Traveling Light with Kathleen.

Okay. So. I recently returned from a vacation. And by vacation I mean “Ooh! Look! There’s a brown sign! Maybe it’s vaguely historical! Let’s go see it! I don’t care that I’ve only had three hours of sleep since June 10th! Is there a gift shop? Because I have three square inches in which to place my feet for the eight-hundred mile trip home, and we could totally fill that with something!”

And by recently returned I mean, “Washed most of the clothes but have accomplished nothing else except contemplated making red velvet cupcakes because I have a strange fixation with them all of a sudden* but then decided eh, I’d rather be hungry than roll off my bed where I collapsed on Sunday and from which I have yet to move.”

Anyway, I have some pearls of wisdom for you. I’m not known for packing light. This time,  however, I really tried. I knew it was going to be tight, and I knew it was going to be a long time. So I organized my outfits, and figured out exactly what I needed. How smart was I?

Uh…turns out not so much. Because I used about 1/8th of what I brought along.

So. Here’s a list of Things That You Really Don’t Need to Bring Along with You if You’re Going to be Traveling the East Coast with Rabid History People Who Don’t Take Time to Breathe Much Less Manicure.**

Three sweatshirts. Okay. This one was just dumb. Now, granted, no one had any idea (including the locals) that walking outside in the morning was going to be like being smacked in the face with a poker recently pulled from the flame. That was wet. And soggy. But still, it was June. In the south. I definitely did not need three. And then I bought one. I lost ten pounds of water weight through sweating, but dammit, I dragged FOUR SWEATSHIRTS home.

In my defense, I did wear one once, when we did an evening tour. But I probably did not need my ugly cozy one in case I wanted to be cozy and my cute UWM one in case I wanted to be cute and my Ireland one because it zips and is more like a jacket and what if I wanted a jacket? I would totally need that! NO YOU FOOL. YOU DON’T.

Clothes you know you aren’t going to wear. Okay. Again with the “fairly obvious.” I made a list of outfits. I assigned them to days. I even had a few extra t-shirts in case something got ripped or dirty because God knows they don’t have stores in Williamsburg or D.C. what is this capitalism? Fool. But then…I packed about eight outfits I knew I wasn’t planning on wearing? For no reason? I mean, I love my green dress with the little studdy things around the neckline. But NOWHERE was it on the list.

Every cardigan you own because you are totally going to “mix and match”! No, no you aren’t. First of all, it’s 115 degrees out. In the shade. Second, you are going to grab the first thing you touch in the morning and if it’s the same thing as the day before well, no one knows you here.

I mean, you’re eating soft-serve out of a travel much. Wearing a t-shirt for two days in not the most embarrassing thing.

A bag of shoes. I love shoes. You know this. But this was just ridiculous. I wore one pair of shoes the whole time because they were comfy.

Oh wait, I wore heels when I went to Mass on Sundays. And then took them right off again. But I think Jesus probably would have been okay with my sandals for a few weekends. Really only two, because the first one we went to a Mass of anticipation and I was a hot mess after roaming all over Asheville for the day. I felt kind of badly about that. Especially because people in the south still dress up for church like Baptists or something. Like, hats. And my gross sweaty “London” t-shirt wasn’t cutting it.

So two pairs. That’s really all I needed. I brought boots, y’all. BOOTS. Those would have required long pants. Which…wasn’t going to happen. You’re all lucky there were pants at all.

Long pants, for that matter. Okay, I wore jeans twice, I think. But I really, really did not need four pairs. REALLY NOT.

But, I mean, I needed something to go with the boots I was totally going to wear.

Nail polish. Yes. In all of that free time, I was going to do my nails. In three colors, apparently.

Pumice stone. This is something that, in theory, you should bring along. Because we walked a freaking ton and by Sunday my feet looked like something out of a horror movie.

But you aren’t going to use it. Because it would involve contortions and way too much time in a hotel shower and God, do you know what other people have been in there? EWW GROSS DO NOT WANT.

Perfume. Yeah. I dragged along a full 3.4 oz of Burberry Brit. Because that’s totally going to last through the first three minutes in 112-degree heat.

A bag full of hair accessories. I required exactly one (1) hair accessory. SOMETHING TO GET THIS DAMN MANE OFF MY FREAKING NECK IT’S SO DAMN HOT JUST KILL ME ALREADY.

Ten books. I read a lot. And I did read a few books on this trip, actually. Three, I think. But ten? Are you freaking kidding me?

And, in my defense, I always left them in the car.

Pudding. I also dragged along like four containers of those individual pudding things. Because I totally wasn’t going to want to eat fast food all the time, no sir!

Uh. Yes. I was.

Conversely, there is a List of Things You Should Bring Along But Don’t.

Band Aids. That would make way too much sense. You can steal them from your sister when you massacre your feet the one day you attempt to wear real shoes.

A hat. I should have realized that, at some point, the sun would probably shine.

Liquor. Lots of it.

*I’d waste so much money on pregnancy tests if I were a slut.

**No offense, I’m one of them too.


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