MSP: The Packing List – The Return

Dear Internet,

When I wrote up my packing list for my trip to MSP, I was surprised to find many others were also into minimalist packing.   In 2014, either TheHusband and I or myself and a few girlfriends, are planning a trip to UK/EU for a few weeks. These packing run throughs are perfect practice to prep for those trip(s) as I never ever want to have a 67lb bag snapping at my ankles again.

Notes from MSP

When I flew to MSP on the morning of March 19th, Grand Rapids was being kissed by a blizzard. This changed my shoe options as originally I was going to go with a pair of wellies and pack my Docs in the carry on. Instead, I busted out the winter boots I had just bought for next year and wore those instead. The catch with the winter boots is they require me to sit down and untie several rows to slip off whereas  I could just slip the wellies off while standing with little trouble. I walked around in my socks quite a bit for this trips.

However, getting through TSA was awesome! Flying through GRR has the big advantage of short TSA lines and easy drop off/pick up. Even with the swapping of wellies to snow boots, I merely used five bins to unpack my laptop, iPad, boots, belt, coat, and bags to push through the scanner. From drop off to gate was completed in under 10 minutes. The bag fit perfectly in the overhead compartment and the messenger slide with ease under the seat before takeoff and could be easily reachable after.

Upon arrival to MSP, not having to pick up luggage at the luggage carousel when we landed was startling at first because this is what I was so used to doing. After getting over myself in a few seconds, I was out of the airport and into a cab in short order.

Here are additional thoughts on the process:

  • The 3D Organizer Cube was not quite big enough to host all the items that fit into a quart plastic bag. TheHusband kept insisting that as the cube is wider and has more depth (plus it was designed with TSA in mind for the 3-1-1 purpose), it should hold the exact same amount as the quart plastic bag I grabbed from our kitchen and measured. He was wrong. I opted then to use the 3D Organizer Cube to hold random toiletries such as tissue, wipes, and eyebrow scissors and kept the quart bag for the pure liquids, such as shampoo, body soap, conditioner and etc.
  • Make up bag was carried in my messenger bag, such as it was my purse for the trip and there was no qualms either in MSP or GRR going through TSA. But I’ve heard make up is hit or miss depending on what airport and TSA agent you get. Your mileage may vary.
  • What to put in the quart bag became the question of the ages and didn’t leave me with a lot of options for mixing, primarily with the fact I use three separate lotions (face, hand, body) and could only take one. I opted for body, which didn’t work well for my face. I need to reconfigure this bag.
    • Pete unrecommended the often told recommendation of scouting out local places to go to buy toiletries when you arrive rather than packing them up. And I have to say, I agree. In the US, hotels typically have shampoo, conditioner, body soap, and lotion in the rooms easily available.
  • The  Packing Cube Shoulder Bag was a great idea to use as a smaller purse, while doubling as a packing cube, but I never got around to using it as a bag. I did like the idea of using it for unmentionables for packing which then the cube could be re-used to store dirty laundry.
  • I left my wallet behind and put my cards and cash in the teal clutch, which worked great and was less bulky (and streamlined two items into one). This was also helpful when going out in the evening, I only had to grab the clutch and go. I also left behind the sunglasses, since it was not going to be particularly sunny in MSP and this saved space as well.
  • I packed two journals (one for personal, one for work) and my pencil-case. I <3 my pencil-case  but I only needed a few pens, pencils, and my good fountain pen and sharpie or two and a flash drive. Leaving the case behind would free up more space. I could also leave one of the journals behind.
  • I like the messenger bag quite a bit and some of the smaller pockets on the outside were perfect for packing up small cords, ear buds, and other small items. For some reason, I really miss the fact there is a giant zipped inside pocket. Now granted, this area would be where I would put the smaller things just mentioned but I like having a large zipped pocket to keep things safe(r).
  • Should have brought a paper book with me, which I’ll do next time. While the flight is short, much of the time was spent with no electronics in effect for take off and landing, and I should have brought a book with me. I picked one up at MSP airport on my way out-of-town and now will be packing a book with me with all travel.

It took a single flight for me to fall in love with the new to me concept of traveling minimally.   Overall, I feel this was super successful experiment.

x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 20041996

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: April 20, 2013

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.

 

Dear Internet,

I’m back from conferencing and my laptop is also out of the shop. Work is ramped up as the semester draws to a close and my juggling balls are still up in the air. I feel like after graduation date, when we start calming down inside the library, I can finally begin to breathe.

I’m adding a new section to the rotation list (Reading, Watching, Listening, Writing, Links) called Reviews. I’ve gotten enough requests on Twitter for how I/we use/like things I mention, trying to contain it all in 140 characters is tough.

Reading

I finished my second book of the year: I Am Half Sick of Shadows, which I had started reading when I went to LibTechConf last month. FINALLY. I’m not close to being on track to finishing a book a week, but, it’s something. Fingers crossed this can get ramped up in the next few months.

Watching

  • DaVinci’s Demons
    I am not sure what to make of this series, nor is TheHusband. In fact, 15 minutes in the first episode and he was on his tablet reading ESPN he was so bored. The time period, costuming, art direction are all totally up my alley but I have to agree with TheHusband on this show – it’s not keeping me engaged. Sometimes, you need to give a series a few episodes before making a full commitment.
  • Justified
    We started watching this a few weeks back but I didn’t get an opportunity to get this listed. Now streaming on AIV (free for Prime), this has become the staple show to watch after our DVR has been emptied. From episode 1, we’ve been hooked. And personally? I’ve got a bit of a crush on Boyd Crowder.
  • Mad Men
    Two hour premier kicked off last week and you know, it was the same shit, different day. The most exciting thing was Betty finally growing her metaphorical balls to reject the patriarchy. I just cannot get into this show any more nor do I care. It’s the sixth season, and the seventh one will be the last, thank the fates. This has jumped the shark.
  • Nurse Jackie, The Borgias, and Veep
    5th, 3rd, 2nd season premiers and meh, meh, and vaguely funny.

Weekly watching: Doctor WhoGame of ThronesVikings, The Vampire Diaries, ElementaryThe Americans, and Project Runway.

Links

Reviews

Sodastream
If TheHusband and I have any shared vices, it would be sparkle water. We love the stuff. Pellegrino for him, Ice Mountain flavored for me. In the state of Michigan, soda, beer, and sparkle water bottles have a 10 cent deposit on them on top of the price. It was getting to the point that we were buying between 6-12 cases a month of water, 24 bottles per case, so we had bags of bottles and cans growing in our kitchen to redeem for the deposit we paid.  The last, and final, batch of bottles/cans we took to redeem for the deposit totaled $16. The week before, it was $12.

Grand Rapids tap water is fine (actually, it’s quite tasty), but the fizz in bottled water that gets us. The mountain of empties to return, the growing cost per month of our water addiction, plus the environmental impact was taking its toll. We needed to find a solution where we could get the sparkle water, without having the growing bags of returns, and have it on demand. Getting a soda maker/carbonator was the obvious solution and after much research,   we found the highest rated  and reviewed was Sodastream.

Bottom line: we love it.

Our initial investment was $80 for the Fountain Jet, which included a 60L carbonator,  1L reusable bottle, and a sample pack of soda flavors. Within a few days, we loved it so much we purchased a twin pack of 1L bottles and a twin pack of 1/2L bottles (total of four bottles + the original) via Amazon. Each twin pack was roughly $20, so our total investment is now $120. While most of the sample sodas were okay, we were in it just to carbonate our water and less about making soda, though TheHusband found just by adding splashes of lemon or lime juice after the carbonation is tasty.

It took us a month of getting through the 60L carbonator, which costs us $15 to exchange at a local hardware store (Sodastream has a list of places you can exchange carbonators and buy new). A new carbonator is $30. We decided to keep an extra carbonator on hand in case we run out and we can’t immediately get an exchange set up.

So previously we were spending easily $125  on sparkle water a month. After our initial investment recoups in the first month plus, our monthly outlay will be $15 or so to do the monthly exchange of the carbonator. We have five bottles (3 1L and 2 1/2L), which we rotate through the day. The bottles are reusable and have a “use by date,” so we’re not stressing the make of the bottles and the bottles are recyclable.

$15 dollars a month compared to $125? Yeah, we can dig it.

What have you read/watched/listened to this week?

x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2012

Edited April 20, 2013 at 11:26AM

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: April 13, 2013

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.

 

Dear Internet,

Writing

The Lisa Chronicles

Watching

Weekly watching: Game of ThronesVikings, The Vampire Diaries, House of LiesElementarySpartacusThe AmericansArcher, and Project Runway.

What have you read/watched/listened to this week?

x0x0,
Lisa

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