Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Packing, Repacking, Weighing, Start Over…

Let me tell you about how to pack 550 pounds of stuff in a 500 pound space. Miserable. We arrived with 12 travel totes, 5 carry on bags and 5 backpacks servicing as personal items. You would think it would be really easy to put it all back – well after a year of living in Costa Rica, the airlines changed the baggage rules. Turns out that if you travel between Dec 1 and Jan 15 and are heading south you can only take 10 large totes. We had to sell two totes worth of stuff, the totes themselves and get our lives down to 500 pounds (each bag could only be 50 pounds each – no more).

Sunshine started packing weeks in advance in preparation for this event. She made a general inventory of each tote she packed and made a large pile of everything we need to sell at the Student Garage Sale. She did great and we sold nearly everything we needed too. More packing.


On Monday before we left we borrowed a car and went to the beach to relax and get some time alone before the last push to the end. It was HOT, really sunny, dead quiet, beautiful and perfect. We really needed that. Made it home safe that night, without a car incident – even got a bit sun burned.

One last stop at crocodile bridge. It was quite a feast as passerby's were throwing in chicken bones.


As each tote was packed it became evident that it was going to be really, really, really close. It was. When everything was packed we had 10 totes, 5 carry on bags and 5 backpacks packed with about 30 pounds left in the pile. To make matters worse we were weighted out. Knowing that the totes would be weighed, but carry on bags and back packs are not we started the process of unpacking everything, removing the heavy stuff to put in carry on bags and back packs and repacking. 4 packing and unpacking times later, we got it. Then things got messy……

People started showing up at the last minute to give us departure gifts. It’s not possible culturally to say “No” to these gifts given with love and from the heart. Out with this shirt, this pair of socks can go, out with my hammer (bummer as it was the nearly the first tool I ever owned and I had it for nearly 30 years), Can we still make weight?????

About half the bags were over weight by half a pound or more (we figured we could push the envelope a bit), the carry on bags were really heavy and the backpacks were stuffed, but we made it.

Our last morning in Costa Rica had arrived.

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