Monday, October 17, 2016

Speaking of vacation…

Yesterday, I posted about unlimited vacation. As it turns out, I have a limited vacation of my own coming up. So I spent a rainy last weekend pulling things together for my trip. The first thing I started to pull together was my electronics gear, starting with pulling together my adapter plugs.

Even though I keep my adapters in the same place, it seems that every time I go overseas, I can’t remember what that same place is. So I end up going out and buying a new plug. This year, vacation prepper that I’ve become, I found my cache of adapters. There was one old-school plastic kit that contained a different plug for pretty much every place on earth. Oddly, the one for non-UK, non-Ireland Europe seemed to be missing. Which was too bad because the place I’m going to is Italy, smack dab in the middle of non-UK, non-Ireland Europa.

Fortunately, I had three – count ‘em three – of those one-for-all-all-for-one adapter plugs that works sort of like a transformer or a Rubik’s Cube. You do a little swiveling around action, a flick of the wrists, you find the country of choice. Plug and play!

Unfortunately, my recall is that one of these – which one, who knows – was with me on my last trip to Italy in 2013. And it didn’t work.

Anyway, just to make sure, I’ll be packing all three, and leave the one that doesn’t work behind at the hotel.

I piled the adapter plugs onto my staging chair, and tossed in the itty-bitty-booklight that I’d come across on my way to finding all those adapter plugs.

Not that I’ll be needing that itty-bitty-booklight, since I’m planning on packing my Kindle, rather than a bunch of books. And that Kindle works without needing a light.

So I went in search of the Kindle, which I haven’t used in a few months, maybe longer. It was near-death, so I thought I’d juice up the battery. I’ve used my old Blackberry power adapter for that in the past, haven’t I? I sure thought so, but it did zip when I plugged it in.

This sent me on a hunt for the Kindle power adapter. I looked in all the places I thought it might be. And then looked again. It was nowhere to be found.

The good news was that, in my travels, I found two hairbrushes that had gone missing. I am so happy to have found them, as, over the past two weeks, I’ve stopped into three different CVS stores looking for replacements. Curiously, none of those CVS stores had any hairbrushes. Just empty shelves where the hairbrushes should have been. I googled ‘hairbrush shortage’ and it came up empty. Wonder what was up with that. Thankfully, I didn’t invest in new hairbrushes, now that I’ve found those that had somehow gone MIA. (Did I really toss two hairbrushes into my bed stand? Why?)

But I now have my hairbrush in my cosmetics bag, which is sitting with the adapter plugs and the itty-bitty-booklight on the staging chair.

Meanwhile, where was that errant Kindle power adapter?

Somehow, it miraculously appeared. I have no recall of where it was, but I was just about to mutter the St. Anthony’s Prayer when it did. Dear St. Anthony, please look around, something’s lost and can’t be found.  No atheists in foxholes, and no non-believers when you’re looking for that crucial Kindle adapter.

But somehow, even without prayer, it miraculously appeared. Perhaps I muttered the magic word and it just dropped down, like Julius the Duck on the old Groucho Marx show, You Bet Your Life.

So I plugged my Kindle in and brought it back to life. And ordered a few books to take with me to Venice.

Two novels – Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, and The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney – and two memoirs – Negroland by Margo Jefferson and Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance.

As my Kindle ace in the hole, I have a copy of Bleak House (Dickens) on there. It was free, and I’m a bit embarrassed that I never finished it when it was assigned in high school. (I remember it as being 1,020 pages long, but I don’t think that’s possible. Maybe it just read that way. Each page the written equivalent of a dog year.) So if I breeze through the four downloads, I’ll always have Bleak House. That should keep the reading pace down a bit.

On travel day, I’ll add my laptop (remember the plug!) and my phone (remember the power supply!) and I’ll be, electronically speaking, all set to jet.

Next up: what to wear, what to wear.


I know what to wear. Black pants, black shoes, and a sweater.

The question is not what to wear. It’s what to pack.

I’ve already given up on the idea of just taking a carry on bag. Too much room taken up by all those electronics.

But it’s only a week, and I don’t mind wearing the same shirt a couple of days running. And I pretty much know where all my clothing is. No prayers to St. Anthony’s to turn up those black shoes for me. I know just where they are. Packing my clothing should be easy-peasy.

Note to self: remember to pack the Italian phrasebook. Ciao, bella!

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