Ellen and I needed this vacation. Last year’s summer trip was derailed at the last minute due to family health issues. The year before that I was suddenly “between jobs” just days before vacation, leading to an abbreviated and unsatisfying trip to Oregon. A return to a Viking cruise, to a place in Europe neither of us had ever been to seemed like a great way to return to our summer vacation pattern.
Packing and preparing for the trip was not particularly hard. It will be hot the whole time, so not a lot of variety needed in clothing. Technology kept to a relative minimum: I brought only one iPod, my Touch to take advantage of its WiFi, a brand new Dell Mini10 courtesy of a very early birthday present from my mother, and a Nikon S550 point and shoot, equipped with an EyeFi card, to hopefully geotag some of the pictures and allow for the pictures to be uploaded whenever in WiFi range.
Vacation day 1 started with a little more than 1/2 a day at work. The days leading up to vacation are always frantic, trying to cram all the last minute things in. This week was no exception. After last week’s Metro accident and celebrity deaths, this week was a little calmer. But it started with a presentation to senior staff of my biggest recent project and ended today with the latest Twitterstorm self-incflicted and the the birth of the #wapofail hashtag. No, I won’t explain what happened if you don’t know already.
Loaded up the car in the morning, Colby sensed as usual that suitcases meant something was up and insisted on kissing me for awhile before I was allowed to leave. About a mile from home I freaked that I hadn’t brought the chargers, pulled over, and found that I had. I hate that feeling.
Made it through the day, Ellen took the Metro to meet me at work, and we were on our way to Dulles. Parked, took the shuttle to the airport, checked the luggage, made it to security, all routine. Except that I had thrown my yogurt into my backpack and forgotten about it, so I got a stern lecture from TSA about liquids. Ellen of course met not one but two people she knew on our flight, both CESJDS related. I never know anyone anywhere we go, but she always does.
We only had enough miles to fly steerage, but the Air France 777 was configured 3-3-3, and we had adjoining aisles, so not too cramped and uncomfortable. The dinner was actually pretty good. I watched “Bride Wars.” Perfectly mindless, and might have even been worth the Redbox $1, but really glad I didn’t pay to see it in the theaters.
Tried to sleep, relaxing with the Bose noise canceling headphones and a slew of Jackson Browne bootleg songs my brother Rick had just sent me. Was able to close my eyes and listen, but completely unable to sleep. We have a couple of hours at the airport in Paris before taking a train ride, so there will be a few opportunities for sleep. The first day going in this direction is pretty much a loss anyway, so low expectations of anything more than simply relocating ourselves several thousand miles east.