Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wellies, galoshes, rain boots...........whatever

That lovely old song "Singing in the rain" always comes to mind when I see this colorful fountain at one of my favorite shopping malls.  On Friday I was there with my dear friend Vanessa, window shopping. Well we even did a little trying on of cute clothes in Anthropologie and checked out Urban Outfitters - fortunately the real rain held off.

Then yesterday, waking to heavy rain which lasted most of the day, and needed for our still dried up gardens so no complaining, I decided to be diligent about getting organized for the big adventure ahead.......where, although Summer, it will be wet and possibly quite cold as we near Antarctica. Here's a sampling of the clothing list received from the ship.....

Suggested Clothing & Equipment To Pack For Your Expedition

Parka - a warm, weatherproof expedition hooded parka will be awaiting you onboard - and you can take it home - (hopefully it will fit in the already stuffed duffel!).

Waterproof Rain Pants - wear these over your thermal underwear AND middle layer pants to stay warm and dry.

Footwear - you will need waterproof, knee-high rubber boots, about 2 sizes too big to accommodate 2 pairs of thick socks/boot liners (you step from the Zodiac boat into very cold water to access the islands).

Waterproof Gloves - worn over thin polypropylene gloves to facilitate operating a camera without exposing your hands.

Thermal Underwear - enough said!

Middle Layer Clothing - including pants, polar fleece etc.

Warm hat, neck tube and balaclava - to protect neck, face and chin.

....and the list goes on!

Are you laughing?  Yes this is me trying on some of my layers yesterday and choosing one of the most important items required.

Me in my perfect rain boots - glossy black, comfy and warm, and don't cost an arm and a leg!

Note the large boxes strewn about - lots of boots have been arriving via UPS.  My delivery guy must think I'm nuts ordering so much footwear, however it's the only way to make sure I get the right fit with all those cushiony socks, tucked in wool leggings, mid-layer pants, and then rain pants over the top!

I must tell you that the somewhat trendy British Hunter wellies are lovely and of course have the double Royal Warrant. Both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh wear them around Balmoral and Windsor they trudge through British mud to the stables etc., however they are not perfect, especially in 2 sizes bigger than what one would normally wear about town.  I already have big feet in my normal size!  After mighty and marvelous Zappos (don't you love 'em!) sent me several pairs, I have to 'fess up and tell you I'm sticking with these, good old American  Land's End (all rubber boots are now made in China anyway, yes even pricey Hunters).  Not just because they're half the price, but because they are a wee bit lighter and more comfy in the heel area, and don't have those flimsy non-functioning, decorative buckles on the side like the Hunters - and I was concerned my much too expensive rain pants might get caught up on them and rip!

After deciding on the Land's End boots - somehow that name seems perfect for where I'm heading - I spent time outside in the rain toddling around the garden just to be certain I'd made the right choice. After all, when your feet hurt it's always so miserable and can ruin hiking and sightseeing. 

Fortunately, this first cooler day, with a much awaited touch of Autumn in the air, was perfect for trying on all this crazy expedition clothing........... 

..........and the next step, trying to figure out sensible but stylish outfits to take for 14 days of casual daily shipboard life and evening dinners!  Also, with several days in Australia, where it will be hot, at the end of the trip, we'll be needing Summer weight I'm not putting my shorts away yet.........and will be hauling not one but two duffels to accommodate so much stuff!

What's the craziest trip you've ever packed for - would love to hear your travel stories, and any tips you can share to make the going easier.........little black dress, lots of scarves, and chunky costume jewelry come to mind.


  1. Dear Mary,
    This post made me happy just to read ... I love hearing about all the prep work for your next big adventure!

    I have just come off a one week jury trial - my first ever! It was exhausting with lots of complex medical testimony. In the end, I think we arrived at a fair verdict ... but I do wonder how many jurors reflect after it's all over as to 'what just happened.'

    Ttiest pack job for me .... one duffle bag for three weeks in Fiji, Australia and New Zealand. Total success.

    Enjoy Fall and this magical week.

  2. I would NEVER be able to pack for a trip like this, Mary! I am terrible about choosing what to bring and very indecisive. What a variety of clothes you have to bring!! I am sure you will be happy with the Land's End boots, I have a parka and it has served me well for over 20 years.


  3. too funny. I've been considering rainboots for TWO YEARS and didn't know what brand to get... so you think Land's End is the best brand?

  4. Oh boy! It seems like you are all ready and set for that amazing trip! Dear, thank you for a lovely day, I very much enjoyed your company. Love, Vanessa

  5. If you can see out of all that clothing Mary I'm sure you'll have a super time! LOL :o)

  6. Lands End...a favorite place to shop! You are so right...the name fits so well with your expedition's destination. They certainly did not make it easy as far as packing goes...such a wide variety of activities and climates! Can't wait to see what you come up with...are you going to give us a fashion show of your outfits?

  7. Rarely take jewelry when I travel, but yes I do take a scarf or two. They work well for many occasions. Love the boots and rainwear. Oh you will have so much fun.

  8. Wow, I think you got all the necessities for this trip - at least the Antartica part. I found this very interesting. I don't have any fashion tips for you as I've never been on a cruise or to a hot climate (other than Myrtle Beach which wasn't hot enough for me!!). This sounds like a amazing adventure. Can't wait to see pictures and hear all about it. Blessings, Pamela

  9. Sounds like a wonderful trip! My daughter was laughed at for taking rainboots to Carolina until the rainy weather brought on by Irene! Happy packing to you! Carla

  10. This made me smile! Three years ago we spent a week in Cuzco/Macchu Picchu and then a few days in hot and sunny Santiago, Chile. From there we sailed down to the tip of the continent, to Ushuia and Cape Horne, where it was frigid, storming, and we wrapped up in our winter jackets. Four days later we were in steamy Montevideo, Uruguay. That was packing fun - hiking clothes, hot weather clothes, winter clothes, cruise clothes......all in one suitcase!

  11. I'm waiting until after your journey to buy my boots. I don't envy your packing list, but the trip sounds wonderful. How do you keep your camera dry? - I was wondering about condensation in all those different climates. (Yes, it's a selfish question - I love your pictures.)

  12. Looks like you're having fun trying on all your wet weather gear, who doesn't love Lands' End? I live in their stuff!
    Can't help on the packing front, I'm afraid, I cannot travel light, just don't have that gene!
    Ask Sarah, she's brought only a carry on for 3 weeks in France!!
    What a talented lady she is!

  13. That packing list is formidable! Love your boots - you're so smart to have several different kinds shipped to you so you can find what fits best. When is the trip? It sounds so exciting!


  14. Hello Mary, I confess you gave me a chuckle in your "ninja" outfit. I know you will be sure to pack the correct clothing dear. That is quite a list. This is a very exciting trip and a real challenge for packing. Cold to hot in extreme...Good luck and have a safe and wonderful time.

    I can't think of any crazy trip to pack for. Except for a two week skiing trip when you only have one ski outfit. I didn't buy another ski outfit and made it through. We discovered two weeks of skiing is exhausting and only did it once.

    I commented on your previous post as well today. I am always playing catchup.

    Thinking of you tomorrow and wish you well.
    Love, Jeanne

  15. Well dear friend, i don't look a bit like you but my feet do look bigger. I have size 10 but wide wide fat!!! So i look a hell of a lot more like a blimp than you do. Writing from a hotel at Nairobi airport ready to fly home for 21 hours!!!

  16. Now that sounded like fun, and I love trying on shoes, boots, anything for my feet!


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