What I’ve Been Doing Lately or My Italian Vacation

My one bag for Italy ready to be checked.

My one bag for Italy ready to be checked.

Wow I see I’ve not posted in some time.  I really have no excuse except for the last 11 days or so when I’ve been on vacation.

You see, Mike had a NATO exercise he participated in as part of his active duty for the Reserves.  I tagged along to have a free place to crash.  Where did we go?  Yep Itlay.  Naples Italy. Now before when I’d tell people I was going to Italy on vacation they’d smile and say “Oh!  Where are you going there?”  Then when I’d say “Naples”  Their face would fall into an ‘I’m so sorry.’ It was almost like that look you’d give someone being excited that they were going to American on vacation then you asked them where they’d be and they said Detroit.  I heard it called ‘the armpit of the world’  and ‘where the Mafia went when run out of Sicily’ and so on.  Let me say that first, yes it’s got issues but the garbage strike that gave it the armpit status has been over for years.  Second yes it has crime but name a city with three million people that doesn’t.  And yes ancient streets with lots of cars makes for harrowing rides…  but all the people I interacted with were wonderful to me from water buffalo farmers, to shop keepers, to Limoncello brewers, to archaeologists, to tour guides, bus drivers, and train patrons.  All were welcoming, smiled and encouraged attempting their language and were helpful.  The city has been there since Etruscan times and I LOVE the history.  So if this is the armpit I guess I’m happy in armpits.

Packing cubs in use.

Packing cubs in use.

Now before I could get to Italy I had to pack.  I’ll be honest I try hard to pack light.  I mean I did London for two weeks with two carry-ons.  So I figured 10 days in Italy one small carry-on size roller and my back tote.  Yep I did it.  I used ebags packing cubes for the first time.  I can now sing the praises of them from dawn to dusk.  Easy packing easy unpacking to dressers when I got there easy packing to go home.  Wonderful things.  I got the set there in the link I provided. As you can see I got them in University of Tennessee Orange GO VOLS!   I had one in my back tote for my meds and emergency undies (in case of unplanned overnight layover).  One Mike used for his carry-on extra uniform.  The large one held all my shirts and pants and the other small ones were, bathroom things, undies, socks & jewelry.  It all fit in nicely into my luggage as you can see.  When I got there I pulled them out, put them in drawers of the end table (no dresser), unzipped them and I was unpacked.  I kept my clean clothes in them after laundry and when it came to pack I zipped them up, dropped them in the suitcase and was packed.

The other neat thing that helped with packing was the large Grid-It I got for all my electronic support stuff.  You know the charger for camera batteries, phone charger, tablet charger, camera, cables, and so on.  As you can see it’s great to get it all organized and stored in one flat place that laid nicely over the packing cubes.  I left my cords on it unless I used them and when done tucked them back on the board so packing was again a breeze.  I liked it so much I’m getting the smallest one for my briefcase to carry the few chargers I take with me.

Grid-It loaded up and ready to pack.

Grid-It loaded up and ready to pack.

Also knowing that RIFD chip reading is big in Europe as all their credit cards have gone to it.  (Two of mine recently renewed have it) I got a nice purse/tote that was RIFD safe and Mike gave me neck wallet for the notorious pickpockets.  The purse was great as the middle section would carry my journal or my tablet when using here in the US.  It  is slash proof, has a cross body strap, and is very light – all the things I need in a travel purse. I have to admit when in Italy it never carried anything a purse theif would want – cough drops, protein bar, tissues, flashlight (wait till I tell you about the underground), notepad, and occasionally my backup camera.  My money was mostly in my neck wallet under my shirt and in my bra.  A bit of walking money in my pocket along with my phone (for photo purposes only).   Neck wallet had one credit card and my military ID required for base entrance.   So I traveled about light and thankful it was a cool fall not a sweltering Summer they had back this past July when I first considered going.

Grid-It flipped over and put on packing cubes.  It has a nice zipper pouch for any small things (Pens, papers).  So like that I stuck my name where I was staying in Italy and my home info on top (Always good to put in your luggage in case it gets lost and they open it)  zipped it up and was ready to go.

Grid-It flipped over and put on packing cubes. It has a nice zipper pouch for any small things (Pens, papers). So like that I stuck my name where I was staying in Italy and my home info on top (Always good to put in your luggage in case it gets lost and they open it) zipped it up and was ready to go.

So I was all packed, I had my passport ready,  and it was time to head off to Italy.  We flew Lufthansa.  Great service.  I have to say nice Airbus plane.  Only thing is crowded.  I long to one day make a trans-Atlantic flight in a chair that doesn’t feel like I’m visiting a pre-school.   But let’s face it I’m an economy class kinda gal, I just can’t see spending $6,000+ US for round trip ticket.  The nice thing is we only had one connection in Munich, Germany.  So we left at 5pm and were off on my Italian vacation his active duty…

Oh I get nothing from endorsing these products.  I don’t won stock in them or any thing.  I just found them VERY useful and thought I’d share.  Besides it’s a good way to start my Italy series of posts – packing to go!

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