Packing for vacation

Writing this book is having its way with me. All this experimentation and research is manifesting small shifts in daily life.

These small shifts are sort of like tides sweeping in and out with surprising regularity and impacting all sorts of things. Like vacation.Making the most of your vacation: bring your house with you.We went on vacation last week, an all-out week at the beach where our only list of concerns included umbrella placement, washing the bendy straws and keeping sand out of the bedsheets.

We are the only people I know who throw a bag of clothespins, a small jar filled with distilled white vinegar, and our good kitchen knife into our vacation luggage.

To my immediate dismay (after lugging heavy rolling contraptions via Long Island Railroad, shuttle bus and ferry) we discovered our week beach rental house was a tad on the icky side. It was nice enough, don’t get me wrong, but the last thing you want to do on vacation is clean house. We were about as far from the dubiously sterile environment of resort hotels on Fire Island as we were from the North Pole.

I didn’t want to be grossed out all week, so I did a settling-in sweep of the place with a damp rag and some white vinegar. I bought a pair of dishgloves and set to work turning our little rental cottage into little house on the beach prairie. Making home away from home feel like home enough for me to relax.

After our place was up to par and we’d settled in, we drank wine and ate snacks.Grow your own caprese!And ate.

And ate.

You get the idea.

We lugged a full-sized cooler and two cold-storage bags stocked with food for the week. We also managed to fill a grandma cart and a rolling suitcase to the brim with dry goods, the pre-combined fixings for gluten-free pancakes, fine wine, a salad spinner and various kitchen utensils. I venture to say that we were perhaps the only vacationers eating CSA eggs and veggies, locally-raised and harvested meats, homemade bread and canned goods and homegrown produce.

Vacation food can be a disaster of pre-packaged, fried meh. Or it can be this.gluten-free toasts with soft cheese and friend-made marmaladeThis trip helped me realize that the way I feel most relaxed on vacation is to bring the most wonderful parts of my home with me. How do you do vacation?