Backpack Love

Is it possible to be in love with a backpack? Because I’m in love with mine.

If truth be told, it’s not really mine. It’s Matt Drape’s. I wasn’t supposed to be using this particular backpack, because it’s small, and was used by Matt when he was in the 4th grade.

Remember when I said I had trouble making packing decisions when it was time to leave for this trip? Well, apparently I didn’t check earlier all the details of our backpacks like I thought I had.

It’s 4 hours before our flight from Seattle to Frankfurt, and I’ve packed all the backpacks (almost) and am zipping up Curtis’ backpack. Well, I think it’s a backpack. I’ve borrowed it from my friend Miyon. I stuff everything in it, and I mean everything. It’s a big bag. In fact, it’s too big and I’ve put too much stuff in it. But it’s too late to do anything about that now.

I turn it over to have a look at the backpack straps. They are not there. What in the world? How could I have overlooked the essential part of choosing a backpack — the straps of the actual backpack! I feel a sense of panic coming on. Think Lori, think.

Ok, my neighbor Amanda is the only person on my block who probably has a backpack that I can borrow. For 5 months. That shouldn’t be a problem, right? Hopefully she’s not going anywhere for the next 5 months.

I run up to her house. Time is ticking away. I bang on the door. No one is home. I run back home. I do a frantic mental search of all the bags I own. None will do. And then I remember Matt. My favorite boy, Matt.

Matt’s family went on an adventure like ours 5 years ago. His mom, Chrissie, loaned us all their family backpacks for our trip — yep, 4 backpacks. But I chose to use only 3 since they were bigger, and Matt’s was too small.

This means Matt’s backpack is still free for the taking. Better yet, it’s still at my house, which is nothing short of a miracle.

But how in the world can I get all of Curtis’ stuff in that little backpack? I can’t. Instead, I do a fantastical, gymnastical feat of unpacking and re-packing the contents of 4 backpacks all into different backpacks in 30 minutes.

I toss out things deemed unnecessary using only my lack of common sense as a gauge. Which is why in Paris, Curtis asked exasperated, “Where is my belt? I can’t find it anywhere in my pack!” And also why he asked in Budapest, “Where are my flip flops?”

I randomly discard items to make it all fit. I sit on the bags to zip them. I pinky promise myself that I won’t buy any souvenirs on the trip.

Fast forward 3 weeks to Budapest. Our Budapest haven. I offload 20 pounds of stuff we don’t need, and some souvenirs we’ve purchased. Yep, Zack bought a 2012 London Olympics hooded sweatshirt, just a small souvenir. I thought he was going to have it wear it every day over his red Cleveland High School sweatshirt that he’s already wearing every day. But Wini came to my rescue and is sending it on to America for me.

Our bags were so much lighter!

We breezed through Krakow, we blitzed to Switzerland. Where we promptly purchased 20 pounds of Swiss chocolate.

Oh well.


8 thoughts on “Backpack Love

  1. Lori Brown, I could not love you more. Thank you for taking Matt’s backpack with you! We are all so pleased to be part of your adventure. Our favorite “Matt’s backpack” moment was when he was randomly chosen to be searched in Tel Aviv. They dumped out the contents of a 9-year-old boy’s pack all over the counter, and held us all for questioning. Ridiculous!

    • We are LOVING these backpacks, and putting plenty of miles on them. They are our perfect traveling companions! Thanks so much for letting us use them!!

  2. Lori, remember when we were held back for questioning at the Tel Aviv airport ? and you were sicker than well, I keep coming up with inappropriate similes, uh….sicker than you felt when you saw your iphone in the bottom of the toilet bowl.

  3. ps – Chrissie, I didn’t realize Matt was so young when you went on your trip! This gives me hope for the more immediate future, rather than, say, wait until he’s 18.

  4. Ok, you KILL me! The back pack straps are under the zipper compartment!! They get hidden, so they don’t get caught in the luggage discombobulation – and then, when you need it – you unzip the thing and pull out the back pack straps!! Oh well – next time!

    • Ya, I thought of that a week later, laying in bed in Paris that realization came to me!!!! That just tells you how fried my brain was before that trip – ha ha!

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