Final week

It’s the final countdowwwwwwwwn. That was a good song. Ah, memories of drum machine beats and mall hair…

A week from tomorrow, we begin what could be our final Odyssey, since the Thriller is now done with seminary (yay!) and we likely won’t be able to take such large chunks of time to break away from here on out. (We’ll actually save money for home improvement chores that have laid abandoned for the last four years as well, heh.)

Our weekend and Monday were spent in various stages of work and play. It’s very much like me to put off the initial packing ceremonies until the last 24 hours before leaving, but I need to be more disciplined this year. Since we’ll be in Mississippi, Texas and Oklahoma, followed by Montana, Idaho and Washington, we’ll need to dress for two different seasons — maybe three. I’m devoting an entire suitcase to our sweats, sweatshirts and jeans.

This is where I ask my fellow travelers how they make the best use of space. My main peeve is schlepping the entire universe into the hotel every night. How to consolidate? How to predict? It’s not a huge issue in the world scheme of things, but I do wonder how best to streamline. I’m not good at that at all. I struggle with compartmentalization, as many of you know.

But I have what — five or so days? — to procrastinate on that. ;-) Today is filled up with other stuff, not the least of which is trying to get a quick viz in with all three grandsons. Those become more and more important as Go Time approaches.

Non sequitur: After seeing the successes of RtB fiends Suzanne and RD with their bikes, and talking with Seamus about it, I am considering trying biking again. (Bicycles and I generally do not get along, for a couple of reasons.) What should I get? Whatever it is, it will have to be of the 24-inch variety. Little feet have to be able to touch the ground.

All right, that’s enough. It’s 6:18 a.m. — morning’s half gone. Have a good one today, fiends!

FO

 

10 thoughts on “Final week

  1. Suzanne

    Make sure you go to a good bike shop and get a bike that fits you. If they know what they are doing they should know what size and how high the seat should be and what kind of bike will be good for what you want etc etc etc.

    Exciting that it’s almost time for your trip!! I can offer no help on the suitcase thing, except to say to try and keep it to one. HAAAAA :)

    Reply
    1. Rat Fink Post author

      After I read your comment, I researched bike saddles. I think I’ve found one that I might consider. Yep, I do need to make sure I buy a bike from someone who knows what they’re doing!

      Hugs to you on your continued bike successes — I can’t believe how far you ride!!

      Reply
  2. Greg

    The thing I’ve noticed about travelers (and I’ve seen LOTS!) is that many take too much stuff with them. On a cruise a couple of years ago, a couple mentioned to me that there wasn’t enough storage space in their cabin. What did they have? Three good-sized closets, 5 drawers PLUS two under-the-bed slide out drawers. And all of them were filled and they were still using suitcases to store clothing. Rule of thumb: pack for the season but allow for “mix and match” items. When I was in Alaska, I packed some things in special “air bags” which allow a vacuum cleaner to be attached to a one-way valve to pull out all the air, shrinking the items flat thereby taking up less space. Some friends of mine travel minimally and the wife packs just about everything but babushkas and live chickens (even then I wouldn’t be surprised!). Then she can’t understand why her husband gets testy having to lug all those suitcases around. Oh and that also includes the mammoth make-up case! I have a large stand-up case (which folds over when packed) and still amazed how much stuff goes into it. By packing each shirt in a plastic dry cleaner bag, they tend not to wrinkle. OR just invest in a big steamer trunk and put in whatever you like! (P. S. My brother has an antique Cleveland Orchestra tour trunk for sale if you’re interested!)

    Reply
    1. Rat Fink Post author

      I can’t imagine taking that much stuff! I like the dry cleaner bag idea. I’ve heard about the vacuum-bag thing, which sounds great if you’re going to basically one destination where you can unload the suitcase and hang stuff up. I wonder how it would work for constantly taking clothes in and out of the bags, though. Would I have to bring my vacuum cleaner and re-suck each time? I’ve seen them advertised and they’re awesome!

      We just have to learn to pare things down…we can do laundry in several places if we need to. But I know me — my penchant is to overpack!

      Reply
      1. Lori

        Those “vacuum bags” also come in a version that just need to be rolled to get the air out instead of using a vacuum. The key is that air valve is one-way. Once the air is out, it’s like they’re vacuum packed until you open them. Works for me!

        Reply
      2. Greg

        Yeah, you’d have to take the vacuum clean along to reseal the bags UNLESS you can find a kind housekeeper in a hotel who will let you borrow theirs!

        Reply
  3. RD

    Super that you’re considering bicycling!! I agree completely with what Suzanne said. Don’t buy a bike at Walmart, but instead at a reputable bike shop. The initial costs will be higher, but the satisfaction level with also be higher and over a longer haul. You’ll get much more personal service, such as fiting you with the proper bike. When traveling, we pack smaller overnight suit cases and that’s all we take into the motel. But we also pack a larger suitcase with additional things that we will probably need, but leave them in the car. Then about every third or fourth day, we open the big ones and replenish our overnight cases. To compensate for differences in weather, we take items so we can dress in layers. That way we can be more adaptable to what the weather throws at us. We don’t pack bulky and heavy coats that take up a lot of space (unless were going from Florida to Ohio in December :-) ) Have a wonderful trip and a fun time gigging in Texas.

    Reply
    1. Rat Fink Post author

      I like the idea of one stationary suitcase in the trunk. We also plan on including layers in the wardrobe — we will definitely need them once we get north of Kansas!

      Yep, I’m not going the Wally route if and when I buy a bike. I’ve bought and sold three over the years — if I’m going to seriously do it this time, I will do it right.

      Sounds like you and Bonnie are having an awesome time on your trip! Keep me updated!! HUGZ

      Reply
  4. Wendell

    I am no help at all to you with the packing thing. I tend to pack WAY too much stuff. I do try to pack so that I, I mean Bryan, can just haul one or two suitcases into our hotel for the night, not all of them. I can, however, assist you with the bike issue. We have always been happy with Excel Bike in Norwalk. The owner is Joe. Great guy. Great bikes. Check out his shop at http://excelbikenorwalk.com.

    Reply
    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Hey, thanks for the recommendation, Wendell! I will definitely visit them when I buy a bike.

      Reply

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