First installment from my journals from our trip to Italy. Note that in my journals, I've used the Italian names for cities and towns (Rome is Roma, Florence is Firenze)
September 13, 2008
We're all packed up and ready to go. In the four big black suitcases are the tandem bikes, dismantled by Wayne and packed away neatly. He spent this week sewing little flannel cases for all the tubes so they don't get all bashed up, and packing his "MacGyver kit" with duct tape, quick ties, vecro, tools, spokes, tubes, etc. for fixing any mishaps on the road.
In the two small carry-on suitcases are all of the clothes and necessities for all four of us for three weeks. I'm very impressed that we managed to pare down our packing to half of a carry-on apiece. Rick Steves with his one carry-on used to look downright spartan to me, but the more we've traveled over the years, the more we've appreciated that the lighter you travel, the easier it is. So we've tried to get as much quick-drying ultra-light clothing as possible and we will plan on rewashing everything from underwear to shirts on a near-daily basis. Since we already have the big and heavy (50 pounds apiece) suitcases carrying the bikes and bike trailers, paring everything else down to a minimum is a necessity. In my backpack are my Italian dictionary, my camera and lens, a book to read on the plane, my MP3 player, and this journal.
This week, the to-do list has been never-ending. Trying to hand over our household and the care of its 15 animals is not an easy task. Fortunately, my friend's parents are visiting and will be staying in our house, that should make our kitties much happier. I'm worried about Patches, the cat everyone calls "my dog" because she follows me around like a puppy. She's so attached to me, I worry that she'll run away. So I took her to get micro-chipped this week. The kittens are already chipped and Noggin my old guy is a veteran of our travels and has never disappeared on us. Still, he took to sitting on our luggage, in the house and in the car, I know he knows we're going. I will miss all of our critters so much!
Our flight leaves tomorrow morning from Portland at 7:15 am. We've been planning this for so long, and now the time has come to go and do it. Andiamo! (let's go).