After 18 months of silence from me on this blog, I'm sure some of you figured I'd just lost my focus and fizzled out on my plan to coupon to Italy. I don't blame you. That could have so easily happened, but I'm happy to say that it didn't.
I have couponed my guts out and saved a ton more money than we need for this trip.
We are really going to Italy!
Suffice it to say we are leaving very soon for a 16-day trip to Italy which will also include a couple of days in Paris as well. It's really going to happen!
Several people have asked me if I'm excited. I'm having trouble with that word right now for some reason. I can't quite wear it yet, and I find that situation quite fascinating. Perhaps it has something to do with the following:
First of all, our dear friend, BH, has planned every second of this trip and has done a spectacular job of sorting through the maze of possiblities. I can only imagine the hours he has put into those plans. We have had regular bi-weekly meetings since the first of the year discussing each city and the wonders they hold. MH has provided wonderful art lessons and we have had numerous discussions about the ins and outs of traveling.
It is at these meetings I feel faint puffs of excitement, but not the all out excitement one would expect.
My husband, on the other hand, needs to calm down.
In our near 30 years of marriage I have never seen this man as pumped up as he is for this trip.
He is a stranger to me.
So here is the deal...I'm gonna tell you what I think is the problem. However, I have to contrast this with my husband's reaction to each of these things.
I have had a few nightmares that I get BH off track on his well-planned itinerary. In those dreams, I've pretty much been totally uncooperative and late to every single activity that was planned. Along with that, I am always lost. I can never keep up with my husband. For some reason he is always on a train and I am somewhere wandering the streets wondering where my tour guide BH is and how ticked off he is at me at that very moment. I am certain now that my happiness and enjoyment on this trip is no longer his concern.
So has my husband had any such slumberous concerns?
Not even awake ones for that matter.
Everytime we have one of our little meetings he is scoping the pictures for something he can CLIMB.
He scans every tall building for a hidden tower, and he is determined to go to the TOP of the swaying Eiffel Tower. I, on the other hand, will be perfectly content with the middle level.
Just last night he said, "I don't remember hearing anything about the Spanish Steps. Is that on the itinerary?"
No wonder I have anxiety about keeping up on this trip. I'm traveling with Tigger.
I have abnormal thoughts about someone taking all our stuff and leaving us stranded, penniless, naked, and hungry in a foreign land. I am now the proud owner of an antitheft shoulder bag, secret pockets, and hidden pouches.
"They" are never gonna find my stuff, much less steal it!
So does my husband have such concerns?
Only an eye roll or two occasionally.
I did get him to agree to wear a hidden pocket though. He is entirely too trusting.
In all honesty, he is more focussed on the FOOD he will get to eat. This is new. He does not eat out. When I cook he will eat anything I put in front of him. Food is just food to him. This new man I am married to can't wait to scope out the menus in search of something amazingly different and scrumptious, and he is not talking about the pasta. He wants something exotic, strange, and weird on his plate. He wants something he can't pronounce, much less interpret. It is an understatement to say that he is pumped about the food.
Perhaps my anxiety about being penniless and hungry in a foreign land has been totally misplaced. I probably should be more concerned about being able to afford my husband's palatal desires than those danged conniving thieves.
In all honesty, though, his excitement is fascinating to me. I wish I had such an adventurous set of taste buds. He is already having more fun on this trip than I am.
On the day we discussed what to pack, BH announced he takes 4 pairs of pants and 4 shirts for a 16-day trip with no plans for doing any laundry unless you HAND WASH it.
BH insists we will stink and that we won't care what we look like.
You should have seen my internal panic button go off that day--I may not care much about looking fashionable, but I've never been able to tolerate stink.
NO way, NO how.
I remained very cool, calm and collected in the moment but my mind was already churning on how to sneak more clean stuff in my suitcase to prevent said stink. Thankfully, MH says she takes 4 pairs of pants and 8 shirts.
Okay, that is starting to sound much more tolerable.
As a result of this packing advice, I have spent entirely too much time obsessing about which shirts I am going to take. I purchased those bags you squeeze the air out and make your clothes look like a pancake. I'm hoping I will be able to cheat and sneak a couple of extras in there if they are thin enough. I have had practice runs to see which shirts wrinkle and which ones don't. I still have no idea which shirts will make the cut. I've spent too much time thinking about such nonsense and trying to imagine what I could possibly need and how to pack everthing efficiently and yet not leave anything important out.
I already hate my suitcase.
My husband, on the other hand, has already done a practice packing session with the smallest suitcase we own. It took him only 10 minutes and that included the decision making process too.
His packing includes 3 pairs of pants, 3 shirts, toiletries, underwear and socks.
That means his list (which is only hypothetical since he never actually made one) would only contain 5 lines.
Total weight: 22 pounds.
He says he is not even taking a carry on--says he can't think of anything to carry on.
I can't even breathe now I'm so dumbfounded at the absurdity of what I consider to be his naive lack of foresight and planning.
He can't be serious.
Oh, but he is, bless his heart.
He is quite excited too because he has some old underwear and socks he has been saving for this trip so he can throw them away along the way in order to have less to carry home.
So what is my take on this minimalist's 10-minute packing situation?
Well, I'll tell you.
He WILL stink. Oh yeah. He will.
I wonder if there is such a thing as nose perfume because I will need some for sure.
Notice I did not announce on this blog the dates of our travel or the exact amount of my savings for this trip. Well, who knows who might be lurking on this private blog and want to come and ravage our home or steal all the money out of our savings account while we are gone!!!
I know, it's crazy. Total paranoia.
But just in case someone reading this is tempted, let it be known that there is someone living in my house while we are gone who knows how to use a real GUN with real bullets and has a few on hand.
Other anxiety producing moments have been when my boys have mentioned the word PARTY a few times in my presence. I just breathe deeply and hope we have a home to return to. Thankfully there is a sweet baby living here whose sleep is most precious to her sensible mother. That is my insurance.
Speaking of insurance.....(blush) yeah, that came up too. Not entirely out of paranoia though--our policies were set to expire next month so we bought new ones.
Oh, and while we were at it we slipped in our last will and testament just in time for the trip. Yeah, I know... I'm a mess.
So here you have it! -- the reason for my problem with the question, "Are you excited?!"
I tend to over plan, over think, and pre process so much that I can't even get in touch with the joy of this trip yet.
I appreciate my husband so much for being able to avoid all this silliness and mirror back to me through his uninhibited excitement the absolute fun we are going to have together.
One thing I have learned about marriage is that when you do something together that is out of your normal everyday routine or different you find out new things about each other.
If his pretrip behavior is anything like his actual trip behavior then we are in for a wonderful time. But I'm telling you right now that I'm determined to smell good while doing it!
I'll let you know how it goes.