Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, August 30, 2019

Four Things

Posting Schedule Note: Due to Labor Day travel, I was already planning to take Monday off from posting. However, as of yesterday afternoon, when I wrote this post, we were within the five day forecast cone for Hurricane Dorian. Depending on where it hits Florida and how strong it is if it does, I may be away a bit longer. It's even possible it will affect the Florida panhandle, where we (currently!) plan to stay. (But maybe not for too long!)

I plan an update Tuesday, but I won't guarantee one.

This image is my photograph of the box containing the coffee maker. Feel free to re-use it.
Having said that, with travel on my mind, I'll reel off a few items I have used recently to improve the traveling experience...

1. I have kids and my wife loves Disney World. Given where we now live, that means I'll end up there a few times a year. The hotel rooms in some of their resorts unfortunately lack coffee makers, meaning I was having to attempt to read or write uncaffeinated in the early morning -- or waste half an hour hiking to and from a restaurant.

Fortunately, I have found a small, versatile single-serving coffee maker I can pack for these trips. It can brew K-cups, single-serving bags, or loose ground coffee. Oh, and it cost me less than twenty bucks.

2. Even for their intended use, cheater plugs are dubious, but that doesn't make them worthless. If you have a two-prong appliance, like a phone charger, that fits too loosely into an outlet to do its job, you may find that plugging it into a cheater plug and the cheater plug into the outlet will solve your problem. They even can solve problems caused by oddly-shaped plugs that block the use of nearby sockets. By lifting it off the surface, the cheater plug in between frees up any spaces the oddball plug blocked.

3. When we sent Pumpkin off to her first sleep-over summer camp, she was required to bring a laundry bag.

I don't know why, but until recently, it never occurred to me to bring one with me when traveling. (Before, we'd just designate the corner of a closet for dirty clothes and pack them when leaving. And then, we still had to hunt for things the kids left elsewhere anyway.)

Faced with a couple of trips with just the kids, I realized it could simply things for me: Since my daughter was used to using one, I figured my son might think it was neat to use it, too. I was right. The room was neat and all I needed to do to pack dirties was throw the bag into the partially empty suitcase and take a cursory walk through the room. And on the other end, there was no confusion about what was dirty and what was clean.

4. For ferrying supplies at weekend soccer games, my wife bought a small, collapsible wagon. It, too, has proved its worth on road trips to resorts at the Magic Kingdom. Sure, I could walk a mile back and forth for a luggage cart from the lobby or sneak a cart from the laundry room, but the effort versus the actual amount of luggage made it little better than doing multiple trips back and forth. The wagon took space comparable to a small suitcase, but allowed me to do everything in one trip.

That said, be aware that Disney, at least, does not permit such wagons within the parks themselves.

-- CAV


Dinwar said...

With regard to #1: My mother-in-law got me a stainless steel French Press for Christmas a few years back, and it has quickly become my standard coffee maker. It's double-walled, like a thermos, so it keeps the water hot (unlike my glass one), and being steel it can handle being banged around a bit (again, unlike my first glass one). There are various styles on Amazon, most of which sell in the $20 range. I've traveled with it many times, and outside of a few small dents (purely cosmetic) it's as good as the day I got it.

I also second the collapsible wagon! My wife and I got one for trips to the zoo, parades, and the like, and it's been tremendously helpful.

Stay safe in the hurricane!

Gus Van Horn said...