Thursday, March 12, 2009

Two Days and Counting Down

Western Europe

I felt a bit under the weather today, so I didn’t make it in to work. I did however sleep until almost 11 - OMG!





After a hearty breakfast around noon it was off to packing and napping.

What will I take a eight day holiday in Europe during the end of the winter?

  • 2 pairs of pants (no jeans) dark green and black
  • 1 button down shirt , slightly dressy
  • 4 tops, 3 black, one green
  • 4 pairs of panties
  • 3 bras
  • 1 pair of day hikers
  • 1 pair of black Mary Janes
  • 3 pairs of socks for day hikes and 2 blacks for black Mary Janes
  • 1 sarong (use as robe)
  • 1 pair of long underwear to wear as PJs
  • 2 scarves, black & pink
  • 1 hat
  • 1 black fleece jacket
  • 1 wind breaker with hood
  • 1 umbrella
  • toiletries & make-up
  • 1 pair of sunshades to put over my glasses
  • 1 HP Mini laptop, 2.5 pounds
  • Accessories for “Minnie”, device to load pictures, mouse, cable for Blackberry data transfer, headphones
  • 1 laundry kit; stopper, wash, clothes line
  • Electrical adapters for Europe and Italy (pension says it has both)
  • Guidebook and reading book
  • 2 cameras, digital Fuji SLR and small Cannon digital
  • Flight, pension, & money exchange rate info.
  • photocopies of my passport and CCs
  • Blackberry
  • Datebook
  • Little notebook
  • Post-it tabs
  • Travel pillow
  • Credit and Charge cards
  • Pens
  • Money belt
  • Passport
  • Euros

All this gets packed in either the backpack and daypack. The backpack feels pretty reasonable, the daypack is bit overloaded, but still zips up.

Florence or Firenze Italy

What have I done to prepare myself for a trip to a city that has had wide cultural impact on Europe and the rest of the word? Unfortunately not much. All I have been able to do is speak with a few people, who all say that Florence is one of their favorite cities, and glance through my guidebook.

Florence is the regional capital of Tuscany and the epicenter of what was Renaissance Italy. It is home to the famous Medic family who supported some pretty famous artists such as Botticelli, Da Vinci, and Michelangelo. Beyond the artists are many churches, buildings and breath taking scenery, which I will become more acquainted with during my over 24-hour journey to get there. Lonely Planet has nice overview.

Italy is currently 6 hours ahead of CST. The EU doesn’t switch to DST until the end of March, so it will be lighter in the morning than here. I prefer that, as I I like to get up early when I travel and see things when it isn’t too crowded. My research does indicate that I am definitely traveling during the off season. Therefore I am not expecting many crowds along the way.

Did I Mention Over a 24-Hour Trip to Get There?

image Super Shuttle is due to pick me up at around 7:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. My first of three flights leaves Houston at 10:10 a.m., arriving in imageCleveland at 1:45 p.m. Then it is off to Newark, where my international flight to Milan leaves at 6:55 p.m., arriving in Milan at around 7 a.m., then off to the train station to catch a train to Florence, arriving some time in the afternoon. I am looking forward to the travel time, to adjust from a working gal, to a my holiday mode. Once in Florence, I will there through Saturday, going back to Milan and then leaving for the states on Sunday morning (only two flights on the way home.)

3 comments:

Jay Francis said...

We have maps for you. Also, seriously, look out for pickpockets. It's really bad in Italia.

Jay and Irene

Kevin Whited said...

** My first of three flights leaves Houston at 10:10 a.m., arriving in Cleveland at 1:45 p.m. Then it is off to Newark, where my international flight to Milan leaves at 6:55 p.m., arriving in Milan at around 7 a.m. **

That is a really odd routing. Any reason you plugged in Cleveland instead of just going directly to Newark?

I have a similar, but shorter trip, coming up next week -- headed to Milan on CO connecting in Newark, then training it to Venice for a couple of days. I'm really looking forward to the trip, and to reading about yours!

Food Princess said...

Kevin,
Welcome!
When I made my reservations, it was $50 cheaper to fly through Cleveland. So I took the extra flight.
Good luck on your trip, I know you will enjoy yourself.