The anxiety dreams have begun.
20.08.2008 14 °C
We leave Maine in just under two weeks. It's hard to believe. Our travels will take us to London, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Venice, Florence, Rome, Cinque Terre, Geneva, and, finally, Paris (not to mention that we are taking the slow route to London!). Our longest stays are scheduled for London and Paris. Our shortest stay will be in Venice.
Right now, we are trying to focus on our mantra: pack light, pack light, pack light! This is a lot easier said than done. But, by the time we pack up for the last time before leaving, we are hoping that we will indeed find ourselves with what we need, but confidently leaving behind what we don't need—or don't want to haul around!
We are almost done with reservations. We have decided, since we are a family of four, that we would reserve all lodgings ahead of time. This wasn't so easy with London, unfortunately (we really wanted to be in a flat), but since then, we have had a remarkably easy time. We are staying in a range of places—though, so far, we have stayed away from youth hostels! We have mostly rented flats, some through B&B operators and others through websites. We will stay in a little "pensione" in Venice, with the toilet and shower down the hall.
We intend to follow Rick Steves' advice of becoming a "temporary local," so we are also trying to learn a few phrases in some foreign languages. Since we will be in Italy for two and half weeks, we are trying to learn a little Italian. Joe will brush up on his French. We hope the kids will learn a few phrases in French and even in German.
A thought from John: I'm really excited because I've only been to Europe once—and that was when I was five. But, now I'm nine. So, I want to go back because it is a really, really interesting place. I'm really looking forward to seeing the Eiffel Tower, the London Eye, Pompeii, Rome, and my old friend, John, whom I met in Belgium four years ago (he's the son of my Dad's friend).