Packing Light, Packing Right

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Dear Reader,

no joke I feel like if I roll one more jacket, ball up one more pair of socks, or have to find that elusive perfect travel stuffie for a demanding child who can’t find it in his room- I may lock myself in a dark room never to return to the light. I have been packing, it seems, for months what with Big G’s going to camp and our trip to Ireland I have been rolling, zipping, and strapping through many of my waking hours. I have learned that there are a few indispensable items that make this mundane preparation a whole lot easier. So, here they are:

Packing Cubes

With two boys close in age it’s easy to begin to mix up socks, underwear, etc. These cubes are great when unpacking due to touring (such as our Ireland trip) is unadvisable. Big G has orange on this trip and Little G has blue. The guys know the drill and are able to keep their clothes organized using these cubes. Also, going through customs or being checked at security is much easier when clothes are organized.

I actually upgraded to these parachute material bags myself.

The go to packing item for any trip

The go to packing item for any trip

Four Wheel Roller Bag

Now maybe it’s not a necessity, but these bad boys are like the Fred Astaire’s of the luggage world. The kids maneuver them deftly and happily. I have been known to let a bag or two go down ramps watching kids and/or adults careen out of the way of the runaway bag. I would never recommend such a thing, however. I just purchased this bag and was amazed with what I could fit in it.

This bad boy comes in a great green color. I LOVE it. The fellas are using these bags which are smaller, lighter and easier to use

They also serve as a great seat when the tribe is tired. So, I know longer have to wonder what strange staph virus may be entering my child as he sits on the floor of the airport.

Multi-tasking Tumi For Wheeler

Multi-tasking Tumi For Wheeler

Okay, so may I state that the most idenspendsible travel gizmo that I never leave home without is Tripit.  Tripit lets me know when my flights leave, arrive, are delayed.  The app welcomes me to my destination, tells me the terminal of my connecting flight, and remis me that I am leaving (sadly at the age of 47 I now need that).  I love my iCal, NetFlix, and PvZ (anxiously awaiting #2) apps, but Tripit is the first app that would make my life harder not to  have while I was traveling.

The Ireland Itinerary

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July 17-27

Day 1: Grin and Bear the Jet Lag in Dublin

Okay… I admit. It’s a big mistake. Yes, I left the Ambien and Lunesta sitting right there on the kitchen counter. Yes, Dear Reader, I pop sleeping pills when jet lag is a possibility. I am not ashamed or even, remotely, considering changing my two days of Ambien and two Lunesta anti jet lag treatment except, of course, now in light of my massive nocturnal omission. Luckily, I remembered the Calm (fizzy magnesium drink that aids in sleep) so hopefully this all natural elixir will do the trick and not leave me grumpy and haggard. I already know that Brown Bear and Squeak are looking at me a bit cross-eyed.

This first day in Dublin we are on our own. There are falcon caves to discover and a jail to tour. I am sure that we will hit it hard and right despite the inevitable whining.

Day 2- Dublin
We will be hitting the Book of Kells and some Museums today. The rest of our traveling group arrives today.

Day 3- Dublin

2:00 pm We have a guide taking us through the streets of Dublin and then have dinner at a Dublin restaurant where we will meet the rest of our group.

Day 4- Killarney

See the Rock of Cashel where Guinness was started
Visit Blarney Castle and Kiss the Blarney Stone

Day 5

Either Hike the Gap of Dunloe or Experience a Working Sheep Farm and Dog Herding Exhibition (I wonder which one Big G will choose? Let’s not forget Little Tim Time from the RV trip)
Picnic Lunch
Take a boat to Ross Castle
Traditional dinner at a local Killarney pub

Day 6

Horseback riding or Kayaking in the Morning
Spa Treatments for adults in the afternoon (now we’re talking)

Day 7

Drive to the Dingle Peninsula where we will have a traditional, pub style lunch
Explore the town of dingle before checking into the Dromoland Castle

Day 8

Board a boat to Inisheer Island, one of the three Aran Island, where we will have a hiking tour
See the Cliffs of Moher from the water
Return to Dromoland Castle for a traditional Irish dinner

Day 9

Return to Dublin to catch a 8 am flight back to the United States

Day 10
Leave Dublin
Squeak and Big G go to Washington State so that Big G can go straight to camp
Brown Bear and C go to NYC so that C can go to camp
And I, Dear Reader, go with Little G and P back home to California


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At 6am, we had done it. Four kids, three adults, assorted carry-on items, technology of all manners were in a car effortlessly sailing down the 405 with no traffic and quiet children (I don’t know which was the greater rarity). The packing had gone late last night as I tried feverishly and unsuccessfully to load movies onto the boys new technology. We were all traveling “lite” which means the bags were spring-loaded with the absolute maximum a carry-on could allow. I was tired which probably made the following exchange funnier than it is, but it managed to get a car full of sleepy kids and adults giggling.

“I know a word in Latin” chimed Big G

“Really???” responded a bemused chorus of adults and children

“capahdahdidem” Big G stated proudly

“Do you mean Carpe Diem?” laughed C

“Well, Yeah” Big G announced “that’s what I said”

“Latin’s a dead language” announced Squeak

And I contend that with Big G is becoming the Jack Kevorkian of this ancient language gently morphing it into obscurity.

So, here’s to the beginning of another adventure and let’s all remember to Capahdadidem.