Saturday, July 26, 2008

Journey Proud

by Nancy

These last few days, as the lair buzzes with travel preparations and conference plans, I've started to feel kind of journey proud, as my mom would have put it. That was the phrase she used for excitement over a trip. As y'all know, the Romance Bandits are preparing to descend on San Francisco (an apt phrase in this case since so many of us are flying in), and I'm getting excited about seeing everyone and meeting so many of our online buddies. Oh, yeah--other RWA buddies will be there, too. The RWA conference is always a fun time to see friends and make new acquaintances as well as developing professional contacts.

I just returned from the mall, which was not the nightmare experience it sometimes is. I actually found things that both fit and looked pretty good, things I can no longer depend on happening. Fashions keep getting younger while I, well, don't. As the saying goes, though, not getting younger beats the alternative.

Some trips require a lot of wardrobe planning and packing while others require almost none. For DragonCon, over Labor Day weekend, I'll pack spare jeans in case of a spill, a selection of appropriately adorned t-shirts, the usual unmentionables and vanity "products," and no extra shoes. That's it. Fits in one carry-on bag. Everyone there "just want[s] to have fun," as Cyndi Lauper noted on a different occasion. Everyone just hangs, and almost no one notices what anyone's wearing. Well, except for the people in costume.

Professional gatherings are different, to varying degrees. For RWA, we need business clothes, sightseeing clothes, dressy clothes, and appropriate accoutrements such as shoes, jewelry, makeup, and so forth. (I'm sure some of you are better at creative ideas for "and so forth" than I am, so I'm leaving you room here. *g*) While networking can occur in the pool (note: add swimsuit), the health club (note: add sneakers and workout gear), or the bar, it most often happens in restaurants, workshops and appointments. Since presenting a professional appearance is important, we have dress appropriately. Is wearing a nice suit going to sell my book? No. Is looking like a slob going to prevent it from selling? Probably not, but it's not going to make me an appealing person to strike up a conversation with.

Since I wasn't born with the accessorizing gene--and oh, how I envy those of you who were--I have to make a list. Just as an aside, watch out for confusing navy and black when you pack. I once did, and only the intervention of a friend with the accessorizing gene saved me from a major panic attack. I recommend bright light, preferably sunlight, for the packing stint.

Then, of course, there's the matter of book-shipping. Between the book sale, the literacy autographing, and the lunchtime giveaways, I always end up with way more books than will fit in my suitcase. I've started shipping them home. Especially with airlines dropping their weight allowances, I'd rather pay to send them along than hassle with carrying them. I sometimes pack a jetpack and strapping tape for this purpose, but only if there's a post office near the hotel. This time, there doesn't seem to be, but you can check at the Post Office website.

Despite all these concerns, I'm excited. I always am. The conference is so laden with possibility. While that can be anxiety-inducing, it also offers the chance to act on our dreams, and what's greater than that?

Once upon a time, many years ago, my parents scrimped and saved to send their Anglophile daughter to Oxford on a summer study program. I got to travel roads I'd dreamed about and see castles and armor and the Crown Jewels and all kinds of cool stuff. It was a dream come true.

Dreams can come true without travel, of course. But there's a reason someone coined the phrase, "journey of a lifetime."

What's your favorite travel experience? Did you take a trip that was a dream come true, or just very special for some other reason? Or did you have one that was a nightmare?


Natalie Hatch said...

When I backpacked around the US a few years ago I loved it and hated it. I was on my own for most of it and soo really missed my friends, but there were amazing things I did such as hiked the Grand Canyon, Chule Falls, Bridal Falls,Utah, and other areas. So I think for all the bad, I saw a lot of good.

Natalie Hatch said...

OH by the way I snatched the GR, he needs to keep the girls in line again (they've been a little bit on the wildside since he was here last, sauntering in at all hours of the morning, I think one's now got a tattoo - won't say where)...

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

CONGRATS, Natalie!
Let your kidlets put the chook through his paces.

I happen to be one of the few Banditas driving in, so if anybody has books they can't get home, I'll gladly take em for donation.

ONE travel experience, Nancy? You must be kidding! I can't begin to narrow it down to one.

I will say, the first time I truly left the country (I don't count Tijuana) was pretty memorable. My first time was to England too and I could not believe I was actually standing in places I'd read and dreamed about all my life! Also, the first time I saw our nation's Capitol was pretty incredible too! And San Francisco... I've always LURVED that city! The first time I ever went there was in my teens and it wasn't that long (KOFF KOFF) after the famous "Summer of Love."

As for bad experiences, I've never had one bad enough to keep me from going again. ;-)


p226 said...

Seems like most of my travel is done for work these days. Though, the wife and I are headed to a mountain cabin soon. I expect that'll be a good one.

Most of my traveling is "spur of the moment."

"Hey, I think I'll go to the beach tomorrow, wanna go?"

"But the beach is 500 miles away!"


I mean, I'm prone to just doing that. Little or no forethought. Just go.

Some of those have been great. Some have been horrible. I loved traveling for racing. On the way to the track, there's all the excitement. On the way back, it's all zen, because you're driving on public roads, and everything feels so... incredibly... slow! I mean... driving 75mph after a race weekend feels so slow that you could jump out and run along side. I used to love that.

Helen said...

Well done Natalie he is back in Oz for another day

Great post Nancy I am not very good at matching and dressing up I feel very comfortable in track pants and shorts very lay back LOL

I haven't travelled that much but one trip hubby and I did back in 1997 was a trip to South Mole Island in the Great Barrier Reef. Neither of us had ever been on a plane and after he was diognosed with cancer and he got thru the chemo and radiation therapy we talked about things that we would like to do together just in case and we saved a litle money and went there for 5 nights a short break but we flew on a plane and had a wonderful time. And yes he is still really well and cancer free after all these years but it was something that we really wanted to do and went out and did it Mum and one of my sisters stayed with the kids while we were away. Now we try and get away together even if only for a weekend at least once a year always have a great time.

Have Fun

Jennifer Y. said...

Great post. I'll admit I am fashion-challenged just hope my clothes match. LOL

I haven't really traveled all that much to exotic places or anywhere exciting...and I have yet to go on my dream are the trips I can think of right now that have some interesting memories for me...

-there's the annual trip to Panama City Beach that my family has taken every year since I was 2 (but I don't know if we'll go this year). With 23 years of trips, each year has it's own special memory it seems. There's the year the hurricane was going to hit and we thought we might have to evacuate. There's the year a lady veered off the road in the middle of the night and hit our car as it sat in the hotel parking lot. There's the year we took my grandma for the last time before her death. There's the years we took my nephews and nieces for the first time and they finally saw the beach. There's the year I stepped on a dead blowfish buried in the sand causing my foot to be cut up (and my family to tease me by playing Hootie and the Blowfish songs the rest of the week). There's the year my brother decided to go shark fishing off the beach one night and managed to step on a fish causing part of the fish to imbed itself in his foot...later that same trip he managed to catch a shark (this was last year's trip). I could go on and on about these. I have a lot of memories stored up.

-there's the trips to Kentucky to watch my brother play football back when I was a kid

-there's the trips to south Georgia for family reunions, weddings, and funerals

-there's the trips to Savannah where my twin nephews spent the summer in the hospital because they were born 10 weeks early

-there's my high school trip to Washington first time anywhere without my parents.

And now I am getting ready for the biggest trip I have ever taken...San Francisco. This is the farthest I have ever been from my Georgia home and is the first time I have ever travelled solo. It should be interesting...I am sure I'll make a lot of new memories...hopefully they will be mostly good ones.

jo robertson said...

Wheeeeee, Nancy! I'm so excited about this upcoming RWA Conference, probably because I don't have to fly this time.

Our trip to Scotland several years ago was wonderful; it felt like coming home.

For all of you first-timers to San Francisco, you'll LOVE it. Be sure to get out of the hotel and actually "see" the City.

Donna MacMeans said...

I love to travel. Wish I could do more of it. I've never had a bad trip anywhere because all of them make memories. Sitting here doing the same-old-same-old not so much.

One of my fav traveling stories - I went to Chicago to this exlusive training seminar. When I checked into the Hyatt, I was told everything had been taken care of - didn't have to produce a credit card - they handed me a key and treated me like royalty. I was very impressed. I'd heard this seminar was top of the line but this was really, really nice. I go to my room and hear the shower running. Okay - they probably gave me a roommate to save costs. This is an accounting seminar, after all. Nobody can cut corners like accountants. But something just doesn't feel right. So I look at the luggage tags of the other person's luggage - it's a guy. I look in the closet - yup, man clothes. I called the front desk and suggested I might have been given the wrong room, and they panic and suggest I return immediately to the front desk. Can you imagine the guy in the shower hearing the voice of a strange woman in the room?

Of course - that was then. Were the same thing to happen now - I probably would have waited for the guy to come out of the shower before I called the front desk. I've always wondered if I abandoned a hottie (Very big grin).

Jennifer - You'll do fine. I bet this will be the first of many solo trips.

Natalie - congrats on the rooster. Keep an eye on him as I heard him mumbling about trying to sneak off to San Francisco. He's a wily one.

Carol said...

Natalie, Congrats to you and the kidlets...

The first trip my DH and I took way...back in the day! before we were married, it was the late 60's(Wot!scandal!we were't married then)to the Jenolen caves in the Blue Mountains in Au.
What a great time...and part of it was because we weren't married yet!

Great subject Nancy and the best of wishes to you for the Daphne's award.
Cheers Carol

Terry Odell said...

I hate packing. Period. I've got half my closet in the spare room, trying to decide what I need. Plus, we're going to Oregon to visit relatives after the conference, so I need two weeks' worth of clothes, totally different. Accessories? I'm tempted to wear my nice diamond earrings and pendant for the entire time.

Leaving at the crack of dawn Monday. Hope to meet everyone!

"Easiest" trip to pack for: Alaska, because although we had a conference on a university campus followed by a 10 day cruise package and needed all sorts of stuff, there weren't the same luggage restrictions, and we could each have 2 big suitcases. Of course the fact that it took 4 days for the the 4th bag to show up, and it had most of the clothes needed for the first part of the trip was an annoyance.

Hardest to pack for? South Africa. We did a 13 day tour which said, "one bag, no more than 42 pounds". But we were staying on, and needed a month's worth of 'stuff', including business clothes for me, because it was a job that brought us to Africa.

Back to packing!

Christine Wells said...

Nancy, lovely post! What a wonderful experience you had, studying in Oxford. I would have loved to have done something like that. However, my parents sent me on a school trip to France when I was sixteen or so and that was amazing. Some of it was hard, being away for home for a month and having the homestay from hell. But it was such an enriching experience, I'll never forget it.

I'm so looking forward to seeing everyone!! Two more sleeps!

Louisa Cornell said...

Congrats on the GR, Natalie! Your girls will definitely give him a run for his money!

I think this trip to San Francisco may be one of those trips of a lifetime for me. The whole thing has been like one long dream since I got that call in March. I am still waiting for someone to pinch me and wake me up. So when you see me in San Francisco, feel free!

I am looking forward to every minute of it! My first RWA National Conference. My first trip to San Francisco, my first Golden Heart, my first chance to meet many of you!!

My first trip to Austria was another of those memorable trips - the audition to get into the Mozarteum and then finding out I got in! My first trip to Amsterdam and seeing the Anne Frank house. I read her book when I was a freshman in high school and to actually go up those stairs and into her room was an amazing experience.

My first trip to Wales was one of those things I will NEVER forget because that is where my Dad's family is from.

There have been so many trips where I have stopped in the middle of doing something and thought "I am REALLY doing this!" Those are the best memories in the world.

My DH was a huge Faulkner fan and when we visited Faulkner's home in Oxford I got a huge kick out of watching Roger tour the house. He was making a pilgrimage to one of his idols' homes and he was just amazing to watch.

Nancy said...

Natalie, your backpacking trip sounds great. I've flown over the Grand Canyon but never stood beside or in it, and I'd love to see those other places you mentioned.

Congratulations on snagging the bird--I think. He may be a bad influence on your girls.

AC, the dh's family used to go to Mexico, to Mazatlan, when he was growing up. I've never been there, and I used to be fascinated with Aztecs. The fascination waned when I learned how bloody-minded they were, but they're still intriguing to me. You really do love to travel, don't you?

p226, your description of racing trips is great! NASCAR is big in this area, and its fans are as devoted, in a less geeky way (and I use the term affectionately, including myself among the geeky) than the comic book and SF fans who descend on DragonCon every year. This is a wonderful time of year to be in the mountains. As the temperature inches toward 100 and the humidity steams upward, cool mountain air sounds especially enticing. I envy you your spontaneity. We used to be go places on the spur of the moment, but we seldom do anymore. I'm not sure why that is.

Nancy said...

Helen, I'm so glad things worked out well for your husband. The late Sir Arthur C. Clarke, who is associated with space-oriented SF but also loved the oceans, wrote a novel using the Great Barrier Reef, and I've been curious about it ever since. It sounded so beautiful. As for wardrobe issues, I live in jeans and t-shirts (with varying sleeve lengths according to the season *g*). I used to have a job that pretty much required wearing a suit every day, and while I love dressing up and feeling as though I look good, I truly am challenged in the accessories department.

Glad you liked the post!

Nancy said...

Jennifer Y., those all sounds like special memories. We used to go to Florida every year to visit my father's brother's family. The closest beach was New Smyrna, and we always went for a day.

I think San Francisco is going to be a great time. Thanks to KJ, the banditas all have sparkly pins that say "bandita," so please, all of you who'll be there, stop us and say hello. My first RWA conference was a little overwhelming, and what worked for me was to to outside or up to my room (but not for very long, because hiding in the room wastes networking time) and just be alone and breathe for a few minutes. Here's a tip on the restrooms--go during a workshop because the line is unbelievable in between the sessions.

Why is it that there's never a line at the men's room? Which, by the way, often gets taken over and converted in to a ladies' loo during the conference.

Donna, that must have been really weird! I had a similar experience at a training seminar, except the guy wasn't actually there. I was supposed to have a roommate--a female roommate--and I could tell the stuff lying around belonged to a guy.
As for waiting until the shower stops . . . if you were Lusinda, and it was nighttime, and the moon was full . . .

Jo, I'm excited, too. I need to be working on proposals today but am having some focus issues. I'm not sure that restaurant in SF is ready to have 18 banditas, riding the heady rush of our first hour of reunion, descend upon it.

Nancy said...

Carol, glad you enjoyed the blog. What a cool name--Blue Caves. Caves seem to have an aura of mystery, don't they? I used to be interested in spelunking until I found out it could be actually dangerous. I sometimes wonder about the people who discovered and explored all these caverns that're now so famous.

Thanks for the good wishes on the Daphne. No matter where I place, I still get chocolate (the awards ceremony is the Death by Chocolate reception), so it should all be fun.

Terrio, I'm not keen on packing, either. I always overpack, which I'm trying to avoid for San Francisco. A friend of mine is going to Scotland, and she's getting tips from Rick Steves' website. For anyone who doesn't know, he's the guy who does the Europe Through the Back Door guides and the PBS series Rick Steves' Europe. He's also the apostle of packing light. (sorry I can't do the hyperlink thingie--html mystifies me).

Your trip to Oregon sounds great. I've never been there and have always wanted to see the coast there. Also Powell's Books, like we need more of those around here. The packing for Alaska and South Africa sounds like a pain, especially the late luggage, but I'll bet the trip was fabulous.

Christine, glad you liked the post. We didn't do homestays in Oxford, and I was sorta glad. I can see how that might be tough. It's great that you enjoyed the trip anyway. A friend of mine spent a year in France with his family, and he loved it.

Nancy said...

Louisa, I hope you have a great time at the conference. As far as the contests go, only one ms. can win, but several can get requests. I hope you sell out of this experience.

I'll bet your operatic career has taken you lots of wonderful places. Amsterdam in the spring is on my "someday" list. I've read about the city and even bought a map, but the trip isn't on the horizon.

How cool that your family's from Wales! My father's father was born in Devonshire, and tracking down the farm where he was born was one of the highlights of a trip to the UK for us.

Minna said...

I love traveling, both here in Finland and around the world (now, if I only had the money to do the latter), but one of my absolute favorite places is Canada, British Columbia and Ontario isn't bad either. And since I have relatives there, I don't even have to stay in a hotel. Every time I watched the Due South series, I got this terrible urge to buy a ticket to Canada, for some reason...

Esri Rose said...

Natalie: Rr-rr-RRRR! (that's a rooster)

Nancy: What a lyrical post! I love your writing. :D

My favorite trip was going with my community chorale to Italy. Dr. Joan Conlon is head of a dept. at CU, and her dad came from this tiny village called L'Aquila, which we visited. She had composed a stunning hymn to their patron saint, and we sang it in a tiny jewel box of a cathedral, with old women in black sitting in the front row, crying. Afterwards, they threw a party with a whole roast pig and homemade wine. The mayor wore his ceremonial medal. We were all tipsy by the end of the evening. I kissed this elderly man goodbye, and he slipped me the tongue. Damn, he was fast. On that same trip, we sang mass at St. Peter's Cathedral at the Vatican and were then given a tour by the Cardinal of Denver. The whole place is full of massive artwork. This immense bronze skeleton was posed over an archway on the wall, a red light gleaming under his outstretched arm. It looked like the gate to hell. The Cardinal led us all into it. Turned out the red was an Exit sign, and the doorway beneath opened onto the parking lot. He was taking a shortcut to this little garden he wanted to show us.

terrio said...

Nancy - I'm with you on the accessory impairment. (Though not on the going to Oregon - that's the OTHER Terry.*g*) I'm bringing my comfortable but nice knit tops that I wear to work and attempting to dress them up with jewelry. Most difficult for me.

I've also done the HS trip to DC, but other than a cruise I took as a teen, this San Fran trip will be my trip of a lifetime so far. Like Jennifer, I've never traveled this far from home. Heck, I've barely ever made it past the Mississippi River.

I'm so excited and nervous and impatient I can't stand it. And I can't wait to meet all of you!

jo robertson said...

I'm with you, Terry. The WORST part of traveling for me is the packing. Hate it, hate it!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Nancy, thanx for the great plug for Rick Steves!

The DH and I totally subscribe to his methods of travel. Our first 3 or 4 times to Europe were strictly by the "Rick Steves' Method!" When you are schlepping through train stations, light weight luggage is a MUST! For 11 days in Spain, my luggage weighed 17 lbs. and this was in winter.

Mazatlan is a wonderful city! It was founded in the 1500s and only became touristy since the cruise ships started docking there about 20 years ago. Afraid it is nowhere near where the Aztecs did their bloodthirsty sacrifices.


Pat Cochran said...

Honey and I took our trip of a lifetime in 1998 when I won a prize in a sweepstakes. The prize: a
trip to Venice! It was Air France
to Paris, then over the Alps to
Venice. It was 5-star hotels and
restaurants, it was glorious sights, it was gondolas in the Canal, it was pigeons in the
Piazza, and the best time of our lives!

Congratulations, Natalie! Keep an
eye on the Golden One, especially
if there are chocolates in the
house!! I personally have seen
him put an end to the entire
supply stored in my china cabinet!
What bothered me most is that he
doesn't share!!!

Esri Rose said...

Pat: The only thing better than a trip to Italy is a free trip to Italy! Since we were with a group, there were definitely no 5-star anythings. All throughout the trip, our pre-paid hotel-restaurant meals featured breaded veal.

Nancy said...

Minna, I was very much single when Due South was on TV, and the idea of a country full of guys like Paul Gross's Mountie was extremely appealing! I'd love to see Finland some day. I really like to travel.

Esri, thanks! Glad you liked the post. Your trip to Italy sounds like a wonderful experience. Well, except for that old guy. The way you described the performances and the tours, I could see everything

Nancy said...

Terry and Terrio--mea culpa! I apologize for confusing you. I do actually know that you're two different people. This has been a day of brain blips.

Terrio, I hope your trip to San Francisco is everything you want it to be. We're looking forward to meeting you and our other buddies.

Jo, even worse than packing, I hate UNpacking!

AC, we love Rick Steves. I'm not much on washing my clothes out in a hotel sink, but we visited places in England we wouldn't have seen if not for his travel guide. I salute you and the dh for packing so efficiently! Thanks for the info on Mazatlan and on the Aztecs. You may have guessed that Geography is my Achilles heel in Trivial Pursuit. Anybody remember that game?

Nancy said...

Pat--what a fabulous prize! You really went in style.

And no, the GR doesn't share. When he's around, it's every rooster for himself. In the sneakiest possible way. You gotta watch that bird every minute. :-/

Nancy said...

We had a mini-disaster on a trip to England because we followed a Rick Steves tip. I share Joan's love of all things Roman, though it's not a period that calls to me to write. So when Rick Steves mentioned a Roman fort high in the fells of the Lake District, how could we resist?

We drove up a windy road just wider than the car (grade--1:3, very steep), through a national park, looking for this Roman ruin. The scenery was spectacular, but we were there for the Romans. We passed a lay-by (pull-off spot), and the dh, who was driving the hairpin turns, said, "Look at the stone wall up there. Maybe that's it."

It looked to me like every other stone wall we'd passed in the Lake District, but we pulled off at the next lay-by. I got out with the camera to go see if that was it while the dh and the boy waited in the car.

As many of you know, the fells are criss-crossed with little streams, many of them no more than a foot wide. What I didn' t know, when I decided to cut across rather than go back to the gravel path we'd seen, was that the ground around them is boggy. I stepped close to one little stream so I could easily step over it, and I sank ankle-deep into black mud. With no one around to hear but sheep, I swore mightily, jerked my foot free (with the proverbial icky sucking noise), and back-tracked.

Next little stream, I decided to be smarter and see how the ground looked. It appeared firm, but I decided to jump the stream from farther away. Well, the far side of that one was mud, too. I slipped and went down on my butt, frantically holding the camera up to protect it.

With black mud all over the seat of my jeans (the spare pair was in London, by the way, in checked baggage at our hotel), I lost all enthusiasm for further exploration. In fact, I wasn't sure how I was going to ride back to Keswick without destroying the seat in our rental car.

Lucky for us, we'd made some purchases earlier. By combining bags, I was able to salvage enough plastic to protect the seat. The people at our B&B graciously offered, when we asked for directions to a coin laundry, to wash my jeans. So I wore a spare pair of the dh's pants--no, they didn't actually fit, but they covered--to dinner along with sopping wet sneakers I'd spent an hour washing out in the sink. Our hosts didn't use a dryer but hung things to dry. The jeans were ready by morning but not by dinner.

So that's my one experience washing stuff out in a hotel overseas. The sneakers were still wet in the morning and rode to Scotland in the sun in the back window of the car.

BTW, as we ascended the road to Ambleside and reached Wrynose Pass, just before the road started down again, we looked back and saw Hardknott Roman Fort spread out below and behind us. We learned from our experience and successfully (and cleanly) visited the next trip. Standing in the fort, surrounded by spectacular, steep hills crisscrossed by streams and decorated with narrow waterfalls, I could look west to the sun coming through clouds and glinting on the Irish Sea. That was worth it all.

The second from bottom view is what we saw when we looked back from Wrynose Pass.

Minna said...

Through the Back Door guides and the PBS series Rick Steves' Europe. He's also the apostle of packing light.

Hmmm. I think I might need a few tips about packing light... I always seem to take too much stuff. One of my very, very distant cousins who is -well, at least used to be some sort of celebrity around here, told in some travel magazine that at some point she used to take with her only what she could carry in a plastic bag, but now she takes with her only what she can carry in her pockets, in other words, basically she carries with her nothing but her passport and toothbrush.

Minna said...

There is one really great site for all who love traveling:

I recommend speaking in tongues and get stuffed. =)

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Natalie.

Traveling to Hawaii twice has been a dream come true. Both vacations offered a different experience. The first time we went to the Big Island. It's more tranquil and laid back. We even got to see lava flowing from Kilauea. The second time we stayed in Honolulu where we did a lot of shopping and visited the Polynesian Cultural Center. Have fun in San Francisco, Banditas.

Minna said...

Here's one more:

terrio said...

No problem, Nancy. I'm flattered to be mixed up with Terry, but I'm not so sure it would be a compliment for her. LOL!

That slip in the mud sounds terrible. I'm just glad you finally found it so all the trouble was worth it. Those pictures are gorgeous!

Esri Rose said...

OMG, I totally had the two Terrys mixed up!

Glad that's straightened out.

Minna: I want to know what this celebrity cousin's face looks like. I can't live without moisturizer. And lip balm! And my dental floss, scarves, promotional bookmarks... (wanders off, muttering, to make list)

Terry Odell said...

Hey, nobody ever gets my name right anyway! And it's probably more confusing since my last name starts with O, so 'terrio' would be a logical mistake.

Many days, I'm not sure who I am, either. And there seems to be more than 1 Terry here, which is strange. I think that all through my school years, there was only 1 other Terry, and she spelled her name wrong.

Nancy said...

Minna, I always overpack, too. It's the contingency factor--if this, I need that; if that, I need the other. *sigh* Am now trying to resist the temptation to take multiple outfits for sightseeing, an activity that has very little time allotted to it. Or multiple shells to wear under suits, just so I can dither when I get there.

I envy your cousin, and I second Esri's call for a picture.

Lonely Planet does guide books too, right? Have you tried those? These are great sites. Thanks for sharing!

Santa said...

My favorite trip was to Italy with my college's choir. We sang in the most amazing places in Venice, Rome, Milan, Florence, Assisi and so many other places. I climbed the Duomo in Milan. We sang songs in front of the youth hostel we stayed at in Florence.


Nancy said...

Jane, Hawaii is also on my someday list. I'm glad you had such a great trip.

Terry O. and Terrio, thanks for understanding.

Terry, yours does seem to be a popular name. When I was born, Nancy was hugely popular. There were 3 of us in my 2nd grade class. When the women of my college class get together at the beach, there can be as many as five Nancys. So we go to last names. :-)

Terrio, the mud bit was annoying, but memorable. Glad you liked the pictures. I promise, the real thing is even more gorgeous.

Nancy said...

Santa, that does sound magical.

You and Esri seem to have had similar experiences. Those of you who are vocally gifted have had some great opportunities to share your talent!

terrio said...

terry odell said:
I think that all through my school years, there was only 1 other Terry, and she spelled her name wrong.

During my school years, there was only one other Terry and HE did not like getting mixed up with me. Though for most of those years, I was Theresa. :)

Nancy said...

Terrio, the only Terri I knew in school spelled her name as above. So when I kept reading a byline for Terry H., I assumed she was he. Now, of course, I know better!

Minna said...

Well, Esri, here's the picture:

I've never actually met her, but family research is a wonderful thing... Thanks to one of my other cousins I know a bit more about my family.

Nancy, I haven't tried their guide books yet, but I have one of their dictionaries. I do love their tv shows. Ian Wright is my favorite.

limecello said...

Hm... I generally have fun traveling, but then again I don't get to do it much. My senior year of college, I took a research trip to Taiwan for about a month. I honestly expected it to be mostly vacation - I have family there ... I made my mom go with me, my excuse was she was my "translator" but really it was so I wouldn't feel so weird.
Unfortunately everyone took my thesis/research to heart, and I interviewed 2-3 people a day and it was not so much fun. Ah well, at least I was in a subtropical country for a while.