November 14, 2007: No France for Us

Just in time for us to make travel decisions, the public transportation workers in Paris went out on strike today which means that if we arrived there we would have no means of getting around in the city and might even be trapped at the train station where we arrived. Not a good situation. As our first trip to Europe we can’t be taking a risk like that when we have such a tiny window to be in France anyway. This does mean, of course, that it could be a long time before we ever go to France. We were just going to go because it was so convenient and the timing was just perfect. So we are back to our original, low-key, low-stress plan of spending the weekend chilling in Stratford-upon-Avon. I am sad that we won’t see France or even the continent but I feel better about just relaxing in Stratford. Less effort, plans are already all made, less cost and less opportunity for things to go horribly wrong.

There was a major earthquake on the coast in Chile this morning. Right now it is isolated but the time is ripe for a major fault correction along the Pacific Plate. What that means is that San Francisco’s and Anchorage’s “hundred year” earthquakes – which are overdue – could be coming any time now. Chile tends to see that activity first as it moves it’s way up the fault.

I am home today with Oreo. My schedule is all messed up this week with the trip this weekend interrupting everything. Oreo is getting his “home” day a day early so that tomorrow Dominica can grab him from daycare as soon as she gets out of work and then run him up to Frankfort where he will be staying for the next two weeks with his uncle Dexter. I will be back on Wall Street tomorrow and Friday.

Today was about normal as far as work was concerned.  Oreo was quite happy to be home with me all day.  He will be very unhappy tomorrow when he goes away and won’t see his family for almost two weeks.

I talked to Andy today.  He just bought a new 40″ Samsung 1080p HDTV LCD display.  He also got a Samsung Blu-Ray player.  So he is now officially the first person that I know that has a BD Player.  We are still using old, legacy DVD here.  It’s like the dark ages.

I gave Oreo his “going to stay with his grandparents for the week” bath this evening.  Now he smells all clean and fresh.  It has been a while since his last bath and he was definitely starting to smell a bit “doggie”.  He is so good about his baths.  I actually give him a shower, not a bath.  I turn on the warm water and he stands in it which gets him much cleaner than a bath would.  He almost seems to enjoy it now that I have made it so that he is warm the entire time.  But after a little while he starts to get antsy because he knows that when we are done that he gets a cookie.  But other than that, he is such a good little boy – even when I wash his face and hold him up to the shower to get him nice and clean.

Dominica ordered in Italian from Nino’s and I spent an hour or so on the phone with Verizon getting the last of my Blackberry stuff ready for our trip.  Now the BlackBerry is my main phone which rings when you call me.  And my European phone service is now turned on and activated.  And my European data service so that I can surf the web and get email is turned on.  So we are all set to be contactable while we are out of the country.

The evening was spent getting the BlackBerry as ready for the trip as possible including running it down so that it can take a full charge over night.  Dominica did additional packing and made more lists.  Effectively we are leaving for the trip tomorrow morning since Dominica and Oreo are leaving the apartment at seven in the morning and Min will only be returning just in time to do the final bit of packing and to get onto the plane on Friday evening.

We have changed our plans slight, again, and are now planning to go not directly to Belfast but first to Dublin and then north through Ireland on Thanksgiving so that we will have a chance to see Ireland proper.  We are able to do this without using any additional time simply by planning our train and ferry travel more effectively.  We are excited to get to see the Republic of Ireland in addition to the UK.  We will also, because of the detour to Ireland, be passing through much of Wales which is a great bonus to the trip too.  We are hoping to be able to take lots of pictures and videos to share with everyone.

We watched some Buck Rogers in the Twenty Fifth Century while preparing for the trip and then it was off to bed.

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