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The Trusty Travel Cooler: You Just Never Know

I better pack a travel cooler for this trip, you know, just in case. I have everything I need for the conference out on the coast, and hopefully the hotel doesn’t screw up my reservation again, but it wouldn’t hurt to throw that new daypack cooler in the car.

Fortunately, all of my clothes and rat’s nest of cords and chargers fit in the 65L Seal Duffel Bag but what if there’s a quaint little butcher’s shop on the way back? Or better yet, a fresh seafood market? My fiance’s parents are coming over for dinner this weekend and I could score some points by having a killer clam bake. It’s hard to find decent shellfish at home and it’s also good to support those hardworking, local fishermen. Ok, I’m definitely bringing the Traveler soft cooler. I don’t think all those clams and mussels will stay fresh after that 10-hour drive. Now I better hit the road to beat rush hour.

Later That Day

Smell that lovely sea air…blowing 30 mph in my face along with the stinging horizontal rain as I clutch onto my bags for dear life. Surprise! They overbooked the hotel, so my only option is to take this voucher over to a “partnering” motel across town. Naturally, the motel has five parking spaces that are all filled up, so the trek from the overflow lot is particularly lovely this evening.

It ain’t the Ritz but it’ll do on a cold, stormy night. I unpack the Seal Duffel Bag that took quite a beating on the way over and not a single drop got in. It shouldn’t be too surprising considering it’s made from high-grade ballistic nylon and comes equipped with a heavy-duty watertight zipper. Thank goodness because dry underwear never looked so good!

Last Day of the Conference

Well, that was a bit of a bust. Two leads after all that glad-handing and chit-chatting. The “luxury” accommodations almost make up for it. Oh well, time to look for that famous seafood market and stock up for tomorrow’s dinner. I’ll be testing the carrying capacity of my Traveler Day Pack cooler. A buddy of mine said it can carry up to 16 cans of beer. Seems like a fairly reliable measurement.

There it is. Condemned, huh. Thank you, outdated map app on my phone. I’ll figure something out. Man, I can’t wait to get back home.

Only two hours out and oh sweet, there’s a Mom & Pop butcher store across the street from the gas station where I stopped. Five pounds of pot roast should do the trick. I’ll just fill the Traveler with some ice and head on over. Everyone is going to love my Grandma’s recipe.

The Next Day

The Traveler did its job well. What a lovely cut of meat and it roasted perfectly with some veggies from our garden. This is something special. Outstanding timing, my fiance is here!

“Thanks for cooking, you are so sweet!” She takes off her jacket and heads for the kitchen, opening the fridge. “And remembering that my folks are pescatarian too…you’re too much! What kind of fish did you get from that market?”

Gulp. I’m feeling a bit light-headed as I search desperately for my Traveler cooler in the closet.

“Mmm, it smells almost like a juicy steak!”

“Ah…Ohhh shoot…I, uh, forgot the wine. You stay here and I’ll be back before they get here!” I grab my jacket, keys, and the trusty cooling companion as I dart to the garage. I saw some decent looking halibut at the grocery store last week. Please, please, please have a fresh supply. “Love you!”

“Wait what? Love you too?” I pull the door closed as she stands at the other end of the hallway with a confused look on her face, holding a chilled Chardonnay.

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