As I plan to go to Italy alone my to-do list gets longer. Here are the entries from my trip planning journal.
Monday, April 25
I am just back from a wonderful long weekend in Pittsburgh with my niece and nephew-in-law. All those years of growing up in the Burgh and I never knew there was so much to do there. Every time we go back we find new things to do – this time it was the Jimmy Stewart Museum. Who even knew that Jimmy Stewart was from Indiana, PA? The Jimmy Stewart Museum was a lot of fun, you have to be a real fan to enjoy it, which apparently some in my family are, but I digress………
I leave one week from today, so it is back to working out the last little details of my trip. Today I ordered Euros from my bank. They will arrive on Wednesday at my branch. I could have them delivered to my home, but then I would be liable for them if they are stolen and I have to be home for them to be delivered. So I will make my first trip inside a branch bank in years.
It used to be you had to go to your bank to order foreign currency and waited at least a week for it to arrive. Now you can call in your order and it comes in a few days – at least for common currencies. That is the good news – the bad news is that I am getting a very bad rate. But I need some currency to start out with. All of the hotels I have ever stayed in take credit cards, but not all restaurants or stores take credit cards. And when you use an ATM, “Bancomat”, or a credit card you get charged a “foreign transaction rate” and those fees can add up in a hurry. So bad as the rate is I ordered Euros to at least get me started.
I also ordered my Planetfone to be delivered the Saturday before I leave. I probably won’t need a phone but I feel like I need one in case I have an emergency. My Droid will work in Europe but the roaming charges are outrageous. I am going to take my Netbook so I will have access to the internet. Hopefully by my next trip I will have an iPad which is smaller and I can use to read books rather than having to find room in my suitcase for books. I thought about getting an iPad for this trip but I did not want to have to worry about it being stolen. That and as I keep reminding myself, I am unemployed so I really need to decide where I spend my money.
I have a big pile of clothes laid out on my bed in the guestroom. That is going to have to be reduced. I keep checking the weather – low’s in the 70’s during the day and in the 60’s at night which would be perfect. I am thinking layers. As always the big decision is around shoes, I am planning on black tennis shoes, a pair of silver ballet slippers and a pair of black ballet slippers. In addition, to clothes I have to fit in maps and books. Hmmm……maybe I should have bought that iPad.
Still left to do……check with Verizon regarding airplane mode and how that works, print train schedules, print out my hotel addresses to give to taxi drivers, send my itinerary to family and pull information out of my guidebook, get my hair cut and a manicure and pedicure – whoosh, lot’s to do in a week.