I'm leaving for Florida in 90 minutes and I'm not packed yet. No big deal.
After I was at my first job for about 8 months, I took a trip to St. Thomas. It was my very first official vacation. I must have been under the sway of magazine articles and other's advice about how and when to prepare because I recall that it in those days , used to take me at a minimum two frenzied weeks to agonize about getting everything together. Now I can't imagine the mindset I must have been in that made me visit pharmacies all over a 20 square block are to collect sample-sized toiletries, to lay out all possible combinations of clothing, shoes and accessories, and to create checklists and timetables for shopping/packing/transportation. Rainbath seemed to have a big part on the "necessary items" list. Why? The reason is lost now.
Maybe I was more colorful then, and my wardrobe called for more planning than the black-or-navy-or-beige theme dressing I have going on now. Or maybe I had more to choose from then - I can't remember. I do know that funds were a bigger issue then - making sure you had traveler's checks, having enough cash with the right proportion of singles for tipping, stashing all those funds in safe but accessable places. Now I just take one credit card, enough cash for cabs and I'm gone.
I'm taking the black cluster with me this time. I automatically reach for the shoes, the jewlery, the underwear that goes with this set. Not much thinking involved - just take everything that goes along with this particular sub-set of the closet and make sure you have your toiletries kit (Rainbath conspicuously absent) , curling iron and more knee-highs than you think you'll need.
There is one indespensible travel tip that I live by: if it doesn't all fit into the suitcase on the first try, close it, stand it upright and bang it against the floor until things settle and there is room to cram in a few more things. In this wonderful age of leak-proof zip-lock bags, wheeled suitcases and irons in every hotel room, it doesn't really matter how heavy the bag is and how squashed in the contents are.
So I'm off to Florida to wine and be wined, to dine and be dined, to work and be worked over. Back on Thursday.