Behind the scenes: Traveling with a doll…

The trip to Mexico was a new experience for me (besides being my first visit to Mexico) in that it was the first time I’d decided to take a doll with me on a trip where we had to go by plane. Sure, I’d had experiences before with taking someone “along for the ride” (Coolspring, Fort Necessity, etc) but those were day trips, in a car, and I didn’t have any planning ahead involved as far as props and such since they were just single day adventures. This was definitely a whole different experience!

First I had to run it by my husband since it was a work related trip. I didn’t know how he was going to take this idea, but he was actually pretty open minded about it. All he said was “nothing embarrassing”. I can handle that.

Then I had to decide who was going to go with me. When you’ve got as many 18″ girls hanging around as I do, it can get a little tricky. However, one factor narrowed it down very quickly to two girls: hair. I wanted a hairstyle that didn’t easily tangle and required minimal upkeep. That brought me to either Kit or Cassandra. Unfortunately Kit had taken that nasty fall and her eye was messed up, so that narrowed it down to Cassandra. Cassandra is older too, so I thought it seemed more realistic (seriously, I’m using the word realistic in a post about dolls?!?!) to take her along. Here is her reaction the day I told her:

cass cancun

Now it was time to do some planning. I needed to figure out what to take for various shoot ideas I had. And just like when you travel yourself, I did end up taking a couple of things that I didn’t use. Oh well, better to have them with me than not. And this trip really wasn’t planned to death, we left a lot of what we did to chance, we just had basic ideas about things we wanted to do. Overall though, I think it turned out well and I came up with a cute story to go with her photos.  I decided early on that this was going to be a trip where she wore her contacts because I didn’t want to have to constantly worry about losing her glasses.  Shoes were also a big decision because I wanted to be sure that they were ones that didn’t come off easily but fit in with what we were doing.  I did a little digging around in the shoe drawer and the minute I saw the trekking sandals, I knew they would be perfect.

The biggest issue I had was WHAT to take her in. I wanted something that she could be transported in safely as well as easy to carry. My first idea was a tote bag, but I was concerned about her getting squished in it and possibly damaged. One day while in TJMaxx, I came across a backpack that was on clearance, and on close inspection discovered that not only was it well padded but also had numerous compartments that I could stash an assortment of stuff in. For $15 I couldn’t pass it up, even if it hadn’t worked out for this, I could have used it for something else or passed it on to a family member. It looks like this:
backpack
(It is still available at Amazon)  What is nice about it is it is 18 inches tall and the way it is shaped on the top makes it possible to have the doll standing, plus you can get her far enough back that catching her hair in the zipper isn’t a big problem.  I did do that once, I felt so bad, it had to have hurt!  I also had plenty of room to put her clothes and accessories in as well as some snacks and a few other things I was taking along.

Her clothing all went into Ziploc bags where I pressed as much air out of as possible so they would take up very little space.  Her small accessories all went into her own backpack, and then all of that went into the bag with her.  I also tossed in a comb I use for the dolls and her snorkeling gear.  She was ready to go!

cass in the bag
Cass in the bag!

Throughout the trip she alternated between the backpack and a tote bag I took along, it just depended on what we were doing and how loaded down I wanted to be.  I only ran into one problem with this at the Museo Maya: NO BIG BAGS ALLOWED!  As this nice Mexican security guy is showing me the lockers and explaining what the issue was as best he could, I was kind of panicked.  I wish you all could have seen me juggling my wallet, my camera and Cassandra around the museum and the grounds.  Plus it was hot as all get out, so I’m sure she was as sweaty as I was by the time it was over with.  And yes, I did get a few odd looks from people as I carried her around, but remember, this is also where I met two fellow doll lovers.  I survived though, but my arms felt like I’d been carrying around a 10 pound bowling ball by the time we were done.  Ugh.  Now I kind of understand why dolls loved by little girls end up looking like they do…

Overall though, the backpack worked out well and she made it to Mexico and back with no injuries.  In fact, her sombrero and other goodies came back in the same bag with her, the padding worked as expected.  The bag was small enough that if I had needed to, I could have put it on the floor in front of me, but I didn’t need to, she went into the overhead compartments on every flight.

The drawback: weight.  I don’t know why, but it seemed by the time I put her in the backpack with a few other items, it weighed a ton.  Maybe it’s just me, I don’t do well with heavy bags due to a shoulder/neck injury.  I even took most of the stuff out once we arrived at the resort that I wasn’t going to need, but it still seemed heavier than I expected.  That was kind of disappointing as I was hoping this bag would be a good travel bag for any doll photo shoots, now I’m not so sure.  Perhaps I need to play around with it a bit.

So, the big question…would I do this again?  I’ll be honest, I don’t know.  If it was just a trip in a car, I probably would but I’m not 100% sure about taking someone on a plane again.  I’m very much a bare bones air traveler, and it was perhaps more of a sacrifice of space than I’m willing to do again.  We’ll see.  We don’t have any plane trips planned anytime soon, so maybe by the time I have to make up my mind, I’ll have come up with a better system.  It was a fun experience though, and how many dolls do you know that have been to Cancun????

Liebster Award!

I was recently nominated for the Liebster Award by Jennifer over at Mini Mad and by Farrah Lily at Cozy Comforts and Dolls.  Thanks ladies!  Since I’m a little behind on posting it, I’m going to change how I do it. These quizzes are always fun, and you both made it easy on me since you had the same questions.  Here goes!

1. Who is your favorite cartoon character?

This is a hard question because I have several cartoons I love, but at the moment, I’d have to say The Minions, a tie between Bob and Stuart.  Growing up though, I was a huge Hong Kong Phooey fan! (anyone else remember him???) And I love Wallace and Gromit (The Wrong Trousers)

2. What’s your favorite flower (or plant if you’re not a flower person)?

Lilacs are my favorite, they smell sooooooo good, but I like lots of different flowers and plants

3. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Elk.  Tastes like beef, not chicken!

4. What was the last movie you saw (at home or in theaters)?

“The Gangs Of New York”-and I’m permanently scarred now, talk about a violent movie, ugh.

5. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go?

Scotland, it’s the only country in the British Isles we haven’t been to.

6. How did you meet your best friend?

High school

7. Which AG doll outfit would you wear if they made a version in your size?

The Shimmer and Lace Party dress, and it must come with the shoes! Barbie Girl and I both want the shoes made in our size.

8. If you could make a custom doll based on any character or real person, who would you make?

I actually thought about making one based on a little girl who was on the second season of Masterchef Jr, her name was Abby and I just thought she was adorable.

9. What’s your favorite season?

Autumn

10. If you could talk to/understand any one species of animal, what would you choose?

Dogs, I would love to know what my little girl is actually saying and if we are even close in guessing

11. If you could instantly learn any language, what would you choose?

Spanish or Chinese, just so I know what they are saying when we go to the restaurant LOL

Now I have to nominate others for this, but it seems as though just about everyone I would nominate has done this already, SOOOO–I nominate anyone who wants to participate!  Same questions too, these were really good ones.  Have fun!  You can answer on your own blog or here in the comments section. Thanks Jen and Farrah Lily for nominating me!

Cancun: heading home

Sunday morning we all slept in since we’d been out late, but it was a pretty sunrise:
Cancun day 4 photo 1

Cancun day 4 photo 2

We had to get all packed up before we went to get some breakfast. While we were getting ready, mom surprised me with a special present:
Cancun day 4 photo 3
Isn’t this t-shirt awesome? It makes me think of the iguana’s we saw at the museum!
Cancun day 4 photo 4

We went downstairs to the enormous buffet they had to get something to eat. They had everything you could think of, cereal, fresh fruit, pancakes, you name it! We made sure to eat a big meal because it wouldn’t be long before the bus came to pick up everyone and we would head to the airport.

Flying home wasn’t a lot of fun since mom and dad didn’t feel very well, but we made it. We didn’t get home to the house until after midnight, talk about a long day. I had to go to school the next day, but while I was there, mom unpacked our stuff. I already showed you the hat I bought, but I have two other things to show you!

This is for in my room along with the hat:

Cancun day 4 photo 5 Cancun day 4 photo 6

Isn’t he neat? They had a bunch of different animals, but we thought this armadillo was pretty cool. He’s sort of like an alebrije but not as colorful. His head bobs around when you touch him.

I got this for everyone to share. One side looks like this:

Cancun day 4 photo 8

But turn it around, and the other side looks like this!

Cancun day 4 photo 9
Yes, it’s a crèche! Mom and I thought it was funny how it had a cow AND a monkey in it, that’s why we picked this one. It will be fun at Christmas time to get this out to decorate with and I can remember how much fun we had on our trip.

Mom helped me hang the sombrero in my room, but before we did, we decided to let Stuart try it on!
Cancun day 4 photo 7
It fits him pretty well, doesn’t it?! Sorry Stuart, it’s going on the wall, but maybe I’ll let you wear it once in a while. 😉

There you have it, all about my trip to Cancun! I hope you enjoyed hearing all about it, I had a great time and really enjoyed telling you about our adventures. Not sure when I’ll get to go on another trip like that again, but I hope mom lets me go again soon. She’s finally starting to feel better, and says she has some day trips planned for some of us in the not so distant future. I can’t wait to find out what she has in mind!

(In case you are wondering: No, they don’t sell doll sized shirts in Cancun. Cassandra’s shirt was made by Maggie from “If Dolls Could Dream” from an adult t-shirt she strategically cut. Pretty clever, huh?! Thanks Maggie!)