tick tick tick… can you hear it? It is pounding in my ears. We are just about 29 hours away from flying the Friendly Skies of United. Do they still use that in their advertising or am I dating myself? I have registered with the U.S. Department of State Embassy and Consular – that must make it pretty official right?
I never realized how much there is to do when traveling over seas. Things are not done in quite the same way; there is the language barrier at times when communicating with the Apartment managers; there is the time difference and I have found that early in the morning (our time) seems to be the best time to send something; notifying credit cards so they don’t deny a charge (that happened when I bought train tickets a few weeks ago) – done; notifying the bank so your ATM card will continue to work – done; buying train tickets, tour tickets, museum passes, Vaporetto pass (yes, I broke down and bought one but am hoping to not use it much as I much prefer to walk) – done, done, done and done!; having a phone that will work once you get there, or buying a Sim Card and/or a cheap phone that will work – done; changing email settings so as not to get a ton and use data inadvertently – done; updating any Apps on the phone – done; scan pages from guidebooks rather than carrying them – done; making notes from books that I’ve read on Italy and being sure they are on my Google Drive – done; changing money – done. The list continues, but you get the gist of things….there is more to do than when I hop on a plane to San Diego that is for sure. Ok, for those who know me, I don’t just ‘hop on a plane’, I am way too detail oriented to be able to do that. Yes, there is another name for it, but I am going to stick with Detail Oriented 🙂
A week ago, after packing everything, the zippers on my favorite suitcase didn’t work very well around the corners. If I was careful, there was no problem. On other trips, I have occasionally realized that someone had been in my suitcase when I got to my hotel. TSA? a baggage clerk? who knows.. I decide that it isn’t a good idea to use this suitcase. Were someone needing to open it, I doubt they would take the time to ‘be careful’. Why chance the possibility of broken zippers? It is 1 week before we leave, not a lot of time to shop, and I knew that the style of suitcase I liked wasn’t made anymore so I wasn’t happy about buying a new one. I have so many suitcases already, but they were all larger than I needed. I found 2 that I liked, they were in stock (on line) and could be in my hands in 2 days so I ordered both. I decided on a Samsonite that was fairly light weight and it is working out quite well. In fact, there is quite a bit of room because it is deep so I am able to pack a pillow! Otherwise there was quite a bit of space, the pillow is keeping everything in place, and since I have a lot of trouble with my neck and shoulders, it’s a win-win! I hate feather pillows, and I have a feeling that might be what they have in Italy, just like every hotel seems to have when I travel.
In looking at the weather, it is supposed to cool down quite a bit and that is OK by me!! Of course, who knows how accurate that is right? I am not changing what clothes I am bringing however. Oh, and that is another thing that has thrown me for a loop. I am very casual, always have been. I am not a dress-up kinda gal!! I don’t own any clothes like that. However from all my reading I knew that I would have to dress a bit different. Well, I could dress the same as I normally do, but I would be screaming ‘Tourist! American!’ and I do not want to do that. Oh sure, it will be pretty obvious anyway with the stunned look, glazed over eyes, huge smile, look of awe and general excitement, but I don’t want to be any more obvious than need be. There are also rules that we don’t have here as far as going in churches and things that you cannot wear shorts and shoulders must be covered. Plus, from what I gather, shorts are not worn unless at the beach (for the most part). Say what?!? When it’s hot and in the 90’s? Oh boy…… this means I have to buy a few new things- Capris style pants, say what say what? who me you ask?!? Yeah, well, it’s only for 2 weeks, I suppose I can live with that ha ha….. And shoes? Well, in that department with my stability issues, I have to wear something that is sturdy and has a good platform. No sandals that is for sure! So yes, I will bring my Sketcher gym shoes, but I am not bringing my white ones, and I will have my Merrell shoes as my backup.
I did not loose the weight that I had wanted to – sigh – I know that I will regret that big time. This means I have more room for all the amazing food that I’ll be eating though right????!!?? I am more than ready to embark on my Dream Trip. Oh sure, I have things to do yet tonite and I’m sure I’ll think of things that I didn’t do and be rushing around, but emotionally, I could not be any more ready. I will work a half day tomorrow, then drive to the Boys house and we’ll get picked up by a limo and taken to O’Hare.
I hope to be able to make a few posts while I am gone. The bulk of the writing for the blog however, will be done after I return. I have 2 notebooks for each town, one small one to carry around with me, and one larger to write in at night. I plan on taking many, many, many photos and some videos along the way.
Ciao for now –
BELLA ITALIA GET READY, (TOMORROW) HERE I COME READY OR NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!