I packed badly for this trip, leaving too much to lug through Paris-Charles de Gaulle without benefit of a porter. Resolving not to pay over-weight baggage charges I limited myself to one 50 pound suitcase for a week, which meant that my camera travelled in its own carry-on along with a topcoat and an over-stuffed computer bag. And of course it is too warm to wear the coat so it all has to be carried.
The bag was over-stuffed due to the recent addition of noise cancelling headphones to supplement the earbuds I usually carry. On my last trip I was unable to hear the repartee between Grant and Hepburn in Charade (one of the five best movies of all time in my book) due to ambient noise, but in fixing that problem I created another. The case for the headphones is too large for the bag, forcing me to wrestle the thing closed each each time I have to put my seat back up for landing.
And then I had forgotten to have AT&T enable international roaming on my phone, and of course that meant I could not call them or access the internet until I got to my hotel in Milan. One chat session, two calls and thirty minutes later I was back in business. The hotel where I am staying probably made its revenue goal for the month on the surcharge on those calls.
Best of all, some really unclear on the concept Italian anti-terrorism law prevents my laptop from connecting to my mail server directly the way I usually do it so I have to use a web browser interface (just as I assume the not at all inconvenienced bad guys do). That one took a special trip down to the hotel's business center. At least I was able to use the time to re-charge that now-working phone since I brought the wrong electrical gizmo for it and have three devices and my camera sharing one power converter.
But, hey, that is all behind me, including the 100 euro ($130) cab ride into the center of the city (can you tell I had not flown into Milan before?) and today I hope to see a sock maker, a knitted necktie maker, a jeweler and my shoe-loving friend Francesco of SW1 before catching the train to Florence this afternoon (that is the Milan station, one of the more beautiful in the world, in the photo).
Hopefully it will be sunny enough for photography and I will have a hand free with which to take them.
Photo: Trey Ratcliff