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A Packing Frenzy

April 15, 2010

My in-laws gave Ali and I a European honeymoon as a wedding gift, back when we got married nearly 100 years ago.  Despite our trip getting off to a terrible start thanks to food poisoning in Paris and some very unfriendly Parisians who smirked at what I thought was a rather impressive attempt at French by Ali, we had a good time overall.  But as we traipsed through Paris, London, Monaco, and Vienna, I wondered the following:

1. Why didn’t I think to check the forecast prior to departure?  A little research may just have prevented me from bringing all the wrong clothes and shoes for the unbelievable 90+ degree temperatures.

2. Why did Ali pack an enormous suitcase with little more than 2 shirts, 1 pair of pants, 1 ugly pair of jeans, swimming trunks, loads of camera cables, and dozens of different power converters?  For 2 weeks?  His suitcase was so big and empty that it could have easily fit a stowaway.

Needless to say we learned a lot during that trip.  I learned he can’t pack worth S#@%.  He learned that it doesn’t take much more than a poorly dressed new husband to put my temper into overdrive.  We both learned that European hotels charge more to do laundry than the cost of the clothes themselves. 

From then on I have taken it upon myself to pack Ali’s clothes for any and all trips, which is how I spent a good part of my morning today. 

As I packed my little heart out, I cursed the disastrous state of his closet.  But there was no time to clean yet another one of his messes because I had to respond to Maya’s statement, “Mama, I’m all packed and ready!”  Clearly my daughter couldn’t wait to get the hell out of the Din Household.  No love lost there I guess.

For her impending stay at my in-laws place, she’d basically packed everything except the kitchen sink.  And while I was pretty impressed with her initiative, we definitely had to take out a few unnecessary things.  After removing an umbrella, a few tacky T-shirts, and no less than 3 tubes of toothpaste, we managed to edit her selection to only the necessities.

After selflessly taking care of my husband and child, after ignoring the work emails that piled up, after attending an orientation at Maya’s new school, and after battling 3 hours of Thursday traffic to drop Maya off at my in-laws place, I am now about to tackle my own packing.  

Have I mentioned I have a serious phobia about checking my bags in?  I just can’t do it.  I am so terrified of my luggage being lost that I always carry on, and since I managed 10 days in Paris and Amsterdam last year without checking anything in I decided I could tackle Asia in the same way.  So I am off to figure out how to cram enough clothes and shoes into a 22″ X 14″ X 8.5″  suitcase. 

Wish me luck.

PS – Not sure what the internet situation will be like in Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore, but I’m hoping to post fairly regularly.  I hope you consider this good news.  Right??

48 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2010 5:23 pm

    I didn’t know you were travelling? Can you pack me please?? ;)…seriously. I would LOVE to travel…oof. Money sucks.
    I love your daughter’s suitcase – too cute. You better be able to post on the other side of the world there girl – we want to hear from you!!

  2. April 15, 2010 5:38 pm

    It’s a good idea to carry as many bags as you can without ticking off security–all the airlines have instituted $25+ fees for the first checked bag now!

  3. April 15, 2010 5:41 pm

    My husband is a horrible packer too. He always thinks we need so many gadgets. Now I just pack for him and he carries his own bag of pointless tech stuff he’ll never use on vacation. Have SO MUCH fun!!

  4. April 15, 2010 5:41 pm

    stay safe and have a wonderful adventure ❤

  5. April 15, 2010 5:41 pm

    i’m a terrible packer! i tend to pack wayyyyyyy too much. have a safe trip!

  6. April 15, 2010 5:49 pm

    Have a blast!!!! Can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂

  7. April 15, 2010 5:51 pm

    Have an amazing trip! I can’t wait to see your pictures and hear stories. Those are places on my to-see list.

  8. April 15, 2010 5:54 pm

    Have a wonderful trip!!!!! Take lots of pictures!! 🙂 I hate checking bags too. I always try and do carry on.

  9. April 15, 2010 6:01 pm

    Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. You are leaving. Soon. To Singapore. Forget Japan. SINGAPORE!! And Malaysia, too! You going to Malacca or KL? I’m SO excited for you! Know that while you are touring new place and trying out fantastic foods…I’ll be here toiling over finals and projects…lucky duck!!

    PLEASE blog!! Please please pelase!

  10. louisianagrown permalink
    April 15, 2010 6:03 pm

    BLEH I despise packing. I surely do hope you get to blog while you’re gone. I bet you’re going to have all sorts of good stories to share, and I sure hope that husband of yours doesn’t do anything too ridiculous. 😉

  11. April 15, 2010 6:15 pm

    I hate packing! I always end up overpacking because I am too paranoid about forgetting something important.

    We did laundry in Italy and it was…atrociously expensive.

    Andy and I have lost luggage before. It turned up 2 days later but still! I am not checking my luggage either. I will always carry on.

    Good luck with the packing! Can’t wait to read about the trip

  12. April 15, 2010 6:16 pm

    Have fun on the trip! So lucky!

  13. April 15, 2010 6:31 pm

    My husband SUCKS at packing so I’ve now also taken it upon myself to pack for him and for the kiddies. By the time I’m done packing for everyone else I’m exhausted. So I totally know how you feel.

    I’m super jealous that you’re going on a kid-free vacation! Hope you and Ali have an awesome time!!! Safe travels 😀

  14. April 15, 2010 6:33 pm

    I’m always afraid of my luggage getting lost too, but I’m like Maya. I am an overpacker and I pack unnecessary crap that I will never use and won’t need, and then my bags are too big to carry on so I have to check them. I’m always freaking out at the baggage claim waiting, worrying that they lost it. Travelling is so stressful.
    Having said that, I hope you have an amazing trip, stress free due to your mean packing skills.

  15. highonhealthy permalink
    April 15, 2010 6:39 pm

    You’re going to Asia!! What??! That’s awesome!

    I actually love packing. 🙂 I’m not a fan of checking my luggage in either but I need my big suitcase..

  16. April 15, 2010 6:43 pm

    Hehehe…I’m very particular when it comes to packing. Everything has to be neat and tidy and i quadruple check if I have everything I need. Essential thing go into my backpack. Now you’ve got me thinking about what I need to pack for my upcoming trip to the Philippines. Eek.

    Hope you guys have fun on your trip. Take lots of picks!!!!

  17. April 15, 2010 6:43 pm

    Oops…meant pics. :p

  18. April 15, 2010 7:42 pm

    Yeah, I’m totally an overpacker, but it’s so HARD! What to take, what to take, what to take…
    I think that it’s pretty awesome that you’re going on an ‘adult’ vacation! And I hope that you can blog from Asia. But if not, it’ll be so exciting to hear all about it upon your retur!

  19. actorsdiet permalink
    April 15, 2010 7:49 pm

    i love seeing little maya packing! bon voyage, dear – hope you have a wonderful time!

  20. Caroline permalink
    April 15, 2010 7:51 pm

    Men just don’t have a clue! Have a safe and wonderful trip!! Can’t wait to hear about it

  21. April 16, 2010 3:25 am

    Packing is such a pain! It is definitely my least favorite part of a trip. And even more stressful with kids to be sure you have everything for them. At least if something is forgotten for Maya YOU won’t be the one running out to worry about it. 😀

    Have fun!!!!

  22. April 16, 2010 3:43 am

    u r an extremely extremely fortunate lady. count your blessings for your opportunities (and your talented writing skills for that matter 🙂
    Safe travels.

  23. April 16, 2010 4:24 am

    Of course it would be good news if you would share your adventure with us!

    It must be so funny to see what a kid packs. I bet as a kid I packed a ton of books and toys!

    Have fun!

  24. April 16, 2010 4:29 am

    Have an amazing time!!

  25. lowandbhold permalink
    April 16, 2010 4:55 am

    I can’t believe you’ll be able to carry on for a trip to Asia. That is immensely impressive!

  26. April 16, 2010 5:22 am

    I am the worst packer ever! I am someone who will pack summer dresses when it is 40* outside and forget to pack socks at all! Sounds like an amazing trip, my cousin lived in Singapore and Looooooved it!

  27. April 16, 2010 6:33 am

    HAHA- Tobey packs random stuff, too. How do you feel about an LL Bean backpack, circa 1990? Yeah, that had to come along on our trip to Europe last fall!

    Oh Ameena, I can’t bear to check anything either. Let us know what you end up packing- I need some inspiration since we’re going to Paris in a couple of weeks. 🙂

  28. April 16, 2010 7:03 am

    My sympathies on the packing. I’m also the (reluctant) house packer after seeing the mr. struggle way too many times trying to fit a last pair of socks into what I KNEW was a badly-packed suitcase. I got my own back on our last little trip, though–he didn’t set out his flip-flops to get packed and had to buy flip-flops in Tobago so he didn’t look stupid in work shoes and shorts–worse yet, he could only find rasta-potleaf flip flops. House packer 1, Husband 0.

    Can’t wait to hear about the trip! Malaysian food, sigh…

  29. April 16, 2010 7:03 am

    We will miss you but have fun!!! SO EXCITING!!
    That reminds me, I need to make sure I check the weather before I leave for Ireland in June. But their weather is so so SO insane (last time I was there, it went from HOT to snowing.. at the end of April) that you have to pack for any and all situations.

  30. April 16, 2010 7:30 am

    HATE packing for even a weekend trip. (love going places though) but hate packing.

    I always OVER pack at first and than thin out too much and have to wear the same jeans for a week.


    but not really.


  31. April 16, 2010 7:35 am

    Have a fun trip!!

  32. April 16, 2010 7:50 am

    I hope you have a fabulous time! And I’m glad to hear that you’ll still be posting 🙂

    I absolutely hate packing. I’m always afraid that I’ll find myself in a situation where I don’t have something I need, so I usually end up taking too many things “just in case”. I don’t like feeling unprepared!

  33. whydeprive permalink
    April 16, 2010 7:57 am

    Haha oh Maya – 3 tubes of toothpaste? At least you know your kid has good hygiene!!

    Ive never thought so much about luggage getting lost – for me its the idea of someone stealing it. My boyfriend made fun of me, and then I found out that it REALLY happens!!

    Carry on everything you can! 🙂

    Have a great trip.

  34. April 16, 2010 8:04 am

    I pack for Lawrence too, mostly because he won’t do it until the very last minute, and that causes me stress. When we went to Japan (for 12 days), we took only carry-ons. And it was winter then, so we had heavier clothes. It’s do-able. I don’t like to check in either, as you know. I’ve had my bags “misplaced” way too many times. It’s adorable that Maya packed herself. I don’t think I did that myself until I was 18. She’s very mature.
    I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful time!

  35. April 16, 2010 11:49 am

    i am sort of neurotic when it comes to packing, which means many lists and lots of extra (excess!!) clothing. all in a carry-on though…now that’s impressive!!

  36. April 16, 2010 12:49 pm

    travel safely! have a wonderful trip!

  37. fitandfortysomething permalink
    April 16, 2010 1:04 pm

    oh my ameena! have a good time 🙂 and have fun packing 😦

  38. April 16, 2010 1:39 pm

    Hey Ameena! Just wanted to drop by and let you know I gave you a blogger award on my most recent post. Happy Friday!

  39. April 16, 2010 9:05 pm

    bon voyage and have an amazing trip!!!!!!

  40. April 16, 2010 9:57 pm

    Bon voyage. Have a wonderful time. Packing is always a last minute thing for myself. I loved it when I travelled before my daughter was born. Now it’s such a hassle to pack since kid needs more extras then self. Mind you I love Maya’s picture. She would miss you!

  41. April 16, 2010 11:36 pm

    have a great vacation! your daughter is sooo pretty 🙂

    hope you can follow and join the daily party 🙂
    you’re invited to a BLOG PARTY!

    more links, more followers, more traffic 🙂

    i would really appreciate it if you can click “follow”, grab the badge and write a post about the blog party 🙂

    rj’s mama
    facebook page

  42. April 17, 2010 6:06 am

    I hope you have a great time! Can’t wait to read your blog posts about it.

  43. April 17, 2010 6:08 am

    Look at Maya all happy at her packing success! 🙂 Peter is a terrible packer, too, which is why I always have to edit his bags. I consider it essential for my sanity.

    I hope you do get to blog because I can’t WAIT to see what you guys are up to on your travels! I’m so excited for you!! SQUEEEEEE!

  44. April 17, 2010 7:48 am

    lol good luck packing and have a wonderful trip!

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