Day 4 = March 15, 2012
Quinland had a really hard time sleeping Wednesday night. She was wheezing really badly and had to sleep sitting up or she couldn’t breathe. She woke up a number of times during the night, and – when she finally settled in to sleep – ended up sleeping until 2 PM.
David and I slept in until noon ourselves, but even after we got up, we couldn’t go anywhere without Q, obviously, so we had a quiet day at home. We decided to use our time to adjust our plans for the next few weeks, for reasons I shall explain in the next post.
Basically, we had contemplated staying five weeks in Portugal, three in Lisbon and two up North, after many of the BGG gamers from the North had offered to meet us, show us around, and plan activities for us. It sounded like an offer too good to pass up. Well, we are passing it up.
The new plan is to stay in Lisbon until April 3rd, rent a car and drive to the North – visiting Fatima and stopping somewhere along the way (Coimbra?) – and then fly out of Porto on the 12th for Barcelona. We will stay in Barcelona until the 19th, then fly to Munich. Our friend Bryann is being sent to Munich for a work conference, and we can’t miss the chance to hang out with anyone who makes it over here! (Hint, hint, anyone who might be making vacation plans…) We’ll then journey from Munich to Hannover to hang with our friends the E’s, as Nicole’s company is flying her over for a trade show and she is bringing the fab family along.
All this flying really makes us take a hard look at the luggage. The budget airlines over here charge more for a checked bag than they do for a seat on the plane. (Hmmm… maybe my other child, Suity Case Thompson, needs a regular ticket…) Even for the checked bags, the weight limit is really low or the price goes up even more. You are not allowed to carry on a “personal item” along with your carry-on bag, either. As you can see, we have got some work to do:
I feel so ridiculous for even having this much stuff. I am a total proponent of packing light. No, really, I am! See the blue bag hiding behind the huge black bag? That’s the backpack I took to Ireland for six months. I decided that was way too big. See the bag front and center, with the padded shoulder strap? That’s the one I downsized to for a year-long trip the next time we went. And the last time we traveled at length, in 1997? I packed one backpack, and it was so small that David carried it for me along with his most of the time since I was pregnant. It was smaller than Quinland’s IKEA bag, the one next to the huge one. It was smaller, in fact, than the school backpack I got Q for 5th grade. The date is the key, though. None of my 1997-vintage random health issues required any special packing, and since we didn’t have a child, we didn’t require anything special for her, like school books.
But have no fear, fabulous readers. We shall conquer this; we shall. (Name that film.) I am going to wear the cooling vest whenever we travel by plane, as that will save about 4,000 lbs. (Quinland noted that it is ironic that the thing that cools you down when you overexert actually causes you to exert more due to its weight.) We are front-loading school subjects that have books that we can dump or send home. We are using up some consumable stuff (meds, toiletries, etc), though not at very speedy rates. We each packed only 2-3 pairs of pants, 1 pair of pajamas, 1 week’s worth of socks and undies, and at most 1 extra pair of shoes (and I don’t even have that), but we will look at each top and scarf and hat and pare down where we can. Wish us luck.
Expenditures: I went to the store in the afternoon, so 16 euros for groceries.
Experiences: My first time walking to the train station / grocery store! I walked into the discount book store that was by the grocery store. The store clerk spoke to me in Portuguese. I said, “Boa tarde” (Good afternoon) then panicked and walked out. The books were all in Portuguese anyway, but the words “discount book store” have some sort of magnetic pull on me.