dash of the devil

Category: Travel

packing makes me want to cry, kind of. I’m procrastinating badly and instead of thinking about packing right now, I wanted to laugh at how much our itinerary has changed.

when we first began this adventure, our trip looked like this:
London – 2 days
Paris – 3 days
Barcelona – 2 days
French Riviera – 2 days
Venice – 2 days
Florence for the day
Rome – 3 days
Athens – 2 days
Mykonos – 4 days
Amsterdam – 3 days

now that everything is booked and we are done, it looks like this:
Brussels – 4 days
Amsterdam – 4 days
Paris – 7 days
Athens – 4 days
Mykonos – 4 days
Rome – 7 days
Nice – 4 days
Barcelona – 7 days
Marrakech – 5 days
Lisbon – 5 days

we extended our trip by an entire month and we’re still not sure if we’re coming home after that! just kidding, we have to come back to reality at some point.

okay, back to packing..

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a month later

oh geez, you guys. I can’t believe it’s been a month since I’ve been funemployed. no seriously, we are having the time of our lives. A quit his job right after I finished my contract and each day our most difficult objective has been what to make for breakfast. No more waking up in the dark and trying to throw clothes together. Now I wake up to A kissing me and handing me a mug of hot green tea. if this is what retiring would be like, sign me up pronto.

our dream is short lived since we’re gearing up for our trip in 2 weeks. we picked out backpacks, too! after much thought (mostly financial) we decided to go with:

eBags eTech 2.0 Weekend Convertible

with dimensions of 22″ x 14″ x 9″ and a light 2lbs, 12oz. we felt this was the best choice for us to take to Europe for 2 months. it opens like a suitcase, has a ton of cool compartments and their customer service has been great. with the price at $45 + free shipping – it’s the lowest i’ve ever seen it at (and i’ve been hawking this one out for a while)

we paid for these bags ourselves and wanted to share the news. nothing has been provided by the companies mentioned.

I’m also really excited because I get to put on my keep calm and carry me on luggage tag that A got me!

next up: packing, ugh

2 weeks

Omg yes. This week and next week are my LAST weeks at my current job. Maybe. I have this funny feeling that I will cross paths with my employer again. I’ve managed to hang on with them for an extra year after I initially “put my notice in” – but that didn’t work out at all like I had planned. Honestly, I think it worked out better this way.

Anyway, Europe update. So we’ve booked all 10 of our apartments via Airbnb which is awesome! We are very pleased with that. Slowly but surely we’ve also been booking the travel in between travel – flights, bus routes, train tickets. This part is not really that fun. I’ve actually asked many of our Airbnb landlords to help us plan our trip (for a few extra euros) and it has been a fabulous idea. Some of them readily offer trip planning services which is hassle free.

A got his passport back in the mail on Friday so he’s definitely going to Europe. I am half going, until I get my passport back. I hate worrying about it, I just want to get mine and be over with it already! Fingers crossed for today’s mail..

When In Rome

I was 4 hours into my weekday routine (scouring travel sites for deals/eating peanut butter banana sandwiches) when I realized something in our itinerary was off. We had 4 days planned in each city, double what we had originally anticipated. Suddenly, we had collected an abundance of sight seeing time and I was so happy..and so oblivious.

Then it hit me: somehow in my haste I had forgotten Rome. One quite simply does not forget Rome.

It just so happens that revising our itinerary is pretty much my favorite thing to do right now. Still, it’s a bummer that we can’t pass go until we figure out what to cut out.

Planning a trip this big is really overwhelming. I’ve become obsessed with finding the best deals and cheapest rates. I think I may even dream in Kayak now..

Hot planning tip: put your itinerary into a calendar format (duh, right?). I googled “google docs calendar template 2014” and chose the one I wanted. I right clicked on the month tab that I needed and moved it to my original OMG EUROPE spreadsheet. Then I just changed the dates. Hopefully this will help keep me in line!

Spreadsheets

It’s been, like, a week since I posted our itinerary and we’ve already changed it quite a bit. I’m drowning in spreadsheets. A million different ones; packing lists, buying lists, places to see, places to stay – oh my, comparing all of the places to stay. Face palm.

After spending close to 6 hours engulfed in travel reservations for London – Aaron had to force me to stop. I picked a nice bed and breakfast in Hampstead. I could have kept looking for days. At least they offer free cancellation..just in case. 😉

We want our trip to have that easy-going-romantic-yet-see-as-much-as-we-can feel to it. To help us with our budget, we are planning on participating in free tours throughout Europe.

We’re not firm on it but we will shoot for a goal of $500 in each of the cities we’re going to visit. We’ll be making small sacrifices where we can (if we can), like a cheaper hotel in London so that we can spend the “leftover” cash on a nicer stay in Greece. London will end up costing us about $350-400 for 3 days, 2 nights all in. I felt good about that number. Until I saw the prices in Paris. Yikes.

To be continued..

Just Keep Blogging

Wow, here I am again. I totally failed and stopped blogging for a while. Life in Hawaii came and went; we spent 9 months there and are now happily back in Florida. Living in Hawaii was an unforgettable experience.

Now that we’re back in Sarasota, we’re itching to travel again. We’ve already begun planning our spontaneous honeymoon trip to Europe in April. I mailed our passports for renewal today – woop.

We weren’t really sure where to begin in planning a month long trip to Europe. Aaron found a loosely scheduled itinerary on the internet and we decided to base our trip off of that, lol. That’s one way to plan…

London – 2 days
Paris – 3 days
Barcelona – 2 days
French Riviera – 2 days
Venice – 2 days
Florence for the day
Rome – 3 days
Athens – 2 days
Mykonos – 4 days
Amsterdam – 3 days

We haven’t booked anything yet so nothing is set in stone. But we’re super excited! We have never been to Europe before. As our planning continues, I will be sure to document our progress!