14 Days in a Carry On

I am pretty much packed for Cuba and I dont leave for another two and a half months. I get a little ahead of myself when there is a trip on the horizon. So I thought I would make a list if what I am packing pre trip and write again after the trip to say what I over packed or what I felt I was missing.

The trip consists of 2 days in Varadero, 2 days in Vinales and 8 days in Havana.

For Varadero I will need the things for a beach day and a day of touring. Vinales is a day of horseback riding, and a day of touring and possibly swimming. All the days in Havana are spent walking around, touring museums and sightseeing, with evening required for the Tropicana Show.

So I always start out making my packing list by listing what I need for a step in the process or event. I visualize each day and what I could possibly need. Remember when your walking around all day you need to have everything you could need on you.

  1. Inflight & bus rides
  2. Beach Days
  3. Walking Tours
  4. Horseback Riding
  5. Nights out
  6. Sleep
  7. Toiletries
  8. Anything that will add to trip and make better

Then I create Micro Lists for each of the above mentioned days.

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Hike in Camping at the Gem Lakes, Saskatchewan

So Last weekend I drove out at the crack of dawn to a beautiful little jewel in the rough the almost no one has heard about… The Gem Lakes. It’s not surprising because they are well hidden and although they are in a provincial park in Canada they are relatively unadvertised. The only reason my husband (Rob) discovered their existence was by googling “best trout fishing in Saskatchewan.”

Rob’s massive passion is fishing and our summer got off to a slow start, but we are getting into it hard. The last 3 weekends we have been camping, fishing and getting into nature true forest people. My husband and I made a quick camping trip to Cypress Hills Interprovincial park, then upped our game huge and went to Wateron National Park where we got a taste of and a hankering to go hike in wilderness camping. We were going to go to Waterton again because we had heard that some of the best fishing is hike in… But we decided that our virgin trip into the wild should be a little easier. He already had the Gem Lakes on his hit list and after a little research we learned they have wilderness camping and the hike into them isn’t crazy!! I am a nature lover and used to do a lot of hiking back when I lived on the Van Island, but since moving to southern Saskatchewan the pickings have been slim and now I’m outta shape. So anytime that Rob is up for a foray into the deep I’m all in. Actually I’m all in on any adventure.

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Swimming with the Turtles, Akumal Beach, Mexico

A gorgeous morning, a beach, flippers… what more could a girl ask for?! Certainly my husband was all about the turtles. He has a running joke that we did not go to Mexico to get married (but we did), but we went to Mexico so we could swim with turtles. As soon as he found out this was a possibility in during our trip planning, he became obsessed. Obsessed. No joke. So of course when there we had to find a way. We went on an all day excursion the afternoon was filled with touring the ancient city of Tulum.

The bus ride from our resort was short. It was the first time my husband and I had been on a trip outside Canada together, and seeing Mexico in the daylight was an awaking. The beach was beautiful, we did get to actually swim with turtles as they were in the area, as well as other fish life. Tip for the ladies, do not where a string bikini, I believe there are a fair number of people who got a good look at my headlights, as I did not notice for quite a while… I also got a little worries about fire coral apparently very irritating if you touch it, it burns for a while. After that I kept a solid distance between me and the reefs.

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