September Vacation: Prelude

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After a two week temporary assignment on a tropical island, I went back to work for two weeks prior to leaving for a long vacation.  Life is rough.  There was a little bit of concern with delayed official approval of my vacation and potential for hurricane disruption but in the end, I was set to go.

Parts of this vacation has been planned for the past year.  My parents-in-law decided to rent a villa on the Umbria-Tuscany border in Italy for a week.  SMS and I decided to plan a large vacation around it.   Ours plans ultimately coalesced around a European road trip in a Porsche Cayman 718.  I know, this is the year of ultimate road trips!  We decided to start in Germany, travel to Lichtenstein, explored the Romansch area of Switzerland, enjoy a week in Italy, head East towards Slovenia and, finally, end up in Germany for the last few days.  Although there are many aspects of this vacation that feel completely luxurious, one of the nicest is having such an extended vacation.

I really enjoy pre-trip planning and this trip was no exception.  Packing-wise, I was limited to a carry-on so I was really careful to pack items in a capsule-wardrobe style.  I think I’ve done a pretty good job at covering most situations, including two dressier items that I haven’t worn yet but I think will be good for Slovenia and Berlin.

Our lodging is a mix of Italian villa, AirBnB and a few hotels.  Transport is taken care of although I had to learn about vignettes, pre-pay toll stickers that are required for our itinerary in Switzerland, Slovenia and Austria.   Italy has toll booths along the autostrada.  Germany and Lichtenstein did not have tolls.

I did a fair bit of research with some last minute curveballs thrown in.  The biggest was SMS’ return ticket is cancelled due to the airline’s insolvency.  What?!?  Another smaller issue was that I mixed up the villa check-in date so I quickly booked an AirBnB for Cinque Terre.  As you will read, that was more of a driving adventure than I realized (or wanted, really).

I also thought I’d try to keep up with the blog since I didn’t for the Switzerland trip and that took a year to transcribe from my notes and post.  So far, failing grade but let’s see what I can do over the next few days.  I’ll also go back and edit these posts since SMS brought his big camera and I should have some nice pictures when we return.

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