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Thread: 15 Days to France in Winter with the family

  1. #1
    Registered User mrbrown's Avatar
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    15 Days to France in Winter with the family

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    Finally done packing for a 15-Day trip to France with my brood. It is winter there so we are packing more warm clothing for the kids and the wife (we live at the Equator, so our bodies aren't as acclimatized to cold weather).

    Still, I am rather pleased with how efficiently we managed to pack.

    My clothes are in the Aeronaut 30 (weight: 6kg, about 13 lbs). This includes all the jackets and sweater consisting of Icebreaker merino wool stuff, Uniqlo down jacket and a Columbia softshell.

    My camera gear and iPad Air are in the Co-Pilot. I am debating whether to take the Night Flight Travel Duffel instead. It has double the capacity of the Co-Pilot but the latter is more compact.

    Kids: My two younger ones age 9 and 11 carrying the Synapse 19s. The S19s contain their winter wear and one set of spare clothes. About 2.5kg (5.5lbs). I reckoned they should be able to handle that load. Their school bags are already more than double that weight (weight is a problem with SIngapore school bags, kids carry way too much). The key is to ensure that they have something to wear the moment we touch down. So even we lose our one checked luggage, or it is delayed, they still have a set of clothes and all their winter wear.

    The oldest child isn't going on this trip, and is staying home with my mom. Her sensory issues don't deal with 13-hour flights very well. But my mom is taking her to Malaysia for a 4-day road trip with our helper. So she will have a ball.

    Wife: I gave the missus the Dyneema Aeronaut 45. She has most of her clothes in there. About 6kg (13lbs) too. The bag is like a cave, swallowing all her belongings.

    We have one checked luggage. It is carrying the balance of the kids' clothes, some toiletries and cosmetics that belong to the wife that won't pass the 3-1-1 test (one does not argue with the wife about her toiletries and makeup) and the wife's high boots.

    I tried suggesting that the wife wear the boots on the plane but she wanted to wear something lighter. Again, one does not question the wife when it comes to what fashion is needed on a trip. Hey, it's Paris, she wants her boots, she gets to pack it.

    Not too bad for a family trip for half a month. We used to pack at least three suitcases for something like this.

    Shall post photos of the trip once we are there.


    Addendum: You don't realize how OCD you are until you are responsible for packing not just your own stuff but for the family. Color-coordinated packing cubes anyone?
    Last edited by mrbrown; 11-19-2014 at 10:16 PM.
    @mrbrown on Twitter, happy owner of a Black Dyneema A45, Navy A30, Navy Tristar, Navy WF, Navy NFTD, Navy Co-Pilot, Navy DLBP, and Burnt Orange and Navy S19s (yes two).

  2. #2
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    @mrbrown, you are my hero. Not only are you a packing genius, fantastic writer, and amazing photographer, but you are also a very wise man.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbrown View Post
    Addendum: You don't realize how OCD you are until you are responsible for packing not just your own stuff but for the family. Color-coordinated packing cubes anyone?
    Why is that OCD? Makes complete sense to me. When I first got into packing cubes, my partner just had to have them too. We coordinated the colors with our Tumis. I got EC cubes to color coordinate with the A30, and the steel TB cube and Nordic PCSB are perfect for my Nordic/Steel WF. There is nothing OCD about that to me. 😄


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  4. #4
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Great post! Thanks for sharing it. I think the individual backpacks for the kids is a smart idea. Good luck to you and your family -- hope you have a great time!
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  5. #5
    Registered User Orangeboys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pokilani View Post
    @mrbrown, you are my hero. Not only are you a packing genius, fantastic writer, and amazing photographer, but you are also a very wise man.
    +1, my feelings exactly. @mrbrown I love your posts. This time, I especially appreciate the A30/CP/A45 lineup. Food for thought... (uh oh...)

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    Registered User blackbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangeboys View Post
    +1, my feelings exactly. @mrbrown I love your posts. This time, I especially appreciate the A30/CP/A45 lineup. Food for thought... (uh oh...)
    Ditto for me! @mrbrown, thanks for the photos and your wonderful travel stories. Hope you're having a wonderful time in Paris!

    blackbird
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  7. #7
    Registered User mrbrown's Avatar
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    Waiting to board the plane with my A30 and Co-Pilot. The setup allowed me to help the wife with her A45. So she didn't even need to worry about that bag.

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    The plane is a 777 with a 3-4-3 configuration, which is pretty cramped. Air France does this to add more seats, I guess.

    Having our Tom Bihn bags meant that despite the full flight, we didn't have to fight for space in the overhead bins. The kids' S19s are tucked under the seat in front of them, and my Co-Pilot too. The A45 and A30 went above with space to spare.

    I am reminding them to be mindful of their S19s. It is their responsibility. Lose it, I said, and you will have no warm clothes to wear in the cold Paris weather.

    (I didn't add that these are my favorite backpacks and I would be very sad if they were lost.)
    @mrbrown on Twitter, happy owner of a Black Dyneema A45, Navy A30, Navy Tristar, Navy WF, Navy NFTD, Navy Co-Pilot, Navy DLBP, and Burnt Orange and Navy S19s (yes two).

  8. #8
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    This looks like it's shaping up to be another excellent trip. Thank you for sharing your photos!

    (And everyone, don't forget to check out some more @mrbrown photos on the New Improved TB Blog.)
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  9. #9
    Registered User flaneuse's Avatar
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    Great photos! And I agree, the s19 is perfect for kids. My oldest son uses it when we travel. Enjoy Paris!!
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  10. #10
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    You have an adorable family!
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    Please bring back the Portable Culture patch!

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    Registered User TavaPeak's Avatar
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    Looking forward to your photos from Paris. Bonne vacances!
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    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    You have an adorable family!
    I second this!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    You have an adorable family!
    Ditto! Looking forward to more posts about your adventures!


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    Registered User mrbrown's Avatar
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    We are finally here. 13 hours in the air and then another 2-3 hours clearing the airport and getting on the train to the hotel.

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    The wife is carrying the A45 with aplomb. It is her first time using a Tom Bihn product and she seems quite pleased.

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    She carried it backpack style through Charles de Gaulle airport.

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    At one point, she said to me quietly, "I am glad we are mostly backpacking it." She said this when we were making our way through the crazy Paris train system, with the many stairs up and down. Our friends we were traveling with had way more luggage than we did (we only had one) and going through those stairs and narrow train gantries was no joke.

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    Thanks Tom Bihn bags!
    @mrbrown on Twitter, happy owner of a Black Dyneema A45, Navy A30, Navy Tristar, Navy WF, Navy NFTD, Navy Co-Pilot, Navy DLBP, and Burnt Orange and Navy S19s (yes two).

  15. #15
    Registered User mrbrown's Avatar
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    Attachment 9194

    We've been in France for three days now. We didn't stay long in Paris, because we were going to drive out to Caen on Day 2. We did manage to squeeze in a quick visit to the Eiffel Tower on the first night. Of course one has to take a default lovey couple photo there.

    Attachment 9195

    Our road trip has taken us to Giverny, where Monet's home is. We didn't get to see the gardens because it was closed from November 2 to March 28. :(

    But it was still a lovely little town to visit.

    Attachment 9196

    This is Hon Fleur, the lovely seaside town. We had a big meal of mussels and seafood here. I couldn't finish the serving of mussels I ordered. Mussels must come jumping out of the ocean here.

    Attachment 9197

    Today we drove to Normandy to see the beaches where the Allies landed. This is the Pegasus Memorial and we got a very detailed tour by the guide there. We were very touched by the sacrifice of the soldiers who defended the bridges to ensure that the Allied troops would get their reinforcements during D-Day.

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    The wife took this shot of me at Omaha Beach. It is really wet and windy today and we have most of our winter gear on. The kids look like little bundles with arms sticking out.

    My trusty Co-Pilot is holding up very nicely in our travels and I am so glad I brought it along. I know my gear is safe and dry in that bag.
    @mrbrown on Twitter, happy owner of a Black Dyneema A45, Navy A30, Navy Tristar, Navy WF, Navy NFTD, Navy Co-Pilot, Navy DLBP, and Burnt Orange and Navy S19s (yes two).

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