Sunday, March 8, 2009

Arrivederci – Off to Italy Next Weekend


While I normally write about food, or food related adventures, I have decided to use this blog to write about my upcoming week long holiday to Italy. I am sure there will be posts about food as well. The Food Princess Reports blog also has a feed from Twitter on the right hand side and I plan to use Twitter to micro blog to on the road.

Getting Ready

The preparation for a trip that is only a weeklong always seems to take longer than the trip itself. Not only do I have to prepare for the trip, but I have to put everything in order at home as well.

Yesterday I washed all my clothes, got the backpack out of the attic, and pulled out my travel gear. I made a initial list of what I was taking and returned some of the things that were not needed for a trip to Europe back to the closet.

I searched and searched for my Euros, I found the coins but none of the paper money. I am sure the paper money will show up either right before I leave or right after I return. The good news is that I did find about €19 in change.

Today, I sorted through some more stuff, including a disturbing pile of bills and miscellaneous papers that had built up several inches tall by the front door. It took me a little over an hour, but almost everything from that pile has either been shredded, thrown away, or filed.

I printed out the my travel information, including the itinerary from Continental Airlines, and confirmation from the hotel in Florence. I am flying into Milano (Milan in Italian) then taking a train to Firenze (Florence in Italian), where I plan to spend the week.

Checking Out the Pensione

This evening I decided to also look at the hotel’s web site to see if they had directions on how to get to the Hotel Fiorita from the train station. By the way, don’t you think that the pictures of Hotel Fiorita look pretty impressive? The amenities do not look bad either, except one thing… “Some rooms also have modem sockets.”

Oh no, I had assumed (bad thing to do when traveling outside the country) that since Italy was in Europe that the plugs would be the same Type C image like most of Europe. A little research turned up, that they made be, but this one line indicates that Italy and this hotel also uses the three prong type plug Type L image . Looks like I will have to travel with both. I see a short trip is in store to Little India to buy another Type L plug (I have one already) tomorrow on the way home.

By the way, I booked my single room with a private bathroom, shower and sink in the room and toilet in the hall for €39 a night below the prices they are quoting on their web site. I used a third party site that I found out about on Lonely Planet’s on-line forum Thorn Tree (one of my favorite sites to use when researching a destination.)

Getting Minnie Ready For the Trip as Well


The other thing I worked on this weekend in preparation for leaving the country was getting my New HP Mini or “Minnie” ready for the trip. That meant loading software, checking out the links, and getting all additional hardware together. I heart Minnie, 2.5 pounds and packed with power. Yes, I also paid less than the price on the website, HP has lots of deals going on.

I think that’s all folks, at least for tonight.


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