Monday, January 14, 2008

January 6, 2008 - Hudson, Ohio

Yesterday, after lunch with Kate and PJ, we drove back to Hudson. When we arrived, we discovered that the boat parts we had sold on eBay had fetched good prices, but that the new GSM quadband cell phone (in other words, a phone that we should be able to use anywhere in the world where there is cell coverage) that we "won" on eBay was damaged. The seller agreed to refund our money, but I would have much rather had the phone. A similar phone is going to cost us twice as much in New Zealand. And it won't be such a pretty color.
I think Sten is secretly relieved that he won't have to be seen with an aqua blue phone.

Our challenge today is to get all of the stuff that accumulated over the past month packed into 4 checked bags and 2 carry-on bags. I actually started this process a week ago, when we were last in Hudson. I dutifully researched the baggage allowance of both our domestic and international carriers. Any way I crunch the numbers or shift our gear among the bags, we're going to be paying overage fees. We just have too much stuff. In addition to 30 lbs of travel guides and cruising guides, 12 lbs of tequila, 18 lbs of shampoo and conditioner (a total extravagance I know, but I simply can't live without Kiehl's 133 - the best conditioner ever made for fine hair - and they don't sell it down under), 11 lbs of DVD's, 2 laptops, a couple of jars of our favorite Frontera salsa, and a few items of clothing we still had a big pile of tools and boat parts to pack.

The sticky wicket was a 60 lb transformer. The problem is that both airlines have a 50 lb per bag weight allowance. Anything over 50 and under 70, they'll accept, but over 70 and they can refuse to take it aboard. Sten opened up the transformer case to see if we could put parts of it in two different bags, but the innards were all embedded in epoxy. After some hemming an hawing about whether to put it back in its shipping crate, Sten ended up packing it in an old North Face backpack, lined with latex foam. Between the added weight of the foam and the bag, the whole package was just under the 70 lb maximum allowance. After a few tense hours, and several strained muscles, by mid-afternoon we were packed, and could enjoy our last evening in the States hanging out with my parents and grandparents.

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