Sunday, January 15, 2017


I was not hung over at the California on my last morning in Vegas.  Security woke me with a 6:30 call that my door was ajar. I appreciated that information, but could have used it at 2:30AM when I rolled in, not four hours later.
So, I started my packing for Denver. 

The packing was a challenge this year.
There were just too many climates to prepare for.  I needed Vegas and California  clothes, but I needed Denver clothes as well.  I was overpacked with no place to weigh the bags.  I hate shifting stuff at the airport.  Luckily I would be just under the fifty at 49.5 pounds for the large bag when I came out of Vegas, filled mostly with clothes including heavy, warm coats.
I eliminated some heavy items and just left them behind in the room. I packed some books in the sleep apnea case, and put all the heavy things in the backpack.  When I got to the airport in California to fly to Vegas, the large suitcase weighed 49.2, just under the allowance of 50 pounds. When I left Vegas for Denver, it weighed 29.5 pounds.
Most of the time I get free TSA precheck. 
Security at the airport on the way from San Francisco to Vegas was a trial. I did not get the free TSA precheck this time. I did get smart and go over to the side before getting in line. I took off my shoes and belt. I took out my laptop and in the case I put all the things in my pocket. I took out the mechanism from the sleep apnea machine that required a special look.
I felt pressured from the person behind me. I always do because I am slow and I require many separate plastic boxes. 
This time a security person came over and advised me, so the woman behind me did not push me as much. Next came the pat down. All that was in my pocket was a handkerchief. But it was enough. Then there was the serrated knife I had put in the wrong suitcase, so there was the bag check.
Then I had to repack everything.
Elizabeth freed up a second suitcase in Denver for me to use, so I did not have so much packing anxiety. It sure makes me crazy.
This trip was the hardest because I had to take winter clothing for the Denver stay as well as light clothing for Vegas where the poker rooms are always too hot for me.
I also packed a couple books to read. I never read in Vegas, but I would in Denver and San Diego.
I really do love the ebag backpack I bought as a carry on.

This holds my little, old computer that I use only for word processing and VP tutoring and my sleep apnea machine, and it holds them in their own cases, so I am flexible and can take one out if I need the space.  Along with those I get enough room for a set of clothes in case my luggage does not arrive, all my daily drugs, and plenty of little odds and ends.
What a treat! My muscle issues are exacerbated by carrying anything in my hands, but not bothered by the backpack, except during the process of putting it on. Once it is settled in place, I find it very easy to walk through the long airports. Son Cory also commented on how good it felt on his back. It is my best travel purchase this year and a bargain at $70. There is room in it for both my laptop in its case and my sleep apnea in its case, and yet if I need space as I did this trip, I can take out the apnea machine and carry it separated. It works fine on the buses where it frees up my hands. Once in a hotel I unpack it and then it works great to go shopping for room snacks as I did at Walmarts on Boulder highway. From all my boyhood years of carrying two bags of newspapers to deliver, I think I developed good muscles in my shoulder areas which have stayed strong.
Once home I bought a smaller suitcase with the four wheels on the bottom for ease in rolling through the airports and for rolling down the aisle in the city buses. The WAX is wide with side seats and a luggage rack, so it is no problem, but buses like the 109 and 202 have narrow aisles and often many handicapped people with wheel chairs and walkers in the front to get around.  I don't think that I can pack this enough to exceed the fifty pound limit, partly because the bag itself weighs just 6.5 pounds.

I like the feel of it.  I saw lighter ones at Walmart for much less money, but the London Fog brand is usually a good one and all the reviews from folks who bought this series of bags were excellent.  I am hoping it is a suitcase that cannot be filled with stuff that will weigh over fifty pounds so I don't have to worry about repacking at the airport.
Twice in this long Western journey my large bag approached the maximum weight.  Once it was 49.2 and another time 49.5.  I just got lucky.

I may still bring along a soft fold up bag that is empty on my way out, but collects anything I buy on my travels.  Checking just one suitcase on the way out and two on the way back makes sense.
At each step in my travels I packed something that did not belong in a carry on.  I lost a serrated knife, a can of shaving gel, and should have lost the Tapa Tia hot sauce, but the TSA fellow let it go.  I was good about my Swiss army knife, however, and so I did not have to lose that.
I just can't seem to organize effectively.

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