It’s going to be hard to get through this workday. Hoo boy.
I woke up early this morning and wanted to start packing. Denny thought I was weird because I was looking all over the house for the European voltage hairdryer (which I actually bought for my mom, but she has kindly lent it to me, and I will give it back to her the next time she skips the pond) before I even took a shower this morning. I can’t help it. I’m very excited.
Since I don’t have much work to do today, I will probably type up my packing list and arrange it in order of how it should be done. I’ve been adding a little bit to it in every boring meeting I’ve had this week (especially a certain phone conference; good lord, that meeting was worthless. It was twenty minutes of content in a 100 minute call. My coworker actually fell asleep and I had to wake him up because someone asked him something. If I were capable of falling asleep in public when not jet-lagged, I would have too.)
So yeah. Whee!
Also, the Capitoline Museums (which are on my Must See list, which is two pages single-spaced) offers free downloadable audioguides. We’re bringing the iPod anyway for photo storage, so why not skip paying the six euros and looking like a chode with those dorky headsets when I can just listen to it on my sleek little iPod? It is a lovely service, and I tip my hat to the Capitoline Museums for providing it.
I wish there was an audioguide for the whole city (and if there is, ideally a free one, please let me know). The awesome thing about Rome is that you can just wander around, and you can’t turn your head 30 degrees without seeing something interesting from Ancient Rome, medieval days (not Medieval Times; I don’t think they have that), the Renaissance, and more. Without some kind of idea of what you’re looking for, it can all kind of blur together. I think I could spend a few days just walking around the city, looking at stuff, and it would be a more enriching experience if I knew what I was looking at.
An iPod-based audioguide also makes one look more like a hipster and less like a dork with her nose in a guidebook.
Of course, almost all travel comes with a certain degree of inevitable dorkiness. One thing I’ve discovered in my travels that is quite dorky but also quite useful is to carry a compass. This is especially useful when you’re going to an unfamiliar city and use the subway system. I don’t know about you, but when I step out of a subway station, I never have any idea which way I’m facing. A lot of times street names aren’t clearly marked, and even though your map is telling you to walk three blocks north to get to your hotel, that doesn’t help if you don’t know which way north is. Hence, the compass. I think we got one that came with a Dublin city guide, and it came in so handy that we never travel without it now.
Thank goodness I was a Girl Scout so I know how to read a compass. Or maybe I learned that on the sixth grade camping trip. What I learned from Girl Scouts is that when parents don’t let their kid eat sugar, the kid goes kind of nuts during the “decorate your cookie with candies” activity.