I Hate You, REI. Not Really Though.

I Hate You, REI. Not Really Though.

It was a gloomy, regular ole’ Friday when I decided to bite the bullet. Traffic was already horrendous and the rain was moving in quickly. I was rushing to knock a few errands out on my lunch break, so once again, I resorted to the cellulite-contributing, gay-bashing (jerks), but oh-so-deliciousness that is Chic-Fil-A.  (That’s for you, Scott). After sitting in the drive-through for what seemed like an eternity, I scarfed my food down, gave myself a pep-talk and went for it. No, I’m not talking about breaking up with a boyfriend or quitting my job. I’m talking about finally making the necessary trip to REI. The trip that I’ve been dreading for months. My mentality was (and had to be): “Welp. I’m here to spend money, so let’s do the damn thing.”  I knew I still needed to buy some big-ticket items and I was ready to do it.  So what if I went broke? Oh wait. Crap.

Upon arriving, I headed straight for the backpack section. I was on a mission: Find a *quality pack and a pair of light-weight hiking pants that can also convert into capris.  That is uber-specific for this girl, I know. Naturally, packs are the first thing you seen when you walk in the store.  If you’ve never traveled with a pack, well then, you’re missing out. Seriously. Ditch that suitcase on wheels and take a proper pack with you next time you hit the road.  There’s just an indescribable sense of freedom that comes with carrying 40 lbs. on your back. You forget it’s there, you feel more self-sufficient and you can throw it off a building without any repercussions.  It’s making me all giddy just thinking about it.

This is me last year, in the first pack I ever purchased. It was a great (and cheap) starter pack, but I would throw that thing into a river by week 2 if I had to take it with me this go ’round. It’s heavy, you can’t easily access anything and the shoulder straps were made for a football player. Toodles, Old Maroon! (And yes, I CAN in fact carry that much weight comfortably. That’s the magic of a pack.)

Within the first hour (yes, hour), I find THE ONE. A store associate finally approaches me, asking if I need help. At this point, I’ve narrowed it down to 3, and I’m fairly certain which one he’s going to recommend.  He walks through the pros and cons with me and within minutes, I am sized up for a brand spankin’ new Osprey Ariel 65. It’s red and it’s fucking beautiful. More importanly though (I suppose), it’s incredibly accesible, convertable and comfortable. Holy cow, I can’t wait to live out of this thing. Sure, when I saw the price I stopped breathing temporarily. But this is a long-term investment, you know? Right? Just say yes. These packs come with a LIFETIME guarantee- and it’s no joke. Check HER out!

Now that I had a fancy new pack in-hand, I wandered over to the outerwear section and picked out a pair of hiking/quick-dry pants. Okay guys,this is where I must confess. They’re North Face. Ouch. That hurt. After all of the jokes, I finally did it. I bought a North Face product with my own, hard-earned money. The good news? These pants rock AND they were on sale, making them cheaper than any other pair in the store. (Jamie, I fear I’ve let us down. I promise to get them dirty in my adventures.) For those of you who don’t know how I (and many others) feel about North Face, let me enlighten you with this brilliant meme.

My love and shame:

I managed to skate out of that damn place without buying anything else. Okay, so that’s kind of a lie. I bought these, and if you’ve never had them, then you’re not living. Holy jeez, these things made reading my total a bit more bearable. I’m quite serious. Although, as I finish this post and my $372.54 receipt stares me in the eye from the coffee table, I’m realizing that I need a drink. Yep. That’s what I’m doing now. Happy Friday, friends!  Holy shit, it’s my last Friday as a working gal! Extra happy Friday to ya, in that case! Go getch yo’ PB & Honey on. Or a drink. Whichever you fancy.

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About Amelia

Recently-turned 30, curious and driven by all things travel. Follow the adventure and questionable decision making here!


  1. leslie

    Absolutely fantabulous Em!…bet you never heard that word…Love the backpack and the North Face pants….You are simple, no complicated, amazing and I love you more than I can describe at this moment.

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