Tuesday, May 27, 2008

11 Days To Go...

Well, I’m in Minneapolis now. It’s the last of three weeks worth of back-to-back business travel prior to our trip. I’ll spend next week working from home, during which time I hope to clear off my desk of open items so I can depart with no work-related projects needing my attention. Libby will be spending these weeks winding down the current school year (exams, final grades, and graduation) and completing the initial preparations for next year (scheduling students into classes).

In addition to getting this blog setup, we used the past Memorial Day weekend to prepare for the journey. Unlike most of our vacations that have involved a mad dash of preparation in the last few days (or hours) before departure, we’ve made a conscious effort to start the process of organizing and packing well in advance. Why the change? Our summer trips to Europe have usually lasted 10-12 days. For those, we’ve been able to get by with only carry-on luggage (of actual carry-on size… as opposed to the steamer trunks I often see people trying to squeeze into the overhead bins on airplanes). However, the duration of this trip and limited (okay, non-existent) self-serve laundry facilities on the ship means that we’ll need a bit more storage capacity. At the same time, we still want to travel as light as possible. So, we’ve settled on only two mid-size suitcases, a single small roll-aboard (which may also be worn as a backpack), and two small backpacks (one of which may attach to the roll-aboard). All told, we’ll each have a single piece of luggage to roll and a smaller one to wear, thereby hopefully making the logistics of airport-to-London, London-to-Southampton and reverse via train a snap. We’ve already organized most of our non-clothing items and have even started the process of laying out clothes to pack based on our lists. How very organized of us!

This trip is unusual in that I’m actively looking forward to it. I think that because I travel a fair amount for business and have a pretty hectic schedule, I don’t tend to start enjoying the prospect of a vacation until I’m happily ensconced in the Delta Crown Room in Tampa on my way to our destination. Indeed, I’m somewhat notorious for spending the last 24-48 hours before departure on vacation in a fairly foul mood (well, foul by my standards anyway). So, I’m hoping that all of our advanced preparations will pay off with reduced stress and commotion next week, thereby keeping me sanguine. :-)

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