Initially, after reading all the suggestion blogs and in talking to friends, we had intended on packing 1-2 weeks before we left. However, in reality, we don’t own enough clothes to do that. So we set aside the things that we intended on packing and have them stacked on top of the suitcases and in the corners. Did I mention that it is really hard to pack for winter in August?
We did accomplish:
- Buying new suitcases – Our old suitcases fell apart on the trip out west. The wheels crumbled into plastic dust. So we are the proud new owners of 2 suitcases that are the largest size available for international flights, a hardside suitcase for bringing gifts to and from, and a Tote-a-ton duffel. We hope to fold up the Tote-a-ton and only use it on the way back…but right now we haven’t finished packing.
- Buying gifts for people we meet or that help me out with research while I am there – It is tricky buying gifts. Everyone I talked to from previous programs hit the tourist shops in their city….Um we have a Stuckey’s in Hattiesburg, but I have NO IDEA where to buy touristy MS things. We had to think out of the box. We have a lot of food things. 🙂 Because, really, eating is what we do best.
- Swag from every college/university we have connections with – We got pencils and koozies and funeral fans (not from actual funerals, but good Southern folk will know what I mean by that) and lots of swag to give to students who are interviewed/are in the classes I meet. Let’s spread goodwill. Who knows? We may end up with some students who come to MS! I like to be a walking billboard anyway that MS isn’t as bad as we are made out to be.
- An entire traveling medicine cabinet – We literally walked through CVS and picked up anything we have ever taken or given our kids. I don’t keep medicine and, at the moment, I only had 3/4 used bottles of things. We pulled everything out of the paper boxes, but included the directions if they weren’t on the bottle and prescriptions, if necessary. Then bagged it all in ziplocks.
- About 20 Amazon packages in the last 10 days – I made last Friday my personal last day to order. I think we have finished up receiving almost everything. We may miss Amazon Prime just a little.
So, we have done things. There was a moment this weekend that Dan teasingly suggested that he could pack after he left school Wednesday. He got pinched and then he had to go buy me a Cherry Limeade (because it was Sonic Happy Hour) to bring my blood pressure back down. He has promised to pack by Monday night at the latest…
Our flight leaves Wednesday at 5:50 pm. We will go to Atlanta. Then we leave from Atlanta to Amsterdam. We have a whole afternoon/evening in Amsterdam that Dan has concocted a plan for. Then on to Tel Aviv. After arriving Friday morning early, we will travel to Jerusalem and stay there almost a week to go to orientation and get settled. The kids are thrilled. They are a little upset that I’m making them go to school on Wednesday, but I need something for them to do without being under my feet. I’m the only one not working on Wednesday which means that all my school things have to be gathered up before I leave Tuesday afternoon (i.e. – letters sent home, sub plans finished, keys turned in).
It is getting close. Really, really close. All the preparation in the world would not be enough but it will have to do.