Packing Confessions

I’ve bragged about being able to pack ten days of clothing into a single carry-on bag.  So it’s only fair that I confess what happened on a recent trip to Austin.  I prefer to fly to Houston and Austin.  I know that it takes less time to drive to these cities from Dallas when you factor in getting to the airport, waiting the hour before the flight leaves, and getting to your friend’s house from the airport.  But as I’ve written before, the other drivers on I-35 and I-45 make me angry, so flying is better for my health.  Also, flying helps me maintain my airline status.

Anyway, I ended up going to Austin for a week, and because Thanksgiving fell during that week, flight prices made flying untenable.  I am not made of money, and while I am a spendthrift, even I have limits.  So I drove.  My plan was to get up at a reasonable time on Saturday morning, 8am, run my errands, pack, and then be on the road by 10am.  That’s not what happened.  I dragged myself out of bed at 10am.  I remembered that I had to have a suit altered before I left so it would be finished in time for my business trip.  And then I packed like I had never left the house before.

I packed a large duffel bag for my clothes.  I was gone for a week, so getting all the clothes into the bag wasn’t much of a problem.  I got all my toiletries and other hygiene accoutrements into the duffel, and then because there was some room, I packed a couple of “in case” outfits.  (In all my years of travel, I have never worn any of the “in case” outfits I’ve packed.)  This is where I should have stopped packing and gotten my happy ass on the road, but… I didn’t.

Next, I packed a media tote.  What’s a media tote?  It’s a giant tote bag in which I have stuffed a throw blanket and my Person of Interest DVDs.  Yes, I am still obsessed.  (The most recent three episodes have served to enflame my obsession further, so look forward to more late posts.)  Setting aside the fact that I can stream PoI, I guess I was also thinking that the Viking (I stayed with Loraine) wouldn’t have extra blankets under which I could cozy up and watch tv.  (Ridiculous – she has at least a dozen.)

Was that the end?  No.  There were three, maybe four, work days in the week, so I loaded up my work bag with my computer and other documents and files and binders I needed.  I didn’t want a client to call me and ask for something I didn’t have, so I packed everything I could think of, including extra pens and notebooks, because they don’t sell these items in the wasteland of Austin, TX.  If I had placed my work bag on the passenger seat, I’m pretty sure the car would have told me that it needed to put its seat belt on.

We’re at three bags so far, and we’re not finished.  Because it was a holiday week, I thought somehow that I would have time to do my Italian homework.  You know what else has fallen by the wayside because of PoI?  That’s right.  My Italian homework.  You’d think that someone with a reputation for being strategic and logical would have realized right away that the contents Italian tote and the media tote were mutually exclusive.  Someone didn’t.

So that’s the end of the bags, but that’s not the end of what got packed into the car.  My friends AZ and Mark were having Friendsgivingkkuh dinner at their house, and I said I’d bring cauliflower mash and the makings for Sazeracs.  I wasn’t sure Loraine had an immersion blender (and decided it was too hard to call or text to ask), so I packed mine.  In the same box, I packed a bottle of rye, a bottle of Pernod, a bottle of Peychaud’s bitters, and my small Oxo measuring cup, because you may not know this, but Austin doesn’t have any liquor stores, and even though Loraine and AZ both love to cook, I was certain they didn’t have any measuring cups that could tell me how much two ounces of rye was.  Because the entire state was about to be hit with a cold front of Arctic air, I also packed a bottle of cognac for toddies, because you can’t use rum or whiskey (which I knew Loraine had) or rye for toddies (you totally can).

I STILL WASN’T DONE.  The last thing I packed was an ice chest because I overshopped at the grocery store.  In the ice chest, I packed an open package of shredded cheese, my half-finished carton of Greek yogurt, and my half-finished container of spicy guacamole.  Then I tossed in my opened bag of Beanitos.  I didn’t want my nacho fixings to go to waste.  Right before I loaded the liquor into the car, I grabbed a bottle of cold-brew coffee out of the fridge because why not at that point.

I grabbed a fleece, my long puffy coat, and the boots I needed to get re-heeled into the backseat, and I was finally done.  I can pack a weekend’s worth of things I need into a backpack, but give me a whole car to fill, and I will.  Flying is better than driving, every damned time.

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