May 25, 2017
Okay, let it be known to all that I’m not too proud to admit it when I’ve made a mistake or screwed something up. But this one was tough.
Since we decided to do the ultimate downsize, become house sitters and true road warriors John had preached to me how I needed to pare down my “things” to the bare essentials, and be able to fit those essentials into two bags to be checked, and two carry-ons. The checked bags couldn’t weigh over 50 pounds each, and the carry-ons couldn’t be wider than 22 inches.
I think I had chicken pox when we learned weights and measurements in grade school, so I knew this wasn’t going to be easy.
Now, I’m not a froo-froo girly girl. Really I’m not. But there are some things a girl just can’t do without…like a good pair of scissors…and a widescreen monitor to plug into a laptop.
Bound and determined that things like this were definitely essential, I knew I needed a luggage plan.
I already had a huge Sharper Image hard-sided spinner suitcase that I absolutely love. I named it Big Blue because of its unique turquoise color. Big Blue had accompanied me all over the world – Panama, Grenada, California, etc. He even saved the day on my second trip to Seoul, South Korea, when he hauled real food for us. There was no way I was going to downsize Big Blue. He’s a workhorse and part of the family.
The dilemma came when I had to decide what my second “big” bag would be. For a few weeks I combed the Internet like a casting director looking for the next “star” to play such a critical role in our adventure saga.
Then one day I saw “Pinkie” on Amazon. Eureka! I just knew it/she was the perfect object to morph me from a casual traveler to a true princess road warrior.
She was perfect! She was a sleek 33-inch long duffle bag on inline skate wheels. I really wanted spinner wheels like Big Blue but I figured skate wheels probably meant fast, right? Because she was a duffle I knew I could load her up with a lot of clothes and my “essential” stuff. Smart, right? She had 8 zipper pockets on the outside. Places to stash my shoes and smaller items, right? And to top it all off she was pink…real pink…making her easy to find on luggage carousels. Genius that I am, I clicked the “Buy” button and almost danced a jig.
I decided not to tell John that I had made the purchase, but rather would surprise him. I just knew he would praise my prowess as a smart shopper and laud the day he picked me as his travel partner.
I counted down the days and actually tracked the Amazon truck online so I knew the exact hour the “blessed even” (Pinkie’s arrival) would occur.
She came in a huge box. I made John sit on the couch as I tenuously ripped through the tape and — TA-DA! — unveiled the newest member of our travel family.
“So honey, meet Pinkie!” I exclaimed with pride. “What do you think?”
He sat there so long I was afraid he might be permanently stuck on pause. Then he said, “Really? There is no way that thing will work for you. Send it back.”
I started to prickle and gave him “the look” which meant “there’s no way that’s gonna happen.”
He then prudently rose muttering, “Whatever,” and retired to the other room.
I figured he just needed a little time to thoroughly examine and get used to my pink prize. So, I left Pinkie sitting on the den floor. After a week of snide remarks I decided that we didn’t need the stress of a full-fledged luggage war, so I put Pinkie in the extra bathroom’s tub and closed the shower curtain. Out of sight, out of mind. I just knew that I hadn’t misjudged the utility and functionality of my wonderful new friend. John was wrong and I was right, it was a simple as that.
The days passed and we prepared for our estate sale, sifted through our stuff and began packing our bags. I stuffed Pinkie to the bulging level and she handled it like a champ…while she was in the tub. It was when I lifted her out and attempted to roll her down the hall that the first signs of “DOH” began to dawn on me. She kept listing to one side, completely flipping over and I had trouble keeping her steady with both of my hands.
Of course John just happened to be standing at the end of the hall and was more than happy to remind me that I had to manage Pinkie, Big Blue and my two carry-ons all by myself. He also emphasized that he would have his own stuff to keep up with and couldn’t look after mine.
Grrrr! I knew that.
“I got it, I got it!” I retorted. “I’ll manage just fine. I just need to repack and readjust!”
He kept it going by cautioning that we were going to an island, which included a ride on a ferry that had stairs.
I gave him “the look” again. And, he shut up.
We stayed at my parents’ house during the estate sale and the final cleanup of our house. Luggage issues were mostly forgotten as we enjoyed visiting with family, took care of final arrangements and got our ducks lined up for the transformation that was about to happen in our lives.
But, my luggage fairy godmother never appeared to transform Pinkie into a Louis Vuitton Luxury Trunk, so I started our new life with “baggage” that was not working for me and never would.
And John, being the wise man that he is, refrained from saying, “I told you so.”
To be continued…
2017, House Sitting, Travel Tips
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