Pack Up Your Troubles...

in your Louis Vuitton bag and smile, smile, smile.

I think in one of my previous posts I briefly mentioned that I haven't been away from home for recreational purposes in about 13 years. I've got a million excuses for this and very few really good reasons. As I get older, slower, more "special needsy" I realized that it may not be long before a trip away from home is more of a production than it's worth.

About six months ago my favorite artist's Facebook page announced that 250 of his pieces would be on exhibit in Cedar Rapids, Iowa until the end of the year. It's the first time his creations have been shown in the US since 1999 and I've never had the chance to see any of his work in an exhibition. Should I go? More importantly, could I go?

Mr Spashionista said, "We're going. That's all there is to it."

So here I am, packing for a few days in Cedar Rapids courtesy of one terrific husband, a wonderful house/dogsitter, and with accessibility and tourist tips from two lovely ladies. I'll get into specifics soon. For now I'm just concerned with packing. There are some things I need to pack that are disability specific. I'm mildly stressed about that because want to be sure I don't forget anything vital. But the bulk of my stress lies in having to cherry pick just a few outfits and accessories that are going with me. I have to be sure I bring clothing that is appropriate for what I'll be doing, comfortable enough to let me do it without feeling constrained or exposed, and accessible enough that I don't have to stress out if  I have to use a public restroom.

The first thing I'll do is pack the medications and supplements I take every day. Instead of a suitcase full of pill boxes (I need every inch of space I can get!) I'm using a 7 day pill dispenser. I carry a small pillbox in my purse so I'll move my meds in by dose as needed. I'll also packing small quantities of "as needed" prescription medicine - anything I can't get from any grocery or convenience store. The next item is my carpal tunnel wrist brace that I have to wear to support my left hand while I sleep if I don't want to spend the next day with a numb hand. Last, but not least, is my blindfold, because lack of sleep will definitely put a damper on my waking hours.

T J Maxx proved to be a great place to find a good-sized cosmetic bag. In it I'll store portable makeup brushes and applicators, makeup and remover, tweezers, clippers, emery board, safety pins, fabric tape, ear plugs. A trip to Bath and Body Works during one of their sales yielded travel-sized shower gel, lotion, and body spray in the same fragrance I wear at home. Likewise Publix provided a travel kit with shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush and paste. The shower scrunchie was separate. I already had a trial sized mouthwash bottle, and the lint brush and mousse are Target purchases.

The only real albatross is going to be my lighted makeup mirror. I wish I didn't need it, but as I'm blind as a bat I have to have a 10x mirror to apply makeup unless I want to look like a rodeo clown.

Maybe I can sweet talk Mr Spashionista into putting it in his suitcase along with the 700 chargers we need for all of our "devices"!

"What about the clothes?" You say. I'll show you those once I get to Cedar Rapids. I may even try to do that in video form; we'll see.