I’m back from the long Birthday Weekend – our annual family celebration in which we all gather someplace fun and whoop it up in honor of three birthdays: mine, my aunt’s and my stepdad’s. Because this year was Stepdad Dave’s Big Birthday (75), he got to choose the location and he picked his favorite spot, Lake Dillon. Stepsister Hope made an appearance from Tucson, too, which made it all that much more fun.
We arrived at the condo Friday evening, had some great meals, drank a lot of wine, hiked a bit, boated some, shopped the outlet mall, hung out a lot. On Monday morning we headed down to Denver and took in a Rockies game that night. Baseball is seriously the only sport I like watching – mostly because I get to sit outside in nice weather and drink beer, I think. The stats and strategy appeal to math-brain me, too.
On Tuesday morning, David and I drove home to Santa Fe and settled back in.
One thing this kind of multi-stage trip meant, is that we loaded and unloaded the car several times. And, because we took my two-seater jag to make the road-trip even more pleasant, the loading part involved Tetris-like skills to fit everything in. Though we divested ourselves of birthday gifts, I ended up receiving some, too, so that was a zero-sum game. I may also have acquired a few things during our shopping excursion. Also, the chilly late-summer nights in the mountains required layers and the range of activities from boating to fancy dinner out demanded multiple outfit types.
At least for me.
David, of course, brought a smaller suitcase, but I brought my bigger one. No dash-bag for this kind of trip.
This is one of my things – I travel heavy. And yeah, those of you who read me regularly know I travel quite a lot, for fun, the day job and the writing career. Seems like I always encounter the common wisdom that you should learn to travel light. The advice is always how to maximize carry-on space, mix and match outfits, turning things inside-out for additional wearings. The mantra is presented as a personal virtue – as if there’s something good and right and holy about traveling light.
I say balderdash to that.
I travel heavy and I’m not ashamed. If I’m working for five days? I bring at least six outfits. Maybe I’ll have a wardrobe error with one. Maybe I’ll drink too much beer at the baseball game and the tight waist on that one skirt won’t fit right. Maybe I just plain won’t feel like wearing something. Because I travel a lot, I want the comforts of home with me. I have no desire to do without. I bring my furry house slippers and my favorite hair-dryer.
Wearing clothes I feel good about, when I want to, that I feel like look good, is a big part of my confidence, my public face to the world.
Yes, my suitcase is heavy. I figure, as long as I’m willing to lift it myself, I have that privilege. It can be funny, because I’m a fairly small woman, but I’m stronger than I look. More than once I’ve handed my suitcase to a cabbie who then sagged under the weight, looking surprised. I do try to warn them, but that doesn’t mean they listen.
David, though – he always carries my suitcase for me. Every time. Always I tell him I can carry it – because I do feel a little self-conscious that it weighs three times what his does – and always he gives me his slow smile and says he’ll get it. I hear the words he doesn’t say. He loves me. He accepts me for who I am, heavy suitcase and all.
Gifts beyond price.