Preparing for an eight week trip with two children and three dramatically different environments (a cool and rainy UK, a warm Italy and the cold of the Swiss alps) has proven to be a challenge. Our friends John and Kristin Blanchard mock us for taking in tow four steamer trunks. In reality, we have three larger suitcases (with rollers, of course) and four smaller backpacks. I'm not sure how it would be possible to take less than we are -- at least that is what I am telling myself. I know I will rue our choice of baggage when I am hauling the three large suitcases up flights of stairs to the various flats we are renting. I will take comfort in the fact that, somewhere else in Europe, John and Kristin will be enjoying their wonderful tour of the continent's finest laundromats as they wash the two pairs of underwear they have brought in their Hello Kitty backpacks.
Speaking of packing, I want to thank Joe Roth and Christina Rubalcava for their wonderful packing tips. I have followed some suggestions (Onistuka Tiger shoes are a good call) and rejected others (no fat guy in a little sport coat with shorts, Joe).
I suspect I will make several more packing adjustments over the next two days and, whatever I decide to do, I will somehow bring a number of items that I don't need and leave behind several that I do.