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That’s All?

27 Jun

When a dear friend dropped us at the airport for our giant tour of Europe he couldn’t help but comment on our luggage.  Or rather the lack of it.  We both had a bag that converted from a cross-body duffle bag into a backpack.  I also had a purse that could hold an iPad, if needed.  That was it.  The Mister had been badgered into this plan after months of enthusiastic encouraging from me.  I had packed this way when visiting in 1992 with my parents and sister.  I knew that we could get by easily with what we were bringing.

It helps if you arEuropeDeparturee sharing toiletry items with someone.  One tube of toothpaste, one bar of soap, etc.  It also helps if you make a trip to a post office during your trip and send extra stuff home via slow boat.  It’s not expensive unless you have a language barrier and use express by accident.  I was able to send all the bits of paper and souvenirs and clothes home instead of carrying them.  This was especially handy since I brought clothes that were perfect for the trip but made me feel as stylish as a nun.

My favorite quote about packing light is from my travel guru, Rick Steves: “You’ll never meet a traveler who, after five trips, brags: ‘Every year I pack heavier.’ ”  When we were in Hawaii we rented a car and that meant we could take rolling bags.  I’m not opposed to rolling bags, I promise.  But getting them up and down stairs, into and out of boats, train cars, taxis and buses takes the spontaneity out of pretty much everything.  You can check them or hope to slug them in a locker but these options aren’t always available.  I also find that with a rolling bag I pack too much because I can.

At the end of our Hawaii trip, the Mister realized that we would never make our connection in LA.  I had made the flight arrangements believing that we would be carrying on, like we always did.  What saved us was a last-minute (as in they were literally locking the doors after we arrived) trip to the post office.  There we put the majority of our crap into two boxes.  Every liquid, every sharp thing, every questionable thing – they all went in the boxes and were shipped home.  We enjoyed a luau and the last night of our trip knowing that we would only have to get our bags and our butts to another plane.  Baggage claim can ruin a connection and, in doing so, ruin the end of a good trip.

As we prepare for our British trip we are still planning on bringing one bag.  There may be a car rental as part of our travel plans but there will also be planes, trains and a whole bunch of tiny staircases.  If you can travel with less you won’t regret it.  I converted the Mister, after all.  There’s hope for us all.

 

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I’m So Excited and I Couldn’t Possibly Hide It

22 Aug

Sometimes I just can’t help getting excited about little things.  It’s probably a good trait to have but it does warrant a lot of knowing smiles from my friends.  You know, the kind where you can hear them thinking “there she goes again!”  I’d hate to let them down so here’s a post about mailing envelopes.

DuPont makes a kind of quasi paper called Tyvek.  This stuff is awesome.  It weighs what paper does but it is water-resistant, tear-resistant and it’s recyclable.  I bought a pack at Office Max today.  They aren’t cheap at $12.99 for five but they are perfect for the job.  And what is the job?  I’m glad you asked.  Or I’m glad that I’m pretending you asked because that will help me transition into the next paragraph.

I think this pictures says "if you don't love Tyvek envelopes then you're a stinky dog hater", what do you think?

When I travel I like to keep ticket stubs and other paper bits with me.  The folders will come in handy since they are both tough and super light.  They can hold all the stuff we collect and even serve as a mailing pouch should I go nuts with my scrap-keeping.  I hope I won’t but there is something to be said in favor of free souvenirs that are flat that sometimes has me going a bit overboard. 

The only problem is that since we might be mailing these suckers home I don’t feel like I can color on them.  But they are big and white and begging for doodles.  Quick, someone get me a drink.  It’s going to be long night.

Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Fan

18 Aug

Back when I was in sixth grade I got hit by a car.  It was totally my fault as I was jaywalking.  When the ambulance came to make sure I was okay (I was), there were only two things on my mind: my underwear and swimming.  My underwear was white with purple unicorns and the EMT was a cute guy.  When he examined my lower back I remembered the old addage about wearing clean underwear in case this kind of situation should occur, I mentally added the suggestion that the underwear should also be appropriate for cute EMT guys.  The swimming thoughts were there because we were staying at a hotel that night and I had finally been allowed to start shaving for the event.

This is not the Mister, FYI.

I say that I was allowed to start because Mom had pretty much forbid it until then.  She warned me that I’d have the whole rest of my life to shave and that once I started there would be no turning back.  Even at that young age, I knew that what she was saying was true but I couldn’t help wanting what I wanted.  It’s pretty sad how predictable that whole being a pre-teen is.  Your parents tell you what you should be doing, you listen and then go out and do the opposite only to learn that they were right.  Then, of course, wash, rinse and repeat.

Today, you’ll be happy to know, that I still shave.  I also still do things that my parents have advised me against with about the same results.  Shaving isn’t any fun.  If you’re a guy there’s all that razor burn.  If you’re a lady there is typically some masochistic form of yoga happening as the shower attempts to wash off the foam you needed a sun salutation to apply.  Blargh.

I thought of getting my legs waxed for our trip.  Wouldn’t it be great to forgo shaving for an entire month?  But then I thought about the perenial party pooper, my arm pits.  They weren’t going to take a vacation, so I couldn’t either.  I’d still need a travel shaving solution, preferably one that the Mister and I could both live with.  He’s pretty easy in this regard because he’s happy to shave with lotion or conditioner.  They have that stuff pretty much anywhere.  Due to the shower calisthenics, I typically need something a little more hardy.  Enter Kiss My Face Moisture Shave in Cool Mint.

This stuff is good.  It smells good, it feels good and it works better than shaving cream.  Never again will I have to buy one of the many tin cans of whatever.  I’m a convert to shaving lotion now.  The shave is so smooth that both times I’ve used it I’ve checked to see if the cover was still on because I couldn’t feel my razor.  When I hop out of the shower I can skip putting lotion on my legs.  And Henry can stop licking it off, thankfully.

Kiss My Face has added a blurb to the front of the package that tells me this size is perfect for travel.  Yes, we can take 3.4 oz on the plane.  I’d rather not because, as I mentioned before, the Mister is happy to use alternatives.  They’ll likely present themselves at hotels along the way.  I know that I’m going to suggest he use lotion or whatevs so we can save up the Moisture Shave and we’re going to return home with a nearly full container, aren’t we?  But kids, there are so many more thorny problems to have.  Like unicorn underwear, for example.

Carry On, My Wayward Whatever

12 Aug

Someone asked me a question about carry on bags the other day.  Strangely enough it was because they wanted to know and not because they like to hear me shoot random facts out my word hole.  So maybe you want to know or maybe you’re killing time waiting for Friday to finally be over so you can get your weekend on.  Either way, let’s boogie.

A carry on bag currently doesn’t have a standard.  And I don’t just mean domestic vs international either.  Carrier to carrier there isn’t a standard about what constitutes a carry on, how big it can be and how much it can weigh.  There are some common attributes so let’s start there before I go into the tailspin I like to call my disclaimer.

This slogan, splashed on posters by the Brits in 1939, makes just as much sense now as it did in 1939. Especially for your luggage.

Most domestic airlines have a requirement of 45 linear inches or less.  To figure out your bag’s linear inches, add the length, height and width.  A really standard way of getting to 45″ is 22″ x 14″ x 9″.  If you’re bag shopping, most manufacturers refer to these standard bags as a 22″ bag.  There are two big caveats with this whole 45″ business.  First off, the manufacturers measuring your bag might not be so good at math.  Most of them measure the inside of your bag.  So they are assuming that the pockets on the outside, the wheels and the frame aren’t included.  That’s just poppycock, people.  It’s not like you bought a bag with those things not to use them but they typically aren’t included when measured by the people selling them.

Another thing to know about the old 45″ rule is that not everyone follows it.  Some go a bit bigger, true.  But most go smaller, especially international carriers.  And if you’re hopping on one of those budget European airlines, sister, you better not have anything approaching 45″ unless you like checking your stuff… and paying more for checking your bag than your ticket cost in the first place.  And for once, I’m not exaggerating.

Always, always, always check with your carrier on the allowable size of carry on.  It is on their website and I remember it use to be on the paper ticket but I haven’t seen one of those in donkey’s years.  Also check with your carrier about allowable weight.  Most airlines aren’t checking this but don’t think for a moment that they aren’t thinking about it.  A serious conversation is being had about weighing passengers with their carry ons to see if any additional charges should be levied.  Fun.  And again, international carriers are much more strict about weight limitations and they will make you check. 

If you have a soft sided piece of luggage then you have a little wiggle room (pun intended, I guess) as far as getting it in the overhead bin.  That only goes so far because if you’ve overpacked the sucker the advantage is gone.  If you’re concerned about a carry on’s weight you can wear some of the extra on board.  Throw your digital camera in your pocket, wear your heaviest clothes and shoes, put your toiletries in your underwear.  As Tim Gunn is known to say, “make it work”. 

I’ll leave you here with two wise sayings from my Momo (mother’s mother in Swedish).  She said when you are traveling not to worry about your hair too much because you’ll never see these people again.  I have, unfortunately, applied this theory to my hair, traveling or not, but it’s still good advice.  The second bit of wisdom is that you should always take what you want but want what you take.  Meaning, if you really need to have a hair dryer the size of your last car then remember that there are drawbacks along with the warm fuzzy feeling of having your own stuff with you.  Just make your decision and be happy with it, basically.  And then come into the kitchen, I’ll make you some leftovers.

Shut. Up.

9 Aug

I'm still waiting for the day when Steve Madden will make heels this good convert into flats. And I'm going to keep on waiting. Sigh.

OMG, I used to love me some What Not to Wear.  I’d watch Stacy and Clinton dish out help to the needy.  But I watched too many episodes.  I soon started yelling mean things about skinny jeans and glitter eye shadow without provocation.  I had to go through detox.  I may not watch the show anymore but I still remember all that they taught me.  While I’m sure that they’d both cringe at most things American travelers wear, I thought that I’d pick the ones that the overachievers.  And in a world where some have turned up at fancy restaurants in Paris wearing sweat pants, I’d say that there are a bunch of candidates, for sure.

Neither/Nor

Convertible pants, people.  Even devotees know that they are ugly.  I don’t own any so I’m not sure about comfort.  I do know that unless you are hiking or doing other outdoors activities you likely won’t need to go from pant to shorts in the same day.  They don’t look like dress pants and many of them are pretty heavy due to the hardwear that makes them go.  If you’re toting along lightweight pants and a pair of shorts it’s easy enough to put your spare in your day bag.  They are a great idea but I haven’t seen a company that executes on them.  Please feel free to prove me wrong here.  I want to believe.

Where Did It All Go Wrong

A bunch of travel and outdoor gear manufacturers had a great idea.  They started marketing shirts that look like dress shirts but are made of lighter weight material and less prone to wrinkling.  They would quick dry and so worked for those who sweat and those who do laundry in the their hotel.  Bueno!  Then it went horribly wrong.  Sometimes a good idea can go too far.  Some of these shirts now look like they are made out of your tent or have enough pockets to store an entire picnic.  If you’re getting a travel shirt of this variety sit yourself down and have a little talk.  What do you need?  Sun protection, pockets, easy care, etc.  Then just meet those needs.  No single shirt is going to make your life the easy-flowing dream.  You won’t automatically wake up with a valet and an assistant to organize your life.  That said, taken as they are, these shirts are really great.  North Face, ExOfficio, REI and Columbia have a good selection.

If you really want to see a designer who has jumped ship follow this link to meet the ScottEVest.  They make a sports coat with 26 pockets.  And the vest with 22 holds your iPad.  That’s one way to avoid checking your luggage, I guess.

Things Aren’t Working Out

Sweat pants are pretty rare for most travelers to try to pass off as casual wear but athletic shoes aren’t.  They make perfect sense for travel because they are comfy and you’re going to be doing a lot of walking.  It maybe wouldn’t be so bad if they were bright white but many are, making them hard to ignore.  Europeans totally don’t get our attachment to them but I’m not a fan of eating horse, so let’s agree to disagree. 

If you want to get sneakers that are a tad more stealth there are so many brands out there making it easy.  Sketchers, Mephisto, Keen, Simple, Clarks.  Do a search for walking shoe and check out the options.  And maybe lay off the walk fit idea.  If you’re traveling you’re going to be walking enough.  And your butt looks rockin’, by the way.

***

I could go on but just this once… I won’t.  At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you look disheveled or geeky or just plain clueless.  I spent a good deal of our ’92 trip covered in ill-fitting Levi’s, giant marshmallow-like Nikes, an over-designed Lands End jacket and a really happy expression.  Get your hair done up like Carrot Top, who cares?  Whatever else you’re doing, you’re still on vacation.  After all, that mesh tank top that shows off your muscles probably packs like a dream.

Brusha Brusha Brusha

4 Aug

Packing a toothbrush for travel is a good idea.  If this is a new concept to you then you’re the chain-smoking, coffee-drinker who sat next to me on a Delta flight out of Phoenix.  If you do brush, please read on. Once you decide to continue that fantastic dental hygiene routine you’ve got going while traveling you might wonder how best to accomplish this. Or you might find you’re in Cleveland without a toothbrush and happy as a clam about it, I don’t judge. The point is that there are a bunch of people out there who have put way more thought into this than I have. And instead of you yawning through their opinions, I thought that I’d sum up the biggies here for you. Your pearly whites are thanks enough.

Yes, that's a deer holding toothbrushes and paste. And if I had it, it would complete me.

Take a Travel Toothbrush
They are, after all, for travel. Some fold in half, the brush going into the handle. Others have the handle double as a container for the brush. There is also a new trend in toothbrushes where you carry along a small case that sterilizes the toothbrush after each use, if that’s your thing. I kiss my dog on the nose. I think you know which party I’m in. They all have different benefits and drawbacks, many of which involve a handle that feels temporary.

Take Your Everyday Toothbrush
Why not? You know it works. It’s already been in your mouth. Why bother with purchasing more stuff when you got that whole stuff thing nailed? You can buy covers for it too. These range from the cover over just the brush to a case that holds the whole thing… and possibly shoots UV rays through it to get it kleen. Apparently it’s not enough that we’re cleaning our teeth, we must also clean the brush. I’m not their target market, obviously.

Take a Regular Toothbrush with Modifications
Some ultra light travel blogs, and especially those for backpacking, recommend chopping the handle off your brush or at least most of it. There are also recommendations for toothbrushes that slide on your finger. Some are more similar to brushes and others are much closer to those grip stickers you put on your bathtub. I may poo poo the idea of cleaning your toothbrush during a trip but I’m not sure I’m on board with the finger brush. I’ve run into many an occasion on the road where I was brushing my teeth without a sink, using a bottle of water. Even with the use of a Wet Wipe and a prayer, I’m still not sure I”d want my mitts in my mouth.

Take Another Toothbrush
What I’ve done for the Mister and I is to go out and find eco-friendly toothbrushes at the local co-op. Why? They weigh less than the standard, overly-complicated toothbrush that we currently love. Co-ops are really great places to find stuff for travel as the goal is often to use less. That’s where I picked up our tooth powder and some solid shampoo. Be careful that whatever you’re picking up fits the bill. For example, don’t buy a zip top baggie that’s meant to keep your electronic doodads safe when it’s meant to biodegrade.

Don’t Take a Toothbrush

Maybe you’ve gotten use to relying on Colgate Wisps, the one use toothbrush with the toothpaste bead in the center. Or maybe you like to rub meat on your gums before you hit the hay. So be it. Remember, that unless you’re going to a place where people more closely resemble jack o’ lanterns than Vanna White, they’re gonna have what you need anyway. And maybe getting a Turkish toothbrush is why you left the house today.

Pack It Up, Pack It In

29 Jul

When it’s time to get the show on the road there is more than one way to get your junk in the trunk.  After finally finding the bag that’s going to hold all your Dippity Do!, it’s time to pack it.  There’s probably as many methods of packing as there are travelers.  There are pros and cons to them all, of course.  I’m going to highlight the biggies below. 

Packing Cubes

In a bag with no structure it can be good to pack into smaller bags.  If you don’t you may find that your belongings have devolved into a giant mass at the bottom of your bag after the hustle and bustle of modern traveling.  I use the cubes a bunch.  The Mister and I shared a bagon our recent trip to Bismarck.  It helped that I could just grab my cubes out without disturbing the delicate order that is the male packing structure.  It does add a smidgen of weight to your bag.  But I’ve also used a cube to double as an in flight bag and once, in dire need, as a pillow.

This picture is from http://www.independenttraveler.com. Click on the picture and you can find out why they think this bag is a FAIL.

Packing Folders

I have no experience with these suckers but they seem to be in every travel store.  The idea is that you can fold up your wrinkle-prone bits in here and arrive at your destination looking like you have a personal valet.  I’ve heard varying degrees of success on the folders so if this is something that is interesting to you it’s worth checking out.  While the cubes will allow you to pack just about anything in them the folders are a one trick pony.

Ziploc Bags

If they can keep the carrots separate from the green beans in your freezer drawer, imagine what they can do with your undies!  I like to bring a few along on trips.  They come in handy for keeping things organized and even, gasp!, holding food for picnics.  They suit me a bit better on shorter trips or for things that you aren’t going to be using daily as they will eventually fall apart.  The freezer bags last longer.  It’s also fun to put stuff in them, squeeze the air out and then close it up quickly to see how much space you’ve saved.  It’s just not good to rely on this technique unless you have a bunch of back ups.

These plastic baggies also like to slip around quite a bit leading to wrinkles or general disorganization.  They do have the added benefit of being cheap and readily available.  Oh and the TSA crowd likes them because they can see what’s in your bag without having to get too personal.  I’ve even read of light travelers using a bag as a portable washing machine.  You can bet your sweet bippy that I’ll be trying this theory out soon.

The Bundle Method

This seems to be especially popular with the fellas.  I read about it at www.onebag.com, 1bag1world and in the Packing Book by Judith Gilford.  By wrapping larger items of clothing around a central bundle (say, a small packing cube or all your tube socks), you will run into less wrinkles and more happiness.  I don’t like to buy clothes that get wrinkled because I know that this is likely how they will stay.  So I’ve given this method very little thought but if you are not me and you don’t like looking like you slept in your car, you should read up.  The people at Red Oxx, a made in America luggage company, have created a PDF that walks you through the motions.  Or you can read this post where bundle is equated with bliss.

Anything Goes Method

I’d guess that many people fall into this category and if it works for you, keep on truckin’.  My goal is always to travel with a bag that will hold only what I need with a little room for a couple of souvernir t-shirts and postcards of dead people.  The smaller the bag, the easier the whole overhead bin tango is going to be.  If yours is the dance of the checked bag then this maybe doesn’t concern you.  Although, I have to say that if you do like overpacking, you can overpack more by doing it neatly.

The TSA would like it if you packed neatly too because we all know terrorists aren’t tidy.  And it’s easier to see what stuff you have when it’s sorted out.  They have nice pictures on their website with examples of Mary Poppins-type tidy, though I cannot imagine a reason to travel with half as many Marks-A-Lot pens as they have displayed.  Oh, wait.  Now I can.  I’m sure I’m confusing this site with one for an after school special on huffing.

Fork It Over

10 Jul

One of my favorite food memories of all time was gathering the makings of a picnic in Paris.  We bought some fresh strawberries from a local farm then went next door to pick from the many varieties of cheese.  Added to that was a fresh French loaf and a bottle of real sugar Coca-Cola and we were off for a fine picnic.

We have a few picnics planned for our trip, the most notable one being on the amazing green field that’s in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  So I picked up a Light My Fire Spork for each of us.  I’d hate to find we were in our hotel room with an especially messy piece of sachertorte (Austrian specialty of chocolate cake with apricot jam between layers and a thick chocolate frosting – oh, yeah!) and nothing to eat it with.  Though in that situation you know I’m going to use my hands before just brushing my teeth and going to bed.

These sporks work pretty well but I found myself a tiny bit concerned that I might step on it or otherwise render it pointless.  They were so light that they didn’t look all that tough.  I just bumped into the video below and I no longer have any concerns.  Heck, we can use these suckers as a door jamb if we need to!

Hot dang!

Less is More and Also Less

1 Jul

I think we all know what eyedroppers look like so here is a picture of my dog, Henry J Buddy.

I was thinking about this post and planning on naming it “Mule for Hire” but then I worried that people would be contacting me to carry drugs across the border.  And while I realize that I should be glad of an equal opportunity employment offer it’s not something that I would ever be interested.  I may like travel but I also like my vital organs and the freedom to sleep in a bed without a woman named Jimmy telling me I have a pretty mouth.  Though that would certainly be flattering, come to think of it.  I guess it would depend on how she said it.  Because if she didn’t intend it as a threat it would be a mighty fine compliment and who doesn’t like compliments from ladies?

Anyhow, I’m here to talk about packing today.  Not drugs.  Not even packing of drugs.  Just regular going on a trip, putting stuff in a bag, packing.  I read a book called, strangely enough, The Packing Book: Secrets of the Carry-On Traveler by Judith Gilford.  If you’re the sort who likes to read books about packing then you’ve read this already and have taped certain parts of it to your body for reference.  It’s pretty good.  Gilford does get a tad bit detailed about clothing.  And from what she writes I’m pretty sure that she and I don’t wear the same thing.  Not only do I not own a two piece dress, I would be clueless as to where to find one.  And I’d have to buy half the jewelry she suggests as everything I own is plastic or plastic-inspired wonderfulness.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t write a whole post on this book, as per my usual, it’s because I feel like talking about something else.  Blame it on the heat.  It’s 95° in the shade today and I can’t bear to think how hot my car is.  For some reason the high temperatures have got me thinking about eye droppers.

I read this post a few months ago on the Travelite blog and was inspired to put some of our toiletries in eye droppers.  The author makes great points about the suckers saying that they are less prone to leaking and better about dishing the amount you want.  As I’m terribly guilty of doling out an entire bottle of conditioner in one go, these sounded fabulous.  Another post on pretty much the same topic was made here on Brian’s Backpacking Blog.  And from that I found this site which should make the Mister nice and worried.  Pretty soon I’m going to be putting everything into a dropper and labeling it.  I may even use it after I bottle it!

Lately I feel as if I’ve been going to the gym a fair amount.  If you do this too then you will understand when I say that I feel like I’ve been packing for months.  Thanks to this I’ve been finding out what works and what doesn’t as far as travel containers go for long term.  The sample sizes that you buy at CVS are nice but I am hard pressed to get anything out of them.  I’ve had luck with the Go Toob but the Recommender has had trouble with the suction cup variety… and they’re a bit big for some of the things I want to tote along.  A big one, or should I say a dinky one, is perfume.  I know that solid perfume exists but I also know that I haven’t found any that I like enough to use for close to a month.  So itty bitty eyedropper could solve that problem and we could all sleep well tonight!  That is if it’s not too freaking hot.  Blargh.

The Mister Stars in “Winning!”

20 Jun

The Mister taught me that it's good to use a dollar bill to show scale. Oh and it's good not to buy SPF sized for a Smurf.

Two things to share with y’all today.  The first is that I put our packing list up here.  You can find it at the top right of the blog page as “The List” or you can just click this link and do a merry dance (those with pre-existing medical conditions should consult their doctor before dancing, merrily or otherwise.  If you have a history of jig-induced heart, back or neck problems proceed only under medical supervision.  Trip Ahoy! is not liable for any injuries or distruction of property as a result of dancing.).  Enjoy!

The second is that sometimes The Mister is much smarter than me but he loves me anyway.  Thank the fates!  And since you know me so well, here comes the obligatory explanation of why The Mister has moments when his brain is working and mine has gone to watch Sesame Street.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Back when I first started planning our trip I was going a little cuckoo with sites that listed ways to pack lighter and lighter still and pack lighter, you pansy!  I think that I’m getting better now but for a bit there I was judging the merit of everything on our list and arguing with The Mister about whether or not he should really bring jeans because, well, they’re heavy.

Anyway, I decided that we should bring our sunscreen in stick form which is not a bad idea.  You don’t have to get sticky hands to apply as it goes on like deodorant, no worry about it dripping everywhere and you can apply in the wind, should that be the sitch.  But you could also spend the next twenty minutes applying the stuff because it goes on like deodorant.  And though the wind scenario might come up it’s far more likely that we’ll need more free time than the stick SPF will allow us.

When I finally surrendered my stick SPF fantasy, I told the Mister that we would, sadly, be buying our sun protection “over there”.  He replied “well, of course”.  And there you have it.  It took a couple of weeks for this dream to die but it has.  It’s a dead dead dead dream.  If you see the picture here you’ll see that not only did I buy a stick but I bought an itty bitty stick, as if to compound a problem that was already waaaaaay out of hand.  I was thinking about timing myself and seeing exactly how much time I would be wasting if I attempted to cover all exposed bits with Neutrogrena’s Oil-Free Sunblock Stick in Extra Freaking Tiny.  But then there’s useful reporting and then there’s the chance to exaggerate and I think you know where my loyalties lie.  So it took me the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy to get sun-ready, okay?

So let me repeat in case I lost today’s main lesson amongst my babbling.  The Mister, he is wise.  He knows things.  Like he’ll boldly tell you that those Europeans?  Yeah, they gots sunscreen.  And it’s normal people-size.