Can I REALLY Blame it on Being a Capricorn?

Sunday, January 25, 2009
I'm a planner. I like to have things laid out and know what to expect. Cover all my bases. Prepare for any eventuality. This can sometimes annoy people around me but I can't help it. Sure, it sometimes takes the excitement out of certain things but I try to plan for the worst. Then, when things turn out better than expected - it's fantastic! Yeah, yeah, I'm a bit kookie. But that's part of my charm, right? Anyway, consider yourself warned for what's about to be revealed. Ready? Ok, here goes... whew.

Yesterday, I packed my suitcase. *Silence* Hello? Did you faint? I should probably clarify things. I didn't do my "final pack". I simply wanted to ensure I had enough room in my suitcase for everything. Once I started, I thought that I made a big mistake (literally) by buying the large suitcase. It seemed that it might only be half full. Silly Captain. As I piled socks, underwear, tshirts, jeans, sandals, running shoes, and a comfy sweater into my suitcase, I quickly realized I had made the right choice. There's not a lot of space left. Enough for a couple of small souvenirs for the parents, some sweet treats for the niece and nephew, and something nice for myself from the British Museum. That's about it. Which is fine since I won't have an enormous amount of spending money for shopping nor do I want to bring a second bag full of touristy junk home with me (no insult intended for those who live would be the same whereever I went). The truly sad thing I have to report? I haven't UNPACKED my suitcase. But I will, I promise. Eventually....

Shortly after booking my plane ticket, I planned out my entire itineray. However, I'm going to delete it. There are really only three things I absolutely MUST see (the British Museum, the National Gallery for Hallowell's portrait, and Greenwich). Everything else? Whatever I get to see, I get to see. Those things I miss? I guess I'll just have to make a return trip. I will have a list of somethings I would like to see - mainly statues, monuments, and a variety of other museums but I'm going to wing it (scary thought for me!). I figure the best way to do that is to simply take the tube somewhere, head up to the street, and just start wandering around. I'm really looking forward to seeing the non-touristy side of London.

Now, as a planner, I still have a list of things which need to get done before boarding the plane. With only 7 weeks left to go, I feel as though I'm cutting things a bit close. Yes yes, most people would think that's plenty of time. Me? Starting to freak out. Just a little bit. What's left to do, you ask? I've got a plane ticket, a hotel and a packed suitcase. What more could I need? Well, let me tell you:

To Do (Before I Leave)
1. Put together a folder of info for the Admiral. Unlike my trip to California when I was 18, I would prefer she DIDN'T call the hotel and leave messages like "Just tell her that her mother loves her". I'm glad she does love me but how embarassing. Even more so now that I'm in my 30s. So, I'll be giving her the flight and hotel info, a copy of my insurance, a letter for the vet (just in case), a copy of my passport, etc.
2. Shopping - new coat (I hate the one I bought a while ago and it doesn't really fit properly), some new underwear (I don't have enough to last the whole trip), and some new sneakers.
3. Exchange some currency - not as much as last time but I want to bring a little more hard cash with me. I could use my credit card more but I dunno. Something inside me says cash is better. Let's just hope I don't get mugged at the airport after I land.
4. Make list of things to pack in suitcase and in carry-on.
5. Get present for my hosts.
6. Call/email friends in the land of Strongbow to figure out any last minute details - taking the train, meeting up, getting back to airport, ensuring I have enough Breathe Right strips for my stay with them, etc.
6. I'm forgetting something important, I'm sure...

To Do (When I Arrive)
1. Make it to the hotel in one piece. 'Natch.
2. Hit the nearest supermarket for snacks. Moneypenny tells me there's a Sainsbury's or Tesco's or something near by. I'll probably be too busy to worry about lunch every day so a granola bar or two, maybe a piece of fruit and a bottle of water and I'll be fine. The hotel provides breakfast so I'll just have to find somewhere to eat dinner each evening. Perhaps I should get in the habit of calling it "tea". And for the record, I will NOT be trying a kebob. Unless it's veggies.
3. Find the nearest Virgin store and pick up the cheapest disposable mobile phone they have.
4. Call/text (??? How do you do that?) various blog buddies to let them know I've arrived. Also to make arrangements on possible MIRLs.
5. Start having a great time and relax!!!

The only other "planning" I'm going to do is layout my route from Heathrow to the hotel, and a couple of routes on the tube. So there you have it. Now, you'll have to excuse me ... I have a suitcase to UNpack.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I think you are prepared. In fact, if called upon, you could leave tomorrow.

Milla said...

If you are not a strange person Karen, I don't know WHO is.

Did you pack a small unmbrella?

Also, remeber that in London people speak English for the most part, so if in doubt...ASK! Generally people are always happy to help you :)

Anyway, closer to the time we can get the MiRL set up: I am a Virgo so I like to organise things, but hey, only about 3 weeks in advance...

Wandering Coyote said...

I love the template and the name of the blog! Looking forward to reading all of your adventures! I'm so excited for you!

tweetey30 said...

Yes I think you are truly prepared. Enjoy your trip when you get to it. I would love to see London someday...

Karen said...

Barb, I could and I would. Most definately.

Milla: I am strange and proud of it. And yes, I've packed my little umbrella although I might pick up a new funky one while I'm there.

Coyote: Eeeek! It's getting closer and closer. How's your planning going? Any decisions on when you're hopping on the train?

Tweety: Never fear, I'll have plenty of pics and stories so you'll feel as though you were with me!

sp said...

The blog looks great.
I look forward to reading about London from your point of view.

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