Monday, August 14, 2006

Two Months And No Days

It's August 14th and about time to make a first check of where my travel things are. I'm just two months to the day from my vacation, eleven days on Holland America Line's ms Noordam. This is the point where I make sure my passport is where it should be (in my desk drawer marked "Next Cruise"), my online immigration form has been filled out (did that yesterday) and all is well with my Travel Agent (she has made the final preps).

There is an art, and a pleasure, to preparing for a vacation. One is to remember that it's a vacation and not an expedition to the moon or some big production which must be carried off with absolute perfection. It's a vacation, time off, release from stress.

So I start early. Months early. Many months early. I find the golf-style shirts I will wear during the day and put them aside; as I get closer, I try to find where I put them and make a pile of what I'm taking. Then I choose shirts and ties for evening wear (it's a formal line), going with six or seven shirts and half a dozen ties that will match most or all of them. Necessities are the same for each trip; that includes my camcorder, for another stunning video not available in stores.

You do this often enough and you can get the packing down to just about exactly what you need and nothing more. On ships with self-serve laundry rooms, I could travel with one carry-on; this year, I won't have that and will need two carry-ons. Easier to bring to and from the ship than a regular large suitcase. And, no, there are no airplanes involved; I only take cruises that are round-trips from NYC. Flying used to be fun; when that stopped, I stopped flying. Besides, the bus trip from the airport to midtown Manhattan is terrible.

I gotta pack. See you later.


Anonymous ruthc said...

You aren't the only one who looks forward to your cruises. Some of us to whom you tell the tales---as only you can tell them---look forward to them almost as much.
I know that when I hear about your trips I feel as if I've taken a vacation, too, but without paying for it.
Then I can save my $$$ for my own cruise! :)

August 14, 2006 10:56 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

When I start writing on the ship for the first time each cruise, I sit there thinking, "How am I going to do anything fresh this time??" Real writer's block coupled with flop sweat. Then someone in the Lido walks by with five slices of pizza, a triple ice cream banana split ... and a Diet Coke ... and I'm off and running.

August 14, 2006 1:38 PM  
Blogger Cold Josh Vail said...

Ruth.......Want a few non-cruise trips to read about? Have several. Québec City to S.Francisco to Ft. Worth to Q-city. 47 nights on the road, and it cost me $51.00 for lodging.

Québec City to Orient Long Island ( grandpa's place) and over to Stratford, Ct. to visit. Took us 10 days to get there....we were on bicycles.

Paris > Liège, Belgium on train > Maastricht to Texel Islands to Amsterdam on bicycles. A'dam to Belgium border on train and from there along the coast of Belgium and France t ofinally wind up at Chs. de Gaulle to fly home...27 nights ...all done on bikes.

Call this backroad cruising.

As for bags are ALWAYS packed. I once left here on a two week trip and forgot my skivvies, but I have never forgotten my dentures! LOL.

August 15, 2006 6:57 AM  
Anonymous ruthc said...

Josh, your adventures do sound interesting, I must say.
But 47 nights for $51? Can't have been much of a pillow chocolate for that price! :)

No, no. I'll stick with my definition of "camping", if you don't mind: opening the window in the breakfast nook.
"Roughing it" means the silverware doesn't match.

August 15, 2006 10:25 PM  

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