I know, I know! Fall is a long way off. Making preparations now is damned near silly, if not downright foolish. But as a list-maker, preparation-freak, I can’t help myself!
I’ve decided that we will fly over to Italy, arriving in Rome, then spend two weeks in Abruzzo, and sail back to the USA, which will take at least another week, maybe two (depending upon the ship I”m able to get), arriving in Fort Lauderdale. We will then entrain the Amtrak heading north, and chug home to South Carolina. This will allow for only one personal escort, from the Amtrak station to our home. We can take an airport limo to the airport, and a cab to the Amtrak station in Lauderdale.
Just need to figure out how to keep the cabbie from thinking of us as tourists, when we’re traveling with all our luggage from the port to the train station. I’ve been warned to beware the padding of the meter, by taking the “long way” to the station, which is a straight shot from the port. Hmmm.
Then there’s the wardrobe to pack. Each segment of the trip requires its own set of needs. For flying, we need to keep our luggage weight down, and maybe even the number of bags. Have to check on that. For the ocean cruise to Florida, we will require warm things to cozy into at night, as well as formal wear for at least one, maybe two, nights. Then for the train ride, we need to be cautious about how many bags we have stored on the train. They have a definite limit. Perhaps shipping some of the excess home, even before we get on the ship, would be a consideration.
Certainly, I’m planning to ship any souvenirs I buy directly home, rather than try to pack and bring them home with me. I’ll bring pictures, not articles, to save space and weight. 🙂
So, back to the wardrobe. I’m planning to keep the colors to an absolute minimum, so as to be able to pack items that can be worn together in several different ways, and not look like a kaleidoscope on feet! Speaking of feet, I’ve seen advice from travelers that suggest taking 6 pair of shoes – minimum! I may not take that advice. But I will look into purchasing a pair of shoes (at least one pair) in Italy, of good leather! And maybe a new purse, as well. Shoes are my weakness, only because my feet hurt no matter what I wear, and that makes me want new shoes. I seem to have an Imelda in me.
I have one lovely semi-formal dress I plan to take, and will purchase at least two more, just in case. I’d like to bring at least three casual dresses, too. I want to bring a couple of skirts, and 5 or 6 pair of pants. A couple of jackets (I have one already that will do nicely). A coat. A couple of sweaters (I have a lovely, soft pullover, and I’ve seen a fabulous cardigan I want to buy!). I’ll pack several tank tops, just because I like them, even though the weather won’t really permit wearing them alone, and many blouses or other tops. Then of course there is the list of dainties, sleepwear and accessories to include, but I won’t describe them all here.
Now for the colors. I like wearing red, and also black. But when I wear black, I seem to need a touch of white to keep from looking morbid. As a person ages, they lose a lot of their natural coloration, and I have a tendency to look ‘washed out’ these days. So splashes of white to off-set the black and of red to give me the feeling of zest will do nicely. I also love green, and perhaps one or more of my dresses will be green.
I’d like to speak of the semi-formal dresses. There is a lovely sheer black dress in the Pyramid Collection I want to get, that comes with an underdress, and is quite affordable. But I also have a gorgeous dark red – nearly burgundy – velvet gown. I don’t plan to wear a gown anywhere on the trip, but the gown is sleeveless, and I don’t feel comfortable in anything sleeveless anymore. So I’ll whack off some of the length, and create sleeves from the removal. Then I’ll have a dress I can live with. A flashy belt, a bit of sparkle at the neck, and it’s workable! I also have a green velvet gown, also sleeveless, but I’m not sure I can do the same thing with it, because it has some beading and sequin designs down the front. That might cause problems.
I have a great idea for a red dressy affair! PC has a gorgeous red lace top, that has l-o-n-g fringe from the waist to the knee.
This would be great worn with a pencil skirt in the same red shade. The only problem I can foresee is that the top is sleeveless, but if I can find a little silky blouse in the same red shade, I can create a little bolero to wear with it, creating a complete look. The fringe would swing loosely, over the skirt as I move, giving the impression of a fuller skirt. I can’t wear full skirts; they make me feel dumpy and even shorter than I am (5-feet, 1 1/2 inches). But this seems to be a workable solution. And each of the pieces can also be worn with anything black or white.
I hope you can see now, why I’ve had to begin my planning sessions so soon. I will have much sewing, shopping and purchasing to do.