Things We Did Well, Not So Well

Looking back on our trip, there are some things we did well, and others we didn’t quite get right…in no particular order, I’ll try to sum them up.

GPS.  Don’t leave home w/o it!!!  Ours is a Garmin, handheld, and worth its weight in gold.

New Tires (when old tires were quite okay).  +5,000

Not Overplanning, and Building in Extra Days to Explore/Goof Off ~ +5,000

Packing.  -500.  We packed as we would for an airplane trip….Clothes in our big bags, toiletries, bathing suits, etc. in smaller bags.  Big error.  We should have packed all LONG TERM stuff (clothes & toiletries) in the big bags, so we could have left them in the truck….and one small bag each, w/ a week’s worth of clothes, bathing suits, and immediately necessary toiletries.  Less hauling, packing and unpacking.

Kitchen Gear.  +1,000.  For the most part, a great choice.  We’re very well appointed in our current lodging, but I still appreciate my GOOD knife, kitchen shears, good omelet pan, and food processor.  My gigantic roaster won’t even fit in the oven (LOL….come to find out PORK is the most expensive meat here…no pork enchiladas for a while, alas).  Having the French Press, Electric Kettle, Thermos, and Cooler available on a daily basis was brilliant….water and ice are available everywhere to supplement this gear  (Go-Rations).  Keep in an easily accesible place.  Plastic ziplocs were good, keep some handy, and a good stash in the long term storage…a boxful of plastic storage containers, not so great (available here).

Iguana Man packed a “car box”….w/oil filters, window cleaner, tools, shop rags, etc.  Very useful.  Numerous times.  Also, we brought the little hand held vac, w/ charger.  A Godsend.  Don’t forget it.

Things to do better:  Pack unnecessary stuff (like video camera), books, etc….in the “big boxes”…not required until we stop.  Pack “stuff” like beach chairs, dive fins, & umbrellas on TOP of the car.  Remember about secure parking, etc….but they are a nuisance inside the car, not too expensive if they get lifted.

Go Bag:  This was a last minute addition….basically my old standby “beach bag”….which contained a bunch of sunscreen, coozie cups, and a corkscrew/bottle opener.  GREAT MOVE (lose the sunscreen).  The bottle opener was invaluable for many things, and once we lost the sunscreen, we repacked it with extra cigs, candy bars, and TOILET PAPER.  That is an imperative on a trip like this…and it must be accesible.  Don’t leave it packed in your big bag (like I did at first).  Coozie Cups rock! 

MOST IMPORTANT THING I FORGOT TO PACK:  A rubber tub mat.  Everyone south of the border apparently thinks beautiful glossy tile is just the ticket for the shower and bathroom floor….and it looks to me like a great way to break your ass!  I’d give anyone $200 right now to FedEx me one or five.  Pack in your travel bag, and have a spare or two!!!!

Other than that, the only thing I forgot to pack was Blonde Mom & the Empress….although I spoke to them earlier, and life in Florida is apparently still fine.  Cheers!

~ Blonde Gator

5 Responses to “Things We Did Well, Not So Well”

  1. avatar BEGRUNT says:


    Isn’t that always the case….you always forget SOMETHING. Never fails, especially with me. That being said, it does sound like you had most things well covered. Well, have a relaxing time, do some more scouting around, and report back often…. 🙂

    Take care, Brint.

  2. avatar Jim Harman says:

    Well thanks for the trip blog!! Very interesting and informative! You guys take care and if this crap keeps up here in the U.S., I’ll end up being your neighbor…..

  3. avatar Unsane says:

    Maybe instead of a tub mat, shower shoes? I love those things…

    Keep updating the blog, and I’ll keep checking back for updates!

    • avatar Blonde Gator says:

      Great idea, S!

      Only a military guy would think of that…but it would certainly work. I haven’t managed to kill myself yet, but ya never know!


  4. avatar upcountrywater says:

    Aloha Guys,

    A good pair of slippers ( flip flops), for those slick floors..
    Not those one dollar rubber slippers.
    And if you get cold, one can wear them with socks.
    At 5,000 ft. It will be cold every morning.
    It’s 9:00 AM, here and I just took off my socks.
    Getting a garden started?