Memorial Day passed with the end of May as the signaling of the unspoken and unofficial start of the summer season. Many people pack up and head out over the course of the next few months, myself included. After several months of snow and cold, finally having good weather to enjoy the outdoors is so refreshing. In a few weeks, we too are heading out for a nice vacation within the United States still.
When glancing over how to be prepared and consider I have everything I need, I consider too what the Duchess of Cambridge might do. I’m sure she investigates a lot about what to expect wherever she is headed. We’re heading to an absolutely beautiful national park about 11 hours away, driving the entire way in one day. Unlike past vacations to this park where we camped in an RV, we’ll be staying in our recent discovery of their cabins with electricity and a restroom with a shower. It’s like a hotel, but without televisions or phones and a private little cabin with one main room and a bathroom, but fresh linens and cleaning daily by a great housekeeping staff.
Of course, there will be lots of hiking opportunities, and for the most part the weather will be nice. However, traveling deeper into the mountains and further north warrants preparation for all kinds of weather. From my previous travels (mind you, too, this is my favorite place in the world we’re going to, a first for the hubby, and about the 6th trip for myself), I know sort of what to expect. There will be hiking boots in case the hubby feels like hitting the trails a bit more than just a little, short jaunt. But I’ll also need flats, regular tennis shoes, and a good pair of slippers. When I travel I’m a sucker to have slippers. You never know precisely what we’ll run into in our accommodations or what may crawl across the floor.
Then there’s the issue to consider of how many days and nights we’ll be at our location. For me, I find something comfortable and easily altered from cold weather to warmer weather for the drive. This will be a nice t-shirt, a pair of comfy skinny jeans, and some flats along with the potential of a scarf and maybe a light cardigan. Being summer, it won’t be freezing even as we depart the ranch at about 5 AM compared to many mornings prior. In my purse, I always keep a Tote foldable umbrella on hand as a necessity in case of any snow fall or even random thunderstorms as we’re apt to get, even more so at our destination. I’ll keep a little bag of lighter make up and go-to toiletries close to my seat in the car while others are packed and ready in my suitcase. In that bag closer to me too, I’ll keep my phone charger, my glasses, and snacks for the road as well as a book or two of crossword puzzles or word searches. Headphones also may be included in case I opt to watch something on the tablet or phone when the hubby takes over the wheel.
But back in my main bag, I want to know I have plenty of undergarments loaded, fresh and clean just before the trip. When I’m in the mountains I don’t shower as often as I would at home. However, with the cabin providing the option, I may a bit more than just camping. After a hike or kayaking in the morning or a nice, afternoon horseback ride, I probably would want to freshen up before moving to the local restaurants for our meals. Besides this, I want to have at least a few t-shirts on hand, a couple of nice blouses in case we hit up a nice lodge, and a few tanks to layer up with a plaid, button down shirt reminiscent of a flannel, but much lighter weight for warmer days. Then, keeping a cozy hoodie on hand and my fleece zip up lightweight sweater, I know I can continue layering. This makes it really nice if as we sight see or paddle out the kayaks, or walk around the marina paths, I know I can be warm if there’s a chill with a developing thunderstorm or strip a few layers to cool off as the sun beats down.
For pants, taking a pair of cropped chinos is excellent for me. I have an olive pair that I can leave long or then cuff a bit to act more like capris. This is perfect while moving back and forth in temperatures in early summer. Of course, the skinny jeans, and the regular bootleg jeans can be good on cooler evenings or days. But one thing I love this year is I finally invested in a good pair of hiking pants to take along just as I purchased my first, good pair of hiking boots in winter. These weren’t too expensive through Amazon and feature a way to stay full length or roll up to a capri level with fasteners and are quick drying. These will definitely be used, maybe more than any other pant on the trip, and I can’t wait to try them out. Perfect for out on the water or any other variety of options on the trip.
My make up bag is lightened up a bit. Lately, I’ve been doing without foundation, letting a bit of my natural glow that the hubby loves so much show. Of course, I still use my Erase Paste concealer, then a dusting of corn starch as my powder. Then, there is the Benefits Dallas Bronzer powder in key places, a little of the ELF cream bronzer too before the corn starch. Then I touch up my brows, smooth on a natural hint of shadow on my eyelids, a kohl pencil for liner, and a dash of mascara, then just a dusting of blush very lightly, and VIOLA! Ready to go. This routine takes me all of 5 minutes now. Very handy as the hubby wants to race out the door for early sunrise photographs – and not to mention, really doesn’t need touch ups. So I can condense my make up prior to going, leaving more room in my bag for the hair and jewelry.
Now on a trip like this, I don’t want to have to worry about hairspray or using lots of tools. For me, taking simply my straightener that I use to curl and smooth and straighten if wanted is a must, especially as my wavy hair is very prone to frizz and poof when I first blow it dry. I’ll probably take my hair dryer and/or maybe my big round rotating dryer brush. Then, for days I just want to accentuate waves in my hair and know my hair won’t hold curl to save it, I’ll have my wand on hand for shaping them into loose, beachy waves. If Kate can pass this off in India, why can’t I in Wyoming? I also think my hubby prefers the waves to anything. Then, there’ll be some of the mini claw clips and bobby pins along with a couple of elastic hair bands present. A little bit of shine spray and hair spray will tag along but may not get used much. I’ll only take a little bit of jewelry, maybe about 3 pairs of earrings (small and simple of course) and that’s about it.
And last, but not least, to worry about packing is of course the bug repellent. I’ve researched a bit about natural, essential oils too that are good for repelling bugs and eucalyptus and lemon both stack up. So, we’ll see.
But I try to condense this all into my rolling duffel suitcase and a tote purse. My regular purse is even condensed to only what is necessary and the new wristlet purse I have is suitable enough for the wallet. This allows me to carry essentials if just dashing in somewhere or needing to be more free for movement.
All in all, this is how I choose to be prepared for what awaits on my summer vacation. This way too I know I can be elegant and casual all at once. Ah, can’t wait. I can almost see the peaks, taste the huckleberry margaritas, and smell the wildflowers and pine while imagining the lapping of the lake against the boats docked in the marina. Now, time to get packing….