europe, here i come
in a couple weeks K and i are going to visit some of her family in europe. we’ll be going to london for a couple days then over to norway for about a week. i’m quite excited. i’ve been to europe before, a couple years ago. my then gf and i visited 7 cities in 14 days in a whirlwind tour. it was a lot of fun and very cool to get to go over there and see the sights and whatnot. going to so many cities in that short of a timespan seemed like a good idea before we went, but i think by the time we were done we both kind of wished that we had a bit more time in some places and that a couple of the other places we visited weren’t all that great.
that said, i’m really looking forward to spending some actual time in another country. unfortunately we only have 2 days in london, but that’s better than the last time i was there where i only spent about 2 hours in the city, between a train over from bristol (where we flew in to) and a train through the chunnel to paris (where our first “real” stop on the vacation was).
K has family in both london and norway, so we won’t be paying anything to stay over there. her family also owns a condo in barcelona that we’ll have to visit sometime too. it’s totally awesome having a gf that has family in europe i’ve decided.
preparing to travel isn’t all that stressful to me. K finds it exhausting and she gets pretty wound up before we’re even ready to go. she’s already starting to freak out a bit about the few tasks we have to get done here before we go (having mail stopped, getting someone to come by and water our plants, exchanging some currency, etc). i find that i get more calm as the depature date approaches. i try to keep her grounded and focused though, so i guess we make a good team that way. her seriousness in the planning also helps to balance out my seat-of-the-pants-ness.
marek is going to stay with my p and m, which is also going to save us a good bit of $$. because he is so large, if we board him he requires his own “kennel run” which basically means he gets a little enclosed yard and crate to sleep in. this runs about $125 per night at the vets where we board him, so that alone would almsot double the cost for us. i figure this is the one and only time my mom and dad will be willing to watch him, so what better time than when it’s most expensive? next time we’ll have to leave him at a friend’s house (they already volunteered and i told them we have a wedding in alabama this winter so they’ll def be keeping him then)
this time around we’re going to take our phones with us. this is nice becuase last time i made, i think, 2 calls home and they cost me almost $100. we have iphones (on at&t of course) which is good because they actually work over there. of course it sucks because we have to pay international roaming charges. i’m sure i won’t be talking on the phone very much, but it will be nice to be able to have someone call me if necessary and to call back home without having to use my credit card or one of those ripoff international calling cards. but, that said, we cannot use any data over there as that is where they really rape you. the guy at the at&t store said under no circumstances should we use data, as the rates are set by the carriers over there, and some of them are like $1/MB (YIKES!)
lamely, i think one of the things i look forward to is deciding what clothes i’m going to take and packing it all up. i should probably check the expiration on my man card and make sure it’s still good… oh, and reading. for some reason i always love to read on trips. i think i read 3 books last time i was in europe (but we did have a lot of train time to read in. doubt i’ll get that much reading done this time around)
so anyways, i guess i’ve rambled on enough for now. if any of you have been to london or SE norway (we’re staying in a town called halden) and you have any suggestions on stuff to do/see please let me know.
wish me luck!