Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Pre-Travel Antics--"Dobbiamo lasciare domani per Roma"
"Dobbiamo lasciare domani per Roma": Tomorrow we must leave for Rome.
Here's a glimpse of the madness of packing for a long trip. Notice Maggie in the humorously large portrait overhead, as if to say, "are you SURE that ALL of it will fit in ONE suitcase?
What follows is as much for my own future recollection of the experience, as it is a sharing of humorous bits of anecdote with those who visit here. It's a partial list of the tasks that had to be completed to prepare for this journey:
--Mail passport applications a day before the Federal Government threatens to shut down (April)
--Research tour options
--Find out when both of us could get 2 weeks off of work at the same time
--Commit to a date with a small tour group; we are numbers 3 and 4. If the group does not have at least six signed up by the next week, it will be cancelled.
--Breathe sigh of relief...persons 5 and 6 are now on board
--Overcome personal family challenges; prepare to cancel if there is an emergency.
--Get the cancellation insurance... for peace of mind
--Teach your fellow employees how to do your job for two weeks. Accept the possibility that you will have two weeks worth of work to do when you get back
--Stop mail and newspaper delivery
--Buy toiletries, like travel-size shaving cream, toothpaste, sunscreen, and Imodium (you never know)
--Splurge on a new wardrobe, to be stylish in romantic Italy, including shirts, shoes, and even undergarments (YOU NEVER KNOW!)
--Rent a phone from your service provider after you are told that your current phone will not handle overseas calling. (My parents' wall-mounted DIAL PHONE could make calls everywhere...Ah, technology)
--Leave your emergency phone number with the neighbors, your kids, your parents, and your co-workers. Ask the latter to call only if the office burns down, so that you can extend the trip for an extra week (why not?)
--Do the laundry, the dishes, water the garden, alert the neighbors and all of your social networking friends.
--Get very nice messages and visits from everyone wishing you well
--For the two week trip, pack enough for three weeks... You Never Know
The posts during the first week of August will be a transcript of the journal I will keep on our journey, as well as the best of the pictures I manage to take.
Preview of Coming Attractions: Dealing with Jet Lag; Character Sketches of our Group Members; FOOD; WINE; What I've absorbed in Rome; Meeting the natives and speaking Italian; The Tuscan countryside; ART, including the Vatican and the Uffizi museum; A Tuscan Cooking Class!; Tales of the unexpected.