Things turned out totally different from the way I expected, so this is a totally different post than the one I first planned.
I messed around a bit yesterday, stuffing things in and pulling them out of backpacks and shoulder bags. The circumstances of this holiday are such that I will probably be living out of those bags (vs. unpacking). I have made a similar trip with just a shoulder bag and a purse, but that time I was counting on drawer and closet space, so I could cram everything supertight. So my problem amounted to this: I could get everything in, but could I get it all comfortably out, and in and out and in and out?
I went with Mr. Fixit to the usual Monday night Cruise Night, which (if you don't know) is also my chance to check out the Salvation Army thrift store. I headed for the luggage corner, and they had two nice carry-on bags for the equivalent of US$10. The bags were the same except for colour, so I picked the red one.
I feel like I have finally joined this century. I too can now pull out a handle and wheel my bag around.
And everything fits.
As a personal item, I am going back and forth between the satchel and backpack (see previous posts). Or the freebie law bag, because, pretty as the satchel is, it doesn't have a shoulder strap. The backpack...I'm worried that it might not be counted as an okay personal item (vs. baggage). Well, I still have a couple of days to figure it out.