So, if you ask Marlo, she'll confirm that I've watched every Rick Steves video created, listened to all of his podcasts, and have read several of his travel guides in preparation for my trip. Two critical bits of advice are: (1) get GREAT shoes because blisters or sore feet can ruin a trip and you will walk A LOT in Europe; and (2) set an artificial deadline a few days before your departure so that you are ready to go beforehand. This enables you to not forget a bunch of stuff at the last minute and to be well-rested before you leave, which helps fight jet-lag.
I started my hunt for good shoes the day after finals, thinking that 3 weeks should be enough time to find something good. Unfortunately, I found out that there is no such thing as a comfortable shoe that is not ugly. Most of the shoes recommended on travel sites such as Dansko, Clarks, Mephisto, Tevas, and especially Crocks, look like they are for farming, not travel in civilized countries. Add my fashion sensibilities to the fact that I have large feet for a woman (size 11) and the hunt for shoes has been the most difficult part of my pre-departure preparations. Oh! the HOURS spent hunting for shoes! Ladies, my advice is to treat the hunt for travel shoes like you would a wedding dress - find them at least six months before the big event.
Anyway, I also had planned to be totally packed and ready to go by last Thursday (June 28) before I left to California for the weekend to go to my friend Theresa's wedding. Yeah, pigs possibly might fall from the sky too, but I wouldn't start planning BLT's for lunch. It's 11:36 p.m. on July 2nd and I still have half the items on my packing list to check off.
Anyway, I'm partly doing this entry to remind myself for the next time I go to Europe that failure to follow my own advice has left my exhausted, grumpy and anxious. So, note to self: Do as I say, not as I have done.