Final arrangements for Vacation 2007

Today, I completed the final travel and hotel arrangements for vacation 2007. As a reminder, I am taking the entire month of July 2007 off to spend 3 weeks in Europe. Mom and Dad are taking Doug, Rachel, Ruby, Carson, Jen, Jason, and myself on a cruise through the Greek islands in celebration of their 40th wedding anniversary. Since this will be my first time to Europe, I decided to take advantage of it and travel to England and France as well.

My last day at work will be Friday, June 29, 2007. I will have the entire weekend to pack for the trip, get the house in order, and take Zeke to be boarded for the three weeks that I will be gone. On Monday, July 2, the adventure begins. I have broken the trip into four distinct phases.

PHASE 1: Venice

  • July 2 – United airlines from Washington/Dulles to Munich and then on to Venice, Italy. I am scheduled to arrive in Venice at about 10:30 AM local time on Tuesday, July 3.
  • July 3 – We don’t board the ship until July 4, so my first night in Venice will be spent at the Westin Europa & Regina hotel. There I will spend the day recovering from the long-ass flight (roughly 10 hours total flying time) and getting to see a little of the city. Mom and Dad are scheduled to arrive the same day.
  • July 4 – We board the ship on July 4 but the ship remains in Venice until 1 PM on the 5th, meaning that once we are on board and checked in, we have an additional 24 hours or so to explore Venice.

PHASE 2: The Cruise

  • July 5 – Depart Venice at 1 PM
  • July 6 – Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • July 7 – Corfu, Greece
  • July 8 – Katakolon (Olympia), Greece
  • July 9 – Athens (Piraeus), Greece
  • July 10 – Mykonos, Greece — and Mom and Dad’s 40th wedding anniversary
  • July 11 – Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey
  • July 12 – Rhodes, Greece
  • July 13 – Santorini, Greece
  • July 14 – At Sea
  • July 15 – Naples/Capri, Italy
  • July 16 – Rome, Italy

We get into port very early in the morning of July 16. Jen, Jason, Doug, Rachel, Ruby and Carson are all leaving for home at this point. Mom and Dad are staying one additional evening before they fly home. I am staying one evening as well, before phase 3 begins. In Rome I am staying at the Westin Excelsior.

PHASE 3: London and Paris

  • July 17 – I fly to London via Munich late in the morning and arrive in London at about 2 PM local time.
  • I’ll be in London for 6 nights. While there, I will be staying at the Sheraton Park Lane hotel. There’s a lot I plan to see while in London, but I haven’t planned it all out yet.
  • One day, I will get up early and catch the RailEurope to Paris. Trains leave as early as 5:30 AM. It’s about a 2 hour ride to Paris. Return trains leave Paris as late as 9 PM, so I can spend a full day in Paris and see some of the sights.
  • July 23 – I have a noon flight on United non-stop to Washington/Dulles. I get into Dulles as about 3 PM local time on Monday, just in time for the rush hour commute home. (Although I won’t have to drive; there will be a car picking me up.)

PHASE 4: Recovery

I don’t go back to work until Monday, July 30 so I have 6-1/2 days to recover. Once I get home, I’ll run over to the vet to pick up Zeke. Then I will catch up on any sleep that I’ve lost and, over the next several days, try and get back on my timezone. There will be plenty of laundry to do, plenty of mail to go through, but there will also be plenty of time.

I am really looking forward to this trip; you only go to Europe for the first time once, and as much as possible, I am trying to do it in style. I have completed a budget of all of my trip related expenses and it is hard to look at, but it should help to make the trip really enjoyable and I am sure it will be worth the expense.

Just over 187 days to go…