Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kauai Calls

January 11, 2012

Hey Andrea,

Kauai calls. 

I hear her and I will be there soon.

In the meantime, this is a conversation I had with Steve via text messaging this evening:

Me:  “I have never traveled for ten days w just a day pack
and carry on .  This is a challenge.”

I have horse packed into the Maroon Belles Wilderness Area in Colorado; into the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana.  I have taken a dog to New York City for Westminster, twice.  I have gone to Finland, Russia, Sweden, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Cleveland, Boston, Reno, Los Angeles, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, La Paz, Norfolk, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, and places I have since forgotten.  I have  never traveled light.  Traveling light requires planning, making choices.

Steve:  “Check Rick Steves’ website for suggestions.  Pack multi-
use articles and plan to wash them.  Four days socks & underwear max.  Can you wear a pair of hiking sneakers on the plane?  Bring nothing “just in case”.  A long pair of pants, a pair shorts.  You get the idea.”

Only four pairs of underwear max?  Only four pair?  I will close up my suitcase before he gets to count anything.

“Bring nothing ‘just in case’”. 

My whole suitcase is full of clothing and items “just in case.” 

Because you never know.   

Bring nothing “just in case”.  Is he kidding?  What if…How am I supposed to know what I want to wear next Tuesday, next Friday.  I have a hard time with what to wear one day at a time. 

Me:  “I totally have the idea.  Implementation of the concept is
the problem.  If goal is achieved you will have to recognize  what a major achievement this is for me.”

Steve:  “Congratulations on the effort.”

A second later.

Steve:  “Subaru gets 22mpg.”

The effort.  Steve has no idea.  This is the first major trip he and I have taken together.  Flying to Palm Springs a year ago last Christmas does not count.  I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Grandpa Veil had a stroke.  He was laying in the hospital, soon to be moved to hospice.   I hope he has found you, and grandma.

Rick Steves.  I Google “rick steves packing list”.  There is a separate packing list for women.  If you want you can compare it to the men’s list.  I am not so inclined.  What would be the point?

Apparently, when Rick first came up with his packing list, women complained.  It did not account for all their needs.

Which is why men should never be architects.  But that is an entirely different subject you and I shall discuss later.  Back to packing.

Me:  “Checked out Rick’s packing list.  He says I can bring two
pair of shorts.”

No reply. 

I need to account for all my needs.  And fit them all in a carry on and backpack. 

There are piles everywhere.  Shirts, shorts, bathing suits, slacks, skirts, dresses, different color sandals to match each outfit.

Snorkel gear, cameras, camera chargers, colored pencils, a blank notebook, something to read.

I have always carried more than I needed.  Wrestling with the weight of it lugging it from place to place.  Weighing me down.

Wait, that shirt with the palm tree is really cute.  I might want to wear that next Saturday.

I check Rick’s list.  4-5 shirts.  I already have 7.  That’s a compromise.  I am not taking 10—which is how many I wanted to bring.

The last time I went on vacation was the February after you died.  I flew to Miami, met with a tour group—Senior Cycling, and bicycled the Florida Keys from Key Largo to Key West.  On that trip I UPS’d my bicycle, brought a backpack, a carry on and a large suitcase weighing 50 lbs.  I had the most and the heaviest luggage of anyone on the trip.

Remember when I used to fly to Norfolk when you lived there?  Not only would I bring a carry on and a suitcase, but I would end up buying a suitcase at Marshall’s or Ross to carry all the clothes and other things I bought when you and I went shopping at the Outlet Mall and around Norfolk. 

You inherited the maximum amount of luggage gene from me.  I will never forget your tantrums every time you left home to meet a ship.  You could bring anything you wanted as long as it fit in your duffel and one other bag.  Your favorite pillow and down comforter competed for space with nail polish, eye shadow, strappy shoes and a little dress.  Then there were the work clothes.

I had no idea how much collected luggage you and I had until after you died.  We never traveled light.  Anywhere.

And now it is a requirement.  It is a test I must pass.  Traveling light.

Me:  Got everything in carry on and in backpack.

Everything I need.

                   Love You Andrea,