GE DIGITAL CAMERALast month, my wife and I took a vacation to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, thanks to a fortuitous opportunity presented by my sister and brother in law. #thankssis.

How far away July 28, 2016 seemed in May. Yet, time flashed by as it so often will and here it was high noon on the day of departure and I hadn’t even packed. #procrastination

So, I was packing light. I was packing fast. It was the final four of packing. 4 pairs of underwear, 4 pairs of socks, 4 T-shirts.

In my haste, I randomly threw four t-shirts in the suitcase. Then I stopped to consider my selection. T-shirt selection, while not vital, is something to take into account when packing for a vacation, at least in the Wedwand book of vacation travels.

Had this been the 1950’s, there would be no selection to make. Hey there Delilah, there would have been 4 plain white t-shirts in the suitcase. The kind of t-shirt that made James Dean and Marlon Brando and Arthur Fonzarelli look cool while the rest of the world just dorked around wearing the plain white back then.

I readily admit to being overly analytical about my Tee selection when I am on vacation. This involves choosing just the right t-shirt to represent my hometown. People do notice.

While it was a very cool, traditional, almost patriotic navy blue tee with white outlined block red letters saying RED SOX, I put that shirt back in the drawer and exchanged it for a “Black Hawks 2015 Stanley Cup Champion” shirt instead. Got to represent.

A Cubs shirt was a must, since this is the height of baseball season and for one of the few rare times in the past hundred years or so, the Cubs are doing well. I injected a little humor from my stable of Cubs shirts, opting for the “Cubs Back to Back Champions 1907 1908” shirt.

Since we would be travelling roughly over 450 miles on I80 through the state of Nebraska, I selected my Nebraska Football t-shirt just in case the shirt, along with a back-up “Go Big Red” chant would get us out of a jam or just get an extra french fry in the bag while traversing the Cornhusker State.

The 4th shirt was an In-N-Out Burger 60th anniversary t-shirt. It was a sentimental choice since it was a sharp looking shirt as well as a gift from my mom. Got to carry a little memory from her for the trip.
As it turns out, contrary to my wife’s conjecture, there were a few comments on my t-shirts, so my selective packing was not in vain.

A midnight gas station attendant at a truck stop commented that he always cheered for the other team on the south side when he was living in Chicago. He also acknowledged the Cubs great start this year, but added, “I think they’re too young to win it all.”

I simply smiled and nodded, adding, “Yeah, them Sox were good” lapsing into the country twang I invoke when I traverse to other parts of this fair nation.

On Saturday, I dropped a water bottle on the way to a mountain side concert. A teen-aged girl was kind enough to pick it up for me. She smiled and said kindly, “I’ve got it, Sir” as she picked it up from the path. Bless her heart.

As I turned to retrieve it, her boyfriend added, “Go Hawks.” I didn’t expect that in Colorado Avalanche hockey country.
On Tuesday, we took a tour of some of the natural springs in the Steamboat area. Who knew? In addition to the namesake springs, there’s also the Soda Spring, the Black Sulphur Spring and the Lithia Spring just to name a few.

By way of introduction, the tour guide was asking where people were from. When he came to me, after seeing the T-shirt logo from the popular Golden State burger joint, he confidently stated, “You must be from California.”

“No, Chicago,” I replied, dashing his conjecture, “But I do like to have me an In-N-Out burger when I’m there.”
Turned out the guide originally hailed from Chicago too. The t-shirt was a conversation starter.

While the Nebraska shirt garnered no comments on the trip, I traveled untrammeled through the Cornhusker state and just might have gotten a little extra meat on my Runza at a North Platte truck stop.

My wife thinks I’m nuts. I think I’m shrewd with this selective t-shirt vacation packing. What do you think?

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