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Wow...what a great trip

Just got back yesterday and too tired to write a trip report right now. I just want to say I loved my RS 20" rolling carryon and veloce bag. I did expand the carryon and checked it on the flight home. I am so glad I bought the Don't Tell Rick bag...filled it up about 1/2 full and carried that home on the plane.

The Eagle Creek pack-it folder for my DH was incredible....I'm so glad I purchased that, he loved it.

The RS fast drying wash clothes was another winner...they did dry fast, no wash clothes in Italy hotels.

The RS alarm clock was great and easy to use...I had to used the alarm half my trip.

I wore most of what I brought. I would take just a few pieces less. I also won't take wedge heels again. I only wore them once and felt out of place. People just didn't wear them it seemed, or get that dressy for dinner. I felt a little out of place in them. Really fancy flat sandals would have been better,

I found in Rome only tourists wore maxi skirts and dresses. I enjoyed wearing mine for evening and would take again.

Glad I took our umbrellas..it poured the morning we left Venice and had to walk to the Vapretto to catch the train.

All in all, I think we did a decent job packing light our first time. We know where to streamline ongoing.

Posted by
985 posts

Yeah LuLu!!!! It sounds like you were well prepared. Can't wait to read the trip report.

Posted by
14293 posts

Excellent! Glad things worked out. Before you forget, write down what you took and what you would change for next time. You think you will remember but you won't.

Posted by
2127 posts

Lulu,
On this forum, we feel as though we sometimes know people, even though we don't. But, I have to say that with all you have been thru this year, I think we all wanted you to have a most wonderful trip. And, I know everyone joins me in sharing your joy that all went well.
And, now you will be a seasoned pro when you pack for your next trip, too.
Enjoyed all your posts, and I know we'll all enjoy your trip report (once you are rested....allow yourself several days to recover from the jet lag...that's the worst part).
Welcome home!

Posted by
524 posts

Thank you! Margaret, what a nice thing to say, that warms my heart. I'm not recovered from my jet lag. I had none on arrival...but I can function for one day on little sleep the night before. With my adrenaline going in Venice,I'm wasn't sleepy until the normal bedtime. Coming home...we are fighting to stay awake until 9:00 and we are waking up at 2:30 - 3:00. I don't know when we will finally sleep for 8 hours, but I hope soon. I really want to write a trip report but have no energy this week....hopefully next week!

Posted by
9904 posts

Well said, Margaret! Lulu I too am glad that you had a good trip. I imagine it was a mix of emotions seeing new things and reminiscing and mourning too. I hope that the beauty you saw on your trip helped bring some healing.

Posted by
524 posts

Thank you Kim. I thought of my Dad from time to time throughout my trip...especially when we went to Capri. He had been, and had gone to see the Blue Grotto. He sent me a picture and article about it a month before he died that he saw in a magazine. My husband lost his Dad in 2014. When we were in Venice we went to that cathedral for Mary, and lit candles for our Dads. That made me tear up but feel better. He was a strong catholic. He loved to travel. It truly was a healing trip in more ways than one.

9 days before we left I was laid off after 28 years. It was a company wide layoff. I knew that the next time one would happen I would be a goner as I worked a reduced hour schedule...but it was still a surprise. I carried the benefits, so that really stinks, too. DH is self employed, so now we get to pay all that plus the loss of my salary. I got 8 months severance though.

So, in 5 weeks, I lost my Dad, became an empty nester and my job. A lot of loss in a short period of time. I can't tell you how much I needed that Italy trip.

I could stay home, but that's not what I want to do. I'd like to do something else...so I guess I'm reinventing myself at almost 56. Wish me luck...I'm sort of scared.

Posted by
16142 posts

Lulu, I'll echo Margaret's sentiments about feeling a bit like I know you after following your many pre-trip posts. And also like her, I think there were many of us out here crossing fingers that this much-needed trip would turn out to be a 10-Star. I'm so very glad that it did!

Interesting coincidence: I was laid off after 22 years just before a big trip as well. That was discombobulating enough (yep, I was scared too) without the other big life changes you were dealing with! But take heart: sometimes things really DO happen for a reason so try to believe that'll be the case? Looking back, that job was well on its way to working me into an untimely demise so while we made some adjustments to allow me to accept less lucrative employment, my DH said it was a really good thing all around.

So give yourself some time just to breathe and clear your head, OK? Be gentle with yourself and just take it one step at a time. :O)

Posted by
9904 posts

Lulu, oh my gosh I hadn't checked in for a while. I love that about your dad clipping articles for you that he knew you'd enjoy relative to your trip almost right to the end! And as you said I'm glad for the healing power of your trip and your finding comfort in places of worship where you could honor him and your father-in-law.

I'm so sorry too about your lay-off. That stinks! even though you had a bit of an idea. I'm so glad you were still able to enjoy your trip. I hope you will find the right thing to be able to help you and your husband keep moving forward and headed on another trip. You have certainly been through a lot this year. Do you plan to make a scrapbook or something similar with mementoes, photos, and written reflections from your trip?

Posted by
32273 posts

Lulu,

It's great to hear that you had such a wonderful trip! Sorry to hear about your job, but hopefully you'll be able to find some decent benefits. Good luck as you move forward, and hopefully that will include more trips!

Posted by
142 posts

Lulu,
When you get past the "scared" part of losing a job, the reinvention can be so much fun! With 8 months severance, you can take your time to make a great choice for yourself. Just keep breathing!

I hope you feel up to writing a trip report....you always asked questions here that I found so informative! We are planning our first European adventure to Italy in September, 2016....happy retirement to us! 😀

Take good care!

Posted by
5067 posts

Lulu,
So sorry to hear of your recent string of bad situations. Unfortunately, many folks have gone through what you've recently experienced to some degree or another. And all of them managed to motor on and have fulfilling, enjoyable lives.

A number of years ago I lost a job, company car, and company apartment just before Christmas. Talk about getting a lump of coal in one's stocking... Looking back on it now, however, I realize losing that job was just a bump in the road that led to a much, much better situation several years later. Hopefully your job situation will turn out to also be a better deal than before.

A tee shirt I saw recently stated "Remain Calm and Carry On", and to paraphrase Scarlett O'Hara "There's Always Tomorrow". Just food for thought.

Posted by
524 posts

Thanks everyone for the support and words of encouragement. It's been 2 months since my layoff and I'm feeling better...bored but better. Not that sick, stressed feeling in the gut of my stomach. I've updated my resume, and have LinkedIn.....with a picture even. I've started applying for jobs, but will be picky. I'm fortunate I could retire if I wanted to...but this 2 month sabbatical has me realizing I'm bored and isolated at home. Most of my friends still work, as does my husband. I really need to do something. But when I read the job descriptions, they make me tired....LoL!

I need to write my trip reports! I think I will start tomorrow before I start forgetting, and hopefully it might help someone. I really like trip reports, I hope mine isn't too boring.

Posted by
1625 posts

LuLu- So sorry I think I missed the post were you mentioned all the losses you have endured. I was laid off after 30 years (bank merger), fortunately I was picked up by another bank right away but all the "what if's" prior to that were weighty. Your trip totally came at the right time! I never got to wear my maxi dress due to colder temps in Italy (my visions of frolicking in the Tuscany countryside in my black maxi never came true...LOL). In Paris I actually wore the same jeans about 4 days out of 7 due to the cold. My husband only wore about 40% of what he brought, again due to the colder weather and having to wear clothes that would cover his knees in churches.