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Jun 2010

A Game-Lover (Over) Packs for Travel

Last month it was South Carolina. A week with two other couples, in a rented house. Lots of lounging-around and relax time on the agenda, so games of course were on my packing list before we headed out. Yahtzee, that’s easy: thin paper score sheets and 5 dice. Not much luggage real estate taken up by that. Just one more die needed and we’d be set for Zilch as well, so I just tucked away the tin that’s held my Zilch rules and beloved 6 green dice for so many years. Two games down. Mini cribbage board and a deck of cards, no sweat. Dominoes? I love playing dominoes. But man, those double-twelve sets sure are heavy (just weighed ours, comes in at over 4 pounds). I shoved them in the suitcase anyway. Impossible to know what we’d be in the mood to play as vacation progressed! Chicken Foot? Rummy? Zilch? Wanted to be prepared for various options. Ended up Zilch was the major favorite, we played loads of games of Zilch. If I’d known, could have left some weightier selections back home!

That’s one problem I have with vacation. Or any time I’m getting away and will have some “down time.” I tend to have boundless expectations for how much I can accomplish in those given hours of supposed down time. (It might be noted, in case it isn’t abundantly clear yet, that my “relaxing” usually involves an activity or a project of some kind. Which may or may not actually be relaxing but it’s how I’m built.)

Case in point: an upcoming train trip. It’s a long one, from Seattle to Santa Barbara and back. Lots of quality relaxing time. So I’m assembling the things that will help make the most of that time. Some of which will be devoted to just staring out the window and enjoy the scenery, I sure hope. Let’s see. I’ve got two books. Four or five magazines. And a knitting back full of yarn and accoutrements for the latest projects on tap.

Oh, and games. Of course games!! So there’s the travel Scrabble, a cribbage board, cards. Some friends are loaning us their travel version of Settlers of Catan, which we only just learned to play over dinner at their house recently. Dice for Yahtzee. A travel Mancala board. Lordy. As if we’re taking the train across the country instead of just down the coast.

Sure it’s a long ride. About 32 hours each way. But still, if I add up all the hours that each of those pack-along activities might take, the books, magazines, knitting, games. Maybe some time set aside for sleeping and eating. I know I’m overdoing it. But just as with that last trip, it’s so hard to know that I’m actually going to want to do to bide the time while we’re riding the rails. So I’ll take it all. And just let the cards fall where they may.

What’s your tactic when you’re traveling, what kind of games do you take along? And how do you prioritize which games to take along and which to leave behind for another time? Maybe I’ll take some tips from you before I next hit the road and am faced with the same desire to take a few too many options, “just in case!”

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Games on the Go | Gourmet Game Night, July 6th, 2011 on 5:55 pm

[…] on the Go July 6, 2011 – 5:55 pm I wrote last summer about the sometimes-conundrum of how much luggage space you can–or should–devote to […]