Friday, March 2, 2012

A Tale of Two Bags

My goodness! How is it that I haven't done a blog post in a month and a half?!? I'll tell you how...because nothing has really happened in the last month and a half! We've been having crappy weather on the weekends that has thwarted any attempts at our newest hobby (geocaching), but not enough crappy weather (specifically snow) to allow us to break out the cross-country skis and tool around the property here at The Homestead. Any decent weather days that might allow for motorcycle riding have happened on weekdays - meaning Chris has gotten out a few times, but I'm stuck inside slaving away over certificates of payment, change orders, and special budget funding requests (oh my!). That's OK...spring (and consistently better riding weather) is just around the corner. 

With the promise of better weather comes another new adventure for Chris and me - backpacking! When we were in Pittsburgh last September to purchase a sleeping bag for me for our fall motorcycle camping trip, I looked at backpacks and found one that I really liked - the Gregory Deva 70. Since I already have a backpacking-weight sleeping bag and sleeping pad, and we already have a backpacking tent, the next logical purchase for me was a pack. 

Thanks to some fundage from my in-laws for Christmas, I was able to pull the trigger Monday on the Deva purchase! I went to our local outdoor store - Appalachian Outdoors - on Sunday where I was assisted by Adam H. in getting properly fitted with the right frame size and waist belt. The only color they had available in-store with a small frame was Bodega Blue - not my first choice. I decided to go home and see what I might find out there on the interwebs; I'd seen a Beta Red online last week that I really liked, but it turned out to be last year's color. In my research Sunday afternoon, I managed to find an online retailer selling the pack for $60 less than AO's price. I e-mailed them to ask if they would match it, and they would! So Monday at lunch, I headed downtown to AO, tried it on one more time with Drew's assistance, and walked out grinning carrying my new Deva 70!

I am super pumped about this pack and I can't wait to get out on the trails! Our first backpacking adventure will probably just be an overnight on the Allegheny Front Trail (it's local) because we want to make sure backpacking with Oscar isn't a complete disaster. It's our hope that we can backpack as a family this spring/summer/fall assuming Oscar can/will settle down at night in the tent. We'll see... Before we can do any significant hiking, Chris needs a new pair of hiking boots. I think another trip to REI in Pittsburgh is in order!!!

Now, you may be thinking right now...this blog post is titled "A Tale of Two Bags" so what's the other bag? Patience,'s coming! 

Thanks to some Christmas fundage from my parental units and a sweet e-mail coupon from Vera Bradley, my non-outdoorsy travel just got a little more stylish! About a month ago, I bought myself the Vera Bradley Weekender bag in my favorite pattern (Baroque, in case you were wondering...I mean, my birthday is less than five months away...). It is the perfect size bag for, well, a weekend of travel...or, as I'm thinking, for the four days/three nights I need to go to Philadelphia later this month for the ERAPPA Mid-Year Meeting. It's also a great size for an airplane carry-on that won't need to be gate-checked for the small regional jets they use here at University Park Airport. It should fit quite nicely at my feet or in the overhead storage bins without any problems.

Again, I am super pumped to travel with my new Vera bag! I even bought an awesome lime green purse for this spring/summer to compliment this Weekender, as well as the Baroque accessory pieces I already have - the slim case, the coin case, the hard sunglasses case, the "one for the money" wallet, and the passport holder. I can't bring myself to carry a Vera purse (I prefer solid color purses), but I do love all of the accessories and travel bags! Wait...does telling you about my new lime green purse qualify as the tale of a THIRD bag?!? Uh-oh!!!

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