To do list almost complete!

I’m almost done my “to do” list. At this point, I can now leave the continent without fear of missing something. But I do want to knock off the two last nasty things for peace of mind and security.

Not really sure if I need the batteries for the X370, though…

  • Mongolian visa
  • 50 rolls 200 ASA film, 10-15 rolls b&w (speed TBD)
  • Get camera back from repair
  • Traveller’s cheques
  • Arrange to have house checked regularly
  • Change emergency call numbers for security system
  • 62mm polarized filter
  • Dig out zip off pants and sandals from storage
  • Buy roll of duct tape
  • Put together first aid kit
  • Photocopy credit cards, passport, visas, and other important documents
  • Get cash in euros, and $US
  • Pay taxes
  • New batteries for X370
  • Timers for the lights in my house
  • Get new deodorant (Amy will appreciate this)
  • Buy universal electrical socket adapters
  • Buy additional travel insurance (not as covered as I thought I was)

Our first search engine referrer

I knew Google had us buried away in its index, but it’s taken a while for someone to find the site through a search engine. I watch the referrer list, just to see what draws people here. The first one was a search for Mongolian visas for Canadians.

No doubt, there are more to follow!

More on my “to do” list

Just when I thought I was making headway, some things crept onto the list. Grr. These things happen, I guess. Time’s running out fast, and there’s still a lot to do…

  • Mongolian visa
  • 50 rolls 200 ASA film, 10-15 rolls b&w (speed TBD)
  • Get camera back from repair
  • Traveller’s cheques
  • Arrange to have house checked regularly
  • Change emergency call numbers for security system
  • 62mm polarized filter
  • Dig out zip off pants and sandals from storage
  • Buy roll of duct tape
  • Put together first aid kit
  • Photocopy credit cards, passport, visas, and other important documents
  • Get cash in euros, and $US
  • Pay taxes
  • New batteries for X370
  • Timers for the lights in my house
  • Get new deodorant (Amy will appreciate this)
  • Buy universal electrical socket adapters
  • Buy additional travel insurance (not as covered as I thought I was)

Last minute packing strategies (or lack thereof)

You realize at 2am that despite doing several “test packs” that resulted in the purchase of a backpack 15L larger than the one you already own…

You still have this much crap to find room for!

0422_bag.JPG

Cleo doesn’t think there’s a chance it’ll all fit. It looks nice, but this doesn’t even include my cameras or my yarn. Or my itinerary. Or my passport.

0422_bag1.JPG

So, some tough decisions were made. And the sad thing? This isn’t even all of it! Sandra finally convinced me that the little black lightweight cardigan is probably not the most practical item of clothing.

0422_bag2.JPG

But the final result is pretty fantastic!

0422_bag3.JPG

The whole thing, cameras included, weighs around 40 pounds. Uff da! My only consolation there is knowing that ass we travel, the bag will get lighter as I leave behind or ship back guidebooks. And eat the peanut butter.

Here’s the final list of clothing, including what I’ll be wearing the day we fly out:

  • 1 pair tan convertible pants (pants and shorts in one!)
  • 1 pair black pants – semi nice but comfy
  • 1 paid lululemon loose yoga pants – nice enough to wear out, comfy for the train rides and sleeping
  • 1 black l/s tee
  • 1 black s/s tee
  • 1 red tank top
  • 1 black tank top
  • 1 green zip-up long sleeve top (like a light jacket, but t-shirt material)
  • 4 pairs socks, underwear for a week
  • long underwear pants
  • grey shorts for sleeping or beach
  • loose tee shirt for sleeping

And that’s it. Aside from the outerwear. For 7 weeks. Will I be shopping en route? Absolutely! I’ll be so sick of black in a few weeks that it’ll be a must!

One week

Sigh.

One week.

So much to do. So many things that I feel are left undone. A week right now, I’ll be in the Seattle airport, waiting to board my flight to San Francisco.

The next six days will either pass like molasses, or I’ll wake up and it’ll be next Friday morning.

The nervous excitement is setting in…

Maybe we should be on TV…

My friend Neil, who works at the CBC, dropped me a line this morning about the trip. (I worked with him on the CBC 50th Anniversary VIA Rail train project two and a half years ago.) He wrote the following:

[…] your trip has made for tv all over it..

You’ve got to send this to every broadcaster out there to let them know you’re doing it.. perhaps even CBC[…] Seriously, don’t let this one slip.. your journally [sic], online accounts.. all you need now is a camera person or two following you both documenting your journey.. are you kidding me.. the public would eat this up..

He’s probably right. Though the prospect of being filmed for public audience is pretty neat. Let’s be honest, a lot of us are looking for our little moment in the spotlight. I had my chance with the CBC project, though not many people saw that, as I recall. Amy’s bringing a video camera, so maybe we’ll sell the rights later.

That said … if there’s any broadcasters out there who want a piece of this, you’ve got six days to get ready.

Last few hours at home

Well, I just woke up after spending the last night in my bed for 8 weeks and 2 days. Not that I’m counting or anything. And of course, knowing how much I have to do today, I woke up at 6:45 or so. Way too early for this 8am waker!

I’m mostly packed for both the first leg of the trip – the week in California – as well as the train journey. I just have to get a few shirts from the laundry downstairs and I’m good to go. Physically, anyhow.

Sandra and I leave for the airport at quarter to 4 this afternoon, which gives us less than 8 hours to do the rest of the things that need to be done, mostly house stuff and indiknits pattern assembly.

It’s very strange to be leaving for so long. I’ve wanted to do something like this since I read my first Rick Steves book – “Europe by the Back Door” – when I was in college preparing for a summer in Paris. (Let’s not go there, it’s not a pretty story.) And yet the idea of being out there for nearly two months is pretty intimidating.

With any luck, Geoff and I won’t kill each other two weeks in.

Hehe.

OK, back to all the work I have to do. Really. Gotta go. Bye!

Amy kicks ass

Amy, being the brains behind this little operation, has thought of everything.

To that point, last night she presented me with my travel binder. This little duotang of excursion goodness includes my airline tickets, my Russian train tickets, an exceedingly detailed itinerary (I think bathroom breaks are scheduled for every four waking hours — might need more on the train, though), confirmations of every leg of flying, all the hotel/accomodation confirmations and bookings, contact information for the various tour operators, copies of travel ID and documentation (given, I need to put my own stuff in there), and emergency contact info.

And a completely separate copy for Alex.

Were it not for all of Amy’s diligence and work, we probably wouldn’t be even remotely close to being ready to go.

Design update

Given that there is just over a week left, I’m trying not to focus on the design of the site any more.

That said, I finished doing some updates. The site should now appear properly on standards-compliant browsers. Except IE 5.5 and 6. Why? They don’t support CSS properly, and I’m really not in the mood to try and figure it all out with all the extra work. You’ll still see the site, it just won’t look as good as it does in Firefox or Safari.

Sorry, folks, but as we do in the biz, you gotta know where to cut things loose. And I’ve got bigger fish to fry at the moment.

Maybe when we get back…

Hey, lookit that!

Yay! We have a new site! I’m so glad Geoff got stuck with most of the coding. I added my part to the Resources and About Us pages just now, though.

And I’m sure I’ll be adding more later.

Now, back to work!