Posted by: Kristy | March 9, 2010

Always pack spare undies in your purse

I recently returned from a lovely, sunshiney week of gluttony and laziness shared with three of my favorite people and, boy, do I have lessons to share!

My parents, The Boy and I decided spontaneously last month that we needed to get out of Dodge and do it quickly before our heads exploded on our computer screens and our brains became fossilized under layers upon layers of  stress.

So we booked a 5-day Carnival cruise to Mexico at the end of February. And it. Was. Delightful.

We're cute. We're in Cozumel. You're jealous. 😉

I know, you may say I am the bravest woman in the world to take my boyfriend on vacation with my parents in an atmosphere as confining as a ship (even one that’s hundreds of feet long) but, then again, you don’t know my man. Or my father. Who are so similar it both warms my heart and terrifies me at the same time.

For example: A select group of passengers had the opportunity to take a Behind the Scenes tour of the ship on the last day at sea. Dad calls me all a twitter: There are only two. TWO. slots left in the tour. Do we want them? Should he and Mom take them? Or … should he and Dan take them?

Of course, the mechanical engineer and computer data manager/cartographer took the two slots. They were like little puppies. I even heard, “Ooooh, we get to go on the bridge. And meet the captain. Think they’ll let me look at the server room?” I could see the little boy inside secretly hoping for a captain’s hat as a souvenir. (They got matching Behind the Fun ball caps. Precious.) So when I say they’re dorky in the most loveable way imaginable? This is what I mean:

Well, I think they're adorable.

The lessons don’t begin with the idea that spending a week with your beloved crammed in a 10′ by 15′ cabin teaches you a lot about the dynamics of your relationship. Nor is the first lesson that you can learn a TON about the person you hope to spend your life with by the way you travel together.


Lesson No. 1 I learned four hours into our trip.

“Always. I mean always pack clean underwear in your carry on.”

Because you never know when your luggage will decide to take a vacation in a different place than where you take a vacation.

Now, let me back up by saying that my version of carry on baggage is my briefcase so I can work on the plane, or a cute little tote bag stuffed with my iPod, three books, playing cards and some secret paperwork so I can work on the plane. Therefore, it is no surprise that I felt like I totally covered my bases when my carry on for the cruise was a cute little tote bag stuffed with my iPod, three books, my travel face wash and a tooth brush, playing cards, my swim suit, a spare bra (for whatever reason) and a little skirt to serve as a cover up.

Coming from Ohio, my travel outfit consisted of jeans, a cute top, a jacket and boots. Heavy. Boots. With. Socks.

I realized the error of my ways during the 90-minute wait on the tarmac at DTW. Where we waited for. eva. for the plane to be de-iced. (Way to be prepared, Delta, way to be prepared.)

By the time we had missed our connecting flight in Atlanta and were scrambling around trying to find any flight that would take us the rest of the way to Mobile I had come to terms with the fact that when I was on the cruise — IF I made it on the cruise in time — I would be stuck with the clothes on my back and the little that was in my carry on.

No sexy little cocktail dresses for dinner. No adorable wedge flip flops with the jewel flower embellishment for lounging by the pool. No swingy, breezy white skirt and the cute tank tops I bought specifically for the trip.

Just jeans, a cute top, a jacket and boots. Heavy. Boots. With. Socks.

Perfect for sunning on the Lido Deck, don’t you think?

(Oh, yeah, sidebar. Lesson No. 2? Leave for the cruise the day before you sail, not the day you sail. Yeah. Small monkey wrench there.)

We end up on the last flight to Mobile, Ala., that will put us into the airport 45 minutes before we have to be on the ship. The only reason we ended up on the flight was thanks to the only kind, helpful, compassionate Delta ticket agent we spoke with. (I say it’s ‘cuz Dan flirted with her.) Oh, and because God knew we needed a vacation.

We’re all a little giddy because ALL FOUR OF US made it on the plane, we’re going to end up in Mobile, we MIGHT make it on the ship before it sails. Dan’s been on the telephone with Carnival since we landed in Atlanta and they’re holding the ship as long as possible.

Thank, God, the Mobile airport is small because we hop off the plane, race down stairs and Dad flies out to hail a cab. We have 42 minutes to get to the pier. In one last burst of hope, Mom and I sidle to the baggage claim. Where the luggage immediately was unloaded. And where we saw our bags snake toward us.

We made it. Our luggage made it. After all of that.

Clearly, God knew we needed a vacation.

Lesson learned, though. On the way home, we all packed spare undies in our carry on bags.


  1. YAY! Glad you got a vacation 🙂 Looks like you really enjoyed yourselves too!

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