Although it’s kind of ridiculous to be thinking about packing today, I really can’t help it. We went shopping earlier in the week for the few things we needed (water proof flip flops, athletic shoes that weren’t falling apart) and the things we maybe didn’t (but are so cute), and I’d say we’re pretty well set for Florida.
I just like clothes. Not expensive ones, because I hate wasting money, and I know clothes never last long with me. I am a magnet for food-related disasters. But seasonal, nice, serviceable clothes for around $30. I like those.
And I’ve been looking for a pair of black flats for a year now.
I keep trying to imagine a scenario in which shiny black shoes make sense on a camping trip—even a Florida camping trip—but so fair I got nothing. To and from the airport? Really? No, I admit. Probably not.
But I love this stage of trip planning, when you get to assemble outfits and try on those shorts you haven’t worn in six months and rummage through the closet, daydreaming about warm weather and tennis.
I hate to say I need a vacation, because of course there are lots of people working much harder than I am who don’t get to take vacations. But when I think about the gloominess of March in Michigan, the howling misery of rejection, and the lack of contented loveliness, then yes. We need a vacation.
We also need to pack and unpack and repack for DAYS if that’s what makes us happy. Squeezing every drop of enjoyment out of the process of selecting clothes and (my personal favorite) books for pool side reading.
I love choosing books for trips.
First the brainy, artsy book to make you feel smart. Maybe a collection of poems or a nonfiction zinger. Diary of someone thrilling and dead. A biography. Something like that.
Then the complementary fiction—a semi-frothy thriller or murder mystery or historical drama fest. Something fast-paced and easy, when your brain is slowly shutting off in the sunshine.
And, finally, the back up plan. The special interest book or how-to piece, or maybe sudoku or crossword puzzle book. Maybe a second fiction book, if you’re not 100% sure the first one is a keeper. Or if you’re sure it IS and you’re going to whip through it too fast.
I try not to pack more than 3 books. Sometimes I even succeed.
So far I’ve decided on the 2010 Best American Essays collection for my brainy book (a present from Carl for Valentine’s Day, which I’ve been carefully saving for Florida), and I’m not settled on my fiction yet. I was thinking Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, since I keep hearing good things, but then somebody said it was really disturbing (I believe Silence of the Lambs was mentioned), and I’m not really big on disturbing these days.
So I’m back to flipping through book lists.
I kind of want to read EVERYTHING on this book list from NPR. Juicy, delicious, bite-sized thanks to the letter format. And I’ve been seeing the books on this list (also from NPR) everywhere lately, so those might be good options. I don’t know.
I just know I love this part.