After months of planning, re-planning, making cancellations, and planning yet again, the first day of The Vacation is almost here, which of course means my adrenal glands are pumping out their nerve-rattling juices in full force.


As is the nature of our wonderful world these days, the first worry is “Will my airplane be turned into a Tube of Death.” I’m pretty good about ignoring this one. Actually, I fear union workers more than terrorists. Seriously, it just takes one lazy worker (who probably should have been fired months ago, but the union won’t allow it) thinking it’s not in his job description to tighten a bolt when it’s the first thing listed in his job description and, yep, Tube of Death.


Of course, don’t forget the hassle of even getting on the plane. Cramming shampoos and lotions and lip glosses into a tiny plastic bag, hoping I can find that tiny plastic bag when the person in the security line behind me is acting as if it’s specifically MY fault that we now have to go through this screening process, getting huffy with me for properly laying my (very few) items in the bins, only to see her filling five bins with her crap. Seriously people, none of us like the security line and giving me attitude for following procedure is NOT going to make the line go any faster.


Ah but wait, Mr. Husband and I now have Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check which means we supposedly don’t have to display our lotions and gels to all the world. I say supposedly because there is still a chance that I may have forgotten to enter our Global Entry numbers in our flight info and, even if I did, there’s the very likely (from the horror stories on the Interwebs) chance that our boarding passes won’t get the TSA Pre-Check stamp…which puts me back in line in front of Miss Huffy. Sigh.

Then, with my like, I’ll probably get Miss Huffy in the seat in front of me and she’ll have to lean her seat ALL the way back. What jackass engineer thought reclining seats in coach were a good idea? You’ve already got barely enough space to move only to end up with  someone’s product-crusted hair in your face for nine hours. WTF?


And then once through the song and dance of security and assuming the plane stays in the air, there’s the connection we have to make at Schiphol in Amsterdam. We only have a squidge more than an hour for the connection, which is a concern, but I’m more concerned with the quandary of whether I’m going to have to haul out my sack o’liquids again for display to an international audience.

By the way, in case you haven’t noticed, I REALLY hate the whole 3-1-1 thing. Besides, we all know in the back of our minds that it takes only a droplet of neurotoxin to kill off an entire plane, so the knowledge that everyone has been limited to several 3-ounce bottles of liquid doesn’t ease my mind.


But wait, let me back up, I haven’t even gone into the nerve-wracking ordeal of packing. Sure sure, there’s the clothing question of “What will make me look LEAST like an American?” But after several trips to Europe I already know that even if I pack ten outfits, I’ll end up only wearing two of them over and over, so there’s no need to overpack.

This was the Practice Pack, I actually ended up with more room than this in the Final Pack.
This was the Practice Pack, I actually ended up with more room than this in the Final Pack.

No, the real packing worry for me is which books do I want to keep me entertained in the Tube of Death, which art supplies do I want to take with me (and then be too exhausted to make any use of despite my dreams of being one of those people sketching a scene while lingering at a cafe or piazza), and will the games I have on my iPad work offline? Important stuff, you know?

Still, this self-induced nerve fest is something I put myself through before each trip and we’ve rarely had any hitches getting to our destination or with having everything we needed once we got there.

Actually, it’s the return trips that end up being the ordeal. Oh no, here comes another dose of adrenal juice.

Finn McSpool is packed and ready to go!
Finn McSpool is packed and ready to go!

Have a great couple of weeks everyone! I would promise to post a bit while I’m gone, but I would SO be lying to you. Instead, I’ll catch you up when I get back.  I will however be posting pics now and then on social media during The Vacation, so join me there if you don’t want to wait.

Ooh, and I’d love to know what your biggest travel pet peeves are, so please spill your laments into the comments below!

By the way, yes I have a house sitter for the entire time we are gone and yes that house sitter has a dog. Our house also has ZERO privacy from the neighbors’ prying eyes. Fair warning to any thieves out there.

9 thoughts on “It’s Almost Here…Bring on the Nerves!

  1. Erk, bit late to the party here… But bon voyage! Hope you have a great vacation, and that Finn doesn’t wreak too much havoc on continental Europe. I could also quite cheerfully punch the clown who thought reclining seats would make travelling in coach more luxurious… On my last flight back from the US, I witnessed two strangers bickering over whether one of them should be allowed to squish the other by reclining their seat. That same flight also found me in the central block of seats on a 747, beside one of the most obese people I’ve ever seen. That was a looooong ten hours. I actually don’t mind airports though… But it is about 2 years since I last flew anywhere, so maybe I’m seeing them through rose-tinted glasses! Here’s wishing you safe travels, with thoroughly secured bolts, speedy security lines and no children in the row behind kicking your seat for the entire journey!

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    1. Airports really aren’t that bad once you get through the security song and dance…unless you get trapped for several hours in an airport where everything has shut down – the Ontario, California, airport has to be the most boring place on the planet to wait for a flight. Talk about No Man’s land. Then of course there’s waiting at the gate and mentally selecting the people you hope you don’t get seated next to. And then the morons who line up WAY before their row has been called – I’ve never understood what they’re in a rush for. To sit in an uncomfortable seat even longer? WTF?

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      1. Ha! That’s right… Maybe they’re used to flying budget in Europe, where one of the “frills” they deny you is an assigned seat. The scramble sometimes reminds me of the joys of getting on the school bus back in the day! I was actually pretty surprised by the Spartan nature of LAX, now that you mention it… A couple of years ago, my friend and I made the mistake of going through security early, thinking we’d get coffee on the other side. There was NOTHING on the other side, not even a convenience store!

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      2. THAT is ther worst because you know you don’t want to have to face the shoe-liquids-X-ray ordeal again. There should be some sort of warning like “Once you pass these gates, you will be bored and hungry.” Or just “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” The Portland airport is great…lots of shops, lots of food, and of course lots of beer and the places (supposedly) aren’t allowed to charge more than what they charge in their locations around town.

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