There was a time when I decided what to put in my suitcase, put it in my suitcase and left for the airport.
While I was traveling, I shopped at will, and added that to my suitcase. No problems. Everyone was happy.
Wasn't life simple then?
Before I left France I carefully selected the minimum I felt I could get by with in frozen Minnesota. My suitcase weighed 34 lbs (15.5kg).
As they say constantly in 'America': "Good Job!"
I carefully selected my purchases while I was here, checking the weight of each item:
Horseradish Powder from Penzey's, 4 oz
Jolly Ranchers, large bag, 14 oz
One pair warm wool slacks (it was COLD), 7.5 oz
Bag of mon mari's favorite socks, 8 oz
And so on.
Each night, I would put that day's shopping in a bag and weigh it. I kept an ongoing tally.
I packed to leave this morning; I weighed my suitcase.
I expected it to weigh 47.5 lbs.
It weighed 51.4 lbs. The maximum allowance is 50 lbs.
I calmly and quietly said: "WHAT THE F***?"
I'm staying in an apartment in my s-i-l's basement…. Could it be humidity?
What did I miss? I was so careful!
I still had to pack the clothes on my back.
I had a problem.
Fortunately, I can now have a carry-on plus a handbag that could weigh another 25 lbs (12kg) total.
So I started rearranging, pulling out stuff that would fit in the smaller bag, weighing, then repeating.
I got it down to 48.5 lbs. Room to add the clothes I'm wearing.
I put the lock on, wrapped the strap around it, gave it one last lift to the scale….49.5 lbs.
Someone is just messing with me.
Here's the plan: I packed my big, bulky sweater on top (used frequently in the 'below 0 F' weather). If, when they do the final weigh-in at the airport, I am officially over the limit, I'll pull out the sweater and put it on. (It weighs 1.9 lbs.) Then I'll waddle through security, buy a magazine, demand a sack, take the sweater off and stuff it in.
We'll call it 'duty-free'.
I also have big pockets in my coat…. I'll be fine….
They don't weigh the humans; only the luggage.
I will be glad to get home and into my kitchen again. I haven't cooked a thing since I left 2 weeks ago. I have no complaints about the food I've eaten here; we've been to some wonderful new restaurants.
Still, it's not the same.
Before I left I made one of my favorite, slightly decadent, pasta dishes.
It was a treat for us and something special for Presto Pasta Nights.
Ruth, of Once Upon A Feast, has been rounding up delectable pasta dishes for an entire year, now. 52 weeks.
Smoked Salmon Pasta
8oz basil fettuccine
1 tbs olive oil
4 tbs white wine
3 tbs fresh lemon juice, about 1 small lemon
3/4 cup crème fraiche or cream
2 tbs fresh dill
200gr smoked salmon, (the moist kind: Irish or Scottish)
Thinly slice shallots and sauté in oil. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half. Stir in crème fraiche and heat through. Slice salmon into strips. Add 3/4 of the salmon, dill and lemon juice to the crème fraiche. Heat through but do not let boil. Add pasta and toss well to combine. Put it into a serving bowl, garnish with reserved salmon and serve.
BTW: my actual, empty suitcase weighs 17 lbs. Next trip I'm packing in a plastic garbage bag…
(I checked into lighter weight luggage and, apparently, finally, this year there are a lot of manufacturers making durable, heavy-duty suitcases, weighing 10 lbs or less, which will be available by summer. I am also contemplating a duffel-style bag. I am NOT contemplating shopping less. I mean: Get Real)