Andrew and I strive to set our priorities where the plunging dollar is concerned. We've found this delightful hotel that is a serviced apartment complex that allows us to cook and mull about at our leisure. We've saved a few $$ making our breakfasts, washing our clothes, and in the evening kicking back with a bottle of wine.
Just around the corner is a convenience store for incidentals; we're on the bus line to an exemplary grocery store; and just down a block from a fully stocked wine store.
Overheard: I heard this next line in a comedy routine, but now, for the love of Bacchus, I heard this with my own 2 ears. A gaggle of very young women, just at drinking age, entered the wine shop and walking thru clumsily completely bewildered by all the pretty labels. Lil Miss Blonde bumps into me as she informs her minion as she pulls down a bottle with her mittens and flips it upside down, that the depth of the punt dictates the quality of wine.
"OMG, I didn't just hear that!?" "Uh, yes we did." We asked the storekeep if he could erect a sign about the punts and their relationship to wine, and he just laughed. "Just nod, smile, and let it go," he instructed. We all roared.
Where do they learn this stuff?
Electric Converter Tip - When travelling abroad, bring more than one converter. This will allow you to multi-task your electronic components -if you're tech-dependent like us. I didn't want to be so much on this trip, but I realize that if I can blog along the way, I don't have to remember what I did last week.
Travel Diary Tip - If you want to keep a travel diary in artist sketchbook form, bring a journal and write about your senses and take photos like crazy. Remember that they're not for public consumption, these swipe files will help when you sketch a vignette later. I've taken hundreds of photos that include crap like garbage, modern conveniences, and people and my audience will never know it when I contrive a bucolic scene.
Travel Blog Tip - If you want to keep a consecutive diary based on dates, entered several draft titles on each day so that you can enter your posts later; this also works if you want to elaborate later and include a note about details forthcoming.
Overheard: One Scot telling a visitor, "It's not raining, therefore it's a nice day."
Clothing Tips - Dress for the weather
Each part of the world has its own intrinsic climate disposition, just be prepared for it. Andrew is relentless when it comes to checking weather forecasts, alas, many of the online sites conflict. Me? Because it's late December, I dress in layers regardless and just look up at the sky for rain, sun, or snow.
Before you depart, shop for staples like:
Good shoes I'm not talking about bringing your Jimmy Choos, I'm referring to the Winter comfort mocks from LLBean. Rubber soles are a good thing -specially walking on slick, wet cobblestone.
A good coat. When salespersons ask what you're looking for, it's okay to tell them that you're shopping for your honeymoon that's taking place in the Europe. I had my ideal coat visualized (a long faux sherling) until a number of salespersons were actually from the UK instructing me that I need to dress for wet. While that turned my shopping on it's head, I had to toss that proverbial coin: dress to impress or dress for my health. I don't have sacrifice style, but because we saw the dollar dropping like crazy, I opted for my Columbia Double Whammy purchased 3 years ago. I also brought my leather coat and have had the chance to wear it in London -a little warmer and a little dryer.
If a not-so-handsome coat befalls you, one can always dress from the neck up:
- A great scarf (forgot my Stewart plaid at home dammit),
- A great hat (love my Princess Diana hat purchased several years ago),
- A simple pair of earrings (make sure they lock -walking is a serious sport and you don't want to lose them); and
- Tinted lip balm (Neutrogena is one of my favs).
Clothing wise, I've been a very happy camper through-out our trip.
Photo Tips - If you're feeling a bit self-conscious about your weight, you might want to rethink your fear of being infront of the camera. I'll elaborate more later, but for now, you can always plan your photo-ops with only the head, shoulders, and a important element in the background.
For instance, last night, I finally broke down and bought a Stewart tartan blanket. I set up the digital camera on timer and snuggled under it w/Andrew. Unfortunately, my head looked as big as Shrek's and deformed. Today, I'll try another pose -like wrapping the blanket around our shoulders and having Andrew do the arm stretched-out self-portrait trick -he's getting very good at that.
With this, I'll be able to look back at these photos fondly without being reminded that I couldn't get my "svelteness" back before our trip.
Additional details forthcoming.