When women travel, it seems as though they always pack more than they need. It's been that way since the beginning of time. We plan out what we know we will need, things we probably most likely will need, and things we might need but probably won't need. Men on the other hand have to be assisted when packing because they seldom bring everything they need. I've had my husband leave his swimsuit, his unmentionables, his dress shoes for a wedding, and other things that he absolutely would need but by some momentary lapse of judgment, left them behind. They never even made it close to the suitcase. I mean, who leaves their swimsuit when you're headed to the beach? That's the first thing I pack!
The picture above is of mine and my girlfriends' luggage as we were loading up to leave the beach on Saturday. I guess in the great scheme of things it isn't really that much stuff for three women returning from a week at the beach. We're always telling each other to pack really light because we almost always acquire additional "stuff" while there, which will need to be transported back to the mother ship. Yeah, right, pack light? In your dreams. We don't know how to do that, thank you very much. The navy suitcase, pink tote, and LL Bean canvas tote at the far bottom right are my bags. The larger navy bag was filled mostly with clothes -- you know, outfits for dinner out, shorts and t-shirts for the beach, etc.; the pink bag, kitchen and food items; the canvas tote held shoes, toiletries, and beach items like swimsuits and sunscreen. While my friends were soaking up as much Vitamin D as their bodies could possibly hold, I was over there putting on the Coppertone baby SPF-50 with a big hat sitting under an umbrella. When I come back from the beach, I don't look like I'm coming back from the beach.
But because I do want to be prepared, even I pack more than I probably should at times. I mean, let's face it, it takes a lot of paraphernalia for women to travel: clothes, shoes, bags, makeup, bath toiletries, hair products and tools...the list seems endless. The night before we left, as one of my friends wrapped up her work week to head south with us, she confessed that her week had been so hectic she hadn't even begun to pack. And if I am a packer for all circumstances, this friend even more so. It proved to be a long night. The black bag in the picture dead center (her bag) is absolutely the biggest and most crammed full bag I have ever seen, and I am telling you it is HEAVY when fully loaded. But this friend is all about style and grooming and looking her best wherever she goes. I have never seen her when she isn't "fixed up." That's a saying the oldtimers used to use, but it fits her to a tee! Even though I don't usually leave home without a swipe of lipstick most times, I am not sure I've ever seen her without her makeup and impeccably dressed (except first thing in the morning). So the night before we left, I sent her this text: Throw the stuff in your bag and make sure you have your swimsuit; nothing else really matters. Once we arrived, she said that's what she had done. Hmm. Somehow, no matter where we go or what we're doing, she always looks put together and stunning. She is dressed in a stylish outfit with just the right jewelry carefully selected, complete with matching shoes, painted nails, and smelling like a floral bouquet. I, on the other hand, make sure my hair is clean, I have a semi-made-up face, and I am wearing clothes and shoes. My scent is the Dove bar I just bathed with. By the time I arrive back to the condo, my hair is a frizzy mess. The salty damp air on the coast hates my hair. Another thing about this same friend. She has a very green thumb. If you'll look closely at the picture, you'll see the clipping she rescued from the shrubs being trimmed outside our condo and plans to root it at home. Probably the next time I visit her, it will be a full-grown plant thriving in her yard. Some people just make it look so dang easy.
As women will do, depending on their budgets, we enjoy a little retail therapy while on trips. Sometimes (depending on my budget) I do more shopping than other times. This trip I bought a t-shirt, flipflops, and a distressed wooden tray perfect for holding magazines or toilet paper in the bathroom. Not too much damage on my end. BUT -- with a capital B -- there have been those times when we shopped more than usual and we could barely fit it all into the car. Some in our traveling parties have bought entire new wardrobes, everything on their Christmas list, small pieces of furniture, and plants for their backyards. They never ask me to drive; I have a teeny little car. So, once again, I'd say we all did pretty well this time. Even with three beach umbrellas, two beach chairs, a beach mat, a kite, our bed pillows, and various small bags, we managed to make it to the beach and back with pretty much the same amount of stuff. Not too bad for all that is required by women who wanna have fun, and look their very best while doing it.
And for the record, I returned home with exactly four unworn t-shirts still neatly folded in the suitcase, a comparable number of clean undies crammed into the side pocket, two pairs of shoes I never put on my feet, and countless pieces of jewelry that never touched my body. But I was totally and most assuredly prepared if I had at any time of the week........needed them.
The ever put-together Jules.....you go, girl.....digging those hot coral pants and sassy sandals!
Posted by CC
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