Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Travels In Italy - Day 1

Traveling is always a mix of excitement and trepidation, but this time around we seemed to be a little more relaxed, maybe too relaxed, leaving some things until the last minute. The situation was not helped by the fact that there is a flurry of activity on our end with closing out the school year and getting things ready for next year.
Either way, I hadn’t even packed for the trip with two hours left to go until our departure, and there was cleaning and last minute confirmations that had to be done. If there’s a silver lining to this, it’s that we’ve gotten good enough at the travel drill to where it’s not too stressful. If anything, we’re not stressed enough.

Since our garden is going to languish a bit, we are having our friends look after it. I asked them to simply save our small plum tomatoes in the freezer and then help themselves to the rest, since we can’t really use them anyway. We have a bunch of small plums ripening in the window, so we needed to arrange for our friends watching the cats to freeze those, as well. We have new people watching the cats, friends this time, who are doing us a huge favor. Since it’s a bit of work feeding twice a day and cleaning the litter, I broke it up and asked two sets of people to help. We’re forsaking our regular person, PV, because she did a poor job last time and charges us a pound of flesh.

One last note, we needed a cell phone that would work in Europe. We have the ultra cheap Tracfone, which works beautifully in the states, but doesn’t even work in Canada, unless, of course, you’re near the US border, and then you’re just getting US service. Either way, we have to call one of the hotels to pick us up, and if you’ve ever been overseas, you know that payphones in other countries are beyond useless. We searched for options before finally consulting our friends from the UK. Not only did they know the drill, but they offered us one of their phones to take with us. He even explained to us how to take out the SIM card once we get there. Isn’t it great having European friends who know the drill?

The one caveat to all this good will was that a few hours before our departure, I had to jet over to their house and pick up the phone. Plus, these are our good buddies whom we haven’t seen in awhile, so it’s awkward asking for favors out of the blue. However, it is a testament to the strength of one’s friendship, not unlike a favor you’d ask a family member.

In the end, our last day was a flurry of activity, and we thought we had tons of time and before we knew it, my Mentor was knocking at the door to give us a ride, and we weren’t ready! Talk about slacking. One excuse is that our clock in the kitchen died at 2:00, so we kept thinking we had tons of time. Our bad.

Gotta run. The key to blogging when on vacation is to make quick posts and get them up and running ASAP. Just one last note, the airline lost our luggage coming to Florence, but that’s a story for another time.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to AndersRo for the pic.

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