Friday, April 6, 2012

vacation planning?

so i might have mentioned this once here in the blogosphere, like way back as barely a footnote as part of my thankful-list in November, but i feel like it's time to say a little bit more about the big vacation that we have planned for this year. you know, since the hubs and i are leaving for a 10-day trip to Europe in just over two weeks!


trust me, my mind is just as boggled as yours.

so here's how we got this opportunity: Mark's youngest brother is a senior at a small private Christian school. and the tradition at this school is that every year, the senior class goes on a senior trip. to Europe. (to make up for their lack of a real prom?) this year, their numbers were a little low, and they needed some more bodies to go on the trip to keep costs slightly lower than astronomical, so Mark and I are going as chaperones/stowaways this year.

we're paying our own way, using the monies that we had been saving up to get new windows put in our house. turns out the windows werent really all that bad after all. it honestly really wasn't a decision that was all that difficult for me to make. the windows can wait. but a 10-day trip through France and Italy that we didn't have to plan? not exactly an opportunity that lands in your lap very often, if at all.

so needless to say, i'm kind of excited. we're going to hit the beaches at Normandy, Paris, Venice, and Rome. we're going to the Louvre and we'll take pictures with the Eiffel Tower, and we're going to ride an overnight train! (just like in White Christmas!!) and probably a zillion other awesome things that i just cant quite remember right now...

...but DUDE this trip has snuck up on me! so here i am, with a buffer of a mere 17 days between me and what is poised to be one of the best adventures of my life to date, and... i'm stuck. i should be preparing. i should be shopping. i should be reading up on the things that we're going to see. i should be asking questions and trying to figure out what to pack and making sure that i have all the right accessories so that the outlets dont fry my new camera's battery. because i am so NOT OK with the thought of vacationing in Europe and coming home without any pictures.

but i just dont know where to start.

so i need your help: what do i need to be thinking about and doing and planning and packing to help ease the little bit of fear and dread that is creeping around threatening to snuff out all my excitment about this trip? i've heard plenty of horror stories, so try and keep those to a minimum, unless they come paired with a good solid piece of advice.


please to be leaving helpful thoughts and ideas in the comments. okiloveyoubye.


Anastasia said...

I had so much great advice *snicker* that I blogged it.

PS. call me bout the camera adapter thing.

PPS Chill out. XOXO

Anonymous said...

3 days before your trip, lay out all the clothes and shoes you are considering taking.

2 days before your trip, put half of them away.

1 day before your trip, put away half of what's remaining, and pack what's left.

Once you get there, you'll never wish for a moment that you had brought four times as much clothes and shoes.

Steve Grant said...

I agree with Rob. Put a complete set of clothes in your carry on in case anything happens to your checked bag is an absolute must.

empty nalgene on your carry on. fill it once you get through security. staying hydrated will help with jet lag. definitely bring a couple granola bars or something like that. also, a deck of cards.

kinda-gross-but-good-to-know: when going through Italy and France, you're going to be eating a lot more breads, cheeses, and other foods you aren't used to. pack a laxative. also, bring gold bond powder. great for your feet or anything else after a long day of walking.

assuming you are going to touristy spots like Rome and Paris, be very cautious of pick-pockets. we caught a guy red-handed in rome and the victim didn't even know it was happening. wallets in front pockets, and hide emergency cash in a sock or something like that. even if you get a lanyard connected to a small pouch and wear that under your shirt.

in italy, the cheapest street food is better than most 5 star restaurants in the states. try everything. drink the wine and limoncello, avoid the grappa. also, make sure you seek out an affogato made with real gelato.

speaking of gelato, definitely get as much as you can. You can spot a good gelato place by the color of banana gelato: yellow means they used fake banana flavorings, grey means they used real bananas.

if I can think of any other italy tips I'll let you know, or if you have questions let me know! have fun!