Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Packing ABC's

As you may have noticed, I'm a bit behind on the blog for today.  Tim and I are actually away in the mountains and the internet set-up has fallen 99% off of the brochure's claims.  Oh well, it is glorious and quiet and mountainy.  We've made a quick drive 'into town' for a short reconnection session and then it's back to nature. 

Since we are away until tomorrow afternoon, yesterday's WHAT IT IS photo contest won't be ending until Thursday morning.  Tell your friends - make your guesses - go ahead - you might win a free photo session!

Check yesterday's post for the photo and directions.

Today I'd like to pass on a bit of wisdom.  I used to travel a lot - really.  Tim and I each traveled so much before we ever met, that we have spent the last thirteen years reminiscing to each other about the trips, as we continue to pay for them.  Good times.  I don't regret a single trip, though, to be sure.  Traveling changes a person; I've said that before.  You can't go anywhere without a bit of it sneaking into your new ideas and beliefs about our awesome world.

You might remember that, early on, I promised not to be a blog with too many 'how-tos' that only serve to make each of us feel more inept than before - remember I said that?  I promised I wouldn't share any scenes from our home that claimed to be our usual Friday night 'farm to table' meal, where I've photographed myself starting the seeds in a bright, beautiful window, the children and I working the fields out back, the family sitting sweetly together as we knit our table linens and then multiple photos of the luscious dinner, with every color in the rainbow represented in the vittles and family members of all ages enjoying one another under the stars, as tiny, muli-colored lanterns dance in the cool breeze. 

Right, I won't do that, I promise.  I will not make you feel bad.

But . . . I must share with you a simple travel tip.  We have utilized it this week and it only takes a second or two of your precious time.  I know many of you may be stifled by old packing lists that you labor over for days and days.  Leave all of that, friends.  Leave it.  Kiss it good-bye.  I've got the trick for you.

When going away for a few days, simply find your trusty cooler.  Make sure it is relatively clean.  Next, bring it into the central-most section of the home.  Begin to throw things into it, only being careful that nothing is squished beyond recognition.  After all, there is no use taking something on your trip if you cannot identify it when you are at your destination.

One of the best things about this trusty travel trick is that you are able to mix toiletries with kitchen items, cold things with room temperature things - this makes it very easy. 

You may attempt all of this on your own, or you may follow our lead for the first few times.  Please don't feel that you are limited to our list; trust yourself to choose the right cooler items and go for it.  You can do it!  It may take a bit more unpacking time when you finally arrive at your destination, as each item goes in a different room - do it anyway, though.  It's very liberating.  And, we found that all of these items get along very well on the trip!

If you need suggestions, please print out and utilize this handy checklist I've created.  After a few trips with the cooler method, you'll be on your way to complete autonomy with your packing rituals.  Pass the word.  Grab your cooler and a bunch of stuff.  Hit the road!  What's stopping you, people?

(this may be copied and kept on the refrigerator for future travels)
Cooler packing method checklist:
  1. shampoo
  2. carrots
  3. sunscreen
  4. coffee filters
  5. microwave popcorn
  6. toothpaste
  7. Irish Spring
  8. vodka from the freezer
  9. freezer cold thingies to keep cold stuff relatively cold
  10. bug spray
  11. pistachios
  12. any random snacks that have been in the pantry for a while and continue to be by-passed by hungry children
The rest is up to you.  This tutorial is open-ended.  Take the information I've given you, glean what you can, and adapt this to your family's needs.  There's nothing stopping you from the freedom you'll receive from the cooler packing method - go for it!

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