Sounding the Everything Is Okay Alarm For the Millionth Time
Camper of the Century

Great Storch Family Tornado of Destruction Summer Tour 2013

For some unfathomable, completely mysterious reason, we were...not...invited back for a visit with Jason's great-aunt and uncle at the beach this summer. I guess the Great Storch Family Tornado of Destruction Summer Tour 2012 was just too rockin' out. Too radical to the max. Some peeps just can't hang with our flow, our awesomeness, or our overall uncanny resemblance to a traveling mosh pit full of pointy toddlers. 

So we're going it alone this year. Our usual beach house partners in crime couldn't make it either, thanks to "work" and "no time off" or possibly "DEAR GOD YOU HAVE SO MANY CHILDREN TO KEEP TRACK OF." This means 1) there will probably be a lot less late-night kitchen experiments involving reheated Velveeta, and 2) I have to remember to pack everything myself, since I'll have no one to bum forgotten essentials from. That shouldn't be a big deal but let's all remember who we're talking about here.

Last year I forgot washcloths and feminine products. The year before I forgot pillowcases and food. 

Obviously, there are things like "stores" and "stuff" at the beach, but I try to make it a point not to go to "stores" and "stuff" with my children. Plus the more stores we stop off at on the drive over ("DID YOU PACK..." "WHAT DO YOU MEAN DID *I* PACK..." AND ETC.), the more berserk the boys get because beeeeeeeach! Beeeeeeeach! I thought we were gonna go to the beeeeeach!

(But then God forbid we arrive at our destination without the ability to immediately shove Cheerios in their mouths the second we walk through the door. The beeeeeach! It's the wooooorsttttt!!)

I asked Noah and Ezra to pack up their own toy and book collections in their backpacks. "We're going to be there for a WEEK, guys, so think about it. It could also rain and you'll want things to play with."

Ezra — who has not forgiven me, who will never forgive me, for forgetting to pack any socks for him during our Williamsburg trip —  filled his with handfuls of socks, two toy cars, a random wad of Sculpey clay and four sock puppets. (JESUS CHRIST, CHILD, I GET IT. I'M SORRY ABOUT YOUR SOCKS THAT ONE TIME.)

Noah packed four Lego minifigures, my iPad and Everyone Poops.

So basically, the entire weight of our family vacation's success rests on my ability to pack us all up like the motherfucking shit. Aight. Let's DO THIS. 

So far I have made some lists. I have not unpacked the toiletry bag Jason and I took on our anniversary weekend. I have opened our linen closet to make sure we have enough clean sheets for the condo. And I have added both "go back to rental listing to check bed sizes" and "wash some sheets" to my lists. 


(If anyone needs me, I'll be rocking quietly in the corner, gumming on my lists and good intentions.)



I am the queen of lists of crap to pack for vacation. If you want a spreadsheet just shoot me an email and I will send one straight over to ya!

My mom says we could live off of what I pack in a diaper bag alone for weeks. I'm telling ya. I don't forget anything because one time without something precious makes my head explode. :)


OMG! I can totally relate to this anxiety!! Our trip to the beach this summer included forgotten linens so we had to go to K-Mart and buy the cheapest (and, may I add, the scratchiest) sheets available and towels that left us covered in fuzz. I also forgot to pack my boys' bathing suits. AND their tootbrushes!!! It was EPIC FAIL OF DOOM!! Luckily there are lots of stores at the beach just for us folks ...


I just went through this! We got back a few days ago. Success, even though I forgot to pack toys. Yes, two young kiddos, and I forgot toys. I did have car entertainment up the wazoo, so that helped.


Sheets? You have to bring those? Maybe I'm lucky but every beach house I've stayed at has always provided them for the beds they have. I'd be in quite a bit of trouble if they hadn't.

I say let us create a list for you to pack! ;)


I have a couple of master lists, depending upon the ocassion.

Camping master list (bug spray and sunscreen), sexy times weekend master list (you will get your period, pack tampons), girls weekend master list (moah wine than clothes), holiday master list (bathers, sunscreen and wine).

I always forget things, and always forget to update those things on my damned master lists.


We had our wedding at a beach house 45 minutes from our house and started staying there three days before with our families and wedding party. I packed the morning we checked in while getting texts from my family and trying to make sure my husband brought things like his wedding ring. Good thing he had to go back to our house for some stuff because I arrived at the beach house with zero clean underwear. You'd think this would have taught me a packing lesson, but after spending our wedding night in a hotel, I went back to the beach house for brunch the next morning commando in jeans because the only other option was to put my wedding dress Spanx back on.


I second Cara. Are you sure you need sheets? The beach houses/condos I've stayed at have always provided linens. Don't forget wine, and a bottle opener. :-)Oh, and chargers for all of the things. I always forget the effing chargers.


Nope, no linens or towels in this rental. Been the same w/ all the other Delaware beach rentals so maybe a regional thing? There is a coffee maker and wifi, but no hair dryer or beach chairs. I just packed a bottle of Sriacha though, so we good?


Oh yeah, a bottle of Sriacha will fix almost all culinary "incidents" at least for adults. Your babes, well, Ezra should be fine. . .

Now when we broke the screw part of the corkscrew off with the screw part in the cork in Italy (and my italian is "mas vino" that was some adventure. And a great bottle of wine once we finally gestured the front desk guy into loaning us a corkscrew.

Lesson learned: dont count on the 2 euro corkscrew lasting very long, by the 5 euro one next time. ..


I have so been there. I ended up making a master list of "essentials" one year as I packed and it's the bible I go by every time we go to the cabin.

This year has been "road trip vacation!!".

I miss the cabin.


I smiled sweetly at your notion that the boys could logically pack for a week of play. Mine are 20 and 16 and I am just done outlining every. Single. Item. to pack, just in the past few years. Mostly because now it's, "Do you have your phone? Mac? Charger?" Good. Done. I hated - HATED - doing away for years because of this! The pressure to have ALL OF THE THINGS! Husband packs in literally 6 minutes for a 9 day vacation. I have to start 12 days in advance, with lists and postits everywhere.


I have an app on my phone (called packing list). Best thing ever. If I do forget something I can add it in for the next time. PS: I always let me kiddo pack his toys. Whenever I do it, he ends up not wanting to play with what I brought.


I am dying laughing about the socks. I am just imagining Ezra with handfuls of socks.

Lynda M O

Sox are the single most important element in any wardrobe; Especially while away from home and one's usually sufficient supply. I don't blame the boy at all and won't be surprised when his next three trips to the big store involve stocking up on his stockings (haha!) Tell him Auntie Lynda hears his cries and feels his pain. She always has on at least One pair of sox and most often TWO. Except while showering.

That is all.


Oh dear god. I'm cry-laughing at the listing of The Things They Packed. Kids, man.


your blog is amazing. obv, but I need to say that cause it's my first time commenting. (and not just amazing like kinda great, but a-MAZ-ing.) Question: how do you come up with Ye Beach Rental? We have been in the area 5 years (6? whatever.) and started out camping for beach vacations, progressing to day trips and hotels but now with 3 kids I am 100% ready to do something functional like Rent a Condo. Willing to pack with lists and all if it means avoiding trips like this last one...

Gina weaver

We went to super rural Maine for 2 weeks. I forgot to pack PANTS for my kid. He had the shorts he came in on. Fortunately I realized this before we passed the last Target in Maine.

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