Friday Flotsam


So, okay. (<–name that movie.)

I’m heading out in a little over a week on an ENORMOUS work trip. I’ve talked about this a bit in Stories (obnoxiously teased is more like it), and I’m ready to tell you where I’m going! (only because the flights are booked and it’s officially official.)

I’m meeting seven other food bloggers iiiiiin . . . ISRAEL! Tel Aviv specifically, for a week. A full week. We’ll travel to the colorful markets of Jerusalem, go into the homes of Israeli women to learn their culture, their cooking, their stories. Travel to towns in North Israel rich with history. Eat in restaurants I never could have dreamed of. I cannot wait. CANNOT wait.

But we have to get me over there non-grumpily with your travel tips. It’s a l-o-o-o-n-g flight. And it’s been years since I’ve traveled overseas, so I’ve forgotten what the feeling is. Halp!

Aaron has a neck pillow, but it’s old and feels very stiff. Are they supposed to be stiff? I guess so, to keep your head up. What about a book light? Is using the little overhead light considered rude on a bajillion hour flight? Eye mask of course. I have plenty of those. Books, duh. On that. Soft stretchy pants for ease. What am I not thinking of?

Give me your flight travel tips!

Israel! I’ll take you with me, of course. We leave on Valentine’s Day. Pony (camel?) up.

Why do back itches travel? (changing gears BIG time. keep up.)

I’ve never met an itch more indecisive. It got its job done, why the need to move to a new area and start completely over? Is it bored? Does it have something to prove? And why only on backs? You never scratch an itch on your knee and it’s like, “Guess again, suckaaaa!” It’s only on your back. Only the back.

I’m fully aware it has to do with nerve endings and math and the moon cycle. Clearly. But why? Why does the itch zippidy zip around this way and that way on your back? And only on your back?

Look, it’s always very satisfying to scratch, I’m not complaining. Just challenging its motive.

I said back a lot just now.


Do you use the word folks? My friend Sarah says the word folks a lot, and it got me wondering if you use it. And how you use it? Is it a southern thing?

Like, when I refer to my parents, I call them parents. But some people say folks. And then some people say folks to refer to people in general. And some folks just say people. And some folks just say folks. And some parents say folks when they mean other parents. And some folks say parents when they mean other folks. And some people say people and mean folks. And some folks say folks and mean folks.


(I’m ready for spring.)

Weekend plans?

It’s Variety Show day! I swear to you I’ll stop talking about it after tonight. But this is a massive undertaking at school, and my friends Anna, Mindy and I are completely taking over the entire operation next year, so our heads are swimming. To put it lightly. We have 49 acts and this all happens in UNDER AN HOUR. It is like fire-hydrant-in-your-face fast. We’ll be fine. We’ll be fine! I’ll report back after tonight’s performance when my head has exploded and fallen off. I’ll say this now, next year it won’t be called Variety Show. We’re renaming it the Belinder Shit Show. (sorry, mom.)

From this week! Slow Cooker Peanut Chicken Tacos. Shortcut CITY. And so much crunch, you’ll vow to add these to your regular rotation. And then your Taylor Swift running playlist! Please let me when you try it out and what you think. I’m falling apart to know.

Okay, I know you’re oozing with flight travel tips. Guide me!

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25 Responses to Friday Flotsam

  1. Alicia February 3, 2023 at 7:47 am #
    I love good compression socks when traveling for that long! Helps keep those restless legs feeling less restless.
    • Bev Weidner February 3, 2023 at 7:51 am #
      Oooooooo great tip!!
      • Sarah February 3, 2023 at 2:19 pm #
        Agreed, and Comrad makes great ones that don't look like old lady socks. ;)
        • Dee February 6, 2023 at 11:17 am #
          Also agreed! I used them on a trip to China and was amazed how well they work, and like Sarah says, you can find ones now that don't scream "compression socks"!
  2. Jenn P February 3, 2023 at 8:30 am #
    Lightweight pashmina/giant scarf thing to double as a blanket. The natural Dramamine. Hand cream. Water bottle, and a toothbrush. You always feel fresher after brushing your teeth.
  3. Kyra February 3, 2023 at 8:31 am #
    Try Trtl for a neck pillow! It actually holds your head up right to help you sleep. A little pricey but worth it. Also, a nice travel hack if you’re not into your airplane food, being instant ramen noodles and you can just ask them to give you some hot water! Don’t forget the fork (; make sure to download any music or podcasts before you go and DEFINITELY pack some of those foam ear plugs, just trust me on that one.
    • Kyra February 3, 2023 at 9:08 am #
      Oh my gosh I almost forgot! Get the instant cold brew from Trader Joe’s before you go if you’re a coffee nut like me. Sometimes you may not have an opportunity to get some caffeine in you so it is a life saver to avoid those headaches. Just need a bottle of water!
  4. Debbie Crownover February 3, 2023 at 8:36 am #
    Chewing gum AND ear plugs… unless you don’t mind short term earaches & deafness. And, carry an old, slightly oversized purse so you can use it like a footstool to prop your feet. Remember to stand & periodically stretch unless you don’t mind waking up, mid flight, screaming “Leg cramp!!” And YES to book light, unless you don’t mind others’ glares when using overhead one. While in Israel, have fun… ride a camel
  5. Kristin February 3, 2023 at 8:55 am #
    That trip sounds so exciting!! i only have two things I’d add to your flight tips. Compression socks are always a great idea, especially for a longer flight. And I always bring an oversized scarf on my flight. I can use it as a scarf, or more often as a blanket since I’m always freezing on flights! Have an amazing time!!
  6. Abby February 3, 2023 at 10:04 am #
    Earplugs! I need them to sleep when I'm not in my own bed. Plus if there's a noisy person on the flight they're great. Also my kindle. I know you're a paper book person but the kindle is SO NICE for travel. Battery lasts a long time and it's a heck of a lot lighter than the 4-5 books I'd need to bring :) Have fun!
    • Jennifer C. February 3, 2023 at 12:00 pm #
      And she won't need a light with a kindle!
  7. Janel F. February 3, 2023 at 10:19 am #
    Agree with compression socks. Just used them for the first time and they really do help on long flights. I flew out of Kansas City Thursday for a trip to Hawaii and made a mistake that I never made when I traveled all the time for work and vacation. I took my biggest lightweight checked bag for a 10 day trip and it weighed t 61 pounds!! I didn't weight it at home. I had no options at 4 am because I didn't have an extra bag on me so I paid the extra $100. Ugh. The Curbside Check In Person said in the future I should just check two smaller bags as it is a better price. I'm sure taking less stuff is an option but I'm also a terrible packer. Noise canceling headphones also a must. I even wore them over the free earbuds Delta handed out so I could plug into their console.
  8. Nicola February 3, 2023 at 12:50 pm #
    Do you have a tablet? If so I would recommend downloading Libby, if you don’t already have it, it’s an app that lets you borrow ebooks from your local library, that way you can bring like 10 books and not have to carry any on them! Also alleviates the need for a book light. I use it all the time for reading, but especially helpful for travel!
  9. Mary February 3, 2023 at 12:58 pm #
    I am so excited for you!!! Israel was my first trip overseas. Don’t do what I do, meet a boy and get locked out of the hotel. It was a thing! You will love the food! Please eat all the falafel, hummus and wonderful salads for me. Just got back from Australia /NZ 2 days ago, so have a few tips: -Noise cancelling headphones a must! Worth the investment. -Cabeau neck pillow (ordered online, but sold in most airports) -Ayer(?) nose ointment / Zicam (for dry airplane air and preventing the crud when flying and in moving through airports). -Foot sling for flights that don’t have foot rest. Keep legs elevated! -Do not open your window shade when people are sleeping! Ever! - Keep hydrated. Take refillable bottle. Don’t be shy about asking for water, beverages. Don’t assume staff will be making rounds. Plane service really varies right now. -Move! Stretch legs and pump feet. Get up and walk around when possible. Long haul flights are no joke. Have a wonderful time. Can’t wait to read about your experiences.
  10. Deanna February 3, 2023 at 1:40 pm #
    Chocolates for the flight attendants! I get a big thing of Lindt or another individually wrapped chocolate (at least 30 pieces) and hand it to the flight attendant when they check my ticket or on a big plane I hand it to the flight attendant in my section. It’s gotten me champagne before take off, first class cheese plates, free drinks on domestic flights, extra blankets, and first class priority passes when going through immigration. The crew are always so appreciative, and even if it doesn’t get me anything, they have a hard job and deserve a treat. Other than that, my kindle, Bluetooth headphone adapters, disinfecting wipes for my seat and tray table, good neck pillow, and a water bottle are all my must haves.
    • Kathleen Robertson February 4, 2023 at 4:27 pm #
      Chocolate for attendants - brilliant idea!
  11. Cindy M February 3, 2023 at 2:16 pm #
    Drink plenty of bottled water to stay hydrated. If you’re staying at a hotel you absolutely have to take zip lock bags to breakfast because you will definitely wanna take some bread for the road. So many amazing choices! Hope you have the best time!!
  12. Anonymous February 3, 2023 at 4:58 pm #
    Have a great trip! I have no other tips🤣
  13. Evelina February 3, 2023 at 5:16 pm #
    Wow what an exciting trip!! I can’t wait to follow along! I love getting a glimpse at how people live in other parts of the world! I’m definitely going to be stalking your stories!!
  14. Nan February 3, 2023 at 5:18 pm #
    I had the best food of my LIFE in Tel Aviv!!!! All the textures and flavors mixed together. I hope you love it! Bring a scarf in case it’s ever required attire and look out for the elevators on Saturdays. I remember really nice clothing stores on Dizengoff St.
  15. Carrie February 3, 2023 at 6:03 pm #
    I ordered this before our flight to France last summer, best purchase of my life.
  16. Erin February 3, 2023 at 9:41 pm #
    Have a wonderful time!! Something that was really helpful when traveling in India was one of those wallets you can wear around your neck, under your shirt. Keeps everything safe and close when traveling in crowded markets. I’m sure they make a small, discrete one that you could find. If you are going to check your bag, Apple Tags are great for tracking your luggage too. Anything else I would mention, has already been said. Can’t wait to follow along!
  17. Tara February 4, 2023 at 7:46 am #
    Fluffy grippy slipper sock thingies to put on asap after boarding, noise cancelling headphones. Clean your tray table asap. Amazon sells a sling you hang from your tray table for your feet. Eye mask, moisturizing hand mask, kindle books, toothbrush, pillow or neck turtle thingie.
  18. Dottie February 4, 2023 at 1:30 pm #
    Consider purchasing an RFID wallet to keep your cards safe from scanners.

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