- Don’t overpack. You wind up living on about 1/4 of what’s in your suitcase. I’m only bringing that 1/4 next time and washing it in the sink. It’s not that I packed that heavy, but…. everything weighs more when you are dragging it from train station to rental car agency to airport to hotel, etc.
- See Rule 1.
- Read rule before I left that says, “there are two kinds of people who go to Europe – those who pack light and those who wish they had packed light.” Brilliant Boys actually took this saying to heart, after I told it to them, and packed light. Their suitcase isn’t full and weighs almost nothing.
So… Avignon. Well, I wish we had rented the car here. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there’s not a lot to do? Outside the city would have been great, seeing the lavender fields and some wineries, but I just didn’t want to mess with parking, narrow city streets, astronomical parking fees. Now I wish I had. We meandered up to the old Papal Palace, which is big, but all the guide books say not to bother going inside, it’s empty.
Checking in with the boys — Harry says best part of the trip so far: Castles!!! Alex says the best part of the trip so far: Beautiful women and beer. Harry concurred.
What I’ve noticed:
- The lack of loud laughter in public. I’m so used to that around my house and with my friends, not to mention that I’m a pretty loud laugher, and it just seems strange with all of these outdoor cafes not to hear boisterous laughter around a pint or two during the day. Is that true most places in Europe?
- Every metro official I’ve met thus far claims not to speak any English. Oh-kaaaay.
- Even people who speak very little English are very kind to us non-French speaking yokels, and correct our bad French gently.
Things I need to know: Has anyone been to the Pratesi Outlet Factory outside of Pistoia? If so, can you really get the sheets for about 1/2 price? Just need to know if it’s worth the drive from Florence.
So we wound up with a couple of days of nice slower downtime, which we needed, the slow intake of breath before the more adventurous Italian leg of our journey. Okay, I’m out for the day… something I ate upset my stomach, and I’m just out of steam. Miss you all!