"Away." Our Two Weeks In Europe: A Series

3 years ago

 

I've heard that the best blogs either follow one particular theme or are written as a series.  Since there's no way I could stick to one theme as life is just too interesting for that, I will admit that I have wanted to try my hand at a series.  So, when a few weeks ago my husband and I returned from a European adventure, I figured the highlights of our trip, or at least how we managed to spend 14 days, 24 hours a day together, might just lend itself perfectly to such an endeavor.  I hope you enjoy following along.

CHAPTER 1: "PACKING UP AND HEADING OUT"

I'm back in the bathroom.  This is both infuriating and frustrating because I know it's a case of nerves, which makes absolutely no sense because I love to travel.  I repeat, I LOVE TO TRAVEL.  I even like to fly and have always been fascinated by planes.  My stomach will rumble, crumble, flip and roll until I drop my bags at check in and make it to the gate.  It's absurd and I don't have time for this.

I'm mid-pack.  Unlike my mom, I have not pre-packed; laid out over the last week, clothes and necessary items in the spare bedroom.  Nope, I'm flailing around my room, throwing things into suitcases and then retrieving them when I realize there's no chance I'll wear them.  Why do I pack things that I never wear at home?  My packing skills suck.

I fish through the pile on my bed for a dress I know is there...somewhere.  I find it and hold it up to try to choose the perfect shoes.  I really shouldn't take this many shoes because I should be able to wear multiple outfits with one pair.  But...I really want to take that other pair.  They're awesome and not at all utilitarian. This pair is definitely not capable of multi-tasking.  They are special, special, special and are definitely coming to Paris with me.  I'm going to need a bigger suitcase.  Where are the bag tags?  I know I had bag tags.

I'm interrupted by a phone call from my husband asking if I have his passport.  A week ago I begged him not to wait til the last minute to pack. Since we leave tomorrow, he's still at work, and as he's yet to start, I think we've officially reached last minute.  I know that sometime around 10:00pm, he'll start to ask for things I have almost no chance of finding.  Now I understand when my youngest son would come into my bedroom late on a Sunday night just as I had settled in to my favorite TV show and tell me he had a diorama due the next day.  I'd be scrounging around in the bottom of the toy box looking for old, plastic zoo animals that I then had to hot glue into some old shoebox.  (At least we never seemed to have a shortage of those lying around).  Is there any wonder I'm heading back to the bathroom?

I will admit that because I've saved enough points, or rather charged enough on my credit card, to have enough points to upgrade to Business Class, we get 2 free checked bags per person, and we can also each bring a carry-on.  This truly takes some of the pressure off.  If I can't edit, it should be possible to pack for the 2 of us for 2 weeks in 6 bags, right?

At some point after about 2 hours, or at least two episodes of "Love It, Or List It," I've found his passport and I'm packed.  I had to sit on one of the suitcases to shut it, but it is zipped.  I have filled to the limit 1 twenty-nine inch roller bag full of shoes, purses, jewelry, medications and jackets.  I'm so ashamed, but not enough that I've put anything back. Nope, it's all going.

Later that night, fortunately, my husband gets packed fairly easily, or I may have lost 5 lbs today.  Granted, he didn't have the same shoe issues and he doesn't have to worry about jewelry or the medications or the sunscreen because he knows I'll handle all of that.  Wouldn't it be nice to only consider what I needed and no one else?  I'm pretty sure that as a wife and mom that will never happen.

Regardless of his lack of shoe requirements, we are still taking 6 bags.  My mother would be horrified.  She and my dad get some validation and pleasure out of always being able to travel with only carry-ons.  It's like some contest that proves that they are better, smarter, or somehow morally superior because they can fit their lives into a carry-on each.  Yay, them.  Consider me morally bankrupt because I don't travel light!  I'm taking all 6 and I'm proud of it.

Early the next morning, after 3-4 bathroom visits, I'm in the backseat of my car while my son is driving us to the airport. Sure that I am seconds away from catastrophic death and knowing that once he drops us off he has to find his way out of Newark Airport has me looking at the exit signs on Route 78 for my best bathroom options. Seems it may be that the 3-4 trips this morning weren't enough.  It's a shame really, because I should be so excited.  After all, I'm on my way to Paris, Monte Carlo and London with my husband alone!  It's just the two of us for two weeks.  I keep repeating this to myself and before I know it, I've arrived, in one piece, with all six pieces at Newark Airport.

Forty-five minutes later, from the relaxing, safe and inviting enclave known as the Business Class Lounge, I get the text I need to be able to breathe, stay out of the bathroom, blessedly,  and begin my vacation:  "I'm Home." I think I'll take that mimosa now.  It's almost time to board. Bon Voyage...

Tune in next time for:  "Live From Business Class."

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