Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I know it is waaaay early...but

Cooper Kids Coast Christmas

I have an idea. I saw it on a goofy website I peruse on occasion. We need to find an old picture with all of us in it......and recreate it. I mean a picture from when we were little kids. Next get-together we have (be it camping or actual Christmas), we need to figure out ahead of time what picture we want to use, then each of us head to the thrift store to find props/similar clothing to wear, then we take a picture of us posing to match the original picture. Facial expressions and all.

Won't this be awesome????

Davinie will be so proud

When I went to Australia, Davinie encouraged me to take along a blank book, and fill it with receipts and ticket stubs and all sorts of memorabilia and notes about my trip. I took a book along, and filled out maybe 3 pages. Didn't really follow through.

This time, with my Europe trip, I am doing a different variation of this same idea. I bought a lovely blank, lined page book with a magnetically closing flap. Pretty and green (of course). I have it separated into four sections (Germany, Amsterdam, Paris and Rome), and each section is filled with shrunken down hotel confirmation emails, train tickets, flight information, and maps. I got maps both from google and also by copying them out of my Rick Steves books (I have them for Amsterdam, Paris and Rome). He has maps of key areas, suggested walking itineraries, etc, etc.

I made lists of absolutely everything I wanted to do in Rome and Paris, the figured out which things were located close to each other. Then I put together an itinerary for the days that I am there, taking into consideration things like days museums are closed in Paris, busiest days/times of the week at the Vatican, etc. I posted these on, and got some good feedback. I tweaked things around after that, then started gluing everything into my book. In order. (actually, I started gluing *before* I went on tripadvisor, so my Rome itinerary is not quite in order). I even have which exact metro line I need to take to each area in Paris, along with the station name and any transfers I need. I *love* planning!!

So I have Rome-Day 1 (Tuesday), with maps and info about what I want to do that day, followed by Rome-Day 2 (Wednesday). I left about 15 empty pages (at least) after each city/area, so I have more space to attach stubs, etc, and also to journal. When I get home, I will find some flat scrappiness to add for embellishment and interestingness, and in the end I will have an awesome keepsake.

While on my journey, this saves me from having to carry around guidebooks (except for info sections that I am going to rip out and take with me to some museums), and has all my info in one place. Can I tell you how excited I am about this?? I am having lots of fun. I know that my Paris and Rome itineraries are vary ambitious, and we will likely have to cut some things out--but I would rather know all my options at a glance, and be able to decide on the day if I am in the mood or have the energy to do something, rather than getting home and realizing that I was a block away from something very cool, and totally missed it because I didn't know it was there. Make sense??

One place I am excited about seeing is the Largo Argentina ruins in Rome. There are cool ruins, but also a cat sanctuary and hospice that takes in sick and injured cats and houses them for life. They also have a robust spay/neuter program, and they foster and adopt out as many cats as they can. Even internationally. We are NOT coming home with a cat, but I am going to try to fit a box or two of gloves into my luggage--they are requesting these, as well as monetary donations. Rome is known for having cats everywhere amongst the ruins, and these people are the only agency actually HELPING these cats. You know we have a soft spot for cats..

We have lots of cool churches on our list as well, and some museums in Paris. We ar not going to the Louvre (shocking, isn't it?), but we will see the Cluny and Orangerie, as well as the Army Museum/Napoleon's tomb and the Rodin Museum. We are getting Museum passes, so we won't feel bad about only stopping in to see the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries in the Cluny Museum, or other small, quick stops. One price, all the museums we want to see in 2 days. Works for us.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I have absolutely nothing going on in my life, which makes updating a blog a bit tricky. I will try my best...

I did win a victory over American Airlines and got my flight home from Rome in May switched--they rescheduled my flights 3 times and I was looking at a 6 hour layover at JFK airport waiting for a flight home to Seattle, but a little web research showed me that there was a flight leaving Rome around the same time that went through Chicago and would get me home to Seattle arout 7:30pm, rather than 11:30pm. Much better. And, we leave Rome about 90 minutes later than the earlier flight, so we can have a leisurely morning trek out to the airport. Good news all around.

I am also planning to take part in the Big Climb here in Seattle, climbing up the stairs of the Columbia tower (69 floors) to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma research. Should be fun. And tiring. Definitely a good workout, at the very least. I am in the 'untimed' division (a climber, not a racer), so my goal is just to avoid the elevators and make it all the way to the observation deck. We shall see. This is in only a few short weeks, so I need to get my butt in gear. I joined a gym a few months ago, so hopefully my blood, sweat and tears there will pay off in my non-death in the stairwells.

Of course, there is a lot of Europe planning going on. I like lists, so I am making lists of all the things I want to do in a particular city, and the cost/days they are closed.
Then I am linking together museums/sights that are physically close together.
Then looking at the Museum/city passes that are available and seeing if those will save me money, or if I should just go to them individually.
Then prioritizing things, since there is absolutely no way I can see *everything*.
Then I will eventually show my conclusions to Ethan, and see what he thinks.... Trying to squeeze a lot of things into a short period of time, but I don't want to rush around and exhaust myself.

So. That is an update. If my life were less boring or my cats looked any different than they did last year or the year before, etc, I would put up pictures of them or of the exciting things we are doing. But there are none. We are boring people, living a boring life. We are living like no one else; so that one day, we can live like no one else.