|Definitely, not as much “stuff” on the bed when we originally packed almost a year ago.|
Two weeks from today, we’ll drive the five-hour journey from Boveglio, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy to Venice Italy, where we’ll stay overnight in a hotel close to the airport. Planning to drop off the rental car after we’ve checked into the hotel upon arrival was a plan I’d originally resisted, thinking it made more sense to drop it off in the morning before our flight.
Tom was adamant that we drop off the car on the day of arrival in Venice and take the hotel’s shuttle to the airport in the morning. He felt that the time spent returning the car, from past experience when we picked it up on June 16th, would impose upon the time necessary to board the plane.
|Those darn vitamins! This is only a portion of the supply!|
After thinking about this premise for a few days, I saw his point. With the free airport shuttle offered by the hotel, it was one less stressful task to perform before boarding the plane.
The Marco Polo Airport in Venice imposes a strict rule that passengers may not appear at the airport more than three hours before their scheduled flight. This small airport doesn’t have adequate space to accommodate travelers for longer periods. Thus, careful planning is a must. Otherwise, passengers can be refused entry with their bags into the terminal. That could be stressful!
With only two weeks left, we’ve begun planning for all the tasks we must accomplish before leaving Italy. No, we don’t have household goods and furniture to move, but in a way, it’s comparable to moving after the moving van has removed the household goods and furniture, a monumental task in itself.,
|Its not easy keeping a cupboard tidy with clothing as opposed to dresser drawers, none of which we available in this extra bedroom.|
Not only do we have to ensure we’ve collected all of our belongings scattered about the house, but also the following tasks to complete over the next two weeks:
1. Carefully pack all of our luggage including careful planning for the carry on bags to avoid further delays at the airport when going through security.
2. Weigh all of our luggage to ensure we’re prepared for any excess baggage fees which we fully expect, although not as costly as on our flight from Dubai, UAE on our way to Barcelona, Spain to board our last cruise.
3. Hold back clothing and toiletries for overnight in the hotel to avoid opening the packed luggage, using only a duffel bag.
4. Ensure we have comfortable clothing and shoes to wear for the long flight, prescriptions, toiletries (especially toothbrushes and toothpaste) considering the almost 24 hours from the time we arrive at the airport in Venice, to the rental house in Kenya.
5. Grocery shop tomorrow, purchasing enough food to last through our final night here on Saturday, August 31st, while using any items that are frozen, refrigerated, and in the cupboards. (We’ve already planned a menu for each of the 13 remaining nights with an accompanying grocery list, utilizing our on-hand supplies).
6. Scan and store all of the receipts we’ve accumulated while living in Italy, tossing the actual paper.
7. Clean and reorganize our laptops’ bags of any superfluous materials.
8. Ensure that our digital equipment is fully charged with the hope that the three planes we’ll be flying will have plugins at our seats. If plugins are not available on the planes we’ll locate and use “digital kiosks,” available at most airports during our two layovers.
9. Return the house to its original condition as we received it upon arrival over two and a half months here, replacing any items we moved about to facilitate our personal needs.
10. Clean, leaving only the towels and bedding we used on that last day. Santina will clean on our last Friday, two days before our departure. With no paid deposit, we are none the less committed to leaving everything in excellent order, as we’ve done at each of our prior rental homes.
11. Write a glowing review on Homeaway extolling the virtues of our lovely owners, Lisa and Luca, her parents, Cici and Dano, and the overall comfort of this well-stocked and maintained home, which without a doubt we’ve fully appreciated.
12. Update the budget with any last-minute expenses, including gas for the long drive, rental car fees, hotel and dining, taxi and tips, etc. Doing so leaves us a clean slate to begin anew in the first of three upcoming homes in Africa: Kenya, South Africa, and Morocco.
Need I say more? There’s plenty to keep us busy over the next few weeks with little time for frivolity. Yes, someday we’ll return to Italy, most likely by ship, allowing us an opportunity to explore further. But for now, we’re ready to move on, feeling no disappointment in leaving with plenty of enthusiasm for our upcoming adventures.
|Tom has kept all of his clothing in the master bedroom where we sleep. Mine have been scattered among three rooms, the master, the above guest room, and the huge main bathroom where I’ve kept fresh clothing for dressing after showering each morning.|
Tom just reminded me of one more thing. We’ll have to empty the Ziploc bags hung in the doorways and windows in order to recover the Euros we’d placed inside with the intent to repel flying insects which, as we’ve mentioned, does seem to work to a degree, although not entirely. With screens on the windows in Kenya, we’re hopeful that the biting flies won’t be such a bother.
Lately, in the evening, I’ve been wearing my BugAway long pants for a few hours which have totally protected me from receiving a single fly bite. Although lightweight they’re too warm to wear all day, during which time I’ve taken on two or three new bites per day, continuing to itch for days. The cumulative effect is the most annoying, new bites, old bites, all itching at once!
Yesterday, I finally washed my BugsAway pants for the first time. Having worn them to the Pyramids in Egypt, Petra in Jordan, and a few other excursions, they didn’t appear dirty nor did they smell. Most likely they were covered in fine dust.
With the embedded insect repellent Permethrin in the fabric, they’re good for 70 washings of which I’m now down to 69. That should be enough to see me through our upcoming time in Africa which, dear readers, will begin, sooner than later.