Tag Archives: packing

Barcelona: The Packing Job


I am wandering around the apartment in a pair of olive suede ballet flats with bronze ribbons and a white terry bathrobe. You’re right: I do look like a high-end homeless person.

There is clothing strewn on every surface in the living room and bedroom. Dresses, swimsuits, a pile of clean laundry, gym clothes, scarves, flip flops. Who knows? There might even be a puppy or a scrumptious dinner under one of the heaps. That would be sweet. Much sweeter than packing for Spain, I can tell you that much. Hell, a dull book would be sweeter than this packing job.

Here’s what happened. On my last trip, I packed like a drunk toddler. I took nothing long-sleeved, nearly overlooked pants entirely and ended up with 150 T-shirts, 40 pounds of magazines and some tall boots to go with the 85-degree weather on the east coast.

It wasn’t my best effort.

So now I’m making up for it by packing for every single event that could even remotely happen during the ten days we’ll be in Barcelona. Bull fight? Covered. Dinner at the beach? Check. Jamón shopping? Yes. Staring cluelessly at natives trying to explain the metro? I have an outfit specifically for that. (It definitely involves a belt and might include, if things go sideways, a tiara.) Clubs? Done. Sulking in the hotel? Ole!

I’m telling you, there is no eventuality I have overlooked. Do you know how I know? Because I am taking everything I own. It’s the only way to know for sure that you’ll have everything you need. Except for mobility, that is, but that’s a small price to pay for security, don’t you think? Yes. It is.

Unrelated, does anyone have the phone number of a sherpa willing to work internationally?

Barcelona: Packing Checklist


Packing is my Waterloo. The only antidote to overpacking is careful planning. Since I have less than a week before we leave for Spain, it’s time and I’m the one. Here’s where we stand as of this morning:

  1. I’ve checked with American Airlines’ web site and sure enough, as long as I pay the $100 fee, I can bring a javelin to Spain. That’s a relief. I was worried that I wouldn’t have anything to do at the Olympic stadium. Now I just need to find a javelin emporium and someone who can teach me how to throw one in under a week and I’m all set.

    Mind you, my javelin can’t weigh more than 70 lbs. or they won’t accept it. This is very generous of them since women’s regulation javelins clock in at 1.32 lbs. I’m assuming that that that means I can bring 53 of them. (Of course, I’d bundle them up like firewood and wrap them in bubble wrap to make one single 70-lb. javelin. I’m not an idiot.)

    If I had 53 on-hand, I could give three of them as hostess gifts to R’s godmother and her daughters, whom we’ll be seeing while we’re there, and still have 50 to lose in the outfield. Perfect.

  2. My antlers will cost another $100 to bring along. I’m not sure I’ll need antlers while I’m there, but you never know. Our hotel room might be too drab to tolerate and there’s nothing like a good set of branching antlers to liven up corporate digs.

    I wonder if Javelins ‘R’ Us also carries taxidermy.

  3. The Encyclopedia Britannica in 32 volumes is a must-have on the road. I think Spain has electricity and internet access, but you can’t be too careful when you’re dealing with mission-critical information, so better safe than sorry. What would I do if someone asked me about the half-life of strontium or the primary exports of the Niger Delta and I was Wikipedia-less? I’d look like a fool, that’s what. The American reputation abroad is damaged enough after the Bush years. I don’t need to add to that national burden just because I couldn’t be bothered to be prepared.
  4. Fresh eggs are a luxury of the modern world that soften the blow of hangovers and jetlag. I care enough about my own comfort abroad to make sure that I have a nice soft-boiled one waiting for me at breakfast every morning.

    Don’t worry: I’ll pack them carefully. Ten eggs, one for each day, wrapped carefully in a clean shirt, stuffed gently inside a shoe or boot in my suitcase and handed over to conscientious professional baggage carriers should do the trick.

  5. As I understand it, in countries with suspicious water supplies, you can’t drink tap water nor can you have their ice, which is, of course, made from the tap water. I have no reason to believe that Spain has issues with water-borne illnesses, but really, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything, right? So safety first: I’m taking ice with me. Two large bags should be plenty and shouldn’t weigh more than, say, 20 lbs., which, happily is exactly the carry-on weight limit on international flights. Since it’s a solid and not a liquid, it shouldn’t be a problem to take it on the plane with me.

I love it when a plan comes together. This is going so smoothly already, I can’t imagine how anything could possibly go wrong.