For someone who claims to thrive on spontaneity and throwing caution to the wind, I sure do make a lot of detailed to-do lists and plans of action. Like, really detailed. While I have made hasty travel plans many times, as soon as that plan is made, I fervently research everything I can about the destination, even if I only have a few hours. Which is not to say that I would, for instance, book a hotel room in advance, but instead, I’d read everything I can about every single museum, historical fact, yarn shop, book store and weird restaurant found there. In preparation for a weeklong vacation with my family, my dad scanned a vacation list of mine, hailing from the summer of 1999, when I was 17 and had just finished high school. It’s anal, to say the least, but certain items made me laugh, including “writing utensils,” “coloring books,” “candles” and “coupons.” Really? Was I really still using coloring books at age 17? Oh geez. And candles and coupons seem necessary to a beach vacation?

Not much has changed from what I’d bring today, content-wise, disregarding the obvious staples. Of utmost importance are still books, craft kits, Ernie, journal and”writing utensils.” The second part of the anal list-making is scouting out all the places to visit, which did include and would today include bakeries, craft stores, vintage clothes/thrift shops and bookstores. Always on the “buying” portion are two of my beach souvenir necessities, postcards and taffy.

Somebody recently called me a “responsible quixotic.” I think that about sums it up. Beach or bust…