Festive Quebec City at night

The Art of Packing & How I Got to Quebec

No doubt there’s a fine art to packing that I’ve never mastered. When I was younger and visited my grandmother, I practically re-invented my environment there, taking many times what anyone else would have carted for a month much less a week! Compared to that baseline I have improved.light years but have miles to go.

I’ve actually had a bag top 50 lbs before and I will never forget laughing when my backpack arrived in Atlanta with a sticker on the outside of it that said “team lift” – gee guys, I carried it all over the Tube – on my back, no wheels! And these weren’t the same time. The 50 pound bag was my large wheelie bag coming back from California. Between the heft that bag already has and its size I fear it’s rather too easy to top the scales.

I’d gotten into a rhythm with past trips. I was getting better at packing my large backpack such that it didn’t kill me or cost me extra. Things changed this trip. I got a new daypack for Christmas that will better fit a camera bag insert I have. I’d been stuffing the thing in the detachable daypack that came with my travel bag, but it just creates a huge lump that seems neither safe nor sane (I usually ended up throwing the daypack across my chest). So, with a new daypack that in no way or form attaches to the big pack, I could either continue slinging one across my chest or change.. Thus began the many times I packed last night. I packed multiple bags including the big wheelie bag (which I’m convinced was over 50 pounds when I finished). In fact, it felt very much like it was filled with lead. I changed bags several times until I came full circle to the big duffle I’d intended to use all along, but I had to sacrifice some clothes. I hate that as I’d rather spend as little time as possible on laundry, but what else was there to do?

So, I got precious little sleep and I feared that duffle was over 50 pounds, too.  And this cascaded into a late start. It became one of those mornings you either laughed or cried. I was running late and got to the shuttle service in Warner Robins… only… it wasn’t there… uhm?? Unknown to me, it moved sometime in the past year to a new location – one that I had PASSED to get to the old one. I would have gotten to the bus on time if only I had known.

To add to my trip trauma, the shuttle that should have come next didn’t. No explanation, just didn’t show. So, I missed the shuttle I wanted and the next one. Then when I got to Macon to transfer to a shuttle to Atlanta, the one that was there was full… yes, another half hour late to add to it all!

I do think that was the closest I’ve made it to boarding a plane since 9/11. They were boarding when I got there, but I made it. And I was so exhausted that I slept during part of my first flight, and I fell asleep on the runway in Philly. I totally missed our take-off. I heard an announcement and looked out the window expecting to see the runway and I saw city streets below us. Wow, I was tired!

All that trauma and exhaustion that could have mostly been solved by the mere presence of a scale to find out my bag was 30 lbs… doh!

Anyway, I’ve only seen a little of Quebec so far but am liking it. There’s snow and ice and the city is incredibly festive right now. I may end up with a series of Christmas cards if nothing else. Ha!

Festive Quebec City at night
A Point and shoot sample of what I saw here in Quebec

The cold here is different. At first I didn’t even notice it. I mean, yes, of course, it was cold, but the difference between freezing and 9 degrees Fahrenheit was not so obvious. It still takes standing still in it a few minutes for the cold to really seep into me, but what is truly shocking is touching my camera’s metal parts after I’ve taken a few photos. Wow, that will send shivers through you!

Daylight was waning when we landed but I saw fields and fields of white before then and I’m looking forward to learning a bit m ore about my home for the next week tomorrow… but not early I don’t think… I have to recoup that sleep somewhere!

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