Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Lipstick on a Cochon

I did two loads of laundry, two loads of dishes and I organized two paper stashes. Now I feel too discouraged to go on, so I am rewarding myself with a small break for blogging. Honestly, I will clean and clean and clean, but it will be like lipstick on a muddy cochon. I think I have covered my worries sufficiently, in writing at least, so allow me to change the subject...

Chicken Abroad Packs
There are many angles to approach this subject, with many headings and subheadings.

BIG PURSE vs. petite purse
BIG CAMERA vs. petite camera
Full winter wear and umbrella vs. Bella Tourista
Pay for AAA Flamenco floor show and dinner now vs. wait and see spontaneity

I am torn between packing light... super streamlined and unfettered, but then again... I do not want to be cold or uncomfortable or too casually attired. Californians, esp. So Cal residents, are very casual, which does not always translate well in sophisticated regions. I would be really happy to have a small blanket from home to comfort me on the plane, to throw over my shoulders in the hotel, but maybe that's crazy. I really, really want my good and familiar camera, but it's HUGE, so I am 99% convinced I will bring Geoff's itty-bitty pocket camera. Heav(ier) coat or stylish one? Two pair of shoes, so I can look bonita when eating tapas at 10:30 PM, or one walking pair?

And most importantly: Is this bag ugly?

Also, it is imperative that I remind the family that they have to thoroughly mix the peanut butter, all the way to the bottom... really get the consistency right all the way through or the bottom will be hard and dry. Do you see? How can I travel abroad, when these issues keep coming up?


Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

Small camera most definitely! Bring comfy walking shoes ... cute socks will make them stylish. :-)

Is your stylish coat warm enough? Or will it be warm enough with the addition of gloves, scarf and a hat? If so, then a stylish coat is nice.

Be spontaneous about the flamenco show. Perhaps your hotel will have a much better venue in mind. :-)

Don't worry, your family will be fine. They may not get everything done the way that you do but they'll still manage and be that much more happy to see you upon your return. Big hugs!

Dallas said...

At least for me, I figure I'm not going to look blend in here no matter what, so I go for comfort rather than fashion. I walk into places and even before opening my mouth, they start speaking to me in English - I have the wrong shoes, purse, wear my scarf the wrong way, but more than clothes, I'm obviously curious and smiling about everything around me that locals ignore. As for the camera, I like the saying, "the best camera to take is the one you'll carry with you."

Sara said...

I'm enjoying reading about your Chicken Abroad preparations....I've been there!

If it were as lightly as you can. Go casual/casual smart - a little style never hurts and makes you feel more confident. Take the small camera. You are going again anyway and will have others to help you schlep the big one about later. The purse is too big (for me anyway). Get a money belt and keep your valuables close to your body with just a bit of cash for the day in your purse. Take the extra pair of shoes. And don't buy the AAA tickets ahead of time - be spontaneous.

Your family will muddle along and appreciate you all the more when you get back!

Hope this helped.

mtnchild said...

You know Natalie, if you forget something, you can always buy it there! Not a big hulking anything, but maybe a sweater or small blanket to keep you a bit warmer . . . and your Mom will be there to help.

Many hugs,

d.a. said...

Oh yeah, and ditch that bag. My apologies if it was a gift or if you bought it for yourself, but you did ask, and yes: it is ugly. :-)

d.a. said...

I've traveled abroad, and I want to second what Sara wrote above. Keep everything small, compact, stylish (yet comfortable), double-or triple-duty if possible, and above all: manageable. Elevators, rooms and train walkways are much smaller there than here.

If you want a blanket, get one of those fake pashmina scarves at the airport for $10. It's large, warm without being heavy, and very versatile. Basic black will go with everything. You can wear a lighter jacket and use the pashmina as a second-layer shoulder and neck scarf underneath.

Tiglizzyclone said...

I would say that packing as little as possible is best. I used to travel a lot in the USofA in my van. I always had multiple bags with me. Yet wherever I went I always brought more stuff... So I was packed to the gills!

judy in ky said...

Think light, light, light when packing. That bag looks kind of heavy. I like cloth bags because they are so light. Take things you love so you won't get tired of them. Take something soft and comforting (a shawl, a scarf, socks to wear in your room) and something that makes you feel at home. As for the camera, I would go for small. If it's new to you, practice a bit with it before you go. And slip the manual in your pocket. I agree with what others have said... keep everything as small and as light as possible. And don't worry about the house. And have fun!

judy in ky said...

Oops! In my comment above, I said "don't worry about the house".
In your prior post you told us you would worry about it anyway. So... never mind!

But here is another idea: before you leave on your trip, try walking around the block with all the stuff you plan to take. That will give you an idea what it will be like carrying it around.