

post signatureWhat does it mean to be a friend. I stumbled across this post---actually that's not quite true. I follow this blog. It pretty much says it all when it comes to friendship in my book. Take a look at this post and then think about what you think it means to be a friend. I have!

We're off today for Spain. I haven't even begun to pack. Not so unusual as we don't leave until about 9:30. I always say I can pack for any trip in 30 minutes---even international---assuming my clothes are clean. Still true. Here's my strategy:

1. Pick a color scheme for the week. I usually go with pink and orange--mostly pink. Sometimes I go with green and blue. Picking a color scheme allows me to mix and match my clothes and jewelry all week.

2. Plan on wearing everything twice. If you follow my color scheme tip, you will actually never wear the same outfit twice. I choose my most comfortable outfit for the flights going and coming home. I add an extra top or two since I'm at that age where I tend to spill on myself. Connie, it's an age thing, right?---although you've been doing it for years.

3. Choose a cross-body smaller purse that can hold just your absolute necessities: wallet, camera, phone (which I don't carry once I'm in a foreign country), Kleenex, Blistex and lipstick, pen and pad, passport* (yes, I prefer to carry it unless Butch is with me---then he handles passports), sunglasses/glasses, and Equal (that way I'm covered if places don't carry it). That sounds like a lot of necessities. It's pretty much everything I carry all the time minus the checkbook. Yes, I still use a checkbook. Girls, stop scoffing. I've gotten to where I use a cross-body purse all the time now. It's because that style allows my to have my hands free to break my fall. I'm not kidding!

4. I take three paris of comfortable shoes---2 daily pairs to switch off. I've found that no matter how comfortable your shoes are, if you wear the same pair every day, your feet will hurt. I swap back and forth. The third pair is a cuter pair for evening. They are not really all day walking type shoes, but look better with evening outfits. Since I'm wearing one of the pairs, that means I only have to pack two pairs. Shoes take up a lot of space.**

5. I always take a pashmina. The girls in this family love their pashminas! I usually throw it around my neck as a scarf. If it's too hot, I tie it to my purse. If it's chilly, it becomes a shawl. And it can be a pillow if I need one. Very versatile. I always take the cheap ones when traveling so as not to "wreck" the good ones. I learned that lesson the hard way when I left a Jones of New York one in a restaurant. Luckily for me, they still had it a week later when we were going back to the airport.

6. Depending on the time of year, I take a light rain jacket. Butch always carries ponchos for us (and even extras for traveling companions---he gets them at the dollar store) which are perfect if there is a torrential downpour. Otherwise, my light rain jacket is perfect for sprinkles and if there's a chill in the air.

7. As for electronics, I don't go anywhere without my Macbook Air. Mary, my friend/travel agent knows NOT to book me anywhere without internet access. I've been doing this so long, I don't even have to think about what to take: charger cord for computer, phone, and camera. I only use my camera when traveling international these days. Otherwise, my phone is my camera--less to deal with. I charge up my Kindle in advance, so I don't have to take a charger for that. I also charge up my Fitbit. This will be the first time I've worn my Fitbit since my surgery in the fall.

8. Cosmetics and skin care products are always ready to go. I have extras (you know me and my multiples problem). I just grab and go, no thinking whatsoever. When I get home, I refill everything so my bags are always ready. I mean it---extra hair brush, toothbrush, paste, etc.

9. I have one of those little weekly pill containers that contains all of my vitamins and medication. I carry extra prednisone---always---I've learned that lesson the hard way. Flying is always a trigger for my hives. Traveling business class definitely helps. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

8. I take plenty of reading material and sometimes I take my needlepoint. I take a spiral notebook to jot down thoughts. Believe it or not, I'm always thinking.

9. There are things I do to prepare the house for our departure: arrange to have the mail picked up (although I don't really think this is so necessary anymore as we don't get much mail), turn thermostats up or down depending on the season, decide which lights to leave on while we're away, empty the trash (Butch does this) and make sure all dishes are washed or at least run on the "rinse and hold" cycle. Don't want to come home to smelly, moldy dishes. I also make sure all the bills are paid and money for Margarita is laid out. Butch sometimes beats me to the punch on house preparation.

10. Lastly, I leave the house in perfect order. If something should happen, (God forbid) I would hate for anyone to come in to a mess. Wait, I don't think I ever have much of a mess anyway. And I ALWAYS make the bed!

I'd say that just about covers it. My tv shows are already set to record, so I never have to think about that.

*I have a copy of my passport in all of my suitcases. That way if it's stolen (God forbid) I have something.

**That reminds me---years ago, Butch just about had a fit when we were going to St. Louis for a long weekend. Between the 4 of us girls, we had 26 pairs of shoes!! You have to have the right ones for each outfit---right?


  1. I like your lists - I've packed so often I have it down to a fine art too. Good luck on the journey and hope Spain is an adventure :)

  2. Great list. I have been trying to write a good list down for years now, and still have not committed one to paper. Just recently mastered the task of refilling the toiletry bag as soon as we get home, because I always seem to use something up on the road. And I am like you, the house has to be pretty tidy before we leave. I want to be able to ease back into my life without cleaning right off the bat.

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