What?!? Only three more sleeps until we leave for this trip we booked in late 2014. Yahoo!
Mom and dad left Victoria this morning to head toward Calgary. The Kraft-Mullane clan are looking after Zoe for the month so mom & dad will fly out of Calgary. They switch planes in Amsterdam and then will meet us in Rome. We fly Edmonton - Toronto - Rome.
Is it me or does it seem like everyone is sick. Sneezing, sniffling, hacking,,,and that's just in our house. I am trying not to catch what seems to be spreading around Edmonton. There's no time to get sick! I still have lists that I am checking off. Lists for work and lists for home. Thankfully the lists are mostly full of check marks now. Except shoes. They always cause me sleepless nights. Bringing the wrong shoes can really impact a trip. Of course there are probably other things that should keep me up at night (like some of the things mentioned in James' blog) but honestly, shoes are important. And bulky to pack! I have potential shoes lined up along our bedroom floor. Well, they used to be lined up. I have had them out for more than a week and I've been tripping over them/kicking them around so the "line" isn't much of a line anymore.
And then there are coats. Will it rain...will it be sunny? It's spring so I'm expecting a bit of everything. Except snow - it better not snow! Last year I thought I had a waterproof coat until it started pouring on us in Cadiz, Spain. It was NOT waterproof. I have a theory that if I bring an umbrella it won't rain. I found a great little umbrella at Winners that I plan to carry all the time to ward off the rain. My fellow travelers will have me to thank for the great weather we are sure to have. But, I also got a new waterproof (for real) raincoat just in case.
It's also the time pre-cruise when I log in to the Holland America site regularly to see if we have been assigned a stateroom. This afternoon there was no room assigned but I am thrilled to report that as of tonight at 6 pm we have a room. 11030 in case you would like to send some flowers or wine. We've never been that high up on a ship...one deck up to Crow's Nest happy hour! Our rule on the ship is no elevators allowed unless it's an emergency - we must take the stairs. It's going to be a challenge this time! Click here for the deck 11 plan.
We have been reading Captain Albert's blog. He reports daily as they prepare for the registration of the ms Koningsdam to be transferred over from the builder to Holland America. It's really interesting to read and fascinating how everything is coming together.
OK...back to obsessing about what I'm packing.
I admit, I have a thing for stationery. Notebooks, paper, pens, markers, post it notes, stickers...I love it all. I currently have enough pens (and notebooks) to last me a lifetime. But I will buy more. There's always something new to try.
I've had the obsession my whole life. I loved back to school supply shopping. And when I went to school in the 1970's-'80's there was no where near the interesting selection of goodies that there is today! I had an extensive sticker collection in the '80's organized by type and sparkle factor - scratch & sniff were my favourite. I have a distinct memory of receiving a fabulous pen shaped like a lollipop in my Easter basket when I was about 10. The pen ink smelled like lemon and wrote in yellow. Best Easter gift ever - thanks Easter bunny!
My first job was at Willson Stationers at Wesmount Mall in Edmonton. Remember Willson's? Actually, remember when Westmount was a real mall? And Woodward's...
I loved working at Willson's! I started when I was 16 and worked there through high school and university. BTS season (Back to School for those not in the biz) was my favourite time. I could sell a Cross Pen set and knew which Smith Corona ribbon fit which typewriter like nobody's business. Don't even get me started on colour coded filing systems.
(Aside: For more insight about why I love planning and planning tools, check out this post)
I've recently discovered this whole online community of people who are way more obsessed with stationery and planning than I am. It's awesome!
This month I purchased the most beautiful leather notebook from Chic Sparrow. It's a traveler's notebook style (Midori created the original traveler's notebook). The leather is called creme, and the colour is chocolate brown. It is divine. The leather is smooth and supple...and it smells so good! The notebook is simple and beautiful. The system has four elastics inside the cover to string notebooks through, an elastic closure and I had the pen loop added. I will take the notebook traveling with the following set up:
May Designs notebooks are really great. They are stitched with a canvas cover that you can personalize and choose what type of pages you would like inside.
Oh, and the splurge item I purchased this week. The Polaroid Zip printer to print photos from my phone. It is so cute and perfect for travel. Look how it compares to the size of my business card.
I'm excited that I will be able to print off some of my photos from the day and put them right in to my daily journal pages. The printer paper for the Zip is actually sticker paper so it will be quick and easy to print and stick some photos to my pages.
The next thing I want is a TWSBI fountain pen but that will have to wait until after the trip.
My dream job is to open a mobile paper store in a renovated Airstream. That way I can travel and surround myself with stationery awesomeness. I would also sell tea out of my Airstream. And maybe stroopwafles. A girl has to dream!
Well now that you know about my obsession, my birthday is in October.
Have you met Mini Maurice? If not, let me introduce you.
Mini Maurice has been my traveling sidekick since 2012. He’s logged many hours in planes, buses and ships; he’s been to four continents and about 20 countries. He loves a great adventure and is always on the search for the best banana. Or banana flavoured liqueur. He’s also been known to try wine…and mojitos.
When he’s not traveling, Mini Maurice lives at Sorrentino’s Compassion House. He hangs out with women undergoing cancer treatment. He participates in activities around the house and in any fundraisers we are doing.
There was an original Maurice – a regular size sock monkey – who it seems had too much fun with some house guests one weekend and never returned. Original Maurice was a real party animal. Mini Maurice enjoys a good time but sticks close to the house when not traveling.
Mini Maurice has an extensive wardrobe at work but he travels light. He grabs his monkey Tilley-esque hat and we're off.
He is getting very excited about his next adventure and a month away from work.
Here’s a video of his 2015 transatlantic adventure.