I was planning on getting my passport this weekend but thankfully in a moment of sheer genius I checked the "where can I get a passport" website this morning and found out passport offices have weird schedules like: 10-3pm. No Saturday's. I'm on an 8 week crunch where every day is precious and getting my application in ASAP is pretty much my goal.
I sent my boss the obligatory email and started getting ready. For some reason (actually, I know why) I started browsing youtube for Spice Girl video's and got really distracted. Then I put on way too much makeup and left for the post office. I had on sage green eyeshadow that matched my shirt and a nice red lipstick to bring out my lips and even flat ironed my hair. I filled out the application, waited in line and then got my picture taken and.... I look like a big ole hooker. Seriously, it's bad. I was too embarassed to ask them for a tissue to take the lipstick off and re-take it so I'm stuck with this awful picture for a long time. Oh well! I got the application in and maybe I'll get expedited because some swarmy guy at the passport office will like the photo.
Yesterday I had a meeting with my boss (Bill) and other sort of boss (Frank) to discuss my plans. I approached Bill about 2 weeks ago with a proposal for this trip. Turns out he was impressed with my vacation request in an excel format and he's happy I'm going to Europe. I had requested to work while I was over there and I've spent the past month ensuring I'm staying at places with wifi, renting a few apartments for downtime and making sure I can log into my computer remotely. Everything has been working out perfectly and I still have my job during the trip to work part-time. Any income is a major plus and I'm happy to log in remotely and keep up with some work. How many people get a 5 week vacation in Europe but still have the ability to work and make money? I like downtime and my job won't be too taxing. I feel really lucky! I invested in a light netbook to take with me and it's the perfect size.
I've yet to find a place to stay in a few cities and I suppose I should book some hostels now to finish up my trip plans. This trip is turning out to be a lot more structured than I originally wanted but a few weeks ago I started stressing about not knowing last minute costs and the general feeling of being totally stranded and lost in another country and started planning. I suppose not planning this trip kind of goes against my nature anyways - I'm pretty organized. It's cool though, I'm on a bus tour that is more like a bus service with some annoying college kids that I may or may not get along with and I've got places to stay that are not the hostels most of them will be staying at in case it's the latter.
This weekend I'll work on finalizing plans and figuring out the best way to get from Frankfurt to Amsterdam and then from Paris back to Frankfurt. Once I have all of that together I'll be posting my itinerary! I'm also going to try to find an inexpensive smaller digital camera somewhere as the one I own has dropped acid. It's LCD screen is full of rainbows and there's no viewfinder. This isn't too helpful when trying to actually take a picture of something. "Oh yeah, here's the mountain next to an awesome castle!"
Finally, I need to get my sh*t together and make a full on list of what to bring. I have read so many books with tips and I'm bound to forget some of them. I've concluded there is just way too much literature on Europe. It's overwhelming but it's still exciting to read. I'm limiting myself to a carry on sized bagpack so I can call myself a real backpacker. Good thing I'm used to wearing the same pants everyday now cause I'm packing light! I need to start running more and working out so I can fit into a few of my lightweight dresses too. Ahh, so many things to do. Time to get to work!