The Final Countdown Begins
Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
14Trip End Oct 08, 2009
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Where I stayed
Commence Countdown to Liftoff
We've posted up our initial itinerary, but after that we'll be winging it. We'll be picking up a leased car in Milan, driving to Cinque Terre and then...??? We're planning on setting up in Nice for a few days after that, hitting Provence and the general SW of France on our way to Barcelona. After that we have options, but we really don't know which direction we'll be going just yet. (Ibiza? Morocco? Portugal? San Sebastian? Back up into western France for more winery trips? Dunno.)
About a week to go and most of the preparation is done. Doing some adjusting on packing, but the heavy lifting is complete. Two months is a long time to pack for-- especially when we have rather diverse clothing needs. Beach? Check. Hiking? Check. Museum jaunting? Check. Big city clubbing? Check. Haute cuisine joints? Check. Pick up soccer games? Check. Monaco James Bond Night? Well, we'll rent for that.
Hot Mediterranean days and cool Paris-in-fall nights must be covered without lugging our entire wardrobe with us. The limitation on quantity of foot wear has to be the toughest parameter to deal with. And considering we will probably be grubby some days and high society crashers on others, the few we bring have to cover it all.
The biggest difference from my last long euro trip I took has got to be with how much tech we'll be taking. I got around by bike on that trip with a bunch of cut up and laminated Michelin maps and a Walkman. This time around we have a laptop (with 250GB external hard drive for music/movies/pics and an extra battery along with various other laptop extras), a small, portable mp3 boom box (turning any place into a party), a Nintendo DS Lite hand held game unit (great for the plane or a dull wait in a train station), a small digital camera, a portable door alarm and motion sensitive bag alarms. My watch, though, is not digital (lest you think me a COMPLETE tech slave.) All of this fits neatly into my zip away day pack built into the big pack (with room still for a few books and low tech items like our swiss army knife)-- North Face rocks.
Of course, Marisa has her mobile phone and I have my Blackberry Storm that will double as our car's GPS system thanks to a handy dash top cradle, 12v plug in and Garmin's European software. (Tested the US version this past week in our car and it works really well.) It also works well at pedestrian level in case we get lost when we don't want to. Although, getting lost/exploring deep in old European cities is a lot of fun and one of my favorite things to do.
Marisa's phone # will change in Europe, so we'll send that out when it happens. It's just odd how connected to home we'll be, but I am forewarning folks that my phone may stay off for days at a time, if not longer. Disconnection will be an early goal for us so we can really relax and live in the moment. Clearly, though, we'll be communicating through this travel log so you may get a view of how and what we're doing. Frankly, we'll be excited to share these things with you all.
We'll have another update just before we leave. Take care until then,
Troy & Marisa