Week 50. still catching up.

I started writing a post about my vacation last night but I just deleted it. I wasn’t feeling it. I’m not really sure what I want to share from the trip right now (we went to Hilo, Hawaii and the Volcano National Park, and then spent some time with family in Honolulu) so I’m going to leave it for now. Update – here’s a collage of photos taken around Hilo and Kilauea, and a view from where we were staying in Honolulu. And yes, we know we are lucky!

Hawaii collage

Honolulu view

I didn’t take my laptop with me on the trip. I didn’t need it and laptops always add an extra layer of inconvenience at security. But afterwards I thought I probably should have taken it with me anyway. I spent time on my iPhone, taking pictures and sharing them, and that was great. But when I got home I had the big job of reviewing, editing, deleting, and tagging photos, and then deciding which ones to use in which blurb book. I had my end of year book all but ready to go before the trip – I just wanted to add a few photos from the trip to the end of it, and I spent a late night doing that after we got home so that I could get a 30% discount on the order.

btw Blurb – offering a 30% discount through midnight 11/26 and then announcing on 11/27 that you’re extending that discount another week sucks! I spent hours getting my books ready for that deadline. I rushed, and probably made a few mistakes because of it. And I had another book that just wasn’t ready that night. I needed another couple of days, but the 30% off could only be used once. So I ordered the other book a few days later and had to use a lower value coupon code on it. Boo! not fair!

Anyway, I might take my laptop with me on future trips. Even if you’re not taking a huge number of photos (I was quite restrained, really) it helps to be able to go through them each night and highlight the best ones, tag them with where you were, and delete the bummers. Of course I’m not usually rushing to get Xmas presents done. So maybe I don’t always need to take my laptop, but this time, it might have been helpful.

packing gadgets and stuff

I took less with me on this trip than ever. And I had several things that didn’t really get worn, or that I only wore because I had them and was trying to wear everything I had brought. I packed some lightweight tanks and running shorts, a few dresses, some adventuring pants and an ultra lightweight jacket (for the volcano and the damp weather of Hilo) and sneakers and one pair of very comfy flip flops… a swimsuit and various little wristlets and bags… a library book about Hawaii, my kindle with travel library books and a novel for the plane ride home… 3 magazines… toiletries… and a whole bunch of chargers and cords! This time we didn’t need to pack gifts or things for other people, just a few treats to share  at work when we got home.

packing clothes

 

It always amazes me how much non-clothing stuff I take with me on trips. Cords and chargers have only made things worse. Remember back in the day when we didn’t have cords or chargers to carry…?

I would really like to get a TSA approved laptop carry-on bag like the Checkpoint Flyer or the Roll Along Work Bag, although neither one is quite my style, nor in my price range! (I can have some real fun for $200+) You can leave your laptop in these bags – they open up so that the TSA can scan the laptop in one layer, which reduces the chances that your laptop will be forgotten or stolen at security, and saves time and energy too.

I bought a Scottevest windbreaker from Magellan’s before the trip in the hopes that it might work for travel and day-to-day wear. It has a whole bunch of pockets and in theory could replace your carry-on bag. Did you see the no baggage challenge video series? it was silly, but also very cool! I have really mixed feelings about the concept, but I find it very compelling. But as I expected, the jacket itself didn’t fit me well, so it really didn’t work. Luckily I found a very lightweight Sierra Designs jacket at REI that had handwarmer pockets and extra internal mesh pockets which worked fine – especially with my adventuring pants which have good pockets. I returned the Scottevest jacket. Maybe one day they will make something that works for short waisted curvy women – the windbreaker (which was tagged as unisex) completely covered my backside and looked awful. I never even tried all the pockets out, but the behind-the-boob, under-the-arm sunglasses pocket seemed ill advised! especially if someone were to put a backpack on – crunch! yeah… I’m not quite sold on Scottevest…  but I’m still intrigued!!

Since I find myself talking about travel products I will add a quick review of Platypus water bottles – we got these little soft bottles at REI and we love them. They are a bit tricky to fill from water fountains (because the US hasn’t caught up with the 21st century and added water bottle fill taps to drinking fountains) but the bottles are almost weightless, and roll into a pocket when they’re empty. The small size we got worked well for day to day water carrying.

Well, this post has become a bit of a mishmash. Sorry. I have been quite scatterbrained lately and my procrastination has been really bad! Back to our usual scheduled programming soon, whatever that means!

Jo:)

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