Monday, July 28, 2014

How I Pack for A Weekend...This IS NOT a Public Service

You have all seen them. Those color-coordinated pictures of stacks of clothing under the heading 'How To Pack for a Wedding Weekend' or 'How to Pack for a Weekend Getaway' or (my personal favorite) 'How to Pack Two Weeks Worth of Clothes in ONE Carry One Bag'.

You want to know how I pack for a weekend?

yes, it does look like a pile of laundry, what's your point?

Yup. This is pretty much what the stack of clothing looks like as I prepare to shove it into my bag for a weekend or a week. One of nearly everything I own; two of each comfy t-shirt.The time frame makes very little difference.
Perhaps it has to do with the weather fluctuations here on the Coast of Illinois. This past weekend the temp went from 97 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity of 233% to a lovely 69 degrees and -78% humidity.
It is impossible to NOT project this weather psychosis onto every destination on Priceline.
Perhaps it has to do with the waistline fluctuations of the 50 something female.
Or the mood fluctuations.
(Which is reportedly more deadly than straight-line winds brought on by the Polar Vortex responsible for our recent temperature change.)

Whatever the cause, I have never been an efficient packer. So, armed with a Pintrest Board of packing tips, I gave 'How to Pack For a Quick Trip to Chicago in May' a try.
This is what I took:
I just don't get the cardigan with everything. Yet I give it a try.

We were in the Windy City for ONE night. The Midwest was experiencing a temperate May. Chicago is only five short cornfield filled hours away from the Coast of Illinois. I wore the jeans and white blouse on the drive up. Comfy and chic for the stop at the airport, stylish for the train ride into the loop.
Bravery from the very beginning.
And then it began to rain.
My 'evening outfit' was to be the orange dress, strappy sandals and if need be, the grey cardigan.
The cardigan looked dumpy but it was too chilly to go without it.
It was too wet for the strappy sandals and I am not hip enough to pull off slip-on tennis shoes with a dress.
I finally wore the white blouse and jeans. Did I mention I had to cuff the bottoms to hide the high water mark from the walk to the hotel?
The concierge took pity on my when I asked 'where can we get dinner...dressed like this...' and set up a reservation at one of the nicer McDonalds.

Six weeks later I found myself again studying packing how-tos for a two night trip to Canada. Fool me once... I KNEW Canada was up north. And I learned my lessons from Chicago.
Here is how I packed:
Again with the cardigan. Like you really need a cardigan if it is warm enough for shorts. In fact, when I was a kid,  wearing long sleeves with shorts was a sure sign that the wearer was...on drugs! not fashion forward.

I wore jeans and a cotton shirt up. Comfortable in the car with the AC blasting. AND – this added a piece to layer should those winds of November come early. My plan was to wear the shorts and kicky cardigan for site seeing, change into the tropical dress for the Trop-Rock concert and dinner and have a spare t-shirt and cardi for the ride home.

Ontario, Canada's average summer temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit which is around 21 degrees Celsius.
The day we were there it was 98.

I prespired through two separate outfits, including a change of underwear.
I had to air out my tropical dress before wearing it to the concert. I didn't even unpack the cardigan.

On our walk to dinner it rained. Actually, it monsooned.
And the temperature promptly dropped back to 10 degrees...Fahrenheit.

I give up.
I have one more trip this year. (BTW-this many trips in one year are rare. The last time I had three trips in a year was back in 2000 when, thanks to friends with condos and an insane grade school teacher who thought it would be a 'great learning experience' to take 80 middle schoolers to Alabama, we took the family skiing, to space camp and to the Gulf of Mexico.)
This final trip is to the Caribbean where my weather app shows the temperature a balmy 82 degrees Fahrenheit, EVERY DAY EVEN WHEN IT RAINS.
According to Pintrest and my husband, all I need to pack are swim suits and a couple beachy dresses.

Sorry Caribbean. You are going to get snow.

(And have you noticed, these 'how to' boards NEVER show shoes or underwear. Do the travelers just not wear shoes or underwear? Do they only wear ONE pair of each? Based upon the number of 'fabu shoe' and 'fancy undies' boards I highly doubt that. STOP LYING TO ME PINTREST!)


  1. Lol! Ahhh Pinterest....I do have a love-hate relationship with that one. They show you all the pretty stuff, then you end up wanting more, only to find out it's not really that doable. Grrrrr.... But anyway, as for your packing woes, sorry to hear about the weather 'bloopers' but the weather has really been screwing with us, hasn't it? Maybe this is why I always over pack which makes travelling a pain for me. *sigh* Good luck in the future though!

    1. I know exactly what you mean about Pinterest, Joy. Yet still, I return! As to the next trip...I believe what I need is a bigger suitcase.


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