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Assume the Brace Position

Six flights (every single one of which was delayed) in eleven days, through many time zones - well, that may have been a bit much. Overall it was an incredible trip. Not always the most relaxing one maybe. But full of adventure. Had a feeling my return to regular life would be difficult, as it often is after a successful vacation. But this time around re-entry has been super challenging. So extra.

Vacation Fails:

  • Returned home to find the furnace acting up. The house was about 64 degrees. Called Centerpoint and was told it would be a week before it could be checked out. It’s that time of year. Thing is, the danged thing just had a tune up and a part replaced in August and was working just fine before I left.
  • Was able to work from home my first day back but that night I figured I should start my car up. It started instantly - no small feat - over the summer I had to have a Volvo software upgrade to ensure the power drain to the battery was no longer happening. But when I backed it out of the garage I realized one of the tires was flat. Real cool.
  • Always thankful for my AAA membership. They put my spare tire on for me so I could get to a nearby auto shop to patch the tire. But as soon as I got there? One of the mechanics failed to unlock my car before trying to Hulk open my trunk and snapped off the trunk handle. It is now held on to my car with duct tape. They ordered a replacement part but I don’t have time to go in to deal with this. I’ll have to make time but ugh.
  • Forgot to clean out the fridge before I left. Had to toss a bunch of rotten food into the compost.
  • Still getting used to my new point and shoot camera. Thought I had set it to shoot in raw mode. I had not. This means editing any photos from this trip, after the fact, will be trickier and result in lower quality images.
  • Underestimated how much toll roads would cost in Italy and how much everything in general in Dublin would cost.

Vacation Successes:

  • Visited with Danielle in Rome and met her fantastic fiancee Onar.
  • Other highlights included the Dublin Podcast Festival, a Vespa tour around Rome clinging to the back of an adorable man named Fabrizio, and the Monster Park in Bomarzo.
  • Rented a car and drove solo out of Rome and around Italy without major incident.
  • Used just 2.90 of 3.00GB of my international data plan for my phone, without going over.
  • Took out just the right amount of cash at the beginning of the trip. Used my last 10 euros cash for the aircoach bus ride to the Dublin airport.
  • Was able to carry on my luggage for most flights. Icelandair checked my roller bag for free on the flight from MSP to Dublin, and the flight back from Dublin to MSP and did not lose or damage it.
  • Returned home to discover the place in decent shape. My son kept on top of things while I was away. I have trained him well.

My son had his own adventures while I was away. At home, with friends and family. Then he flew to Los Angeles the morning I was flying home. He got to hang out with his father’s brother and his family for the first time in years. Now we’re both home but still acclimating to non-vacation life. Eventually I’ll go through the rest of the photos I took with my Leica. But before then we have to get ready for Halloween. And it would be nice if I stopped falling asleep before 9pm and waking up around 3am.


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