Saying goodbye to the ‘Pack’ and buying new clothes for cold weather


My trip back to the U.S. had barely started when my trusty backpack (actually an oversized laptop bag) sprung a leak. More precisely, one of the two main straps ripped loose, the strap I normally use over my left shoulder, unless the bag is too heavy and needs to go over both shoulders.

backpackI adjusted, of course, but the damage meant this was the bag’s last trip. It was already beginning to fall apart, with holes in several places, balky zippers and makeshift zipper pull cords. All war wounds from five years traveling around the world (literally) twice.

I picked up this bag at a trade show when I worked at Communications News 10 years ago, held on o it without using it for maybe five years, before taking it with me to Costa Rica in June 2010. It is the “pack” in the 2 Bags and a Pack title of this blog. And it will need to be replaced before I head off again for places unknown.

This bag has been used for many purposes, such as carrying groceries or short excursions, carrying a change of clothes or camera equipment. It was a very useful traveling tool. On the road, it was my airplane carry-on bag, with laptop and change of clothes and other items, as needed. RIP Trixie!

Getting Ready for Winter

Asheville, NC, sits in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and it gets quite cold here during the winter. And my wardrobe from Indonesia of mostly t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops just won’t cut it. So, yesterday my daughter and I headed off to Walmart to stock up on some warmer clothes for winter. This batch here cost a little less than $200, and includes two pair of Wrangler jeans, a cotton parka, long-sleeve t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, cargo pants, warm socks, and new underwear.

new clothesWe also ventured into the grocery area. The chicken legs were the size of turkey legs and the prices were all so much higher than Batam, as you would expect. I stocked up on some food I didn’t normally have access to in Batam.

And before we began our shopping yesterday, we stopped at Waffle House for lunch. This is redneck territory but the food is always good, the prices reasonable and I love the “What would you like, deary” greeting from the obviously Waffle House-type waitress. It’s been a long time, so I ordered an egg over easy, crispy bacon, hash browns scattered and smothered (with onions), grits, raisin toast and jam, and a big glass of milk. Delicious, but enough calories for two days.

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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