The Mariners Go to Ireland May 2011 travel blog

Big Wheelie

Bling Bag

Lotions and Potions Sack

Sheer brilliance or complete poppycock?

First, let me say this is not an infomercial for any sort of packing gear. It is more the ramblings of an insomniac planning a trip.

We’re two weeks from leaving for Ireland. First, let me say this is not an infomercial for any sort of packing gear. It is more the ramblings of an insomniac planning a trip.

We’re two weeks from leaving for Ireland.

For those not updated, I’ve hit a run of luck these days regarding travels. With the flurry of votes for an Earth Day photo contest last spring, I won a trip to St. Thomas, USVI. We took the trip just this past March. Great time. I would have done a travel journal for that trip, but I didn’t know about this site, the place we stayed had no free wi-fi, and I was, it seems, in a moderate state of stoned the entire time. Legally and by prescription. Who knew antibiotics could make you feel that way?? Well, my sister, and I should have talked to her, but I didn’t, and I’m sorry. It didn’t impead my ability to have a good time (it wasn’t the woohoo stoned kind of stoned, I seriously could have slept the whole time) or enjoy all the cool stuff we did. I digress… ANYWAY… Shortly after winning that contest, I received an email informing me I’d won a sweepstakes grand prize. What? Just by signing up for a newsletter, I won a trip for two to Ireland.

I know, I know. Crazy. I won’t even mention the Telluride thing.

Now begins the packing phase of our trip. Historically my packing consisted of grabbing the nearest bag (most usually a backpack), throwing in 4 tee-shirts, a pair of jeans, my toothbrush, and all the clean socks I could find. Often this packing was performed 20 minutes prior to my departing for the trip. This method was employed for a weekend stay with friends, or a three week camping trip, or a few months in Europe. That is correct: I wandered around Europe with a backpack holding all my socks and little else. For months.

In all fairness, I did pack an actual suitcase when I went to South Africa. I didn’t know how long I’d be there and I was quite convinced that they would have no clothes that I would like. I was lead to understand that a pair of Levi’s cost upwards of a bajillion American dollars. Had that been true, I’d have sold mine right in the damn airport and walked out in an over-sized tee-shirt. As I have no South African arrest record, you can only assume the rumors were unfounded.

But I digress. Again. Now I’m a grown up and have six or more tee-shirts and more than two pair of shoes. Not to mention the camera equipment. That has a bag of its own which is purple and amazing and I love it. Somewhere along the way I secured a suitcase or two. One is big enough to handle a week in NJ and even be considered carry-on sized (it really isn’t, but I’ve seen bigger get hauled on and stuffed in the over-head bins). The other one, that I never use, is Big Wheelie, my wheeled drop bottom duffle bag. Why do I never use it? It is HUGE. It just makes the cut-off size for International checked baggage. I bought it some time ago thinking of all the cool places I’d take it… which so far consists of the guest room and the basement. But Big Wheelie is going to Ireland. I’ve included a picture so you can all revel in its glory.

Here’s the trouble with Big Wheelie. It is VERY easy to stuff it full of stuff and go sailing right over the weight limits. I have this secret fear I will pack only 4 tee-shirts, a pair of jeans, my toothbrush, and all the clean socks I can find in an effort to not go over the weight restrictions. Other than that stuff and several pair of Converse All-Star sneakers, what else could I need? Kidding. My mother will be proud, I have a LIST. A packing list. A list of things to pack. Further, I have bags to go IN my bag. I have become the czar of a Russian Doll like system of packing.

Now I would like you to meet a few other old friends first.

My yellow toiletry bag is awesome. If you have one this awesome, you understand, if you don’t, well, your shampoo lives in an inferior sack during travels and you should upgrade immediately if not sooner. This bag will go into Big Wheelie. They’ve never traveled together before but I suspect they’ll be good friends.

Now my bling bag (holds my rubies and emeralds) and my to-die-for adorable make-up bag which has green and purple spots, shall go in my carry-on bag. That’s just good sense.

Why yes, I do realize what I’m talking about and don’t worry I’ve not been a victim of body-snatching or brain washing. From time to time I have a girlie side… and she likes to pack. I don’t let her out much as she is often really annoying.

But here’s the dilemma. Have you heard of these things?

Packing cubes. They are bags you pack inside your bags. What voodoo madness IS this? Is it marketing fodder for the obsessive compulsives, or truly the next step in ending the mass chaos that has historically been my packing style? Has anyone used these things? Please let me know. They are actually decent priced and kind of make sense. There is physically no way they save on space (I mean, hello…) but I can see how they might keep things from crashing about, and also be easier to retrieve. I welcome all opinions. And the clock is ticking. What DO I do? Oh curse you, curse you.

Lastly, while I will try my level best to provide frequent updates, I don’t think I’ll be uploading a lot of pictures for this blog. First of all, I must always edit and pick and chose and agonize. It is a laborious process before I release a half blurry picture of what you can only imagine is a sheep’s ass (by request I might add but not for what you’re thinking, good grief what is WRONG with you??). Also, this travel site is a bit wonky and I’m not sure how many I can upload in a 30 day period before they come and take all my worldly possessions for the privilege of using their file loading tool or whatever. Shut up travel journal blog people.

Anyway, if you signed up for updates and now realize you’ve made a HUGE mistake, let me know and I’ll see if I can figure out how to stop the updates from going to you. How hard could that be? Or at best, ignore the emails.

However, if you can’t pass a test about our trip when we’re back, you don’t get any souvenirs! Kidding. You’re not getting any in the first place. I might go over the weight limit on my luggage and I’ve simply got to buy a tee-shirt or two.

Much love,


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