Going Away Gifts

What To Give Someone Who’s Giving Everything Away

We have some of the most thoughtful individuals as close friends and family. Even though we were just going away for a year, our friends showered us with cool gifts. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for them, as they tried to think of something we would actually value enough presently to use on our trip! But we are so grateful, and I love remembering them every time we use the things we received.

Here are some of my favorites. These would make great gifts for others at any time, but especially to families about to hit the road for vacations lasting from one week to indefinitely.

Sporty, Comfy, Classy Clothes

Our family loves shopping at REI. Most of our wardrobe can be found there or other similar stores. We like clothes that you can use to hike a trail and then go out to eat. And for this trip, we need things that pack tightly.

Our friends know this, too! But it’s really hard to shop for someone else, so I was totally impressed to receive my new favorite dress and pants as going away gifts from friends.

Pants – These Zella pants from Cindy are so comfortable that it doesn’t feel like you are wearing anything! They are ideal because I am warm in cooler temperatures, but could even wear them on hot summer days. The bottom ties are perfect for days with varying temperatures as I can shorten or lower the length. Only at Nordstrom – get them now while they are on sale! (oops, sale is over now, maybe next time)

Prana Amaya DressThe dress I received from the Payne’s is also amazing! Great, neutral colors, extremely comfortable, flattering to the figure. I can easily pull over a black jacket when it’s cooler. It “made the cut,” and fits in my bag well.

Northface Jacket – I left my bulkier jackets in a friend’s closet and splurged in buying a new Northface Black Softshell for the trip. I figured I could wear it with anything. The only problem was, it’s not 100% waterproof, only water-resistant. I was showing it to my sister, Dee Dee, and she said she had a Northface waterproof jacket I could have!! So, she sent it to the first stop on our trip. It even arrived on a rainy day, so I was able to break it in. The coolest thing was that it was more than just a waterproof rain jacket – it was a ski shell that I can use when we go skiing in the winter! My bulkier ski jacket can stay in our friend’s attic in Austin!! So grateful!

For the Road

CD Mix – When I first found out we were hitting the road, I asked my sister, Dee Dee if she wouldn’t mind making me a Road Trip Mix with new songs to play for our trip. She immediately sent me FOUR! I waited until we left Austin to play them for the first time. We LOVE them. The Black Keys are a new favorite group of ours now. And the song, “Home is Wherever I’m With You” will be the mantra of our trip as a family. If any of you have a great mix you’d like to share with us, I can give you our next address!  😉

Travel Goody Bags – Our friends, the Denman’s decorated brown paper sacks with pictures and words that describe each of us. Then they filled each bag with CANDY. The kids were thrilled! The candy lasted us for a couple weeks!!

Journal – We bought each of the kids a new Moleskine Volant Plain Journals so they can record this trip with drawings and words. But I hadn’t bought one for myself yet. My-Cherie came to the rescue with the most beautiful, inspiring journal for me. I love it! I’m writing in it already.

National Parks Passports – The Kelts knew we planned to hit as many National Parks as we could squeeze in. They decided to buy each of the kids their own Passport Book! These are compact, easy to pack. The kids love bringing it in to each park for the stamp. They are such collectors in general, so this is a neat way for them to collect “something” without having to fill up our car with miscellaneous souvenirs. On a side-note, though, we are letting them fill up one other little collector book with the coins from each National Park as well. And Jadyn is determined to complete each Junior Ranger Program to receive the pin reward from each park, too. We’ll pin them all on one bandana that she can keep as a momento.

Travel Accessories

Tom Bihn Backpack – Don is probably going to write a ton about our love for Tom Bihn products. We are all excited about even visiting their factory and maybe even meeting Mr. Tom Bihn when we are in Seattle. Isaac has sketched a picture of his Tom Bihn Backpack. We own at least 6 luggage backs, in addition to our computer sleeves, toiletry cases, and packing cubes. But Don was wanting the larger backpack for himself, and his brother Mike was kind and generous to gift it to Don for his bday. It made a great traveling gift!!

Wine Canteen  – This has become our new favorite item. It is a stainless steel wine canister that can hold one whole bottle of wine. Whenever we stock up on groceries, we buy a bottle of wine, pour it in here, and then don’t have to worry about the glass breaking or needing to finish the whole bottle at once. It’s simple, sleek, and practical. Thanks, Betsy Dewey!

The Send-Off

Breakfast – During the month of getting ready to leave, we got used to eating out a bit more than usual. But there were a couple friends who brought us dinner or had us over, and that was such a treat! Homemade pizza with all natural ingredients or chicken and dumplings. Yummmm! But I was particularly impressed with my friend Sarah who offered to bring us breakfast for the morning we were taking off. She was so creative, especially since we didn’t have a fridge. She packed up everything we would need in a cooler and bag and brought it to us the night before, so we could just make it when we woke up! There were breakfast sausage rolls, yogurts, orange juice, and tons of fruit, as well as plates, forks, and napkins. When she came over that morning to help us get out the door, she took it home with her!

Dalrymple Book + List of Reasons to Come Back to Austin – Sarah also put together a classy book of notes that our friends had sent her about us. Very encouraging and meaningful. She asked everyone also to send in their own reasons why we should come back to Austin! The two page list was so fun to read through and remember what we love about the special home in Austin.

Again, a big thank you to all our friends and fam who have been so thoughtful and generous. We wish we could bring you all with us in our travels, but these items are a nice way to remember you often!





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