BEST TRAVEL TIPS

Over the years, I have perfected the art of traveling.

I get on a plane often, so I really know what I’m doing when it comes to packing, getting through security, and not killing yourself on the plane.

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TIP 1: BAGGIES FOR SECURITY

The night before I travel, I prepackage all of my make up into plastic baggies. Then I put them in an easy access spot in my black plane bag. I have a lot of products, so I HAVE to plan ahead. We all know that TSA wants you to put your stuff in ziplocs, and sometimes you can get through without this step, but this is a definite “better safe than sorry” in my book. You can pre-baggie everything at home and zip through, or you can chance it and possibly spend 25 minutes with TSA agent Joseph going through your purse!

TIP 2: ROLLING DUFFEL BAG

If you’re checking your bag, make it a rolling duffel in a water resistant fabric. If they leave it on the tarmac, you’re f*cked- trust me, I know from personal experience! This is an easy bag to fill and drag through an airport, and isn’t unwieldy.

TIP 3: TISSUE PAPER

I pack everything in tissue paper. This is my little secret. I wrap suits, dresses, and everything else in tissue paper that I save during the year. This prevents stuff from wrinkling, to some degree, and is a good form of protection from the stress of traveling.

TIP 4: STEAM YOUR STUFF

Use the hot shower in your hotel room to get any wrinkles out of your clothes IMMEDIATELY upon arriving. Really, the sooner the better. Then hang them up in your closet. Hang the clothes over the shower rod, on the outside, with the shower head pointing straight down so there’s no splashing.

TIP 5: LIFT TEST OR CHECK

This is probably my biggest trick. If you can’t lift your bag over your head, check it!! You would be amazed at how many people, especially women, don’t check this before they leave the house. Then they get on the plane and someone else has to help them lift it into the overhead bin and take it back out. This is such a time killer! At home, just keep taking stuff out until you CAN lift it, if you don’t want to check it.

What are your best travel tips?

I would love to know!

Happy travels.

-Rose

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Spiritual Friday: The Sidewalks of New York

I am in New York City today — one of my favorite places in the world.  I lived here when I was in my twenties during the city’s “Desperately Seeking Susan” years.  My old neighborhood, the lower east side, was full of Ukranian food, Indian food, Italian food and some of the best dive bars I’ve ever had the pleasure of patronizing.  The years fall away for me.

As I walk these streets, visiting the familiar Christmas highlights – entire stores decorated in bows, the tree at Rockefeller Center, the enormous red Christmas ornaments floating in the fountain on 6th Avenue – I am still enchanted.

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And I feel the poignancy as I walk — heading north to THE park.

I can’t walk these streets without recalling the young woman I was…

Not quite as sure of things, not quite as peaceful.  I am overcome with memories of friends- some lost to cancer, others to the vagaries of time and the demands of adulthood.

The seas of humanity swirl as we navigate these streets- somehow together, somehow alone.  I see families holding hands to stay together as they steer through the crowds.  I see older people bent over but still carrying home their grocery bags.  I see the busy business people – determined, focused.

And I am humbled to be one among.  To be able to share in the energy and life and craziness that is this city.

What places stir the poignant memories for you?  What places bring you joy?

Share Please!

Have a joyful weekend,
Rose

Spiritual Friday: Me and My Folks

I’m with my parents this Thanksgiving.  It’s just me this year.  Since there are five of us, you never know what combination of the clan will land.  But this year I am flying solo with them.

One of the great blessings of my adulthood has been that I still have them.  I’ve gotten to know them in a way that is so different than how I knew them in my twenties and thirties.  They are all too human to me now… I see them much the way I see dear friends I love and admire –people of a time and place who have survived the joys and sorrows that life brings us…and who have done so with grace and dignity and humor.

My mother insisted on cooking the dinner again.  She is 81 now. I didn’t argue too much– stood at the ready and tackled the clean-up with all I could give it.  She told me it felt good to know she ‘could still cook Thanksgiving dinner.’ The verdict:  turkey was good – moist, not dry; stuffing was a bit dry for her liking.  “Easily fixed with gravy,” my dad and I responded!

In the morning I took my Dad– who will be 87 tomorrow– to the beach.  He sat on the boardwalk bench and I headed down for a long walk along the Atlantic.  I returned to him, my soul soothed, and we sat for a while and talked.

He speaks more now of his childhood.  I love his stories–like the one about the fire on the Morrow Castle, which beached in Spring Lake, New Jersey on its return trip to New York Harbor from Havana.  His folks drove down from Bayonne with the rest of the crowds to see the famous grand passenger ship now ruined and burned.  The story of the Morrow Castle goes on and includes explosions and prison and murder… look it up.  It’s a great tale.

My favorite moment was when he said, “I remember I had a little camera that took postage stamp size pictures.  I could see the entire hull…it was enormous.”  His gaze never left the ocean as he recalled that day.

“How old were you Dad?”

“I was six.”

I always get choked up when we talk about his memories.

Happy Birthday, Pop.

 

Tell me about your parents.  What are their stories?

-Rose