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Friday, August 27, 2010

My Little Ridiculous NY Morning Meltdown

It is crackdown time. My five weeks of traveling has begun starting today. Panic mode has officially set in. The worst part, it is official, I have been away from Oliver for far too long. 

This morning on my leisurely walk to work, I saw a cute little puppy and before I could even realize what I was doing or stop myself "Aewwww ooooo hello there you cute little puppy, aren't you one of the most adorable things ever," in the typical voice any woman would talk to a baby, puppy or anything with squish-able cheeks, came flying out of my mouth. 

I immediately clapped my one empty hand over my mouth and with the other called my Mother, who knows how to handle me better than the Italians know how to fly pizza dough through the air, to calm me down. I abruptly cut her off, in middle of her own crisis, and made her stop to listen to me and my ridiculous problem of missing my dog. Isn't that what mothers are for? My spastic attack only lasted a minute and I was back to normal. She knows how to set me straight. 

Thank you Hyperbole and a Half for this image. This blog is my new favorite blog obsession. Whenever my coworkers need a great big rolling on the ground crying our eyes out laugh, we visit Allie Brohs's hysterical blog.

With all the exciting adventures I have unfolding in my busy life you would think an eight pound canine companion would be the last thing on my mind. This is not the case. It doesn't help that every time I talk to my parents they some how manage to sneak in "Oh my God your dog is just so f****** cute." My response being, "oh what did he do?" and the answer is always the same, "he just ran across the floor" or "he is just curled up in my lap." 

Do they really need to rub it in anymore? You would think that with this minor breakdown these comments will stop. Let's hope so. If not, I expect a picture to go with it. 

There is one occasion I am not looking forward to. When all of my traveling is over and done with, and I get to have my love back, I might have to call in backup to pry Oliver from my Dad's arms.  I'm thinking I should schedule some shrink appointments for him in advance. Sounds like a good idea.

At least I know myself and that sometimes, under stress of course, have minor freak outs or meltdowns. In order to make sure this doesn't happen while I am abroad in a beautiful country, where no one will understand anything I say except maybe pizza, spaghetti and vino, I have turned into a compulsive organizational spaz. Some might already describe me as that anyway but, I am here to warn you it just got out of control. 

For instance.... not only did I made an itinerary, ok, ok, a color coded itinerary, I also divided each city into separate manila folders with P-Touch labels. On the front of each folder I stapled my itinerary and highlighted the days I will be in that city. Inside each folder is my plane ticket information, train ticket information, hotel or hostel reservation, museum or event ticket and maps of each city with each place listed on my itinerary highlighted. 

Some of you may be saying, hey that is a fantastic idea while I know there are some of you out there thinking what a freak. Ah, I don't really care. While you're thinking I'm a freak I'll be in London, Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome!

In preparation for my trip, besides from my fantastic color coded itinerary, I also made a load of important phone calls.

1. I called my bank to inform them of the days I will be out of the country and where I will be. Hopefully this will help me avoid any credit card rejections and calls to the credit card company.

2. I made sure my ATM card would work at the ATM machines. They informed me that my ATM card would work at any ATM with the providers logo's that are the same as on the back of my ATM card. They also told me that I will be charged an international fee of $5.00 and 3% of the amount I withdraw. 

3. I called AT&T to discuss international phone and data plans. They gave me a great list of both and suggested which ones I use according to my past records. You can adjust the plan accordingly to your trip. FYI text messages are 50 cents and picture text messages are $1.30. You can visit the AT&T website for more information on international plans. 

4. I called Time Warner Cable and suspended my cable and internet for the month of September. I will hardly be home. I thought this was a great way to save some money, which I would rather be spending in Italy anyway. 

The best thing I believe I did was read Rick Steves' Italy 2010 book which was recommended to me by a very good family friend. 

This book gave me some great ideas and also informed me about things I would never have thought about.

Did you know, that getting coffee at a bar is cheaper than getting coffee at a table? Or, if you don't grab the money out of some ATM's immediately it could be sucked back in? No, neither did I.  Oliver and I went to the river one day and I spent six hours reading about each city I was visiting. I highly recommend it. There are some great pointers! 

Well today Animal (the bike) and I are off to Montauk to spend the weekend with Jen at an amazing beach house. I can't wait to ride along the coast and relax on the beach all day. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. 

And I'll leave you with a nerdy picture of me and my bike! 


  1. Those who say freak just want the itineraries for themselves =) Safe travels!

  2. Getting excited for your trip??!!! Of course you are! I can't wait to hear about your travel!!