Ah, the week before ye olde yearly vacation. A time of glorious anticipation, of methodical preparation...of staggering around in circles like the proverbial headless chicken. A sampling of the mayhem: Don't forget the passports! (Retrieved from the fireproof box.) Do everyone's bathing suits fit? (Excursion to Target to replace as necessary.) What about TSA-approved-size toiletries? (Dang it, another Target run.) Oh, and reef-safe sunscreen....and Deet-free bug spray! (Let me just pause here to bless Amazon to the moon and back, for saving me a third jaunt to the T-zone.) But, #@$%*--after Riley came home with his vicious...seashell wound...it seemed like a wise idea to purchase water shoes to protect our tender toes from such future occurrences. (Siiighhhh...at this point, it's fortunate that I actually LIKE the T-store-that-shall-not-be-named...)
Then of course there are myriad details like "instruct the post office to hold the mail while we're away", "download (cheap but hopefully entertaining) books to the Kindle to enjoy while on airplanes" (and also at the BEACH, of course--keeping the ultimate goal in mind...might keep me from losing my mind? Fingers crossed...), and "print travel documents that there could be any chance we need to access, since potentially spotty international WiFi might make them unretrievable on my phone, later". You know, tiny, insignificant stuff, yeah? Ha!
Hmm, what else? Right: PACKING! Also known as "cramming all of the aforementioned items...along with some others...into bags that we can tote onto the plane, since we try our darnedest not to check anything when we fly". The Male Trio naturally takes all of approximately 10 minutes to arrange their suitcases (with room to spare, mind you...), while I find myself having to carefully, thoughtfully--over the course of several days--fold and tuck things into every square inch of mine. What with the extra personal care items (because I'm a GIRL...one who apparently requires products...), to the gluten-free/vegan snacks I have to bring along so I don't starve while en route, to the laptop and big-ass camera (Yes, an honest-to-goodness Nikon. So I'm old school--sue me!) for chronicling our adventures. When I'm done, the thing might very well weigh 50 pounds...but it closes...and it fits in the overhead compartment, so I'm gonna go ahead and call that a win, I guess.
Thankfully, I believe we're down to the final steps at this point, which involve #1: charging every device that's coming with us. #2: making sure we use up all the perishables from the fridge--even if this means some...unusual...meals on the last day (No juice boxes--drink the milk! Cereal will keep, so make a sandwich with the bread and lunchmeat! Throw every vegetable in the crisper into a salad! I don't care how it tastes, just DO IT! Says the semi-crazed Vacation Police...um..."Mom"...).
Next, #3 clearing the laundry and dishwasher, for obvious sanitary reasons (the only trick being to have this taken care of before bedtime, which will be a bit earlier than usual tonight, as we're being forced to rise at the unholy hour of...4:15...A. Freakin'. M...to leave for the airport. (But that's tomorrow's post...that is, if I'm ever awake enough to actually formulate it...perhaps after a(n already) planned infusion of coffee during our layover in Ft. Lauderdale...you have to stay on top of these things, y'all. See, that's how you can recognize a veteran globe-trotter. OR my rambling may just be a symptom of the pre-getaway stress by now...whatever...it's almost time to turn in, anyway, thank goodness...)
And finally, #4: prepping the house for departure, as in "closing the blinds to keep the heat out as much as possible", "emptying wastebaskets", "taking out the garbage and countertop compost bin", blah blah blah. You know, all the last-minute-non-fun-chores that have to be addressed before the awesomeness...of an-11-ish-hour transit day...can be embraced. So, whoo hoo! Get ready for Team WestEnders, Belize, 'cuz here we (eventually) come!