I love the excitement of getting ready to go on vacation. Coming up with your packing list, making sure everything you want to pack is washed and ready, printing out itineraries and directions, confirming all your reservations, buying sunscreen and beach gear and just counting down the days! So exciting! What's not exciting? ...the actual packing part.
I despise packing. I suffer from what my husband calls "Severe Packing Anxiety." It's horrible. I very nearly have panic attacks every time I have to pack for a trip, whether it's one day or two weeks. The shorter the trip, the harder to pack for. Why is that? When it's time to pack, my mind runs about 600 mph. What if I forget something? What if I don't pack that one thing that so desperately want/need when I get there. What if I have "the perfect outfit" and I don't bring it because I didn't know what "the perfect outfit" is before I left? What if I need warmer/cooler clothes? What if I'm in the mood to wear purple and I didn't pack anything purple? If 3 pairs of pants are good, should I bring 9? How many shoes should I bring? Well, then I need a handbag to match every pair of shoes. What if we go somewhere fancy to eat and I didn't bring a nice dress? What if I need ski gear? Where the hell are my ski pants anyway? And then I end up in a heap of clothing on the floor bawling and convulsing.
Or something like that. It literally takes me hours and hours (and at least 3 glasses of wine) to finish packing. Ryan actually cannot be within 100 feet from me and sometimes he even has to leave the house until I'm finished. Plus, I always think of 30 more things to pack and end up with another whole suitcase of stuff by the time I'm "finished packing" to the time we actually leave. It's a disaster. And you'd think all this panicking and OCD-ness would lead me to be a really great packer, but it's the opposite. During packing, my mind cannot distinguish what clothes need to be packed from the clothes in my closet that I haven't worn since 1998...guess which clothes I pack? Why do I always pack shit to wear on vacation that I'd never wear here?! And why did I bring my ski pants to the beach again?
Sooooo...it was about time for our annual tarpon fishing trip. This year we planned a week-long vacay on the beach for the three of us (Jigs didn't want to go). We'd be driving, so there was no restriction on how much stuff I could pack! So this time I was determined to pack well. And quickly. And without crying.
It didn't happen. But I did eventually end up packed (yet hated nearly everything I brought once I got there) and it was time to load up the car and get going.
The car was ready.
Mally had the entire back of the car to herself.
See those bars?
This is doggy-jail.
It keeps her in the back.
Otherwise she jumps from seat to seat: front-middle-back-middle-front-middle-back-middle-front-middle-back-middle.
And herds cars.
Ryan drove and I was our navigator.
We had our directions printed.
They kinda sucked.
How many different numbers can one highway have, Google?! Just pick one!
One state down.
Two states down.
Three states down.
And after about 8 hours, it was time to stop.
We drove as far as we could the first day/night and stopped for the night in Montgomery, AL.
*Excerpt from Jimmy Buffett's Stars Fell on Alabama. I only said "Oh! Montgomery!" about 1523 times. Ryan was not annoyed...at all.
This was Mally's first time staying in a hotel.
And we quickly found out that Mally is not a very good hotel dog.
Every noise (we were right next to the ice machine, of course) would set off a raging barking fit. She "slept" next to the bed, watching the door and barked every single time someone walked by (or moved or breathed). Needless to say, Ryan and I did not sleep at all. We knew she was just nervous and trying to protect us, but we didn't figure that the rest of the hotel would appreciate her gesture, so we ducked out bright and early before we could get kicked out. :-) Sorry La Quinta folks!
We still had a lot of driving to do, so we hit the road.
Then hours and hours and hours later, we finally arrived!
We rented a 2 bedroom condo on the beach for the week.
The place was really cute. Bright and sunny and clean.
Plenty of space to spread out.
Mally had her own bedroom.
We quickly unloaded the car.
And immediately headed to the beach for oysters and a boat drink.
This is our favorite* restaurant on the island. It's kinda dirty and totally overpriced, but they have great mango-ritas, fresh oysters and amazing softshell crab sandwiches. Bring it!
*Not to mention that it's the only restaurant on the island. :)
The whole county is dog-friendly, so Mally got to go out to eat with us everywhere we went.
She loved it.
Especially when people would "accidentally" drop french fries.
Our first 2 dozen oysters were gone within seconds. Mmmmm.
The oysters alone were worth that car ride.
And then there was this...
The best softshell crab sandwich on the planet.
After lunch, we headed to the beach. Stay tuned for pictures of Mally's first time in the ocean!