Well Friends, we have landed safely back in the US of A. We spent our last day in a very favorite and familiar city, Amsterdam. Albeit I was busy with a toddler and giving birth to our second child while lived there for 2-1/2 years, but I still managed to get to know the place pretty well. It's a wonderfully colorful city-village that you can pretty much walk clear across at a good clip in 20 minutes, weather permitting. Despite what most Americans think about the Red Light District and all, Amsterdam is actually a very family-friendly city, and not nearly as dangerous as most American big cities, I'd venture.
Here's a shot of myself and a friend from Germany "doing the tourist thing" on a canal boat. That's my 10-year-old incognito.
Unlike us, the Dutch are soooo not-prudish. Check out some local artwork... Eat your heart out, Dove!
I must admit I hemmed and hawed on buying one: did I really need something specially designed for diabetes supplies? But I've been so hair-pullingly exasperated with every other carry-on bag I've used since starting to travel with diabetes. I need a laptop bag that actually protects my PC, while offering enough room for reading materials, snacks, my glasses case and sundries, PLUS (and here's the clincher) all those darn diabetes supplies I need to have on my person as well. I've been using a chunky MedPort carrying case, and simply trying to stuff it into whatever backpack or briefcase seemed like it could handle the mash. Every bag I tried became essentially uncarriable and unsearchable, as in I-can't-find-a-damn-thing-in-here, aargh!
Less than a week before this trip, I spent several nights searching Target, Amazon, and Nordstrom.com. Lots of bags looked tempting, but I was convinced than none would really solve my problem.
Then, bling! Light bulb on! What about those specially-designed bags I saw at a recent diabetes expo? Long-time Type 1 Jen Dorn designed them herself, and is now selling them all over the country.
The cool thing about the Messenger Bag is the "inset" diabetes supplies pocket. It's actually a small second, removable bag with compartments for all your stuff, plus a plastic-protected ice pack that fits right in. Believe it or not, you zip this pocket into the side of the Messenger Bag, and it seems to "swallow up" all your diabetes supplies without hogging up space in the rest of the bag.
What also helps is the bag's truly rugged construction -- made of tough polyester twill fabric with a heavy-duty rubber bottom -- so you can mash it, smash it, overstuff it and drag it down the airport corridor with no worries. I gave mine a good workout this year, and it still looks brand new. Thanks, Jen! If this bag can stand up to Amsterdam, I'm sure it will do me well in St.Louis next month.