Thursday, August 5, 2010

Packing for the South!

Even though I own a lot of clothes, I travel really light. The picture above is what I brought on this two-week trip to South Carolina, plus shoes (below), the fancy dress hanging on the wall (below) and underwear. It fit in a small backpack and a small duffel bag, along with some books and toiletries and various other things that you have to tote around with you all the time.
This came out rather dark, but the heels are only for the wedding I was attending, and they go with the orange and yellow dress. The sandals, Eddie Bauer bronze pointy-toe flats, and small leather Guess purse are all from Unique thrift store on various trips, and I use them constantly.I put everything in the second drawer of this old dresser, which wasn't mine when I had this room as a kid, but is pretty nice. You can also see that my parents now use "my" room as a place to stack tons of books, although a lot of these were mine in high school. The vanity that matches the dresser is also covered in stacks of books, such that the mirrors are barely visible. I bought the dress on the wall for $5 at an antique mall with Jess and her family when they came to visit Chicago. It's vintage 1950s, with its own belt, and I had to take it in a little in the top, but once it's on it has that nice full-skirt silhouette. I realized that I tend to bring the same things on every trip. The black dress makes it a lot, even though my parents have a white dog so it always gets covered in hair. The white-and-red hippie blouse and the pastel-striped blouse have also made it on several summer trips. I remember wearing the turquoise scoopneck t-shirt when I bought the green skirt, at a thrift store in Maine, so I know it made the travel cut before too. The floral dress (worn here as a skirt) I bought at H&M one time when I stopped there with some visiting friends who had a pool in their hotel and I needed a swimsuit in order to swim with them. It was less than $5 and while I generally make a point of not shopping at H&M, it worked then as a swimsuit cover-up and now I wear it as a long skirt (folding down the empire-waist top), a short dress, and a short skirt with a top over it (here). It's kind of skimpy on top, so I've tried to find other ways to wear it when I'm not at the beach or in an insanely hot climate.

Well, I'm in one now! Today the high was 95 and the heat index in the 105-108 range. I wish I was kidding. Thank God, we have air-conditioning. I'm not quite sure how people down here lived before it. I've been tired all the time since I got here; I don't know if it's the unreasonable heat, the lack of a schedule or work, allergies, recovering from an almost-sleepless night and somewhat grueling move right before I left Chicago, or what, but I'm a total sloth.

Here is a crazy post I started to write at 3 am while I was unpacking my apartment and packing for this trip, about a week ago. I didn't post it because it was disjointed, so I've edited a bit:

I'm going home in a few hours to South Carolina to see my family and chill out. Unfortunately it is going to be insanely hot while I'm there. [how prescient of me!] I've got a wedding to attend and the beach to go to, but other than that, I'll probably be mostly hanging around my tiny boring hometown or pestering friends who live in the closest (and still smallish) city.

I try to show some class on the plane in case there's the slightest chance of getting upgraded. I've been bumped up to business class a couple times due to delays and other harrowing snafus, but let me just say that transatlantic business class on Air France is the Best Possible Thing that could ever happen to you. Anyway, I understand that it might have something to do with classy dressing, so I try to look good. This time, of course, I'm going to look insane and tired, since I've been packing and unpacking all day and then packing my bags again. It's also ideal to have something with pockets for stashing your boarding pass and ID and other gunk you might be acquiring while reading magazines standing up or buying overpriced iced coffees.

Fortunately for me, I've got a green a-line knee-length skirt that I wear to work, and some super comfy pointy-toed bronze flats (slip-off and -on footwear is crucial, bonus for avoiding bare feet on airport floors.) Add my new black Zara cardigan I got at a yard sale for $5 recently and I'm set. I'm not sure I can travel without my giant scarf, but I might have to cut the cord. Maybe I'll bring a tiny scarf. Just a little one? [my better judgment actually won out and I didn't bring any scarf at all, realizing I wouldn't use one in this kind of heat where you want as little as possible touching your skin.]

Ugh, gotta dig out earrings... now which box were they in? [I brought 2 pairs of earrings: my old Turkish coins my mom got before I was born, and some pink faceted drops I got at a yard sale after Claire's wedding a few weeks ago. I've also been borrowing from mom.]

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