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View Full Version : Five-day Chicago trip with WF/Synapse



Badger
12-11-2012, 01:31 PM
On another thread (http://forums.tombihn.com/travel-tips/5052-going-chicago.html#post42904), I mentioned that Kiddo and I will soon be in Chicago for a five-day writing/research trip. The plan is to write in blocks throughout the day and early evening, and we will also be taking pictures, shooting footage, and doing research for our next project. We're planning on doing a lot of walking since daytime temps are expected to be in the mid 40s, and we'll also be relying on public transport and taxis.

Because of all the walking, I decided that I'd two-bag it and carry my clothing in my WF and my work stuff in my Synapse. This to me is more conducive to walking around—and the Synapse has a smaller footprint both on and off my person. At night, we'll be going out, and both bags will be left at the hotel.

Here's what I'm taking; if I don't expire before the end of finals week, I'll try to post a picture or two.

Packed clothing:
Slim-fit dress pants (herringbone; fancy!)
4 t-shirts of various provenance
2 dress shirts and 2 work shirts
merino wool cardigan
gym shorts (for hotel-room modesty preservation purposes, not working out)
3 ties
socks and chonies for each flippin' day, thankyouverymuchJanine
a pair of Campers

Wearing/carrying:
jeans, a sweater, a hoody, a fleece jacket, Scarpa GoreTex mid-height boots, hat/scarf/gloves

Toiletries:
Chagrin Valley shampoo/soap bar
contact cleaner/case/glasses (and a backup pair of contacts)
toothbrush/toothpaste/floss
deodorant
face lotion
hair wax
q-tips (quite a few, used to clean tragus piercings)

In my Synapse:
15" MBP + charger
iPhone charger
Field Notes notebook
Pilot G2 Ltd. pen
earbuds + cord splitter
Rayban New Wayfarers in their case
hand sanitizer
Klean Kanteen water bottle (haven't decided on the 18 or 27 oz. size yet)
a bunch of Clif bars and probably a Rock Star
Advil, lip balm, Altoids, and eye drops in a small Dyneema OP
Ultrasuede cloth and pen refill in a mini Dyneema OP
Kiddo's early Christmas present (awwwwww)

Badger
12-13-2012, 06:01 PM
Okay. I had a moment, so I took a couple of "beautiful" pictures. First, here are the contents of my Synpase:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-rWY29-2Bi5U/UMqFLDuPXWI/AAAAAAAAAxY/VR9ZxYdZKlM/s320/photo%25281%2529.JPG

You'll notice a 15" MBP, the Synapse with mini Solar and small Steel Dyneema OPs, a Rock Star (which I had to restrain myself from drinking on the spot, I'll have you know), a 27-oz Klean Kanteen, earbuds, sunglasses, Clif Bars, hand sanitizer, Kiddo's present, a pen, Field Notes, and Italian Kleenex (yes, Janine, there's still plenty for you).

And here are my Synapse and WF, practicing the buddy system because they don't get to leave Iowa often enough and are subsequently afraid of big cities:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-kvykkIAN5hc/UMqFLFjJhbI/AAAAAAAAAxc/f-xvzu3d0X0/s320/photo.JPG

I've got shoes packed into the WF, which is why it's a bit bulgy in the front. More pics to come from Chicago!

Janine
12-13-2012, 08:10 PM
On [URL="http://forums.tombihn.com/travel-tips/5052-going-chicago.html#post42904"]
socks and chonies for each flippin' day, thankyouverymuchJanine


Thank GOOGLE for this. You know how much it bothers me when people pack insufficient underpants. *shudder*

Janine
12-13-2012, 08:12 PM
...Field Notes, and Italian Kleenex (yes, Janine, there's still plenty for you).

These two things warm my heart. Field Notes for a trip to Chicago - perfect! And I'm counting your Italian Kleenex consumption. I use these forum posts as documentation.

Badger
12-13-2012, 08:42 PM
Thank GOOGLE for this. You know how much it bothers me when people pack insufficient underpants. *shudder*

Anything I can do to help, Janine. I travel with your comfort in mind.

Badger
12-15-2012, 10:17 AM
Hey everyone,
it's a beautifully mild and rainy morning in Chicago, and I wanted to share a few pictures with you of our travels so far.

We left Iowa yesterday under blue skies. We drove to the train station and then took train into the city. This is Kiddo's car, by the way.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-lc4XwuKHLyU/UMy8GfMagKI/AAAAAAAAAx8/-YNaTmz40mk/s720/IMG_00089.jpg

Kiddo waiting for the train with her Imago (and ginormous freaking roller bag; we're working on that one).

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QvF0nglARuc/UMy8I7Y_1cI/AAAAAAAAAyE/zWT_sjIaB9o/s512/IMG_00090.jpg

Janine, here's proof that I brought blue shirts (but I'm not going to show you proof of the chonies, sorry):

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-SHAZybBKEI4/UMy8Ovze5lI/AAAAAAAAAyU/7cpkMS32qPk/s512/IMG_00092.jpg

And finally, here's my Synapse chilling in front of the hotel's Christmas tree. More to come!

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-v97AHnGGxuc/UMy8QvSKSYI/AAAAAAAAAyc/FnvaVLppFEA/s720/IMG_00093.jpg

bchaplin
12-16-2012, 05:47 AM
Thanks for sharing! I was looking over your packing list -- How do you carry the soap/shampoo bar inside your bag, once it gets wet? i.e., Ziploc bag, soap dish, etc...?
Thanks!
Beth

Badger
12-19-2012, 08:49 AM
Thanks for sharing! I was looking over your packing list -- How do you carry the soap/shampoo bar inside your bag, once it gets wet? i.e., Ziploc bag, soap dish, etc...?
Thanks!
Beth

The soap came in a little paper bag. I just let the soap dry, and before we left I stuck it back in the paper bag. If we had been moving from place to place, I would have packed it in a snack-sized ziploc, perhaps with a paper towel around it to pick up any extra moisture.

Grandcache
12-19-2012, 09:14 AM
Wax paper sandwich bags work too. I usually pack a couple extra in case replacements are needed during my travels. I use a permanent marker to label the bag so I can tell quickly whether it contains soap, shampoo, conditioner, or lotion...yes, I even found a beeswax based lotion bar and it works! :-)

Badger
12-21-2012, 01:38 PM
So, I've been back for a few days, and now that I've had time to detox—I mean, rest, I thought I'd share a few more pictures with all of you. First, what you've all been wondering: no, we didn't quite finish our project, but I'd say it's about 4/5 done at this point. It was an absolute luxury to focus on that one thing over the course of a few days. Second, we were lame and didn't make it to the Newberry this time. Next time, Nancy, I promise.

But I can make good on my word to share with you a few of the places we went. This picture was taken at The Violet Hour (http://theviolethour.com/), my favorite bar. Now that it's very famous, I'd totally recommend getting there when it opens at 6. That way you're guaranteed a table without a wait. This drink is something the mixologist made for us: Genevieve gin, Lillet Rouge, and St. Germain.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-5_duTSzBOoM/UNTSNEmx-pI/AAAAAAAAAy4/Wk7nhjADMng/s720/IMG_00094.jpg

I don't have a picture of this (thank God, you'll be saying) but I wasn't kidding when I said we were going to get piercings in Chicago. Kiddo had her tragus done, and I got both of my traguses and one lobe. We went to Insight Studios (www.insightstudiosonline.com/), and I can say it was hands-down the best experience I've had. Kiddo has a needle phobia and Bob, the piercer, was amazingly quick, precise, and matter-of-fact. I do not have a needle phobia, and while I was getting pierced we just chit-chatted. I don't know if this information is useful to anyone here, but if you're in the Chicago area and need any work done, Bob's your man.

The nicest place we went this trip was The Drawing Room (http://thedrchicago.com/). They specialize in what they call "culinary cocktails," and the attention to detail was impeccable. We did actually eat things on this trip, and the dinner we had here was fantastic, with many things sized to share.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Vf7eC0bGONY/UNTSPSz4KSI/AAAAAAAAAzA/LK1vuHbNVuo/s512/IMG_00095.jpg

One of the stranger things we saw:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-BlkED22YHxk/UNTSWCIDdOI/AAAAAAAAAzY/ab4oaGUK6iQ/s512/IMG_00098.jpg

And the hotel where we stayed:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-aSbgCVFeONU/UNTSRvipruI/AAAAAAAAAzI/EPKB94kkHrM/s512/IMG_00096.jpg

There are a lot of writers on this forum, and I've gotta say: if there's any way you can take a weekend or even a night to get away and do good work, you should. I've never allowed myself to do something like this, and it ended up being totally relaxing and so worth it in terms of what we got done.

TOBaggirl
12-24-2012, 08:02 PM
Thanks to this posting I now know that I have a tragus. Never ever heard that word before, and had no idea that body part even had a name. :)

Badger
12-24-2012, 09:02 PM
Thanks to this posting I now know that I have a tragus. Never ever heard that word before, and had no idea that body part even had a name. :)

Technically, you have two of them! (I know, since both of mine still hurt like a son of a gun.)

jannilee
12-25-2012, 04:26 AM
Hmmm. Kiddo's Imago looks VERY familiar....

Badger
12-26-2012, 08:46 AM
Hmmm. Kiddo's Imago looks VERY familiar....

It should! It's her favorite bag, too, and she has other TBs.

snowbot
12-27-2012, 04:57 AM
This sounds like a great trip!

lioncity
01-03-2013, 07:46 PM
Thanks for the pictures. First time seeing a cupcake machine. Is it good?

When you carrying both bags, do you carry your wf in briefcase mode and synapse in backpack mode?

Badger
01-05-2013, 06:52 PM
Thanks for the pictures. First time seeing a cupcake machine. Is it good?

When you carrying both bags, do you carry your wf in briefcase mode and synapse in backpack mode?

We didn't actually purchase cupcakes from the Cupcake ATM. We just laughed at it and took pictures of it. (Seriously. We laughed, took pictures, walked away, and then came back and laughed some more and took more photos.)

When I carried both bags, I wore the Synapse as a backpack and used the Absolute Shoulder Strap to carry the WF. My WF does not have backpack straps.

bchaplin
01-07-2013, 11:20 AM
Thanks for the mention of the Chagrin Valley products. I ordered a few of the samples (including some shea butter that should be great for my winter skin) and can't wait to try them out. I'm trying to cut down on the size of the toiletries I travel with, and it would help a lot to have one bar that can double as shampoo and body soap in a pinch.


The soap came in a little paper bag. I just let the soap dry, and before we left I stuck it back in the paper bag. If we had been moving from place to place, I would have packed it in a snack-sized ziploc, perhaps with a paper towel around it to pick up any extra moisture.

Badger
01-07-2013, 12:34 PM
Thanks for the mention of the Chagrin Valley products. I ordered a few of the samples (including some shea butter that should be great for my winter skin) and can't wait to try them out. I'm trying to cut down on the size of the toiletries I travel with, and it would help a lot to have one bar that can double as shampoo and body soap in a pinch.

You're very welcome, though I can't take sole credit since a lot of forum users have advocated for CV in the past. I'd say that the bar that I use (the tea tree) does quite well as both soap and shampoo. It's astringent enough that hair gets really clean, but there are enough essential oils that it doesn't desiccate my skin. The fact that it's a solid can go a long way to freeing up space in the 1-quart bag if you're flying, too.

I will admit to occasionally using the manly all-in-one shower gels when I travel. Sometimes I just prefer liquid soap, but for whatever reason I find Dr. Bronner's liquid too drying (the bars are fine; I'm not sure what's wrong with me). I've used Dove and Nivea with good results.