Friday, April 13, 2007

travel tips 3

What? More tips? Yes, I am a know-it-all and I like to share. Here are some tips that I forgot in 1 & 2.

1.) Wear as little make-up as possible, especially on long flights.
2.) Pack disposable moistened clothes in your purse or carry-on. That way when you land you can refresh your face and then put make-up on if you have to. This is again, more useful on longer flights.
3.) Do not wear perfume, colonge or after-shave when flying. Share this tip with the teen-aged males in your life. Passing someone who has showered in their perfume or colonge is gross enough, imagine being cooped up for hours on end in a flying sardine can with no fresh air. Pass the air-sick bag please.
4.) When traveling with a child, even on a short flight, be sure to pack snacks and assorted things to amuse them like books or games (video or travel versions) or ipods. It will help keep them from getting bored which means they will be less likely to annoy their fellow travelers. Flying makes a lot of people nervous and generally speaking they are less tolerant of natural child-like behavior than they normally would be. Also, it will give the kids something to do in the terminal which will keep them from wandering off.
5.) If you are a nervous flyer pack something to distract yourself as well. No, I don't mean booze!
6.) If you are on vacation pack a journal of some kind. Even if you aren't a writer you can at least jot down where you went and what you did. For example: Tuesday, went to the MOMA and had lunch in their cafe. Hated all of the art. Dinner tonight will be at the Russian Tea Room. (I don't hate all of the art in the MOMA, I've actually never been and don't even know if they have a cafe. I was just trying to illustrate a point. Stop your criticism.) This will help you to jog your memory when talking about your trip or when scrapbooking your photos. Or even just adding captions to your photos in an album, online or otherwise.
7.)Other items that are a good idea to pack are a raincoat (especially if you are traveling in Spring or going someplace known for crazy weather), slippers (I have pair of Isotoners that look like ballet flats. They pack well, weigh almost nothing, feel good, and keep my bare feet off questionable carpets.), Band-aids (I know, the company doesn't want their name used to refer to all of these types of things, but what on earth do you call them? Adhesive strips? That sounds like tape.), anti-biotic ointment (like Neosporin) and moleskin. Walking a lot, no matter how comfy your shoes are, often leads to blisters. These three items will save the day.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

diverging from my theme

I was at the store today and came face to face with the Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, and this wave of depression hit me. I don't know which bothered me more, the feeling that it was unattainable, or the knowledge that those pastel covered cakes that graced the cover would taste terrible. Fondant is not my tastebud's friend.

The 50 states!

Per Nomad's request:
I have visited the following states: Virignia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and Massachusetts. My top ten of the remaining states that I would like to visit are:
1. Hawaii. My cousin lives there and I haven't seen her in what feels like forever. Plus, it is very different from all of the places I have visited. And I would love to see black sand.
2. Arizona. I have wanted to see the Grand Canyon in person for years, and I haven't seen any of the southwest.
3. New York. Not just to see NYC and do all of those touristy things, but also to head to Albany county and poke around cemeteries looking for my dead realtives.
4. Missouri. Two cities interest me, the first being St. Louis, and the second being Kansas City. The first is the gateway to the west, while the second is home to Hallmark's headquarters. And supposedly they have good barbeque. I'm always up for a taste test.
5. South Dakota. Yes, even though they won't let you climb on it a la Cary Grant in North by Northwest I still want to see Mt. Rushmore.
6. Oregon. Specifically Portland, to go to the Beverly Cleary Museum and to pose with the Ramona statue.
7. Kentucky. This makes the top ten because one of the things on my life list is to see the Kentucky Derby live.
8.New Mexico. They have a hot air balloon expo/fair/showcase thing every year. And for some reason I want to ride in one. I'd probably freak out, but I can at least say I did it.
9.Vermont. Home of Ben & Jerry's and the Montpelier Chocolate Company profiled in Candyfreak. Yum!
10.Indiana. To see Peyton Manning play at home! Swoon. Go Colts!

Of course, just because it's not in my top ten doesn't mean I don't want to go there. Barring any major disasters I will get to go to the ACRL conference in Seattle in 2009, and maybe even to the ALA conference in Anaheim in 2008. Although, So. Cal. is not my preferred destination, I wish it was in San Francisco instead. Oh well.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Places I would like to go

There are so many places I would like to go that I thought about restricting myself to a top ten, but that proved to be too difficult, so instead I will try and be brief.
I would love to visit all 50 states, so far I've only covered 12. I don't count them if I've only driven through, or had a layover there. However, I am having a bit of trouble thinking of specifically where to go in each state. Once again the trip must be more than fleeting.
I'd also like to visit D.C. and do the whole touristy bit. I grew up in Northern Virginia and I sort of took the place for granted.
Canada! I'd love to visit Prince Edward Island (oh the thrill I got when as a child I discovered that the setting of Anne of Green Gables was a real place), Quebec (especially the Old Town), Victoria (my sister went there for her honeymoon and it's beautiful) and there is this marvelous cross-country train trip that I day dream about from time to time. I don't think our neighbor to the north gets enough interest.
Europe: my list is jam packed! Iceland, Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Greece, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, and Switzerland are all on my list. I've been lucky enough to visit France and the UK already, and while I would love to return to those places and see the things I didn't get a chance to see (and there are many), I would also love to increase my list of visited countries.
New Zealand and Australia also rate highly, but the airfare alone is cost prohibitive. In truth, I think I would want to see New Zealand more than Australia, mainly because of the sheer number of things that live in Australia that can kill you. Check out the locales of the deadliest snakes and spiders and see how many in the top ten live there! Not to mention poisonous coral and jellyfish, as well as assorted other examples of wildlife that can seriously wound or kill you. Read In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson if you don't believe me.
Barbados, Bermuda, Puerto Rico. I'm not as keen on the Carribbean nations for some reason. Maybe because I sunburn. Maybe because of hurricanes. I don't know.

If I was braver I'd also include China, Russia, Egypt, Brazil, Peru, and South Africa on my list. I guess they are on the list, just farther down the line of possibilities. Now, if I could teleport in and see what I wanted to see and then teleport out that would be another story.

Monday, April 9, 2007


Souvenirs are tricky things. You want something to commemorate your journey, but you don't want to end up with a bunch of useless junk, or with things so cumbersome that they won't go in your bags. Here are some of my best ideas of what to purchase.
Postcards: not only can they be used in scrapbooks, but they can also be framed or you can get really crafty and use self-adhesive magnetic sheets and turn them into magnets. This generally works best with the shaped postcards.
Tee-shirts: not only are they a fun souvenirs but they will also work as cushions for more fragile items. You can always buy small or extra small shirts and turn them into pillows, either tee-shirt shaped or any other shape by cutting up the shirt.
Jewelry: small and generally light this souvenior will travel well. It can also break the budget if you aren't careful. Be choosy and only buy stuff you, or the gift recipient, will actually wear.
Magnets: My sister and I both collect these and it is always fun to add to a collection. These are easy to find and not outrageously priced. They will also serve a function which adds to their appeal.
Tea Towels: You're probably thinking, what the? But once again they are useful items that will travel well. Aprons are another fun idea, but only if you are a cook or know someone who is.
Edibles: Avoid anything that is packaged in glass because of the added weight and the likelihood of breakage. These are quite fun to bring back but they are consumable and thus shouldn't be the only thing you bring home with you. Plus, the more you bring the greater your chances of having to deal with duties.

Bet you thought I would suggest books huh? As tempting as they can be, (I'm still kicking myself for not buying the English to Pirate phrase book in Bath, England last summer), they are bulky and weigh a lot. If it isn't something you can typically get in your home country, without paying outrageous shipping, go ahead and buy it. But be forewarned, you may have to pay extra to get your checked bag home.
If you are driving to your destination then the types of souvenirs you can safely bring home increases exponentially. Just make sure to leave enough room for the passengers.