Monday, August 3, 2009

California here I come!

After much deliberation, careful planning, re-planning, canceling those plans and making new plans, the BF and I have decided to embark on a long, arduous journey of enlightenment and self discovery. Well, not really. In actuality we have decided to drive to California to visit my family for a few weeks (it probably will be kind of arduous, but whatever...).

Whenever I am preparing for a trip, I always make a detailed packing list tailored specifically for the adventure ahead. This trip that we are taking will have 4 main elements involved. Those elements are as follows:

-General social gatherings

These 4 activities all have very specific packing requirements. One of the reasons we decided to drive instead of fly was to allow ourselves the luxury of bringing our road bikes to California with us. These day it costs about $150 to check a bike on a plane, and that is if you are incredibly lucky with the weight and surcharges of your particular airline. This cost does not include the stress and inconvenience of having to lug an enormous bike box around in an airport. Been there, done that, not looking forward to repeating it. So the bikes will be on the roof rack on the drive to CA.

The camping aspect of the trip will primarily take place on the drive to and from CA. At 17 hours, this trip is nothing to scoff at. And if you are a weeny like me, you definitely do not want to drive 16 hours in one go. This would entail all the camping gear be easily accessible in the car. It will be much more important to be able to find my headlamp than my hairdryer when pulling up to a sketch-ball campsite at 3am in the middle of nowhere (note to self, don't forget headlamp).

The beach is fairly easy to pack for: Bikini, towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, done. Let's hit the sand.

Now for the social aspect of the trip. As i will be visiting many friends I have not seen in a while, it is important that I make an excellent impression. The general idea being that I look fit and happy, and that we have a blast doing whatever. It is hard for me let loose and have fun if I feel severely under or over-dressed for the occasion. This means a variety of outfits must be packed, including, but not limited to: bonfire-wear, club-wear, restaurant-wear, party-wear, hiking-wear, chillin-wear, etc. Many of these items will be able to cross over, but forgetting any one thing could be very inconvenient.

The most important thing to remember is your wallet with valid ID, money, and a credit card. If everything above is forgotten, anything essential can be purchased. I'm going to California, not the African rain forest, jeez. Remember this simple exersize to help anyone avoid Pre-trip "Oh my god, I know i forgot something" Panic Syndrome:

Think: What am I really doing on this trip? If you forget to take your Italian leather boots spelunking, does it really matter?
Look: What do I have on me right now? If you have the clothes you are wearing, comfy shoes, some money and an ID, you can get out of almost any scrape in this fine country of ours. A cellphone makes it even easier. If you are leaving the country, add passport to that list, and you're good to go.
Relax: Take a deep breath. Hysterical panic avoided. Bon Voyage!

So now that I have a detailed checklist, have mapped out my activities and planned for every possible situation, I will probably just wait until the last mimutet and throw a bunch of stuff in a duffle bag. Awesome.

As long as I have my bikini, wallet, and sunglasses, it's going to be a good trip. :)

Till next time....

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