The Objective: To organize and pack all of the clothes, shoes, and toiletries needed for a 6 night motorcycle trip that includes San Francisco, Carmel, Cambria, and Napa.
The Suitcase: A 13″ x 20″ x 7″ saddlebag on a Honda Goldwing. Yes…just one for me. And, it’s about 6″ bigger than this grocery bag.
The Packing List: Since a picture is worth a thousand words, what you see below has got to fit in what you see above. Except the boots, I’m wearing them on the plane. Each time we do this, I try to be a little more Zen, a bit more ascetic. I get all “Martha Stewart” on my suitcase. But I know there’s always a tiny piece of real estate in a corner of the saddlebag, or top-box, that I can claim. (Full disclosure: We have a large suitcase to check that contains our riding jackets, rain-gear, my chaps and helmet, and his boots.)
The Emotional Baggage: My perfectionistic desire to pack the “right clothes” haunts me. I lie awake at night worried that I will forget something important. Or that I’m being too practical, too simple, and not feminine enough. Then I remind myself that we are going to be on motorcycles…not front row at New York Fashion Week. I also worry that I won’t get enough rest…it’s hard to keep up with this bunch!
The Mission: This ride is to celebrate a couple of Big Birthdays in our group. It’s spending time with 5 other couples who are good friends. Taking time to wine-and-dine, to ride amazing roads, and all enjoy a full-on sensory experience. We’ll be creating memories and great stories to laugh about and tell, and retell, later on.
The Big Question Mark: Lots of people have asked me, “Don’t you worry about everyone getting along?” I’d have to say no, not really. Our “gang” has been together for 15 years. We’ve (almost) all taken turns playing the fool, but ultimately we know it’s important for us to support each other.
I’ve noticed that when something comes up, men handle it quickly – they call each other on it. Women have more trouble doing this. Our feelings get hurt. This is the only time I’d agree with Dr. Doolittle’s query, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” Well, that, and when we’re out in the middle of nowhere and really need a restroom!
In less than 48 hours we will all be meeting-up in San Francisco. I have to get my packing zipped-up by tonight. If I didn’t know that I’d done this last year, I’d be really stressed out about it. But, I got this.
P.S. – No blog next week while I’m on the road.