The weekend I accidentally became a minimalist

As I entered the third weekend in a row of traveling, I didn’t even need to bother making a packing list (which I normally do, simply because I enjoy a good list). I knew it was going to be the hottest day of the summer the next, so I packed a white top and a pair of shorts. I threw in a casual skirt for good measure and, because I like options, eleventy billion extra tanks and t-shirts…and a pair of jeans just in case. Add to that: pajama bottoms, a giant t-shirt to sleep in, an extra pair of sandals, two library books, a belt, and all the normal bathroom accoutrements and I was ready to go!

On our way out the front door, suitcase in hand, I stopped and looked at our slightly wilting basil outside. Then I thought about our tomato plant in a pot up on our balcony. I knew they’d wither over the hot weekend with temperatures hitting 90+. I quickly watered the outdoor plants and then we hopped in the car and headed west to Grand Rapids on our merry way. A weekend of good food and sight seeing beckoned us.

Upon our arrival, I quickly knew something was amiss. I said a few choice words, looked at my husband and said, “I did a bad thing…” Yep. My suitcase. It was not with us. The floorboard behind the front seat where I normally put my little suitcase when I travel was bare. The funny thing is, between the two of us, I am not the forgetful one. I am the vigilant rememberer. But I suppose there is a first for everything, right? Thankfully, a good friend was able to make a quick drive by our house to ensure the suitcase wasn’t sitting in our driveway our outside by the front door. I couldn’t even remember if I’d brought it outside! After being informed the suitcase was safely inside the house, it was time to make a decision:

To drive home and get the suitcase and drive back? That would make a grand total of 3 hours spent in the car on a Friday evening. Not ideal.

Or…go the Meijer, our local trusty mega-store, and pick up a few items to get me through the night and then drive and get it sometime on Saturday and bring it back? I’d have all my stuff with me, but that still meant more car time. Still not ideal.

Or…get the necessary items at Meijer and just stay for one night. Go home late on Saturday. Keep it simple. That was a possibility.

Or…stay all weekend as planned and just buy what is needed. Also a decent option.

On night #1 I went to Meijer and bought one white tank top, underwear, deodorant, and a toothbrush. The knee-length black skirt I had on could be worn on Saturday. The hotel had shampoo and soap. I was set!

Saturday brought storms, steamy temperatures, and many adventures:

Oh, ladies… ever wondered how to bike ride with a flowy knee-length skirt on? Here’s a useful hack!

We biked using easy-to-pack foldable bikes brought by our in-laws! We saw Lake Michigan and dipped our toes in the water! We ate bbq pork sammies at an outdoor restaurant that only played Jimmy Buffet music! We also hitched a ride on a ferry that takes people from one side of the river to the other. There is a crank chain that ferry operators use to guide the ferry and get everyone from one side to the other.

When faced with going to a nicer restaurant for dinner in my super sweaty and now mysteriously stained tank top, I went out and bought one more shirt to get me through the night. We ended up staying the second night and coming back this morning…I wore the same new shirt I wore to dinner last night and managed to wear only my black skirt all weekend.

This morning as we were packing I realized all of my stuff could fit in one plastic grocery bag.

So, what started out as a huge hassle, ended up showing me that, no, I do not need those eleventy billion extra shirts. Sometimes less is more.

Now we are back home on another steamy summer day. The refrigerator needs to be cleaned out and I have a bike that has been locked up in the garage for two very busy weeks. Methinks an afternoon ride is in the future.

Happy Sunday!

The weekend I accidentally became a minimalist

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