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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Never to forget-Kandy Shepherd


“What did we forget this time?” my husband asked me once we were on the road and too late to turn back home. Last weekend, we headed down the coast for a “mini break” to catch up with some old friends. For more than 13 years we’d spent a week of summer vacation with this couple and their daughter. Both girls are the same age, both only children so it was ideal.

Year after year we met up, hiring a holiday house as close to the beach as possible. We would often speculate on how long it would last before the teenagers would think the beach house break was way too uncool. But it was my friend’s battle with two types of cancer that halted our trips away. Now, after a break of three years, we were meeting once more for a long weekend at the beach (it’s early autumn Down Under). Just the adults this time, with one daughter overseas on a gap year and the other immersed in study.


But what did I forget to pack? The houses we stay at require you to bring bed linen, towels and essentials to augment kitchens stocked with just the essentials. It seemed that for each of those 13 years, I had forgotten something important. One year the towels. Another my underwear (yes, not one pair!) One summer I brought jeans and shorts but not a single T-shirt. Sunglasses. Swimsuit. Sunhat. All things I had to hastily purchase from supermarkets or souvenir stores using hard-saved vacation dollars I would rather have spent on something else.

My most memorable omission was shoes for my then three-year-old daughter. To avoid the traffic we left home at dawn, tucking a drowsy little girl still in her pajamas into her car seat. Her pajamas and no shoes. How could I have been so dumb? The only tiny sized shoes available where we were staying that she would consider wearing was a pair of fussy, patent leather mary-janes. They looked ludicrous with beach clothes and blistered her feet but that was it for a week. Thank heaven bare feet were fine on the sand.

So what did I forget last weekend? Toothpaste, yes, but our friends were happy to share their tube. Not so comfortable was the single fitted sheet I brought for a queen-sized bed.

But the weather was perfect, the surf superb, and everything I loved about the place still wonderfully the same; the memories of our daughters growing up so vivid. Most joyous of all was the chance to share the company of a dear friend when we had all feared that might never happen again. (The pictures above are of the view from the vacation house we rented at beautiful Bawley Point, New South Wales, Australia and of some lorrikeet visitors.)

One thing I share with my friend is a love of reading—and one of the things we talked about was the books we have read recently. What I did not forget to pack was a selection of good books!

Have you ever forgotten to pack something important for a trip away? Please leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of my contemporary romanceHOME IS WHERE THE BARK IS and include your email address if you want to be in the draw.

32 comments:

ev said...

Since most of our traveling is now done in an RV, if we forget something, it's easy enough to stop and get.

I think the one thing I do tend to forget is batteries. Hubby forgets cell phone and ereader cables. I have a list of things that I check off to make sure I don't forget anything important.

Leni said...

I'm into making lists for just about everything, so I'm more into over packing just to make sure I have everything whenever I leave the house.

lenikaye@yahoo.com

Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, I've had to travel so much in recent years that I've got the packing pretty much down to a fine art. One thing I do is to pack the day before so if I've got that niggling feeling I've forgotten something, it has a chance to tell me what it is. Inevitably if I have that niggling feeling, I HAVE forgotten something. How lovely you had that long weekend away - it sounds idyllic. I had an idyllic week at Bawley point about ten years ago in a house right on the front with a lorikeet feeder on the front lawn. Your post really brought back wonderful memories for me.

marybelle said...

I forgot to pack bathers for a beach holiday. Do you know how DIFFICULT it is to buy bathers when in a hurry??? Unbelievable!!

marypres@gmail.com

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Ev--of course, batteries. So easily forgotten and sometimes so difficult to get in out-of-the-way places. Your life traveling in your RV must be a lot of fun.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Leni, lists really are a good thing aren't they--if only I didn't have a tendency to forget the list! I tend to be an over-packer too, I start of with good intentions then throw stuff in at the last minute "just in case".

Kandy Shepherd said...

Anna, so great to hear you have fond memories of Bawley too. It is as beautiful and unspoiled as ever. So peaceful and a wonderful place to "recharge the batteries". Thanks for dropping in.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Oh Marybelle, I know exactly what you mean about the bathers!
The year I forgot mine--which is crazy as I love swimming--I ended up with a horrible, polka-dotted, ill-fitting swimsuit that I never wore again.
Yes, buying bathers with plenty of time is bad enough but in a hurry not to be recommended.

PJ said...

Hi Kandy!

The timing of this blog is perfect as I am currently sorting out what to take with me for an upcoming week at the beach. I have a standard traveling list that I check, double-check and triple-check before leaving the house. Must haves are meds, camera, swimsuit (I'm very hard to fit) and books. Anything else, I can buy when I get there.

So glad you're friend is doing well and you were able to enjoy time together at the beach. The photo is beautiful!

traveler said...

I plan ahead of time to include all the necessary and important items so we don't foget anything. I find it extremely inconvenient to omit something I need. I love the photo.

petite said...

I enjoyed your lovely description of the vacation in the past and now. Your photo is lovely. We try to make lists in order to avoid problems.

Lil said...

I once forgot my hiking boots and so did trekking in worn out sneakers. The lack of grip in all the muddy trails was just awful.

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

kaelee said...

My husband is a list maker and if we follow the list we don't forget anything usually.

My niece and her husband and three kids were leaving on a vacation to Spain. I was driving them to the airport. When we got to the airport my great nephew didn't have any shoes on. Time was tight so they asked me if I could drive back to their house and get his shoes. I got a cell phone call that if I took the shoes to the check in desk they would make sure my great nephew got his shoes before the plane took off. Now the last thing they do is check to see that all the kids have shoes on.

desere_steenberg said...

Hi Kandy,

I just loved your post what a lovely discription thank you for sharing it with us.

I ll be 100 % honest the only essential thing I have ever forgotten when going away on a trip was just after my son was born and it was our first vacation, I remembered to pack everything he would need and ended up forgetting to check my own luggage I did not pack my toothbrush lol !

So of course I had to rush out to a pharmacy to get a new one upon arrival.

Thank you so much for a stunning contest I would love to win thank you for giving us the chance to win your book!

Take Care,
Desere

desere_steenberg said...

Hi Kandy,

I just loved your post what a lovely discription thank you for sharing it with us.

I ll be 100 % honest the only essential thing I have ever forgotten when going away on a trip was just after my son was born and it was our first vacation, I remembered to pack everything he would need and ended up forgetting to check my own luggage I did not pack my toothbrush lol !

So of course I had to rush out to a pharmacy to get a new one upon arrival.

Thank you so much for a stunning contest I would love to win thank you for giving us the chance to win your book!

Take Care,
Desere

desere_steenberg@yahoo.com

runner10 said...

I have forgotten my entire suitcase. I had to make a stop at Walmart and buy everything I needed for 2-3 days.

csdsksds[at]gmail[dot]com

Estella said...

I tend to over pack, rather than forget something.

kissinoak at frontier dot com

Pat Cochran said...

I'm with Estella on the over-packing!

It's nice, Kandy, that your friend is
able to attend your gathering again!

Pat Cochran

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hey PJ, great to see you here!
You sound very organized for your week at the beach.
Glad to see books are part of the vacation essentials!
Several years ago my husband, daughter and I had a much-anticipated week in Fiji. It rained the entire time. Lucky I had packed a stash of books. Husband wasn't so fortunate. He brought one book, planning to buy some more at our destination. The isolated resort didn't have any books on sale and he had to read the same book three times! I kept offering my books: a choice of romance, thriller and literary but he wouldn't touch them.
I hope you have a fabulous week at the beach!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi traveler, it really seems like planning ahead and making lists is the way to go, doesn't it?
So glad you liked the photo. We were so close to the beach the thundering of the waves kept me awake at first. I soon got soothed by the wonderful rhythm.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi petite, I'm so pleased you liked the tale of my vacations. It is heartwarming to revisit the scene of happy times and find it is still as wonderful as we remembered.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Lil, I had to laugh with heartfelt sympathy at your story about the sneakers. I can well imagine they would be no substitute for hiking boots!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Kaelee, I love your story about your great nephew's shoes. It brings back memories of my week with a three year old in bare feet for most of the time. Your niece was so fortunate you were able to help. I bet she never went on vacation again without checking the kids' shoes!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Desere, the number of times I have had to go down to a hotel lobby late at night and ask do they a toothbrush and toothpaste for sale is embarrassing!
Trouble with moms is that we are so busy packing for others, we often forget our own needs!

Nas Dean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nas Dean said...

I always forget to put the pen back in my handbag after using, so am always looking for pens!

nas_dean@ymail.com

Kandy Shepherd said...

Your entire suitcase, Runner10? That would be a disaster! Thank heaven you were able to get to a Walmart and restock. It must have been annoying to have to duplicate stuff you already had--that's what I've found when I've forgotten things.

Kandy Shepherd said...

I tend to be a "just in case" over-packer too, Estella!

Kandy Shepherd said...

I tend to be a "just in case" over-packer too, Estella!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Thanks so much Pat, it really was wonderful to see my friend and have that time together. A few years ago it seemed like it would never happen but there we were all together again...

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hey Nas, I'm a forget-er of pens too! I'm always burrowing around in my handbag wondering where a favorite pen could possibly have got to...

Kandy Shepherd said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments--it seems that lists are definitely the way to go for trouble-free vacations!
The winner of the copy of HOME IS WHERE THE BARK IS is Marybelle.