At the start of the month, I joined three of my best friends from college in our college town, Charlottesville—AKA the best city in America—because we hadn’t seen one another in way too long. The most effective way that I explained it to Mary Tobin was that it would be camp for mamas.
And I highly recommend Mama Camp! Should you find yourself packing for something similar, here are some ideas for what you might need:
- Your cutest shirts and dresses to show off for your fashionable friends (i.e. the only two cute tops you like right now, and in my case: muumuus).
- A selection from the huge basket of beanie babies at your mom’s house, to send home with your friends for their kids. (Side note: the new beanie babies with huge eyes are terrifying.)
- Comfy jammies for lounging and chatting.
- The most outrageous rental car you can find, to embarrass your friends.
- Some ideas about what you’d like to accomplish. Our to-do list included:
- Bodo’s (the bagel place)
- The Lawn
- Take It Away (the sandwich place)
- Basil gimlet from Mas Tapas
As you see, the three essential factors we considered were food, drink, and shady, lovely spots to sit and chat. The weather was glorious. We ate two delectable dinners at Zocalo (on Charlottesville’s downtown mall) and Tavola (in Belmont), and spent a beautiful afternoon at King Family Vineyards.
- How disgusting our dorm rooms were and how we’ve grown in the area of cleanliness.
- Using regular clothes as maternity clothes and maternity clothes as regular clothes.
- Flare jeans
- Shows on Netflix and Amazon. My pick is Catastrophe. So so funny.
- Beauty products
- Schools, work, career paths, health, and many items and details that will remain in the circle of trust.
We always find our friend Anna Kate, though she often doesn’t realize it, to be a source of great recommendations: cute clothes, pajamas, Madewell jeans, dry shampoo, chic diaper bags, something to put in the carseat or stroller to keep it cool in the deathly heat (AK or SB, give us the deets on that, please!).
Our friend Ansley gets the trooper award, since she had some kind of stomach bug and was not feeling 100% all weekend. You could hardly tell since she remained her bright cheerful self, but we gave her a hard time for drinking less wine than the pregnant lady (if you lost track: that’s me).
Our friend Elizabeth is the encouraging one who will always tell you how great and cute and smart you are, and that you should write a book. She’s the one who told me to share on the blog my quick tip for packing up the family, which is simply this: I typed up our master Packing List on Evernote (but it could just be in Word on your computer) that I print out for every trip and modify for the occasion.
I’m not yet a professional packer, but this way I don’t have to think through all the randomness every time we go somewhere. Some of our essentials, for example, are the girls’ special pillow cases, the noise phone, and cuddle guys. (What’s on your list?)
I think that’s all. I am a professional mama and this was an excellent professional development trip. Write it off!