The van held everything but the kitchen sink!
As I look back I see that I spent about three weeks before we left preparing for the journey. We set up all the hotels for the trip out to the Healing For Today Conference, making sure to give ourselves enough travel and rest time for each day. We also asked each place to not spray air fresheners in our room.. They do that to make rooms smell "good" and "fresh" of course. It covers up any other smells! Air Fresheners are so unhealthy for everyone!
We had no idea how well I would do in hotels. It has been fifteen years since I graced the doorway of a hotel room, so we carried sheets, a couple of blankets and pillows in an extra soft side suitcase, and our smaller room size air purifier. Add to that a spray bottle filled with vinegar and we felt we did what we could to keep me from reacting. Only one room had a strong smell and my tongue and glands started to swell. We prayed over it speaking aloud the promise God gave me that if I would go He would provide...... and I felt my glands go down and tongue go back to normal. That was the last time for that kind of reaction. Thank you Lord. Along with vinegar and the air purifier, what helped me the most was the essential oil peppermint. One of our children recommended it for sinus issues.....I used it as needed on trip and when I went to bed. Joel did too! It was very helpful.
Basket of essentials
We also had to carry most of our/my own food. We packed a big basket with essentials like sea salt, olive oil, baking soda, silverware, paper plates, napkins, etc........and snacks. We bought jugs of spring water before we left and all along the way. I cooked 4 days worth of food ahead of time and even froze some cooked meat to take along. We had three coolers! One medium one we have had for years carried much of our food and one smaller ones carried lunch for the day and the other just extras. We booked hotels that served hot breakfasts (all but the conference hotel~ Garden Inn Hilton) and mostly stayed in hotels with fridges and microwaves so we could keep our food safe and have hot meals at night. We ate a total of 42 meals and I ate 10 meals out counting hotel breakfasts. Joel ate around 16 meals out including the free hotel breakfasts. When we did not have a hot hotel breakfast option, I made scrambled eggs in the microwave and also cooked sweet potatoes and carrots in it too. It went pretty well until the end when I was down to almond butter for protein with no Whole Foods near by. Their rotisserie chickens are delish! Such good food to choose from....lots of veggies, rice, etc. available in their deli area.... I lost 4 pounds on the trip. I certainly could afford that, though. We also carried a little supply kit with thread and needle, Neosporin, a night light and more. I have done that for as long as I can remember and yes, I always end up using it! We even brought small bottles filled with our Seventh Generation clothes soap and softener so we could wash once at the hotel in CT. plus we used plastic containers that were washable for traveling meals, etc.
We carried winter and fall coats, just in case. We had a larger suitcase that we did not take out of the van until we got to the Hilton where we spent 6 days and nights, so we each had a smaller suitcase with travel clothes for going out and back plus hanging clothes and a small tub of shoes in the van. We also brought along our devotional basket. It has held our/my devotional books for 20 plus years. I think that is about it........It seems we brought everything but the kitchen sink.
Basket I purchased in the Philippines in 1975!
We are people with good organizational skills. We like order and work well together as a team, so we had a good routine going by the time we got home. I am more than grateful for all Joel's hard work to load and unload each day and for those carts the hotels provide! It was a big effort but worth it to be able to go.