One year ago today, my husband and I started out on our Trip of a Lifetime. We left home for Toronto with a stop at Niagara Falls along the way (because we'd stopped there on our honeymoon - which was also in Toronto) and stayed overnight there, then caught our plane for Rome. We'd planned a week taking a Mediterranean cruise, embarking at Rome, then going 'round to Palermo, Naples, Livorno, Genoa, Toulon and getting off at Barcelona. From there, a short plane ride to Dublin and then another week tooling around the Emerald Isle.
You know what happened. We never made it to Ireland. We had a grand adventure, just not the one we planned.
Last year I packed, repacked, packed again. I weighed the suitcases, measured them, unpacked, repacked, measured and weighed again. We decided to take one carry-on each (besides our laptops) and one MONSTER suitcase (that would have to be checked). Initially we didn't want a checked bag because we didn't want to spend extra time in the airport, but my husband is a painter and wanted his travel easel. It's wooden, carryable, but still took up nearly the entire extra suitcase.
This year, he's decided to leave the easel home and bring a light-weight one that's much more manageable. He can put it in his briefcase, along with several small tubes of paint. So we're back to the one laptop case and one small carry-on - nothing checked!
Of course, that means being very judicious about what I bring. One color scheme (purple, of course. I packed a single print skirt that has many colors - each T-shirt/blouse matches it so I can mix and match as needed). I left the scarf out, and am taking only a light rain jacket (and will probably wear it so I don't need to pack it). No sweatshirt or sweater. I figure I can buy one there. If we need to get another suitcase or if I overpack on the way home? That's fine. I don't mind waiting at the Toronto airport for luggage - we're going home. It's wasting time in foreign lands I don't want to do.
But I'm a little more relaxed about the process this year. I've already packed and am right at the limit, pound-wise, so I might do a little more readjusting, but other than that? I'm good.
I'm also excited as heck! Eight days in Ireland and six in Scotland. I'm hoping to meet up with Cait Miller, a fellow member of the Sizzling Scribes while we're there. My husband teases me that I expect to see Jamie and Claire, too, but pish! I'll just visit places mentioned in the book.
Watch this blog for travel updates - I'll post when I can. Last year I had to wait until we were home because the ship's WiFi was exorbitant and I didn't spend enough time on shore to post much. This year, we're on land the entire trip and the B&B's and hotels all have WiFi, so it should be easier.
And as for volcanoes? Several people have told me they're glad I'm staying away from those this year. Little do they know, I'm planning to climb Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh - which is an extinct volcano! Don't worry, though. I've also told my husband it's HIS turn to get us a first class seat on the way home. :)
Play safe, and I'll see you in Ireland - or Scotland!
PS. Watch for a new feature coming to the blog on June 1st! I think you'll like it. :)