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June 19, 2010

So here's the deal...We are about ready to leave, tomorrow morning.  Before we leave, I am putting up a new front page here.  You'll see that it lists dates for every day that we will be gone, along with a link to that page.   Each of those pages has a photo from where we are supposed to be that day and what we are supposed to be doing (you remember how accurate that was last year!   I figure we have a better chance this time, since we will be on a ship and there won't be much opportunity to vary from the plan!)

Anyway, right now the title of each entry is the date of the entry.  When/if I post a new entry, the title for the day will change to something more appropriate (like "Floppy Flab in Finland" "Huffing and Puffing at the Hermitage," and "Fighting to keep up in Kizhi," or something more appropriate).

Today was your typical "day before taking off for a cruise in Russia" sort of day.  I had an appointment to give blood at 9 a.m., and did that.  "No strenuous exercise for 48 hrs," they cautioned.  I figured that since I would be in a car and then in a plane for the better part of the next 48 hrs, that was a pretty safe thing to promise.

For some reason I've had a terrible craving for a hot dog for the past several days.  I don't know why.  I don't think I've had a hot dog in literally years.  But I stopped by the store and got a package of hot dogs, a package of buns, some potato chips and refilled my supply of Vitamin D, then came home and made lunch, the aforementioned hot dog.

I began to feel weird, kind of clammy, and whenever I stood up, I felt like I was going to vomit.  I still hadn't packed a thing and the dogs were making that pretty much impossible, especially Basil who chased every strap of every piece of luggage or piece of clothing I tried to fold, and decided to clamp his jaws firmly on the leg of my sweat pants (which is just the thing you want to wear on a warm day, but these are old and ratty and I figure if he ruined them, I'd just throw them away).  I walked around the house dragging the puppy along on the floor, unable to get those pit bull jaws to unclench.  If only I could have figured out how to drag him up against the baseboards of the hall, I wouldn't have to sweep.

At some point Valerie came to work with Polly.  Having forgotten she was coming, I had not locked Sheila and Lizzie outside, or coralled any of the puppies and with 7 dogs rushing the front door, it was beyond chaos.  I think even Polly was glad to go for a walk.

By the time Valerie left, I really wasn't feel well at all, so tried to take a nap, until Emmy spied Walt and began her "Ihateyou, Ihateyou, Ihateyou" bark.  I will miss Emmy.  I will not miss her barking.  

I finally managed--somehow--to get sort of packed, in the process finding the poncho I've been looking for for a week--I had checked the wrong suitcase and all of my specially purchased France/Italy stuff was where it should have been--in the suitcase where I'd left it.  In the meantime my friend Joan had loaned me her ponchos, which was good because Walt didn't have one anyway.  I also found the liquid detergent I bought for France/Italy and never used.  That will be a big help.

As I write this it is 7:30 p.m. and all I have to do now before we leave 12 hours from now is (a) go to opening night of Crazy for You, (b) come home and write the review, (c) take a shower, (d) wash every stitch of clothing I have on at the moment, (e) make brownies for Ashley, (f) clean up SOMETHING in the kitchen (though I make no promises), and if there is any time left, maybe sleep a little.   Then we're off and will be in transit for about 18 hours.

Below is what I had originally written for this page...

Wish us luck.  We're off to Finland and then on to Russia!  I am going to post our itinerary here, like I did for the France/Italy trip last year.  I am taking my computer with me, and we are supposed to have wifi on the ship, but it's supposed to be very slow and I don't know how much I'm going to be able to post, day by day.  There may be some days when it will not be possible to post anything.  For anybody who wants to follow along with our travels, this will keep you up to date on where we are supposed to be on any given day.  

This is day 1 and the plan for today is to fly to Helsinki and be transferred to our Helsinki Hotel, the Radisson Blu Plaza.

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After I got this whole thing finished, I realized I was off by a day and figured that though we leave on the 19th, we probably arrive in Helsinki on the 20th.   However, I'm not going to re-do the entire thing because 100 years from now, what difference will it make anyway?


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