Right now I'm enjoying a tasty baby spinach and sun dried tomato salad. Mmm. I had some fun with my students the other day when I was eating some sun dried tomato halves in the hallway. They asked what I was eating. I told them it was hearts. They freaked. They were very good in class that day. :)
I did make a few packing mistakes the last time I went on a transatlantic trip. It would be more pleasant not to repeat them -- not that they caused much difficulty that time -- but it would be better to not have to deal with certain minor annoyances.
The first problem was dealing with a nasty open wound on my back that had me terrified Customs agents or the TSA would prevent me from traveling if they knew. I'm sure they can do that, but it was only as serious as sunburn blisters. A lot of sunburn blisters. Big ones that kept rupturing every time I shifted my shoulders, because it was in the middle of my back, between my shoulder blades. I couldn't reach it on my own.
I had to bring antibiotic cream for that, as well as a long spatula to apply it, gauze pads to cover the area under my shirt (I unfolded it and wore it like a cape to absorb any ickiness), and bandages to stick the "cape" to my shoulders under my clothes. So this time, no blistering trip to Hilton Head during which I fail to use enough sunblock and stupidly fail to shower the saltwater off my sunburn upon leaving the beach. At least not before going to Ireland. I wouldn't have time for it anyway.
The second problem was not organizing my "personal item" bag better. I used my EF Tours backpack, which was quite a dark cavern inside. Anytime I needed anything, I had to tumble things around inside to find it. It needed interior pockets. My new bag has interior pockets all around the inside, because I added them myself. It doesn't add any more space, of course; it simply allows me to put things out of the way and be better organized. It's actually close to being a duffel bag, but it can be cinched smaller when it's not full. Maybe the flight attendants will mistake it for a purse after I put some of those items in my jacket pockets.
A third problem was waiting until a couple of days before the trip to really get started packing. Well, I'd just gotten back from Georgia, so I had to repack and wash clothes. Then I couldn't decide exactly where to put my stuff. I stayed up all night before leaving on my trip and didn't get a wink of sleep until the hour-long flight to Miami. Then the cabin pressure messed with my sunburn blisters and I discovered that fluid was incredibly itchy. Ew. Itching on a place so raw you can't do anything at all to scratch. It's maddening. Today I've been making decisions on the most sensible places to stash certain items, so that I don't have to decide later. I've also started pre-filling stuff I know I'll need: cotton swabs, cotton balls, hairspray.
This time I'm adding a travel curling iron and travel hair dryer to my suitcase, almost against my will. I don't want to deal with them, but my hair looked AWFUL in Italy. Only one of our three hotels provided a hair dryer, and even that didn't help when my hair needed to be curled out of my face. It wasn't long enough for a ponytail. All the hairpins I had weren't enough. It's barely long enough on the sides for one now, but I intend to not look tacky the entire trip.
I'm also getting some compression socks, because of the extremely swollen ankles I had for half of the last trip. My shin compression sleeves were not enough. Let's face it, I'm that age. I've got health issues.
Add to that a couple of pretty silk scarves, and even though I'm not exactly stylish, the scarves will dress up what I'm wearing just a bit. Last time my clothes looked awful. I didn't mean for them to, but I looked like I shopped at Wal-Mart, even wearing the clothes that didn't come from there. Lol. No shorts this time. Mine didn't suit me and they weren't comfortable. I felt like a middle-aged woman trying to look like a young woman again. Though the shorts were okay for all that heat, they just didn't work otherwise.
I'm not taking my "travel" purse. It branded me a tourist and was pretty tacky. I'm just taking a crossbody 31 purse that will better blend in with my clothes, instead of dragging my backpack with me as well. I won't have to hang it up or let it get in the way of my feet on the bus. I'll just wear it. Besides, it's cute. :).
I am taking some tiny-squish nylon shopping bags with me, though, because I know shopping bags aren't provided in Wales and other places, and I can put a lot of smaller shopping bags inside without danger of fall-through, like my handmade mesh bags had. I love my mesh bags, but they occasionally break threads (because I use my Mom's vintage crochet thread to make them) and I don't want to deal with repairs on this trip. I think I'd rather spend time looking out the bus windows this time than staring at a craft project. :)