[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] I [/dropcap]f you didn’t know already, my sister has created a lovely new site at http://passportmusttravel.com. We’re both writing while she posts most of the pictures, and if you have any interest in gazing at travel photos, then you should check out the site. It’s fun. 🙂

Meanwhile, for both the Shank and Hayden (American side) households, the countdown to Rydey Rocks Europe is fully on!! The dogsitter has been found; thank the Lord. A lovely lady gifted us with $$ for us to buy shoes and for spending while on our trip, and thanks to our health savings account, I was able to purchase brand new (with updated prescription) glasses. The house has had a good purge, and now will be getting a good clean and tidy up. A subsititute to work our cleaning jobs has been found also, and the boxes on our to do lists are slowly getting checked. I have a large pile of stuff collecting by my dresser as I’ve pulled out rain coats, travel books/games for the kids, souvenirs/gifts for our nieces and nephews, etc. And on it goes.

But I have to say that I am the world’s worst packer. When my husband and I were dating, he flew out to CA to meet me in person and then 3 days later, we flew to CO so that he could meet my family. I’m such the bad packer that he had to pack for me . . . obviously, that was one of the clues that he was the right guy. 😉 So the thought of packing for two children, as well as myself, is overwhelming. We’ll be spending lots of time on planes and trains. We’ll be in two hotels (without high chairs, sippy cups, plastic spoons and plates, bibs, etc.), and we have one child who has successfully navigated potty training yet needs a little potty and one in diapers. And we’ll be doing a lot of walking. So my head has been filled with thoughts of how to pack everything in our two backpacks (We’re not taking suitcases as they’re not worth maneuvering onto trains.) and two carry on bags. Truthfully, I’m not sure how to do it.

The factors that give me the most hesitation in packing are 1.) we’re expecting chilly, wet weather. 2.) We will be able to do laundry, but kids go through a lot of blankets and clothes when traveling. 3.) What are the items we cannot live without and the ones we can? 4.) My kids are both in the very picky eating stage, and the youngest gets very crabby if he cannot eat often. How to pack snacks and drinks that are within the airline/trave guidelines?

I’ll post a continuation of this once I know the answers . . . but this kind of stuff keeps me up at night. 😉

P.S. This photo is of Grand Central Station in New York City. We took Ryde there at 15 months.

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