Life, travel

Pre-vacay ramblings: work, packing, travel blogging and more

No more work:

YEE-HAW, vacation is here. I have been so busy getting ready for our trip, finishing work stuff, planning activities and checking the weather forecast (😂) that I kind of forgot the fact that a 2 week vacation means 2 weeks without work!!!

I like my job a lot, and I fortunately don’t sit around hating it or dreading it. But it has been intense lately. So, I feel READY for a nice, long break from it. 🙂

Obviously I knew while planning visits to waterfalls and beaches and cloud forests that I would not be working at the same time as doing those things, but I don’t know- for some reason the “no work” part didn’t really register.

Anyway! I am off today, and we leave tonight. The boys are at school, and Ivan is working today too. I had briefly considered working today too, just to save a vacation day, basically. Technically, I could have- our flight isn’t until midnight! But then I was like, “You know what?? No. I am not doing that.” I feel like I always am rushing to get ready for vacation, and it is sooo nice to have this buffer day here to calmly tie up any loose ends.


I am basically packed.

My “luggage” piece is the Osprey backpack, and the grey messenger bag is my “personal item”. Pretty much all my clothes and shoes are in the backpack, and my personal item has a couple books, the passports, my liquids bag, a small makeup bag, and a ziploc with a few pairs of shorts rolled up inside it. Ha.

Honestly, I have way too much stuff packed. It’s a bit ridiculous. But, it all fits!! LOL. (Seriously, I have multiple swimsuits packed. Like multiple multiple. I will not share the exact number, because it’s embarrassing.) Basically I can’t decide which to take, so I pack them all, and what if I want options?)

I also have a ridiculous number of shorts packed. But they are small/ lightweight at least? So I can justify it…. kind of… Also, what if I end up really liking Costa Rica and want to stay for 2 months? Now I’m covered. 😜

My to do list for today:

  • library to return a few books
  • check hot tub water and leave instructions for sister-in-law who is house sitting
  • clean up the house
  • delete photos/ podcast downloads from my phone to have full space available
  • finalize my liquids bag with stuff I am using today still
  • do my nails?

I already got a pedicure on Wednesday after work:

Needed it SO BAD. The last time I got a pedicure was in August when we went to Mexico, and I think I still had little bits of polish on the ends of my nails from then… not even joking.


I have chilled out some about the weather, after talking through it on the blog the other day, and just reading a lot about how unpredictable the weather is there anyway.

I still keep checking the volcano cam though. I can’t help it. It’s a mini-compulsion at this point. Pretty clear and some sun this morning!

Also, speaking of weather, we got nailed with almost 7 inches of snow last night!

View from gym parking lot last night as I was leaving around ~8:45 p.m….. trying to squeeze in a couple last minute workouts.

THANK GOODNESS the snow came last night and not tonight (when we need to drive over 2 hours to Chicago).

Vacation and blogging:

Finally, I’m mulling over how I want to handle blogging about our trip!!! I get immense joy from writing and re-reading my trip recaps, even though I am sure some people might find them excessively detailed…. oops. #sorrynotsorry.

But as I’ve mentioned, I like to print a book out of my trip blog posts- which obviously primarily serve as a keepsake for ME. So while yes, I love to share with all of you, and I really do hope that at least some people enjoy reading them!, the primary purpose of those recaps is just for me to have them to look back on.

When we went to Maine/Vermont/ New Hampshire two summers ago, I managed to write detailed post recaps every day on my phone, during the trip. I also mostly did this in Mexico last summer. However, it takes a lot of time!! And it is debatable too if I should/want to spend so much time typing on my phone during the trip…. (though I really do enjoy it, honestly).

This trip will be pretty action packed, though, and it’s a lot of days. I think the odds of me keeping up with full recaps (that I’d later be happy with, to print into a keepsake book) during the trip in real time are low. (Also “me” and “concise” do not really go together….so there’s that reality to face.)

I’m debating possibly just popping in each day with like, 5 favorite photos from the day, and a VERY brief bullet point list of what we did, or something like that, just for those who’d like to follow along in real time! And then later, when we get back, I can slowly work through writing my full, detailed, print-worthy recaps for my book.

What do you think? Any suggestions on this?

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for TAKING THE DAY OFF TODAY! This was a good decision.

7 thoughts on “Pre-vacay ramblings: work, packing, travel blogging and more”

  1. I think that if you love your recaps, you should keep doing them! That’s valuable! Your idea of five photos and quick bullet points sounds good, too. But if it were me, and unless I had/wanted a Very Specific Format for each day, I would just play it by ear. Maybe some days will be perfect for the five photo/bullets format, but other days will lend themselves to longer anecdotes and more or fewer photos.

    You and I have a similar packing style, lol. I figure, if it fits, it goes! I like to have options. Recently, my family and I went on a short weekend getaway and I tried to be very intentional about what I brought… and then realized when we were about to go to dinner one night that I had misjudged the formality of the place and really wished I had brought a dress that I’d purposefully left behind. That experience definitely helps me justify overpacking!

    Hope you have a WONDERFUL time and that all your swimsuits and shorts get to make an appearance.


  2. I am astounded that you have multiple shoes and swimsuits and clothes to wear in that tiny amount of luggage. You’re truly a packing marvel.

    The snow last night was amazing. The dog was so happy to run around in it this morning and it was a joyous moment for us both, but I am glad for your sake that everything will be cleared for your drive to Chicago. Happy traveling!


  3. Would it help to use the microphone option to dictate vs typing? It might be a faster way to get your words out then you could edit as needed.
    Safe travels & have a blast!


  4. I love a good travel recap, but photos and bullet points can work well for that, too. Have a fabulous trip! with what looks like not much luggage. Maybe a post on you pack?


  5. I love your osprey. I have something similar that I used for a trip to Spain in 2016. I think I will use it for my trip to Tucson with Paul in April as it would be nice to not have to pull a suitcase – and I can fit a surprising amount in that style of backpack.

    When we went to Mexico, I packed 2 suits! But I only have 3! I don’t love swimsuits, though, and have never had a big collection of suits!

    I usually post a recap when I get back from a vacation, except trips to france. But I mostly traveled to France alone so it was a nice ritual to write up my day when I got back to the apartment. Whatever you decide to do, I look forward to reading along! I hope you have a great time and that the weather all works out!!!


  6. I hope you have the BEST time. What a great time to leave with that winter weather in your area

    Like Engie, I am also amazed with your packing skills!

    As for blogging recaps, last summer I did Toronto and NYC recaps after the fact and found it a lot harder than our recent trip to Rome. This time, on the flight home, I worked on drafting the recaps. I just went through our pictures and had our itinerary document open. I don’t sleep on flights and I’m not a huge movie fan, so it was a great “productive” way to fill some time on the flight and it was nice because everything was still so fresh. So maybe if you have some time in transit – like a long bus ride or the flight home – you could work on some recaps then? I also think that doing bullets in a draft and then filling in details later is a great way to recall stuff. I used to do this for my monthly update e-mails to family: every week or two I’d go in and add some bullet points (not even sentences); it made the actual writing part at the end of the month SO. MUCH. EASIER.

    Again – I hope you all have a simply wonderful time!!!


  7. oh… I didn’t realize we are both going on vacation tomorrow! my plan for blogging is really go with the flow.. if I’m too busy having fun, I won’t blog, if I have time to write/reflect, I’ll blog. I take blogging like a writing outlet more than recording, so I am really going with the flow.
    have a blast!!!!!


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