The annual winter holiday in Key West is a still a month away but there is work to be done. I am not the sort to spontaneously put together a suitcase the night before a departure. I plan – sometimes weeks ahead. Some of this is neuroticism but it is jolly good fun.  The planning of my holiday is almost as good as the actual trip.

First to consider: The Wardrobe. Key West is when I debut the Spo-shirts made since the last trip. I have 7 days (9 if I count travel days); that means picking out 7 shirts. I need to decide which shirts are “in” and which are “out”.  I differ from that nasty woman on Project Runway I will change my mind several times before the final decision.  What I wear “down below” is simple. I bring jeans, khaki pants, bermuda shorts, and that’s that.

Second to consider; Books. After all, what is a vacation without reading? I used to bring one book per day, but I seldom got through them all. Nowadays I try to bring one book from each of the following categories – “Serious literature”, “Dickens”, “Science Fiction” and “Shameful Trash”

(Note: if any Spo-fan wants to recommend a good piece of Sci-Fi, or a fabulous piece of Trash, I am open to suggestions!)

Third;  Imperial tid-bits.  Someone and I will pack up a care package of nibbles and munchies and mail it to ourselves.

Fourth: Tarot deck.  There are always requests for a reading from Urspo’s wicked pack of cards. But which deck to bring? I get out all of them (I think I have 12) and ask them “Which of you goes to Florida?”  I lay out the cards and they tell me which one goes.  Simple as that.

Fifth: booze. One year we tried to ship ourselves a bottle wrapped up in my clothing. It broke, and all my clothes reeked of gin and had to be washed. This year we buy local.  I only need to pack a small vial of vermouth for those poolside martinis. three ounce should do it and I needn’t fret going through security.