Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Last Pickle

With 8 weeks to go until departure, we are experiencing a lot of "lasts". Last night at dinner, we ate our last homemade pickle. The jar was the last of our downstairs pantry. We emptied the downstairs freezer a couple of months ago and have been living out of our upstairs freezer since then. It's been a long time since we've not had food stores in the house. It's a whole other way of living. We've stopped buying the two-for deals because we might not be able to eat them before we go. The pantry looks a little bare. Our grocery bill is cheaper, but we have to go more frequently. With much less space available to us in Vietnam, I like to think that we are getting a little practice in before we go.

And, I can see some new family language in the works. When I'm tried and low on patience, "I'm on my last pickle here, people". "Now, THAT is the last pickle!"

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Luggage trial

This past weekend, I got to try out my carry-on luggage. And my travel alarm. And my new Kindle.

Thanks to my friend, Rene, I got to visit Alaska for a long weekend. In addition to spending two days in her excitingly busy K/1 classroom, I got to go on an Audubon cruise (seeing Humpback whales,  a COLONY of stellar sea lions, and all sorts of bird life), and spend a little time with their family in the ER after their daughter, Eliza, scared us all by dropping on the soccer field. Eliza got to clear her lungs as they repositioned her dislocated shoulder - OUCH. It sure sounded painful.

And, I got to try out my travel toys. All in all, it will be just fine. I am disappointed though that the roll-on duffle from LL Bean does not stand up by itself. This I found out in the security line at the Portland Airport. I let go of the bag while trying to get my shoes off for the scanner. Biff - there it went right onto the foot of the person behind me. Whoops. A little hold up there and some eye rolling by the TSA employees. But it fits perfectly into the overhead compartment. Clever positioning will take care of the rest.

The Kindle was purchased after much debate. I do think I am going to be happy to have it. Although it will never replace the sheer joy of holding a book,  it was awfully nice to have many "books" to choose from during my trip. And all in the space of a thin notepad. I was disappointed to discover that, as an electronic device, it does need to be turned off during take-offs and landings. And, I realized, once I got back home, that I should have turned off the wireless capability during the entire flight. Whoops.

I'm glad to have had this trip to practice. My travel skills are a little rusty. Do we still take our shoes off? Hold out the toiletries? Rene had a good laugh - at my expense. One thing is for sure, especially with the kids along and on a longer flight, it will be imperative to pack some food.