November 26th, 2017

It’s a bit strange waking up today knowing I won’t be at work the next several months except for the sporadic day or two that I MIGHT be called in through December (and next Saturday if there’s no new baby yet).

I finally got to sleep in this morning – I guess I needed to make up for some lost sleep all this week after the excitement of getting a Europe ticket. I did wake up at my normal 5:30 though, but I fell back asleep and woke up a few more times until I finally got up at the crack of 7:40.

I’m working on a spreadsheet for our big trip expenses we are dividing – hotels and such – so we can see what we are spending. I’m not really interested in writing down everything I spend since this is mainly for our shared expenses. I’m going to be buying stuff on the trip and that is something I can track later by looking at my bank statements if I really want to know how much I spent the whole time. Things like souvenirs are incidentals, but food is something you need every day no matter where you are or what you are doing…we gotta eat, and I plan on enjoying some great and new food experiences over there.

I got a few more things ordered for the trip yesterday – a money belt and some more packing cubes. New luggage locks are already on the way. I think all I have left that I need to get is a power converter we can use for phone charging. Anything else I already have covered.

Packing cubes always seemed kind of silly, and I always thought they were for OCD people. I don’t have OCD, but these things are so handy for traveling. It really makes it easy to find your clothes without destroying your packing job and if you are staying in one place you can just put the cubes in the hotel dresser. I tried some cheap ones after my friend Rich was singing their praises. I don’t pack or leave without them now!

Along with the cubes I have an eBags Pack-it-Flat Toiletry Kit. It does just what it says – holds your toiletry items and packs flat. It makes it quite easy to pack – just put it on top of your packing cubes and it helps keep the bulk down. Bright colored ones are easy to spot so you don’t forget to pack it!

One of my luggage pieces is a backpack-style from eBags. I have used it several times and is a great bag for travel. I understand from several friends that a backpack is the way to travel light and fast. Lightweight, sturdy fabric and zippers, comfy to wear as a backpack, lots of nice features, and very reasonable for the money. It is also about the biggest size allowed on as a carry-on bag. Since we are going to be traveling around and not really staying in a destination this will be my choice of luggage over my other eBags wheeled duffels. Jim even got one for this trip and got it for a hell of a deal for Black Friday!

I know it’s still a few months away but we are trying to get everything done we possibly can take care of now so we don’t have to worry about it last-minute. It also gives us time to address any issues that may come up. The Black Friday sales are too good to pass up on a few things right now so that timing is good, but we also just want to get the things out of the way that we can.

The clouds are finally parting and I can see blue sky! I have heard the elders speak of something they call “the sun”, and I didn’t think it actually existed until seeing it just now. It has been very rainy here the last month and I’m over this nonsense. It’s not looking like it is gonna hold out for long though. More rain predicted. Boo.

I want to go someplace for my birthday, but I’m having trouble thinking of any other trips with Europe coming up. There are some great airfare deals right now and I hate to pass those up. I am thinking of just taking the bus into Seattle for a few days and hanging out. It is something I have been wanting to do anyway so I may do that for my birthday. Or, if I can find a great travel deal I’ll go someplace and do a trip to Seattle after I get back from MT. After coming back from Europe it would be strange just turning around and going someplace again, but at least I’d already be packed. Besides, it’s not beyond me to do something like that!

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