How to pack geeky for a vacation

We left this morning for our trip to Disney World. This was the culmination of a week of frenzied activity, including, but not limited to, untold loads of dishes because I cleaned out the rotter drawer in the bottom of the fridge, arcing the microwave into electrical oblivion, and doing so many loads of wash that we broke the belt on our dryer and blew 2 fuses. In addition, it involved two meetings with doctors and driving an hour one way to see my 83 year old grandma. It also meant packing enough for four people for a week.

This is no mere task for the faint of geeky heart.

Normal people make a packing list that starts with the following: shirts, shorts, socks, underwear, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, brush, medications, sunglasses, sunscreen (but only in a 3 oz package or less, and it must fit into a 1 quart ziploc bag), hat, makeup, deodorant, shoes, swimsuit, and flipflops. Throw in a snack or two for the trip so that you don’t have to eat the gawdawful crap that gets passed off as ‘food’ on airplanes. Plain unsalted rice cakes taste like gourmet meals in comparison, for heaven’s sake. We did lose a jar of peanut butter and a small container of cheese spread. It was over the 3 oz. mark, despite the fact that they’d never been opened. Apparently these 2 items fell under the ‘gels, aerosols, and liquids’ category as determined by the TSA. I’m not entirely sure how you could blow up a plane with an 8 oz. jar of Jif peanut butter and a 4 oz. container of Bucky Badger Bacon Cheddar spread, but I’m sure some creative chemist could come up with something. Never underestimate American ingenuity–we are the people who brought Desperate Housewives to the airwaves, after all.

Anyway, the Geeky Packing List ends with the items listed above, almost as if they’re afterthoughts to The Really Important Things, which are, of course, electronic devices. Our packing list started with these items:
All 3 Nintendo DS lites, including carrying cases, earbuds, games (LOTS of games), rechargers, and extra styluses
Laptop, charger, mouse, and mouse pad
Power strip because the outlet is always about 2.2 mm farther away than the regular cord will reach
An extra extension cord because we have to recharge all 3 DS’s played on the flight
All 4 iPods, earbuds, and cords to plug into the wall or laptop to recharge
Both cell phones and chargers
Laptop case with extra batteries and two Terry Goodkind novels in case I managed to use up the battery in the DS.
My notepad for my fanny pack so that I can jot down notes for my fantasy novel that I’m working on, The Dragonfighters.
Digital camera
Extra digital card in case something happens to the first one
Extra batteries
Extra batteries
Extra batteries
3 sets of binoculars, because we like birding. If fact, they came in handy tonight for viewing the sandhill cranes and fish crows from our balcony while it poured outside.
Enriched Rice Dream rice milk in the juice box size for my daughter, who has a dairy allergy.

My shopping list for the week included a DS charger because we couldn’t find the third one (it’s in the house. Somewhere.) When you have a kid in middle school and another in elementary school, these things have a tendancy to ‘disappear’, although likely that third charger will show up under someone’s bed the day we return home. My shopping list also included an extra stylus pack. Those things evaporate faster than strawberry shortcake on a hot summer day does in our house. One of these years, I’ll lift up the sofa cushions and discover an entire stylus farm has sprouted and is just waiting to be harvested.

After entertaining TSA with the spaghetti bowl of cords in my laptop bag, we got through with minimal trouble other than losing the above mentioned peanut butter and cheese spread. I hope they at least donated them to a food pantry instead of throwing them in the trash.

The Pirates of the Caribbean ride beckons to me to come ride it tomorrow, which means getting up early. I’m heading to bed, albeit without my white noise maker to drown out the loud-speaking neighbors….

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