2 weeks from today we leave and anticipation is mounting. Jerry and I are reading everything we can get our hands on about places that we will be. We both are of the opinion that planning is as much fun as going. Somehow I feel that if I read the right travel book, pack the right things, and study the right language phrases, when I get off the plane I will automatically know exactly what to do. This NEVER works, by the way, but I still have this naive faith in knowledge.
We have also used the internet so much, you would think we were tour guides. We have unconsiously divided the trip planning into expertise areas. Jerry retains more from written words and maps, so he is downloading and reading all the " TripAdvisor" reviews about restaurants, sights, etc. that are within walking distance of our apartments/hotels. He studies maps and really does remember them, so when we get there he knows where he is at all times. I, on the other hand, never know where I am, even when I am there, so reading a map in Iowa about Florence is a waste of my brain power. But if I see a place on a Rick Steves Video, or the web, I remember how to do something (validate the train ticket, get on the subway, etc.)
I am the trip detail person. I have printed out the confirmations, made reservations, gone over the budget innumerable times and made chicken scratching on several yellow legal pads. I have a 6 folder binder that has a pocket for each place we will be with printed instructions, arranged the bank, credit cards, garbage pickup, mail, prescriptions phone numbers, Google talk, plant waterings, etc. etc. etc. My clothes have been in neat piles for 3 weeks on the guest bed, and I daily add and subtract things we can or cannot live without. Jerry will pack on Sunday before we leave. But, we will both have exactly what we need.
Interestingly, when we get there, Jerry is the detail guy and I just follow along. He decides the days agendas, how we will get there, where we eat (or don't), and when we leave. Those of you who know Jerry know that he has very strong opinions on agendas and it is just easier to go with the flow, but actually, I like that. I'm in Rome (or Paris, or wherever) and I'm happy no matter what. As long as my feet hold out and I get a glass of wine and a snack every once in awhile I am happy.
Our poor friends are sick to death of us talking about this trip, so now this 2 week waiting period is going to be hard. We will soon be off and the real fun can begin. I need to go and listen to my Italian language tape. Do you think, just by listening to it, I will arrive in Rome speaking fluently? We shall see! Ciao! (See, I'm fluent already!)