Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Final Week - A Trip Back Home

Hey, I'm back...miss me?

I leave for Riyadh tomorrow morning (Sept. 9) at oh-dark-hundred.
Just back from a week-long last visit to my family in Erie, PA and to attend my cutie-pie niece's wedding. She's the one in the wedding dress.

I took some time to visit my old grade school (top left), hung out with my mom (who loves crossword puzzles), had a cookout with my buddies by the lake and a slew of other things.

I don't particularly recommend planning back-to-back trips like this but my niece wasn't inclined to change her wedding date on my behalf.

In the meantime, my house is a mess as I'm in a simultaneous frenzy of cramming household goods and clothes into the attic to clear some space for the man who'll be renting the place for a year and packing my own stuff for the plane trip tomorrow.

I've got three boxes about 90% full and I'm busy weighing various items down to the half-pound to optimize weight. Each box can have 50 lbs and each ounce is now precious. I'll be trundling the boxes over to the UPS store later to get them accurately weighed before handing them to the mercy of United Airlines.

I got a nice piece of advice from my sister, a world traveler with a lot of experience packing a month's clothing into a week's suitcase. She says, "Wear your heaviest items--your bulkiest sweater, the heaviest shoes you can be comfortable in. Watch how the students do it!" The airlines weigh your check-in baggage and measure your carry-ons...but they don't care how much you weigh. A lot of travelers make the mistake of wearing flip flops because they're easy to slip off at airport security. But really, you're only doing that once or twice so why not save a couple pounds instead of paying exorbitant excess baggage fees?

I went back in yesterday and did just that, as well as eliminating about 10 golf shirts (I loves my golf shirts), removing DVDs from their cases and making hard decisions about a few other items.

I may have another blog entry before heading out but, inshallah, I shall be checking into the teachers' residence in Riyadh next time you hear from me.

1 comment: