May 10, 2009 at 8:43 am
Pack light! Pack light! Everyone has told me to pack light and that does not mean I should catch a sun beam in a jar and ferry it across the ocean with me. I have taken these warnings to heart, and disregarding any concern for stinkyness or being caught wearing the same pants twice, I have packed light. Laurie at Crazy Aunt Purl became my light packing hero after I read this post where she traveled to Madrid with two small bags.
It was there I first heard about packing cubes. I was perplexed by Laurie’s statement that she could pack more in her luggage with those little square bags. It seemed illogical because by bringing the cubes she was carrying even more stuff around, but then Rick Steves recommended it too. So I bought some packing cubes that were not technically cubes by the mathematical definition of the term, and what do you know?! They were right! It’s hard to explain why they work, but instead of trying to smoosh a lot of stuff [...]
May 1, 2009 at 8:45 am
If I had known how much preparation goes into planning an international vacation, I’m not sure if I would have decided to jet off to London and Paris on a moment’s notice. However, the plane tickets are booked and the Eurostar train pass is purchased, so it’s full speed ahead and damn do those hi-speed trains go fast!
I have 9 days left until my departure and the last two weeks have been a crash course on how to travel. For instance, make reservations early. I kept putting off making reservations until I had time to read the guidebooks and suddenly it was less than 3 weeks before departure and OMG I NEED TO FIND A PLACE TO SLEEP THAT IS NOT A PARK BENCH. I spent a whole day in a panic trying to find a hotel that wouldn’t bankrupt me or give me bedbugs after reading that the Paris hostels were maybe not the best. Similarly, I kept putting off buying my train ticket through the chunnel from London to Paris until I could [...]
April 3, 2009 at 9:15 am
This is not about my underpants.
Last week an e-mail was sent to everyone in my office announcing a one-week furlough this quarter. My coworkers were understandably depressed, shoulders sagging at their desks, wondering how they’d get by with one less week of pay.
This is when I exclaimed, “I’m going to Europe!” and my boss almost spit out his Coke.
“Are you serious?” he asked, half laughing.
“Yep!” I said. And I was. I am.
I have always wanted to go to Europe. My brother lived in Italy for a semester in college. My friends have taken trips with their French classes and Spanish classes. Other friends have gone backpacking in Ireland and gotten drunk in London and eaten chocolate in Switzerland. And still I have never left the country.
I have always wanted to go to Europe, but I’ve never made any plans to go to Europe. Partly this was because I was poor and in debt in my early 20′s. But partly it is because I never took the initiative, never got off my ass and made plans.
January 20, 2009 at 8:02 am
Here is a piece of advice to hotel/motel owners: Do not leave copies of a newspaper in your rooms which contains a crime map. Your guests will not be reassured to discover two burglaries occurred in the area in November of 2008.
However, it will make them double-check that the sliding door is locked.
I found myself in Ann Arbor, Michigan last weekend for personal business on the coldest day of the year. I’d never been to Ann Arbor before, but now I think of it as a frozen, icy wasteland. However, the drive through blowing snow didn’t faze me. Michigan ain’t got nothin’ on Colorado. Sure, I could barely see, but there wasn’t anything on my windshield, the pavement was visible, and if I did go off the side of the road I was on a flat plain, not the edge of a mountain.
When I walked into my hotel room, I realized how spoiled I have been by my free trips recently. “Oh right,” I said as I looked at the bed which was at most [...]
January 9, 2009 at 10:43 am
I have been packing for my ski trip this weekend when I suddenly realized I don’t know Jeremy, Jane or Jack Schitt about skiing. I know you’re supposed to go down the mountain. I know you’re supposed to avoid trees. I know I will fall on my ass many times. And that is it.
So dear readers, what else do I need to know about skiing? Please give me your secret snow skiing tips. I have my long underwear. I have my winter coat. I have my gloves and scarf and hat. Am I missing anything vital I was supposed to pack that I cannot rent for affordable prices?
I am also finally starting to get excited about this trip, which is a nice change from the general malaise towards life I have felt lately. I’m crossing my fingers the plane does not go down in flames and prove my optimism wrong.
PS – They are doing work on the web servers sometime in the next 24 hours (or they might have already done it). If anything goes [...]