I glance over at the enormous stack of clean laundry, and my over-stuffed dresser. The task that lay before me is far too overwhelming. I should go for a bike ride instead, and it’ll sort itself out. I wish.
I’m leaving in a few days for a cram packed road trip. I didn’t mean for my itinerary to get so out of hand, but it’s summer in Canada, you must do as much as possible before the snow comes back and forces you in to a fluffy duvet hibernation-coma for six months.
It started as a week in St. John’s Newfoundland, a fun escape with the girls. They had been there last summer and had such a riot they had to redo, insisting that I tag along – they promised sailors, oil-rig men, booze and music to keep me entertained. What must they think of me? (All the same, it wasn’t a hard sell.)
I had also planned to hit Bluesfest in Ottawa the weekend before I flew east. And then I have a friend in Fredericton who has repeatedly mentioned how lovely New Brunswick is this time of year. And frankly, how could I end up on the coast without a stopover at my favourite cliff-edge campsite? Add to that, family in Halifax with a standing “we’ll have a blast!” invitation. The flight east quickly morphed into a rather ambitious road trip.
And a rather serious packing situation.
I’ll be away for 17 sleeps. During that time, I have three dates set up. Seriously, considering that I hate dating and all boys have cooties, this is rather silly. I need to make sure I have at least one cute outfit. But I’m a girl, so three cute outfits. Then there are a few nights of dancing my ass off, so the dancing shoes must come. As do the hiking shoes. And wandering-around-four-cities shoes. Since I’m doing a triathlon the weekend after I get back, the running shoes come too. Swimming pool and beach flip flops. Add in comfy pants, as I will be trapped for days on end in the car. In addition to camping on a cliff, I’ll be staying in two posh hotels. They’re not too keen on the comfy pant look. A cooler, and all the camping gear. Oh, and I’m a camera junkie, so all of that comes too. Unpredictable weather. Unpredictable adventures – but I must be ready for everything!
Add a giant bag of gummi worms. The essential road trip car snack. They’re colourful, so they’re good for you.
For all of the travelling I’ve done, you would think by now I would have figured out how to pare down. A trick or two so that my bag doesn’t weigh more than I do. Nope. A common site at airports – my travelling sidekick heaving with all her might, trying to get me and my pack up off the ground. There’s a reason why I travel with her – aside from her sense of adventure, and tolerance of me, she’s a massage therapist. Always pack a massage therapist.
The only a-ha moment I’ve had, the only trick in my over-stuffed bag is a very important one. Lacy underwear. Seriously. Great for dancing, airy enough for the monster hikes, make you feel pretty enough to stride confidently through the posh hotel lobby in your comfy pants, and they come in handy should date night go extremely well. (Just kidding. Mostly.) The best part – they dry quickly – whether you’re washing them from a campground tap, bucket of questionable water in Africa, or in a fine porcelain sink, those suckers dry in five minutes flat. And when you stuff your itinerary as full as you stuff your pack, this is critical.
Did I mention I drive a VW Bug? Picture those old movie bits where they tried to figure out how many clowns you could cram into a Bug. Except this time, one clown, 47 pairs of shoes, gummi worms and lacy underpants. What more does a girl need?