April 22, 2010

Best brick I ever took on vacation

Trying to help my older sister decide what to pack on her first 3-week trip to Europe is tough. Her typical style of travel is getting in her Toyota Rav4 and driving somewhere.

She packs whatever her car will hold. Imagine a messy lumpy jumble - sort of Tetris and the wooden block stacking game Jenga.

I've seen her cram various sizes of tote bags, duffel bags and/or paper bags into the trunk and onto the floor of the car. For me, the worst part is her lack of planning and gasp, lack of a list.

Why do my sister's messy car trips matter? Because they show me where I am starting from with my sister and what she probably still needs to know about travel and packing light. Because you know she will need room for souvenirs. I predict we will have multiple conversations before June about electronics, specifically related to her camera and mobile phone.

My plan is to take her to people who I know can help with her questions. Since I've been a Mac and Apple person for years now, I have no idea what she needs to take for her electronics honestly. My middle brother is the PC geek and Microsoft C++ Programmer whatchamacallit "I stopped listening years ago to you when we were 11" guy.

What I know and care about today is this gem, pictured here. Technically this little square piece of equipment is labeled a power adapter, but everyone I know with any related Apple product that needs one calls it a brick or power brick.

What is magical about this brick is that it eliminates the need to pack a converter. On my last trip I took a small plug adapter for the Continent and for the UK. Both took up exactly three square inches of space in my luggage. Don't you love technology?

Wish me luck with my sister. She may call my brother for help, and that's okay. I plan to show her the benefits to owning an Apple iPhone anyway. She can think about it for her next overseas trip. I'm worried more about getting her to pack properly and to not take too many clothes.

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