Expert Packing tips for any trip

I know some of you have been thinking “Gee, we haven’t heard from her for awhile. I hope she hasn’t run out of stories!” Fear not. There were still stories from this week.

Unfortunately, the big story from my last week of travel involved a poor gentleman who experienced a medical emergency and collapsed at the gate while we were waiting to board. And while I can find the humor in almost any situation, there is never anything funny about someone experiencing a medical emergency anywhere, but especially not in public.

The good news is, by the time the paramedics arrived, the gentleman seemed to be doing much better. Prayers everything turned out okay for he and his wife.

And now I am preparing for my next event filled week on the road. Two weeks actually.

Everyone assumes I must be the world’s best packer by now, after over 3 years of packing nearly every week.

I really wish everyone was right. I know by now it should be routine and something I can do in 20 min or less.

It isn’t.

I hate packing. Still. With a passion. For lots of reasons.

One of those reasons being that I can think of SO many things I would rather be doing with the few precious days I have at home than packing again for the next time on the road.

Like spending time with my fabulous friends and going to watch Dueling Pianos. Such a fun night listening to great performers playing all the fun and classic songs of the ages. I was actually a little hoarse from all the singing last night. For those of you thinking, “wow, the girl can sing too!” Don’t worry. I absolutely can not sing. Not even a little bit. That fact did absolutely nothing to prevent me from belting out tunes at the top of my lungs.

I’d even rather spend some of my weekend  cleaning out my refrigerator when I realize it has eaten all my food storage dishes, then packing. Just FYI, I found several dishes in there I didn’t recognize. While it may be true they’ve been in there so long I forgot I ever had them, if you by chance brought any food to my house at any time in the last few months, I may have your dish.

Hey, this is a judgment-free zone, right? And if it isn’t, I’m sure you’ve already judged me on something worse than the condition of my fridge by now.


Another reason may be because I may have a few too many clothes. I may have a bit of an online shopping problem. I am on first name terms with my UPS man, he spends so much time at my house. We have coffee on the porch weekly.

I know the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. I’ll admit it. But I have no interest in solving this particular problem.

So I spend the beginning of every packing episode staring dumbly into my closet trying to figure out where to even start.

I know they have these great apps that will help you organize your closet and even put outfits together for you. It’ll even let you take pics of rocking outfits you managed to put together on your own, so you remember them for the future. I even have a couple of these apps on my phone. But it takes a lot of time and effort to be that organized. Organization has never really been my strong suit.

I do much better with the spontaneity and chaos of living in the moment.

Which may be why I always end up with stories.

So I stand and stare into my closet until something inspires me to pull it out. Then I pull out half my closet, throw it across my bed, and begin the process of trying to figure out what goes with what and what I might feel like wearing for the next 4-5 days.

By the time my suitcase is holding enough clothes for my next trip, my room looks like a typhoon has hit and I have lost hours of my life I will never get back.

And somehow I still never have exactly what I need or feel like wearing when I want it.

I really, really wish everyone was right. I wish this post was full of  lots of amazing tips I could offer everyone on how to be a great packer. Maybe someday I will be bitten by the efficient packer bug.

Instead,  I now have at least an hour of cleaning up from the typhoon of packing for 2 weeks calling my name.

Happy weekend!





Always close toilet lid when blow drying hair

One of the perks of traveling every week is the plethora of stories you are bound to accumulate. Maybe I am lucky enough to accumulate more than your average bear, but I don’t seem to be able to leave the house without something story -worthy happening. So thanks to my wonderful friends who have said I need to write a book someday, I decided I needed a place to recored these many vignettes, since my memory isn’t what it used to be.

And maybe it can be mildly entertaining for these said friends (you know who you are) at the same time.

My first observation is that trying to start a blog over free airport wi-fi may not be the wisest of choices. I did have over an hour before my flight which I, wrongly it turns out, assumed would be plenty  of time to figure out how to start a blog and write my first post. If my flight had not been delayed, I would not even have had enough time to finish setting up my blog, with the inter stellar speeds of airport wi-fi.

But of course my flight is delayed. Because it’s New York. And it’s my travel luck. And I might actually die of shock if one of my flights actually left and arrived as scheduled.

I am in the middle of a month long trip with multiple locations and activities. Now, I am not exactly a “light packer” on the best of days, so packing light for a month long trip is not going to happen. On a normal week, I need a separate bag for my shoes alone. And then I’m in NYC. How do you spend any time here and not accumulate more stuff?

You just don’t.

I may have had to sit on my bag to zip it for this 10 day leg of this trip.

And I may have been lucky to have a bag check agent who looked the other way when the scale hit 50 pounds and kept going.

One of the “things” I have accumulated on this trip to NYC, is a new blow dryer. Not because I needed a new blow dryer when I left home a week ago, or because I forgot to pack said dryer.

No. Because I had not learned how important closing the toilet lid while blow drying one’s hair is.

Hotel bathrooms are small. This is not news. Everything is very close to everything else. This makes multi tasking relatively easy.

And I am a great multi-tasker.

Except when I am blow drying my hair.

With my hair about half dry, I realized I didn’t have my brush. Which was in my bag just outside the door. So I set the blow dryer on the edge of the sink, which was, of course, right next to the toilet.

I did not feel like turning the blow dryer off was a necessary step to take and would only slow down the multi-tasking.

And I watched as my blow dryer vibrated right off the sink. And into the toilet. Whose lid was not closed.

An important point to make here, is that the blow dryer-amazingly- did not short out, spark and stop running. Indeed it did not. It kept running. In the toilet.

So now I am faced with how to get a still running blow dryer, out of water. I have read the huge warning tags on my blowdryer. There is a risk of electrical shock and death when water and blow dryers meet. Neither of these were in my plan for the week.

I grabbed the blowdryer by the middle of the cord- far away from the plug or the actual dryer- and lifted it out of the toilet. It continued to run, and now began spitting all the water it had sucked up out of both ends. All over the bathroom floor.

Now I am holding a drowned, running blowdryer, standing in several inches of water.
And still no electrical shock or death. It must have been my lucky day.

I decided it may be pushing my luck slightly, to try to plug this blow dryer back in and hope it would still work, after surviving all of this.

So this is how I ended up with a new blowdryer in NYC.

And what has led me to share this tip with you. Always close the toilet lid when blow drying your hair.

More to come from this trip I am sure.