COUNTDOWN TO ITALY!
For a planner like me the last few weeks before any vacation are a mixture of excitement and worry. I've done the research, asked the questions, sent the emails, made the reservations.....but have I forgotten anything? I've made reservations at the places we'd be most likely to have to wait in line - the Vatican museums, The Borghese, the Uffizi and the Accademia. Making these reservations also requires a cretain amount of confidence because you're locked into a specific time and day. Sometimes it's nice to have the flexibility to save a museum for a rainy day, or even a really hot day, but when your time is limited you just have to make the best decision you can and go with it. I decided not to make reservations for a walking tour in Florence just in case rain is forecast, but I have the phone number programmed into my Italian cell so I'm hoping a quick call a day or two before will be sufficient. I'm still waiting on the folks at Perugina to confirm the chocolate class, but hopefully now that we're into September it will be back to business as usual soon.
I have lists of restaurants and gelaterie galore - enough to give us a nice selection in several areas, but not so many that we'll be overwhelmed by choices. Most of these recommendations came from various threads on the Slow Travel message board and should be up-to-date, fingers crossed. I've tried not to cram too much stuff into our daily plans, giving us time for a coffee, a gelato, even some free time on our terrace in Rome! You can be sure that not everything will go as planned - some things will take longer, others less time, but at least I have a good idea of what we'll do each day. There's nothing worse than being on vacation and wondering what to do next - or arriving at a site only to find out it's their closing day.
In another week or two I'll haul out the suitcases and begin piling up stuff to take. I'll need to check for toiletries, make sure we each have all our vitaimins and prescriptions, throw in an extra pair of sunglasses, that sort of stuff. I won't make any final decisions about the clothes I'm taking until the day before we leave, just because the weather has been so crazy, but layering will certainly be part of the plan.
Both our passports are good for several more years, so no worries there. Art's going to AAA this week to get his IDP (internation driving permit). I need to do a final price check for the rental car, and make sure no flight times have changed. I need to cancel the paper and stop the mail, and call the credit card companies. I'm not sure what I'm forgetting, but in the end we'll be in Italy again, so it'll be fine. At least that's what I'm telling myself!