Packing It In
I like to travel. That is, I like getting out of Los Angeles and visiting other places. The problem is the part about “getting out.” Road trips are fun, but it’s hard to find the time to drive longer distances than between here and my sister’s place in Sacramento.
Today, I had to travel to Denver – and that meant taking an airplane.
I am not afraid of flying. I am, however, afraid of becoming one of those travelers from hell who ends up being walked off the plane by the Air Marshals.
Flying these days means subjecting yourself to one indignity after another, beginning with the airlines’ crazy policy of making you pay for the privilege of bringing a suitcase.
I truly admire people who have the knack for packing everything they need into a little carry-on bag. I have friends who were able to do that for a two-week vacation in London – and it was in the winter, when you need the extra heft of warm clothing.
I have never been able to do that. What if we end up dining someplace fancy? Better pack a dress. And heels. What if it’s really hot? What if it rains? What if we do so much walking that my feet blister and I need different shoes?
And now that I’m older, it’s even worse. I can’t leave town without a bag full of creams and makeup and lotions, all of which are too large to fit in a TSA-approved transparent bag. And don’t get me started on how much tougher it is to dress now that I’m getting hot flashes several times a day. The only way to deal with that is layers of clothing. This takes up more room. Especially when you check the weather and discover that it may snow in Denver this weekend.
Snow? I tossed my daughter’s ski jacket into the suitcase. It’s costing me an extra $25 each way, so I may as well fill it to capacity.
And don’t forget the electronics. Twenty years ago, I didn’t fly with anything that needed to be plugged in. Today, I can’t go anywhere without my cellphone, iPad, camera, camcorder, Fitbit…and all the chargers and cables that go with them. I almost brought a laptop, too. I am praying I’m not sorry I left it at home.
But in the end, despite the hassle of packing and the airport and the lines and the waiting… There’s nothing like getting out of town to break yourself out of a rut. And now that I’m here, I’m happy.
Until Tuesday, when I get to do it all over again to get back home.
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