I Heart Indies

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Packing for Panama

The RAV4 T-One Hour (Nearly packed.)  Notice
bag strapped to roof.
Nancy and I are spending the week at the Redneck Riviera, ie Panama City Beach, with the extended family - Nancy's brother and sister, brother and sister-in-law, parents, our daughter Spencer, and her boyfriend Glenn.  Nancy's sister went down the day before to help her mother pack.  "You should have seen," Donna wrote in an email, "she had enough laid out for a month."
"Scoff, scoff," Nancy and I scoffed.  "How foolish.  Imagine thinking you needed that much for a simple trip t to the beach.  Senior citizens are so comical."
Seen en route in Quiznos parking lot.
We aren't the worst.

We didn't have time to write a witty rejoinder to Donna's email because we were still in the process of packing our own stuff.  Luckily, Spencer had already driven down with Glenn and taken the bicycles, or I don't think we'd have had room for it all.  As it was, we had to put the overflow in a bag on top.  The thing is, everything we brought was absolutely essential.  "Should we bring the onions?"  "Yeah, go ahead."  "There's not room in the cooler."  "Well, get the other cooler.  That way we'll have room for the mozzarella, too."  (This is, by the way, a verbatim exchange.)  In the bag on top we have the beach chairs, un-inflated floats, and beach toys such as paddles for a kind of beach paddle-ball, etc.  The beach toys are in absolutely pristine shape in spite of being at least a decade old.  Not because we've taken such good care of them, but because to my knowledge, they've never once been played with.  They've gone to the beach every year for a decade, but gotten no closer to the water than the big bag on top of our vehicle.  In many ways packing is actually the highlight of the trip, (Look at all the fun we're prepared to have) followed closely by unpacking, repacking, and un-repacking.  Our efforts at packing took approximately three days.  A day for all the materials to begin staging themselves in the bedroom and living room, another day to get themselves into more or less prepacked bundles, and a final day to get into the back of and on top of the car, along with last minute detritus such as cellphones, ipods, computers, cameras, ipad, gin, vermouth, olives, cocktail shaker.  One last check to make sure there absolutely anything else we might want.  By this time we did not have enough in the trunk to last a month.  We had enough to equip Caesar's army for the invasion of Gaul, assuming Caesar had any use for chaise lounges and beach balls.  We planned to leave at 5:00 AM sharp on Saturday morning.  We left at 6:30.  Not bad.
We were ten miles down the interstate before we realized we'd forgotten something.

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