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Seattle and the San Juan Islands: Packing

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Update: All new posts can be found at http://thewanderingmind.net.

Thus begins what will most likely be a long and drawn out series of posts on our recent trip to Washington. Between packing, working on my dissertation, moving, and starting my internship, I doubt blogging will be a priority. So, my apologies in advance if it takes me the next year to write about a one-week vacation.

The trip began when our friends asked us if we would like to tag along on their trip to Seattle to see family. We would have a free place to stay and gourmet meals courtesy of our friend's aunt. Sounded like a great idea to us!! Wanting to stay longer than the four nights our friends were going to be there, we started to consider various options for extending our time in the Seattle area. After deciding against at least 5 other options, we finally settled on the San Juan Islands (thank you, 1000 Places to See Before You Die, aka the ultimate tie breaker). The thing was, we had never really heard of the islands before planning this trip and neither had anyone else we knew. Apparently a popular destination for individuals from the Pacific Northwest, they are not really on the vacation radar for us Southerners. My research loving heart went pitter-patter as we began deciding what we wanted to do with our time in a place we knew next to nothing about. After months of planning, it was time to leave, but of course, we had to pack first. Let me just say that packing for June in the Pacific Northwest is surprisingly difficult when you live in Texas and temperatures are already flirting with 100 degrees! You kind of forget what 50 degrees feels like.

I realize packing posts are not the most exciting, but as someone who constantly fights against my overpacking alter ego (incidentally, this is also the alter ego who can eat an entire pint of ice cream at once) this is also the kind of post that I find incredibly helpful when preparing for a trip. Thus, the early-summer-weeklong-trip-to-Washington packing list was born. And I have to say, I think I am making progress. To change things up a bit from the previous packing post, I am including pictures of (some) of the outfit combinations that were possible with the items of clothing I packed. And, although I did not actually attempt to pack my own suitcase, I do believe I could have fit everything into a carryon. Take that overpacking alter ego! So, without further ado, the list:

I packed:

  • Pants

Black yoga pants (worn on the plane)
Brown slacks
Dark jeans
Blue capris (I did wear these, but could have easily gotten by without them)

  • Shirts

Teal tank top (worn on the plane)
Black and gray striped shirt
Coral t-shirt
Floral tank
Navy and tan tank
Long sleeved black shirt
Gray cardigan (worn on the plane)
Tan cardigan
Purple(ish) sweater
Blue hiking shirt (not pictured)
Various camisoles

  • Shoes

Clark's Privos (worn on the plane; these are my new favorite shoes for traveling - they almost deserve a post of their own!)
Off-white flats
Hiking boots and socks (not pictured)

  • Accessories (nothing expensive or irreplaceable)

Teal and silver necklace (worn on the plane)
Brown, teal, and gold necklace/bracelet
Brown and gold necklace
Multi-color necklace

  • Other things (not pictured)

Cosmetics (including bug spray and sunscreen)
Small purse (I always take a larger bag on the plane with me)
Raincoat(s - at the last minute, Clay convinced me to bring my nice rain coat along with the more casual one)
Water bottles
Guidebooks and other info (e.g., info on tours we had booked, auto insurance)

And of course, Clay did his usual - after packing my carefully constructed list of items, he threw together what he wanted to take in a matter of minutes. That is oh-so-representative of how we approach life. Moving on from the philosophical meaning of our respective packing styles, the following were some of the outfits I was able to put together with the clothes that I packed. I tried to choose things that could go together in many different ways to minimize what I took, while also giving me some flexibility in what I wore.


It probably took an hour or so of trial and error to create the most efficient combinations, but in the end I think I ended up with a relatively compact yet versatile wardrobe for our trip. By the end of the trip, I had worn/used everything I packed, even the extra raincoat. And can I just point out that I only included three pairs of shoes, one of which was a hiking boot and one of which I was wearing on the plane!! That, my friends, is progress. Now to work on the ice cream thing, darn alter ego.

Posted by cgplatt 20:21 Archived in USA Tagged packing seattle san_juan_islands

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