Monday, February 27, 2017

Travel in South America: Parte Uno

So. South America. We're here. Have been for a while. But I want to begin this story at the beginning. I told Hubby this afternoon that I was going to sub-title this post : "The Urban Sophisticates Do Buenos Aires." Sadly, he was trying to settle down for a nap and falling out of bed laughing was not conducive to his rest. Urban we are not. Not really, not deep down. And sophisticates we definitely ain't. Ha. So being in South America is pretty big for us. We've travelled a lot, but this feels completely different. Seriously different, and seriously cool.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. This is what we left behind  in Ottawa not long ago. A recent snowfall that we were relieved did not happen on our "getaway day" as Hubby always calls our departure day. This time of year in Canada, snow can derail even the best laid plans. That's our deck below. Snowed under, you might say. 

 

This is what we piled into the neighbour's car for the trip to the airport. One small spinner bag each, my weekender tote bag, and Hubby's backpack. Not much for six weeks, and three climates. But we had planned carefully, and hopefully it would suffice. In fact, after over a week on the road, I'm beginning to think that I could have pared it down even further.

packed light and ready to go 

We were 28 hours in transit between Ottawa and our hotel in Buenos Aires. We had a 5 hour lay-over in Toronto, and a two hour stop the next morning in Santiago where we had to leave the plane and do the whole security thing all over again. Standing in a long line of sleepy, jet-lagged, confused, hot, and cranky travellers. Then after the last leg of the journey, another hour in the customs line in Buenos Aires, and a two hour drive into the city through sluggish traffic...meant that our 3:30 arrival was now looking like 7 pm. Thank goodness the desk staff at our hotel was friendly and cheerful, suggesting we try the casual restaurant on the corner for dinner before we staggered back to our room and fell into bed. The shot below was taken as we flew into Santiago. The Andes, I presume.

view of the Andes as we fly into Santiago, Chile 

Buenos Aires was everything we thought it would be, and nothing like we had imagined. If that makes any sense. Beautiful and majestic with wonderful buildings reminiscent of Paris. Much of the architecture of 19th century Buenos Aires was built in the French style since, as we were told, France was much admired here for its style and beauty. I regret not doing more reading on Argentine history and architecture. But research for travel can get pretty confusing sometimes as you struggle to make sense of a place you've never seen. 
This is the church of "Our Lady of the Pilar" in Plaza Intendente Alvear, near the famous Recoleta Cemetary. It's beautiful against the blue sky, isn't it? 

Buenos Aires, Our Lady of the Pilar church  

We strolled through the famous Ricoleta Cemetary on our first day. The eternal resting place of the great and good, and the rich and not so good of Buenos Aires for generations. An amazing kind of city of the dead. It certainly is stunning. Overwhelming. And not a little eerie. 

Buenos Aires. Ricoleta Cemetary 

Buenos Aires. Ricoleta Cemetary 

Like everyone else we wanted to see the grave of Eva Peron. She's buried with her parents and sister in the Duarte family tomb. Our guide on the second day of our visit told us the stories of the numerous times over the years that Evita's body has been "kidnapped" for political reasons. 

Buenos Aires. Ricoleta Cemetary. Tomb of Eva Peron 

I had to get a shot of this kitty. Not all the residents of Ricoleta Cemetery are dead, apparently. 

Buenos Aires. Ricoleta Cemetary. Resident cat. 

We took a bus tour one day. It helped us to get our bearings and showed us parts of the city we could walk back to later on our own. This is the Floralis Generica sculpture in the Plaza Nasciones Unidas. Cool, eh? The aluminum and steel petals open in the morning and close at night.

Buenos Aires, Argentina. Floralis Generica sculputure 

Buenos Aires is full of colour, and vibrant street life, and art. Like these murals on the buildings in the neighbourhood of la Boca. 

Buenos Aires. murals in La Boca neighbourhood 

And of course there was colour everywhere we looked in the famous "Caminita" street in La Boca. 

Buenos Aires, Argentina. The famous Caminita, in La Boca 

Not to mention tango dancers vying for our attention. And even a statue of the pope on the balcony of this building.

La Caminita in La Boca, Buenos Aires 

The Caminita is home to many artists. I'd have loved to bring home one of these brightly coloured paintings. But I settled for a photo.

Buenos Aires. Art in the Caminita, La Boca 

With all the whimsy and colour it's easy to forget that this is still a very poor area of the city. Despite her big smile and practised banter, the tango dancer's velvet dress was a bit tatty, and her shoes well worn. And just down the street, well, life looks quite different.

 

 

What we loved best about Buenos Aires was exploring our own neighbourhood of Retiro on foot, and the adventure that was dinner each night. Alejandro, the lovely concierge at our hotel, sussed us pretty quickly. When we asked for restaurant recommendations he sent us to unpretentious, local, neighbourhood places. 

Like El Norte. Where we had huge portions of pasta, good wine, and lots of chuckles with the waiter who spoke no English, and kept forgetting our water. The third time I asked he slapped his forehead and laughed. We forgave him, though, since his attention was much distracted by the adorable antics of the young grandson of his friends who were sitting across from us. In fact it looked as if almost everyone else in the place knew each other, and all the staff... given the shouted greetings, the kisses, and the table hopping. 

El Norte restaurant in Retiro, Buenos Aires 

Buenos Aires. Pasta at El Norte restaurant in Retiro 

On Sunday we strolled through an outdoor craft market. I bought a handwoven bracelet made by this fellow as a souvenir. 

Buenos Aires. Artisan market in Plaza Intendente Alvear. 

On our last night we dined at Teodoro, another of Alejandro's suggestions. I loved this restaurant, its bright blue walls lined with framed photos from the forties and fifties.

Buenos Aires. Teodora restaurant, Retiro 

Hubby had Argentinian beer and homemade ravioli. I had vino tinto and... a small steak. Ha. It was pretty big, for a small steak... just not quite as big as it looks in this shot. And man, oh man, was it delicious. That teeny plate of grilled vegetables you see on the table is the most vegetables I'd had in days. It's very hard to eat healthy in a town that seems to dine exclusively on meat, more meat, pasta, and cheese.

Buenos Aires. Our dinner at Teodoro restaurant, Retiro 

As we toddled back to our hotel after dinner... maybe that should be "waddled" not toddled... we reflected on our experience thus far. Buenos Aires is historic, sophisticated, and beautiful, which we expected. I know according to Hubby this post has not done justice to its magnificent boulevards and grand buildings. Sigh. Everyone's a critic, eh? So, the beauty and grandeur of the city we expected. What we didn't expect was that the people of Buenos Aires would be quite so friendly. Virtually everyone we met was unfailingly polite, helpful, and gracious. From hotel staff, to waiters, to the lady selling programs at the Ricoleta Cemetery, who when she found out we were Canadians wanted to talk politics, and regaled us with stories about their former government run by "the lady" as she called their ex-president, saying how relieved she was at the regime change. And we were surprised too at how very patient everyone was as we struggled to use our few words of Spanish, and in my case tried to remember to say "si" and not "oui." As I said to Hubby, I never knew how much French I had salted away in my brain until I tried to speak Spanish. A rueful smile and lots of hand gestures also helped to bridge the language barrier. And funnily enough our love of cooking Italian food came in handy when deciphering menus. Except when I pronounced the double "l"s in pollo when trying to order chicken, everyone laughed. I guess the word "pollo" here is used only to refer to that sport with horses. They pronounce it "po sha" when they mean chicken. Travel is so educational, isn't it? 

 

We bid adios to Buenos Aires the next morning and made tracks for the airport. Patagonia bound. Hiking boots all polished up and ready to roll. We were excited. For, as much as we loved Buenos Aires, we're not really city people. And the mountains and open spaces of Patagonia would be much more our style. I snapped the two shots, below, from the plane as we flew into El Calafate. Looks like lots and lots of open space down there, folks.

Flying over Patagonia 

Patagonia from the air 

Parte Uno of our South America adventure was history. We were about to find out what Parte Dos would have in store for us. Lots of sunshine, fabulous views, and some strenuous exercise we hoped. And maybe, just maybe, some vegetables? 


I've been having great difficulty writing this post with the ap "Blogsy" which has not interacted well with 'Blogger" lately. And then it stopped working for me altogether. I've just downloaded a new ap. But I know that some things will go wrong for some reason, and I won't be able to do anything about it. And then my little perfectionist brain will explode. So I'm going to try very hard to ignore all this. Hopefully the new ap will work. 

I can't say when I'll be able to write the next post. The wifi has been sketchy in places. And I haven't had as much time as I had hoped to write. So please be patient. 


Linking up with Saturday Share Link-up

Monday, February 13, 2017

Cleared for Take-off

Our bags are packed. We're ready to go. Just a few more days and we'll be "leaving on a jet plane." But before then I have to decide what the heck to wear to travel.

Vintage poster for Braniff airlines. Buenos Aires
source
I always struggle with this decision. I think a travel outfit should be comfortable, of course. And it should look half way decent. I refuse to fly in yoga pants, or sweat pants. A great travel outfit has to keep me warm on the plane, especially if we are on a long haul flight, and yet be appropriate for the weather at our destination. Which can be difficult if we're flying from one climate to another, or one season to another. 

Dressing for my journeys from Ottawa to the east coast to visit my mum is easy. I just wear my most comfortable jeans, and whatever footwear and coat I plan to wear during the week I'm home. The seven hour flight to France in 2015 was pretty simple too. It was spring when we left Ottawa, and still spring the next morning when we arrived in Paris. For that trip I wore light wool leggings, a long-sleeved tee shirt, a light cardigan, and sneakers. A scarf and my spring coat were in my carry-on. 

This trip, however, is a bit more challenging. We will be in transit for about 22 hours, with a long lay-over in Toronto. So comfort is key. And I'll need an outfit that will keep me warm at the beginning of the journey: it's still winter here after all. And yet be cool enough when we land in summery Buenos Aires the next afternoon. 

As I mulled over my problem, I did a bit of reading. I found all kinds of websites and blogs which advised me on what to wear to travel. You can read a couple of them here and here. Much of the information I already knew. Like wearing comfortable pants, bringing a scarf to keep my neck warm, and wearing or bringing socks. Check, check, and check. And some of the information I decided to ignore. Like purchasing a "cute" eye mask for sleep. Really? I still have the free ones we were given on a Quantas flight a few years ago. One site I read even recommended giving myself a hydrating facial masque enroute, so when I disembarked I'd be all dewy-complected, presumably. Unless one is flying first class, which we're not, I don't know how that could be achieved. I simply can't see myself monopolizing the tiny washroom for fifteen minutes. So maybe I could apply it in the washroom and then sashay back to my seat in my face masque? Or maybe set up my mirror and creams on my little tray table, like a mini spa? Ah. beauty bloggers, ya gotta love em, eh? I will say that I wear minimal make-up when we fly on long trips, and I bring facial wipes for sensitive skin, a small jar of my best moisturiser, and lip balm. So maybe a min-spa on my tray is, after all, only one step beyond. 

Flying in the fifties. Man in suit and woman in a dress, pearls and nylons
I think it's safe to say that I will not be wearing pearls and nylons. Not this time, anyway. source
But back to what to wear on the plane. I have resigned myself that I will have to wear my hiking boots since they are the hardest to pack. If, at the last minute, I find there is room for them in the checked bags, I'll pack them and wear my Stan Smith sneakers. I'll also wear my old black Theory leggings. I'm bringing my good Vince ones but decided to NOT wear them on the plane. I'll also wear either a light, loose turtleneck or a long-sleeved tee, my fleece vest, and my Gortex jacket, at least until we get to the airport. I'll have my new zippered yoga jacket, and a short-sleeved tee shirt in my carry-on so I can change before we land. I hate arriving at our destination in the same top I've been wearing for a day and a half. So, I'll be wearing two outfits, really. One article I read recommended changing into pyjamas on the flight. Seriously? It would be just my luck to do that, and then everyone else on the plane would follow suit. Then, the next morning, I'd no doubt still be at the back of the line for the washroom by the time the flight landed, and be forced to get off in my pyjamas. Ohh. I can just see it now. I get goose bumps even thinking about it. 

Flying first class back in the seventies.
First class back in the day. Smoking and cocktails and high heels. source
Like most advice articles which tell us what to wear when, articles about travel wardrobes are limited to a certain extent. They're often about a specific kind of travel, like city to city jaunts. Or city to beach vacations. And then of course there's the limitations of my own closet, and the very real constraints of my body. Ahem... my... ah... middle area in particular. But that doesn't mean I don't find bits and pieces of some articles useful. I just chuckle at the rest. Still, if you come across an article which purports to show how to pack, and what to wear on the plane, if you are a sixty year old, fairly active woman with middle-age middle, a flat butt, and long skinny legs, packing for a long trip requiring outfits for three seasons, with city walking and rural hiking featuring largely into the mix.... please do send me that link.

I know, I know. I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill. But, now that I'm all packed, with only a last physio appointment and the final hair cut to go, having finished all my books and not wanting to start the ones I will take on the trip. Now that Hubby and I are cleared for take off, so to speak, what else do I have to do but worry about what to wear on the plane?

I'm laughing as I write this and remembering a post I wrote last fall about shoes, and their ability to make or break an outfit. And how I was inspired to write it by sitting in airports in several Canadian cities when I flew home to visit my mum, and then back to Ottawa. And I complained that many of the women travellers I saw were wearing the exact wrong shoes for their outfit. 

Ha. So now the chickens have come home to roost, people. I'll be sitting in Toronto airport in leggings and hiking boots. My snazzy little black sandals packed away in my checked luggage. My lovely Stuart Weitzman ankle boots in the closet at home. You see, that's the problem with packing for a trip like this one. It's a perfect storm of variables: extended time away from home, a wide variety of activities, and limited space in our luggage because we're trying to pack light. And all that results in my sitting at the airport in an outfit I wouldn't be caught dead in normally. Sigh. 

Ah well, I'm sure that six weeks in South America will go some way to assuage my mortification over my temporary outfit faux pas. 

Have a listen to this rendition of "Leaving on a Jet Plane" sung by John Denver and Cass Elliot back in 1972. The concert was taped for the pilot episode of  Midnight Special, the theme of which was getting the vote out for the upcoming presidential election in the U.S. 

I love this song. Been singing it all week, in fact. 



So that's it from me for a while, my friends. For a few weeks I'll either be in transit, in areas with sketchy internet, or too exhausted from all that hiking (and whatever) to blog much.

I will try to squeeze in a few posts if time and location allow. I'm aiming for once a week... I'll try my best. I'll probably be posting some pictures on Instagram... if you have an Instagram account you can follow me there. And I'll definitely be back on my regular-ish posting schedule come April. 

When it will be almost spring. And time for the seasonal wardrobe cull, and spring shopping lists. Oh. I can hardly wait. 

Until then, mis buenos amigos.





Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Keeping It Real... Blogging in the Age of Alternative Facts

Yesterday, Hubby and I were cross-country skiing. Probably my last ski before we leave for our trip. And as we shushed along a woodland trail, and exclaimed at the size of some of the old willow trees that grow out of the swampy area adjacent to the track, we talked. As we are wont to do. About lots of things. Like politics, here and south of the border. About stuff we've read recently. And on this particular day, about blogging. And how I wish everyone who blasts information and ideas across the internet, bloggers included, would just ... be honest. And stop exaggerating, for pity's sake. And just keep it real.

Okay. I'm calm now. I've been in a bit of a blogging funk lately. Partly because I've been focused on our upcoming trip and thus have had a dearth of creative blogging ideas. And partly because I've been way too focused on what else there is out there in the blogosphere. This happens periodically, and when it does it drives me nutty. And makes me wonder why I'm even writing a blog. And forces me to question what I'm doing and why. Which... when I think about it... is not a bad thing. 


Keeping it real in my sun room.

The funk started because, when I've not been doing travel oriented stuff, I've been researching possible blog improvements, things I might do to improve the quality of, and the look of, my blog. I have a file of on-line articles and resources to help me do this. Once I've found an article I think is applicable to me, I save it and then try to implement what it suggests, and NOT screw it up. I've made some improvements already. Tidied up my sidebar, fiddled with fonts and colours to make the look of the blog cleaner, and maybe a bit easier to read. It took me one whole evening to correctly install social media links in my sidebar. Hubby was watching the hockey game, but he scurried into the den when he heard me yelp. I'd finally figured it out, and there they were... five lovely little icons, the right size, the right colour, and all linked miraculously to my social media accounts. Yah. "Those little things. That's what you're fussing about?" he queried. Huh. This from a man who can find his way through the wilderness of Algonquin Park without a compass, but who gets frustrated sending an e-mail. I ignored him.

So, some of my research has been very helpful. Some not so much. And some has made me wonder what the heck I'm even doing. Because reading about "how to have a successful blog," how to "grow my following" and "maximize my traffic" makes me focus too much on the number of page views my blog gets each week. Or doesn't get. And on the shiny, professional-looking blogs which have teams of writers and professional photographers, and not much content to speak of. And I know that I should grow up, and stop comparing my blog to other blogs. I know that I should focus on what counts. Like on the fact that I'm writing what I want to write, and learning a whole lot of other stuff along the way. And having fun. Which is the whole point of the endeavour, of course. I know all that. But still, it's hard sometimes not to question all the work (or play) I put into this little "retirement project" of mine. And wonder why I'm doing it at all.

Raspberry fleece, Mountain Equipment Co-op
I wasn't qui-ite ready for this shot.   
Don't get me wrong. I love writing this blog. And I spend a fair amount of time doing it. I take all of my own photos, unless I use some of our travel shots that Hubby has taken. When I do use photos from the internet, I try hard to find and credit the original source. I research, provide links to my sources, and try to verify details. I've even been known to call my mum to check that what I'm saying about this family member or that one is correct. I admit to employing the techniques used by writers of fiction to make a personal story ... well... better reading. But what I write is always the truth. I did go lumbering with my step-father... that one time. I do go canoeing with Hubby in Algonquin Park. I did catch that very big fish in the Yukon. I really do hate yoga... and housecleaning. And when it comes to fashion, I don't pretend to be an expert. Just an expert on what I like or don't like for myself. I edit like crazy. And even then I sometimes miss a typo... and have to go back a few days later and correct it. I try to practice what I taught for so many years. Because otherwise... what's the point? 

Raspberry fleece, Mountain Equipment Co-op
Okay, that's better.
Then just when I've reassured myself about what I'm doing, and how I'm doing it, I read something silly, or poorly written, or downright dishonest that has been shared and re-shared on Facebook. Or I read one thing in particular, which obviously took the originator some time to craft, but which uses false and misinterpreted, or maybe simply misunderstood, "facts"... and which continues to be shared even though it has been debunked in several reputable news articles... and I despair. I really do. And then a few days later, I read something written by a young person I actually know, which spins events into something that is so distorted as to be more fiction than fact. And I want to pull my hair out. When did we start mistaking prejudice for well-founded opinion... or even worse rumour for fact? When did we start thinking that "spin" is real? And let's not even get into the current palaver about truth and fiction, facts and "alternative facts." Because a fact isn't just something someone has written or said. It's a verifiable detail which can eventually help us discover a truth. As Hubby used to teach his high school history students: facts aren't facts until they've been verified by a number of sources. So yeah, that dishonest, misinformed stuff really annoys me. Deep breath. Rant over. I promise. 

So. Where was I? Blogging. Right. I don't want you to think that I plan to stop blogging any time soon. Or that I'm looking for reassurance or praise. I just needed to get all this off my chest. And having done so, I feel quite a bit better. After all, I do this blogging thing for my own reasons, as I guess we all do. And those reasons don't include fame or fortune. Ha. And, you know, every once in while it doesn't hurt to re-examine why we do things. To reaffirm our purpose, and our values. 

So I guess I just have to remind myself to be an adult. To stop looking longingly at what others are producing. To do what I do best, as well as I can. And to tell the truth, about whatever I'm writing, albeit with a little creative description. 

Because Mum always said we'd not get into trouble if we told the truth. And, as kids, we mostly did... tell the truth. Well, except when it came to that trip to the bootlegger in grade twelve. We did lie about that. But it was for your own good, Mum. Really.

And I think I'm going to try to ignore at least some of the background noise on social media. That and un-follow a few people on Facebook. 

Just for my own sanity, you understand.






Thanks for listening, my friends. Or reading as the case may be. Now... anything you'd like to get off your chest? Fire away.




Linking up with Thursday Favourite Things Blog Hop at Katherine's Corner, Fabulous Friday at Pocketful of Polkadots, and Saturday Share Link-up at Not Dressed As Lamb

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Twiddling Our Thumbs... Between Planning & Leaving on a Big Trip

I love to be organized. But when it comes to trip planning, Hubby is even more organized than I am. He started reading and researching our South America trip last summer. Talking to friends who have travelled there, looking at their itineraries, deciding what countries and what places we might visit in those countries. I was too busy planning, and then attending, my junior high reunion in September. And planning my trip to New York, and then going on that trip, with my friend Elizabeth. But I promised that when I came home from New York, at the end of October, I would focus on our South America trip. And I did. And we've both been immersed in reading, planning, organizing our itinerary, booking, reorganizing the itinerary, rebooking... yadda yadda... ever since. We finished all this in time to drive home to New Brunswick for Christmas. And since the New Year, we've been making lists, and shopping, and planning what to pack. But, you already know that if you read this blog regularly. So everything is pretty much done, now. Flight confirmations, car rental vouchers, hotel confirmations, shuttle transfers... all printed and ready to go. The long list has been whittled down to a short list. And we've still a bit over a week before we leave. 

Soooooo. Now. Here we sit. Twiddling our thumbs. You see that's the problem with being organized, folks. What to do, now? How do we occupy ourselves in the time between getting everything done... and finally leaving on our big trip?

   Cream wool mock turtleneck from Gap, Scarf Nordstrom, black wool leggings from Vince, black Stuart Weitzman Brogan ankle boots, Zara down coat, burgundy Marc Jacobs bag
  Still winter here: I may be packing tank tops, but I wore my down coat to go shopping.

It's easier for me. I still had a few last minute things on my shopping list. Like a new zippered, light jacket. One that will feel like a sweater, be good for hiking, and still look reasonably smart in the city over my black pants. My Lululemon jacket is showing its age. And in my search for a replacement this week, I discovered how many crappy, cheaply made, easily wrinkled, too short, too heavy, too something jackets there are out there. But I eventually found one at The Bay, and since they had to order it in my size, I can't show it to you here. Hopefully it will be delivered before we leave. 

Then because I could put it off no longer, I shopped for a new sports bra, an item that's been on my mental list for months. And on the recommendation of my hairdresser, Carmen, I tried that haven of lace and pursed-lipped models, pink wallpaper and gilt... Victoria's Secret. I'd never darkened the door of Victoria's Secret before. I don't do lace. It makes me itch. But Carmen assured me that she buys her sports bras there. And since Carmen runs and cycles and does triathlons... she knows her sports apparel. Okay. I'd give it a try. 

Shopping for sports bras at Victoria's Secret
The changing room at Victoria's Secret. Feels a bit... boudoir-ish?  Bordello-ish?
The first two styles I tried did not give me confidence. One had so many straps I couldn't get it on... and then even more interestingly... couldn't get it off. Ha. Not sure what the helpful salesgirl made of the smothered guffaw, followed by the whispered profanity, emanating from my cubicle. Phew. That was close. I was afraid I was going to have to call her to extricate me. Then I tried the one below. Ha. Another guffaw. Seriously that molded bra was almost lifelike. It could have left of its own accord... it didn't need me to animate it. Finally, the lovely Sarah appeared with a third style. Comfy, easy to slip on and off. No lace. Not so complicated as the first... nor so... ah... let's just say... more me than the second. I was pleasantly surprised by the very reasonable price. So I bought two. One purple, and one black. And I had a lovely chat with the cashier who I realized I taught several years ago. And so my Victoria's Secret experience turned into a very pleasant experience... except for the almost getting trapped in the first bra part. And it did take my mind off the waiting to leave, twiddling thumbs, thing.


Shopping for sports bras at Victoria's Secret
It's alive!

So besides thumb twiddling, and shopping, Hubby and I are binge watching season three of Shetland. We love that series. And we're doing a lot of reading. Nothing heavy, as you can see. I'm currently reading The Swans of Fifth Avenue, thanks to Dottoressa for the recommendation. I'm enjoying the novel, and researching the real lives of the characters at the same time, calling up pictures of Babe Paley, and Pamela Churchill, and Slim Keith et al on my i-pad. My goodness, they were an intertwined bunch weren't they? Slim Keith's second husband, Leland Hayward, divorced  her to become the second husband of Pamela Churchill, who had an affair with Gianni Agnelli, who eventually married Marella Agnelli, the youngest "swan" in the novel. And someone's daughter, in the bunch even married her own step-brother. Now, have you got all of that? 

A little light reading.
A lot of light reading helps with the waiting.
And this week, I have a final physiotherapy appointment. And a therapeutic massage just before we leave for Buenos Aires. My back was giving me grief over Christmas, so I've been in therapy since early January. And then there's the pedicure appointment, and a last hair appointment for what I always call the "trip cut." Very short and highlighted to avoid the roots issue as long as possible. And then the trial packing, to see what will fit where. And probably some re-jigging of the packing list. And the laundry, and ironing, and then the actual packing. 

And in the meantime, since I will be doing all of the above, and Hubby none, he'll be skiing his butt off so he doesn't go crazy with anticipation. Or drive me crazy. You see, we both remember the first big trip we took, to Australia in 2003. I was still working so Hubby did all of the planning, and then, when my leave of absence started, I had one week and tons to do before we left. And Hubby didn't. And on the day of our flight, he was packed and dressed so early, he called the friend who was taking us to the airport to come two hours earlier than planned... to put him out of his misery. The thinking being that we might as well be twiddling our thumbs at the airport as at home. 

Ha. Good thing I was ready too, or he might have gone without me. 

You see, that's the problem with being organized. Everything is done. The lists are checked off. And all that's left is the waiting. And the thumb twiddling. And the waiting. 

Life is tough, eh?

Gap wool mock-turtleneck, scarf from Nordstrom, down coat from Zara


How about you, my friends? How do you pass the time before a much anticipated event, like a big trip? Any suggestions for Hubby to avoid his driving his lovely wife up the wall? Sedatives, maybe? 




Linking up with Thursday Favourite Things Blog Hop at Katherine's Corner, Fabulous Friday at Pocketful of Polkadots, and Saturday Share Link-up at Not Dressed As Lamb