Monday, April 16, 2007

T minus 30 Days

I leave exactly one month from today.

I bought the Moleskine City Notebook for Rome and I have been filling it with my schedule, flight times and hotel maps. Amazon's list price is $27.95, and they try to dazzle you by selling it at $16.95. In reality, you won't find it anywhere online for more than $20 and I got mine at Barnes and Noble for under $15. If you go to any of the cities the notebooks cover, I highly recommend them.

I used Google maps to print a small hybrid map showing the route from the nearest tube or subway stop to each of my hotels. My favorite is the one for my hotel in Florence, where you can see the Duomo from the air.

Instead of staying in Naples for two nights, I am going across the bay to Sorrento. From there I can take a boat to the Isle of Capri or a bus to Positano, or I can just veg out on the beach.

I have scheduled most of my days at least as far as the major things I want to do. My 2 days in London are very, very planned out and so is my only full day in Florence. In Florence, both the Uffuzi and Accademia tend to have long lines, so I will prebook my tickets to avoid them. I will also be visiting Santa Croce, to see the tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Fermi.

I am still waiting on my passport. It took 43 days after I applied for me to be able to track the application online, even though their site still says "up to 4 weeks" and some pages are even still saying the old 3 weeks. When you try to call, you are advised that they can only help people travelling within two weeks. So, I will be calling on May 2nd to expedite if I still don't have a delivery date. I should have just expedited when I applied.

The other thing that irks me about the passport process is that the site claims that some Minneapolis area post offices will take applications on weekends and that is not true. I have sent them 3 different emails asking them to correct the info, but they still haven't.

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