Last night Mr. Harbour Breeze and I were toodling down the road to run an errand. He had just cued up his phone with a new music playlist and wanted to try it out in the car.
As he pushed buttons, he exclaimed, “Oh, I have to play you this one. You’ll like it.”
The happy tune of “Lemonade” by Chris Rice (you can listen to it here) was soon playing, and has me pondering the whole topic of blessings today.
The chorus croons out, “Life gave me lemonade and I can’t imagine why.”
That’s what today feels like.
It’s a glass of sunny yellow iced lemonade on a hot Summer day kind of day…
You see, I just finished packing my bag for my first ever Haven blogging conference.
This trip is a dream come true for me. I keep pinching myself to see if it’s really happening!
For years, I’ve wished I could go and learn how to grow my blog and serve my readers better.
I’ve dreamed of hugging the necks of the ladies whose blogs have encouraged me ~ both personally, and with my home projects.
Today is the dream come true day.
I feel blessed beyond words.
Part of the fun has been the anticipation, planning, and interaction with new blogging friends that are also going for the first time.
I have never so carefully compiled a packing list as I have for this trip!
Last year, I put together a 10 piece Summer wardrobe before a trip, and it worked so well. Learning from that, I again decided to pack as simply as possible. I admit that I didn’t totally decide on all the outfits until this morning, so I quickly took a picture of each one before I packed it away.
The conference is being held in sunny Charleston, South Carolina ~ where I’m told it’s hot and humid outside, with cool air conditioning in the conference center.
As I packed away my things this morning, I thought I’d share with you some of the thought process I use when packing.
Packing Tips for a Sunny Vacation Destination
(Please pardon the blurry pictures. I didn’t realize until I put them up how bad they are! Selfies with my big camera are still a learning curve for me…;))
Wear your bulkiest clothes on the plane, and have a sweater handy.
Although it may be warm as toast outside, the plane can sometimes be cool. I like to have a sweater along that is long enough to double as a blanket.
Only pack clothes that you already love to wear.
Trust me. I took a bunch of clothes on our holiday to Hawaii that I never even took out of the suitcase. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing it at home, you won’t magically feel comfortable wearing it somewhere else!
Take a few items that can be mixed and matched many different ways.
This flutter vest (or sleeveless kimono) was a great find! It’s fun to wear and can be worn with different pants or a simple dress. (This one is from Old Navy.)
The conference has one outdoor activity by the pool, so I needed something cool and pretty. This is what I finally settled on.
Pack shoes that you can walk miles in.
Walking is usually a big part of any of our Summer vacations, and I don’t want blisters on my feet! I like to make sure my shoes are comfortable enough that I can walk in for a very long time. These flip flops by Clarks are my favorite Summer walking shoe.
Pack an extra bag in the bottom of your bag if you are bringing home more than you are taking.
I’ve been told that we will be given many free items as part of this conference. Since I’m taking only a carry on bag with me on the way, I have a large duffle bag laid flat in the bottom of my bag. It has a leather bottom, and I’m praying it will be sturdy enough for all the goodies! (I’ll keep you posted…).
Gone are the days when meals are included on planes. Taking snacks like granola bars or nuts help tide you over until you can find yourself a decent meal.
Lay out jewelry for each outfit, or take a few pieces that go with everything.
Although there are many beautiful travel jewelry organizers, if you are only taking a few pieces, use a small drawstring bag. Leave the ends of your necklaces hanging out the top to prevent tangles.
Don’t forget important documentation (like passport & flight itinerary), earbuds (to listen to movies on the plane), chargers for your devices, and flight information.
I like to keep all my papers in exactly the same pocket in my purse so I know where to grab them quick.
Choose your “purse” carefully.
Since each passenger is allowed a carry-on and a purse, be sure to choose a purse that fits your needs. Sometimes my “purse” is actually my lap-top bag that can also hold what I would normally put in my purse. This time, I’ve opted out of taking my lap-top, so I’m carrying a large tote. I can then carry it around all during the conference.
In it, I have my business cards, glasses, wallet, notebook, reading book, iPad, battery back-up iPad charger, plastic bag with liquids (that will need to go on the security belt), advil, lipgloss, gum, hand sanitizer, granola bar, and documentation.
That about wraps up this packing list. Immediately following this trip, my husband and I are going on a road trip to Montana.
I have a little bag already packed for that, too.
Oh, goodness! The blessings abound.
I think I’m going to need another straw for that lemonade…