Five Things Friday: Travel Essentials

Five Things Friday: Travel Essentials

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMojo68

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Five Things Friday

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Five Things Friday

Has it really been over a year since I’ve posted a 5TF? Well, duh. Obviously so. I guess that’s what happens when This Girl gets busy and doesn’t blog like she used to.

But I’m also guessing you’ve noticed the uptick in posts this week, yes? If you haven’t, I forgive you. Just hit the “previous posts” button at the top of the page to review what you’ve missed. And stay turned for more. There’s posts already scheduled for the next few days.

Well that’s neither here nor there. Whether I did or didn’t submit posts that you did or didn’t read, let’s move on, shall we?

Speaking of moving . . . Okay, not moving in the permanent, relocation sense, but moving in the literal, body in motion sense . . . Which makes me think of movement. Which makes me think of transportation. Which makes me think of flying. Which reminds me that tomorrow I’ll be flying. Which brings me to my topic for today’s 5TF. See? My own little string theory right there, folks. Glad you were a part of it.

Frankly, My Dear . . .: Five Things Friday: Travel Essentials

Frankly, My Dear . . .: Five Things Friday: Travel Essentials

Remember last year’s adventures? Remember my beautiful new carry-on suitcase? [You can read about it here: Oh, The Places You’ll Go!]

So, I’m not a seasoned traveler. Yet. I’ve never flown out of the country, or visited terribly big cities more than once or twice in my life. But don’t count me out! I know a thing or two about packing essentials. Especially after the fiasco which was my first flight to Blue Ridge. [Read: And They Say Getting There is Half the Fun . . . ] Hey. Tomorrow’s flight is to Blue Ridge. Huh. You think history could repeat itself? Say a prayer that it doesn’t. Please. A small prayer.

Even the day-trips of the last few years have taught me how to move smart. And now I get to share my experiential wisdom with you. Aren’t y’all a lucky bunch of peacocks? Here’s my list of those don’t-let-’em-out-of-your-sight items you need to keep with you on any trip. [Editor’s Note: the writer assumes your wallet/ID/cell phone are material extensions of your existence, and thus do not recall a separate shout-out for the purposes of this post.]

Ready? Here we go:

  1. Cash. No duh, you say. But I’m not saying “Cash, or cash equivalent.” I like to live with my ATM card. All my transactions, right there, for tax and recording purposes. But there are some places that either don’t take cash (a roadside Farmers Market stand with tantalizing fresh fruits and vegetables) or charge a ridiculous processing fee for using an ATM. Gas station kiosks charge a fee, your bank charges you a fee. Pretty soon you’re out more than five bucks for a one-dollar soda. Carry the cash, in spendable increments.
  2. Beverages. Depending on your mode of transportation, you may need to purchase this after you head out (See No. 1 above). Some services offer free drinks, but some charge. If you’re driving, keeping extra bottles of water and a thermos of coffee in the vehicle. The last thing you want is dry mouth after Doritos and hummus.
  3. Professional essentials. This is the equivalent of a businessman’s briefcase. If you’re a writer, you’ll need either a notepad and pen or a laptop/tablet. If you’re a photographer, camera and lenses. Don’t pack your entire office. Just what you need to get the job done while you’re en route.
  4. Power cords. Don’t laugh. I’ve known a person or two who brought their electronics, but no way to charge them. Even packing them deep in the carry-on luggage isn’t the way to go. Keep the cords in easy access in your laptop bag or at the top of your suitcase. No digging, no draining.
  5. A sweet attitude. Oh, don’t you smirk [did you think I couldn’t tell?]. Let’s be real, traveling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. There’s squishy strangers, unkempt surroundings, and the occasional “Oops, we should have turned left about thirty-two miles ago” moments. A travel itinerary is a basic plan, but have you ever noticed it’s never delivered on a stone tablet? Go figure. Read the fine print: I guess that means it’s subject to change. Once in a while, you just have to suck it up and change with the changes. It doesn’t happen too often. Count it as an adventure, not a job.

Where will your next adventure take you?

CLICK TO TWEET: Frankly, My Dear . . . : Five Things Friday: Travel Essentials

With a map in my hand and the wind in my hair,
~Molly Jo

And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Oh, The Places You’ll Go!


It’s quite possible I’ve had so much to write that I haven’t written a thing. Okay, true story: I (almost) don’t know where the month of March went. I almost feel like the Beatles’ Here, There, and Everywhere. Oh, don’t get me singing. Just give me some sweet tea or coffee and I’ll calm down.

There was a chaotic beginning in March. Projects up in the air, should I do this or quit that? Bless her glorious heart, after a morning out as we’re sometimes prone to do, Mum asks, “Would you like me to come over and help you clean your house?” Now, Bedford Manor isn’t a messy place. Not usually. But let me throw a few words out for ya: Flu. Cats. Media. Work. Any of these pieces fitting together? So when Mum asks, I do the only thing a responsible, caring, independent, adult child could do. I cried and said, “Thank you!”

The next thing you know, the house is clean, the body is healthy, and I’m on my way to Seattle. Seattle, people! The Emerald City! The land of . . . Well, the land of my children. And coffee. And probably the sixth location mystery in the City Series. Yes, that’s already in the brain. Suffice to say, I picked a good locale for the story I need to tell there. But that’s a separate post and about three years away. [You can wait, can’t ya?]

I spent three and half days visiting Dot and her husband, as well as enjoying some of the town. I flew up on a Thursday, took the tram directly into downtown and walked myself up Capitol Hill and into my son in law’s work. Dot joined us shortly after and from then on it was go, go, go. Here’s the part where I profusely thank my daughter for telling me in no uncertain terms, “Get over your love of heels. Don’t wear them here. You won’t survive.” She was right. My Keds barely kept the kicks alive. And I’m pretty sure I burned calories from alien beings, that’s how funky the legs didn’t work after ten hours of this thing called walking.

Anyway, I digress . . .

From different Starbucks (I mean, that’s not a surprise, right? That’s as obvious as eating beignets when I visit New Orleans next year.) to unique cuisine to family time around the TV watching, you guessed it, Frasier on Netflix . . . It was the best non-working vacation I’ve had in years. [Okay, so the Frasier thing didn’t happen until after we visited the Space Needle gift shop and a saw a mug that said “Good morning, Seattle!” at which point we looked at each other and said “Ohhhhh, yeahhhh” then went home and watched it over popcorn.] [NOTE TO SELF: Get. That. Mug.]

It’s been difficult to narrow down my favorite moments to just five. Actually, I can’t even say these are my top picks. They just happen to be some of my favorite photos. The moments . . . Well, there’s far too many of them for a Five Things Friday post.

In any event, these are my five favorite Instagrammable moments:

  1. Nippers and I frequented the Willy Wonka of coffee places, the Starbucks Roastery. Here we are enjoying a hot chocolate made with real melted chips, not syrup, and a tiramisu topped with chocolate shavings. I might have been a little Type-A for a few hours after indulging . . .

    Nippers the Frog at Starbucks Roastery

    Nippers at the Roastery

  2. This amazing view of Mt. Rainier from the rooftop. This photo doesn’t do it justice. The beauty of the snow above the green above the city . . . And let’s be real: It’s name is Rainier. For my NOLA Swarm, you’ll know exactly why that excites me. Am I right?

    Mt. Rainier in Washington

    Mt. Rainier from the Rooftop

  3. Honey! Dot and I bought a handful of honey sticks from the Farmers market. These naturally sweet treats are good on their own, but we also love adding them to our hot teas. I bought the variety pack – like This Social Media Ninja Bee could pass up that opportunity.

    Honey Sticks from the Farmers Market in Seattle

    Honey! This Social Bee’s favorite tea sweetener.

  4. Seriously, potato pizza. Serious Pie, from renowned Seattle chef Tom Douglas, is a pizzeria with three locations including one in the Roastery. Dot and Her Man treated me to this amazing, I-didn’t-think-I’d-like-it-but-I-LOVED-it potato pizza the first night. The food and service were so good, when they asked where I wanted dinner the second night, I opted for different pizza, same pizzeria. That was not a mistake. And I’d do it again.

    Potato Pizza, seriously? Yes. At Serious Pie.

    Potato Pizza, seriously? Yes. At Serious Pie.

  5. My goodie bag is full of souvenirs from both the Roastery and corporate Starbucks where they work, the honey sticks, and, no shocker here, how could I pass up a book from the huge two-story Barnes & Noble? I couldn’t afford to buy the purse pen from Tiffany & Co. just yet, so I got myself the next best thing. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote.

    Seattle Souvenirs

    Seattle Souvenirs: Coffee, honey, and books.

And since I always love to add a bonus photo or video, here it is. I can’t take credit for this. Ten minutes after arriving at the Roastery I met Cyrus who was kind enough to share his Seattle insights, and noted I came on a good weather day. He then showed me this time-lapse video he took a few days earlier of a storm. I loved the video so much I asked if I could share it and he said yes. He also gave us suggestions of places to visit. I later discovered he’s a real estate agent in Seattle, so of course he has become my Go-To Guy for any touristy ideas I might have. I’m trying to convince him he should start a YouTube channel and share his Seattle. If you agree, drop him a line on his real estate Facebook page. Tell him I sent you. And tell him he needs a YouTube channel.

Well, there you have it. My not-only-top-five for Seattle. What are your favorite travel moments? Share them in the comments.

As always, with some love and a big gulp of sweet tea,
Happy reading.
~Molly Jo

And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!