Subject: Re: reply to backpack
Hi Kathy and Ziners,

I really dislike those wheeled backpacks. One of my sons has one for school (his books weigh more than he does!) and the wheel apparatus makes it so heavy and cumbersome that it's hard for me to pick up--and you definitely need something you can hoist. I'd rather pack light--underwear and a few mix-match pieces that don't show dirt. (Denim is great but does take forever to dry.)

I wanted to comment on the shoes. Unless you are hiking (which wouldn't work with a wheeled pack anyway) I'd skip the hiking boots. I also wouldn't wear tennis shoes, as my son (recently returned from Europe) told me stories of his friends being excluded from restaurants, clubs, etc because of their tennis shoes. Seems that sneakers are not universally regarded as acceptable wear for just about anywhere. When we were in Europe in the summer of 2001, I had a pair of Mephisto sandals--very comfortable, got wet and dried fast, got dirty and didn't show it. There are a few companies that make attractive walking shoes--the shoes are not inexpensive, but they will last forever (unless your puppy gets hold of them, but that's another story.)

JoAnne in wet and windy Silicon Valley, CA