Sunday, March 3, 2013

Planning Continues

So while we are still many months away, the trip is nonetheless drawing closer.  Planning is still somewhat loose, but we were able to nail a few things down.  We've now limited our Italian stretch of the trip to Rome and parts south.  Tuscany, Venice (if it doesn't sink), Florence and Milan will have to wait for another time.  We've all agreed that Rome is a priority as well as the coast.

We're still working on the best approach for our little group - a package through an agent versus sourcing flights and accommodations ourselves.  I think we're starting to lean towards some sort of hybrid of the two but there really is nothing firm yet.

We also know that we want to do a canal cruise in Amsterdam, possibly in the evening for added effect.  And the cheese market in Alkmaar is a must; it will be the trifecta for me, having been there on both of my previous visits but I'm good with that - it's such a part of the experience that I wouldn't want anyone to miss out on it.  And I love me some cheese.

I also picked up a couple of guide books to help us both before and during the trip.  Not sure how they rate among the various travel guides out there but they met two important criteria: 1) they are both relatively small and so good for carrying along while we're travelling and 2) they weren't overly expensive.  We also purchased some new luggage; we have 2 carry on size bags that also have hideaway backpack straps that could prove useful.  We've agreed we're going to try to travel light, although I know that will be easier said than done.

And I bought a murse.  Or a man-bag.  Or messenger bag.  Call it what you will - it's a purse.  It's a biggish one, that will fit my netbook to allow me to do some writing on the go.  And it's high-tech too.  It's built specifically for travel so it has zippers that lock, wire woven throughout including in the strap to prevent thieves from slicing it and getting your contents.  Since I'll be in Europe anyway I imagine I'll be less self-conscious about it (until my wife asks me for a tissue and I pull one out of my purse for her).  My bigger concern is that after two weeks of carrying it around with me I'm going to feel dependent on it upon my return.  Maybe I'll have to do like the kids do and start carrying a backpack with me everywhere I go.  Of course then I won't be allowed into HMV.

Key ingredient for Netherly 2013 planning.

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