Monday, 12 November 2007

A look inside the ex-pat's suitcase

I think you could safely say I'm flipping out about traveling on Thursday. Alone. on the plane. with a 17 month old. in the midst of strikes. I've read tips on how to travel with a tot and how to survive. This is great link, including little known information about not sitting in the back of the plane because that's where the criminals go...

I have a bassinet reserved for Suzanne even though I know she won't fit in it and wouldn't sleep in it even if she did fit. But hey, Air France wouldn't give me a bulkhead seat otherwise. I've been to the doctor's to get drugs to make Suzanne sleep the whole flight. I'm even thinking of going to the pharmacy to get something even stronger just in case the first option doesn't work because how am I going to survive the trip if she doesn't sleep?

I'm a pack ahead kind of person, thinking about what I'm going to pack weeks ahead, making sure it's clean the week prior and not wearing it to avoid last minute laundry. And piling everything in a corner of a room so I can weed through it and keep he essentials. And with the great exchange rate, who needs to pack heavy? My obsessive tendencies are amplified by the looming strikes .

For me:
sweat pants and tshirt to be worn on plane and that double as pajamas upon arrival, pair of jeans and Target awaits me for more, 2 tshirts with more shirts to be bought during US shopping frenzy, 1 pair of shoes with more to come, 1 jacket with raincoat trench to be purchased at outlets, 1 skirt maybe not necessary since will surely buy more at various outlets or Target, 2 pairs socks + 1 pair stockings and will borrow mother's as usual, 2 days worth of undergarments and more to come from Century 21, 1 set of running clothes sans t-shirt since have left some at parents, no running shoes since they were ordered and delivered to parents' before arrival, no books, music or any other type of entertainment since it's too heavy, no toiletries except contact lenses since CVS and Whole Foods are calling to me already...

of chocolate, 1 pack of gifts : 1 bottle of champagne, 2 bottles of red wine, 2 bottles of Faro (special beer), 10 tablettesstroopwaffels, 2 packs of Belgian waffles, 1 pack of rhubarb yogurt for mom, 1 container of blue cheese that I hope to get through customs, 1 box of marron glacé, gifts for various friends' babies

For Suzanne:
a dozen books including Richard Scarry's "A Day at the Airport" and Lucy Cousins' "How Will You Get there Maisy?" and random lift-the-flap books, a toy airplane (picture above, cute isn't it?), set of bristle blocks, stuffed animal and pacifier, bottle, various snacks, crayons, animal shaped markers and coloring books, stickers, a wooden puzzle with pieces attached with a complex network of string and duct tape, baby sleeping medicine, baby motion sickness suppositories, earplugs, and a picture of Papa.... all in Ziploc bags. And this is just the carry on not including essentials like diapers and wipes and an extra set of clothes...

Note: I have not included a single thing in the carry on for myself except headache medicine.

5 days worth of clothes, 2 pairs of pajamas, a sleep sack, night light, the chicken and lamb from her bed, pair of shoes in case she decides to up and walk for real, no extra diapers or wipes since they will be purchased there, no toys since they are awaiting us at grandma's, no car seat or crib as one has been lent to grandparents, and parents found highchair in garbage around town...

And the all, distributed evenly between a rolling suitcase and a huge backpack specially calculated to have enough space for the return trip.

Sounds awful, huh? I'm open for advice if anyone has it as well as heavy drinking upon arrival.

4 comments:

The Late Bloomer said...

You are such a great, organized planner! I'm sure everything is going to fall into place, but I feel for you having to travel during the strikes... With some luck, hopefully things will have improved at least a bit by Thursday. I hate the fact that we are completely facing the unknown and that those striking literally hold the country "in hostage" so to speak... I still don't know how I'm going to get to and from work all this week -- I'm hesitating between staying at a friend's place for a couple nights or cycling in to the office. But we live in the Western suburbs! My boyfriend did the cycling thing last month, but I just don't know if I can -- besides, I'm not sure how safe it is, particularly at night. I'm just not keen on the idea... ARGH, I swear, why do they have to put us through this?!

Good luck on the traveling -- my thoughts are with you and little Suzanne! Sounds to me like you've thought of everything, but I'm unfortunately not very good with advice in this arena -- I always forget something!

L said...

My boyfriend has gotten French sausisson (the good, dry-cured ham that's never been cooked) through Customs twice. He put it in a paper bag (rather than plastic to keep it from getting goey), and then well surrounded in his carry-on. The dog with a customs official didn't sniff it out. Maybe he just didn't know what it was. We figured there was a better chance hand carrying it than in the suitcase, and then just lied of course that we didn't have any meat. If you wrap up the blue cheese well enough, I'm sure you'll get it through. You could try to pass it off as diaper odors as a last resort...

Reb said...

Late Bloomer, not sure if I'm organized or obsessive.

L, thanks for the visit (I don't think you've posted here before).
I did manage to bring back two of FRance's stinkiest cheeses a couple Thanksgivings ago. I got sniffed by the dogs but the fact that I'd had an apple in my bag in the plane was enough of an excuse. I'm not sure I should risk it again.

Deb said...

You sound like you have it all covered. Suzanne should have quite a bit to keep her occupied!

It's cute that you are bringing a pic of your hubby for her. I don't think I would have thought of that!

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