And I’m Off…

I woke up at an ungodly hour even though my plane doesn’t leave until late in the afternoon (from Dulles). Not sure I’ve ever been better prepared for a trip, but since I’ll be gone 25 days or so I needed to tie up as many loose ends as I could. Packing started a week or two ago, but a shopping trip with Kate at Potomac Mills last Sunday forced me to abandon almost everything and start over.

We all vowed to pack light, since we’re going to have our share of schlepping and big bags suck. One small bag that fits in the overhead compartment and a manpurse – that’s it – so no checked luggage. The apartment in both Florence and Rome have washers (not sure about dryers) so clean clothes won’t be a problem. Mike found some good packing and travel tips here. I doubt I’ll ever be that efficient.

So while it’s harrowing getting ready to leave for almost a month, it’s been non-stressful as far as last minute work deadlines go. I got a haircut and massage yesterday, and all was calm until my accountant Laurie harshed my mellow with a phone call at around 5:00 with a few questions and one potentially expensive slip up on my part. After a few hours on the phone with her and my bank, we got it straightened out, and it won’t cost me anything but high blood pressure. Thanks again to Laurie for all her help. Mike got in just as I was wrapping up my taxes and Valentine’s Day was celebrated with pizza and Project Runway.

Today – just a few things to do. Print my boarding pass and a few maps, and take some digital pics of the new work and download them to my tablet. I’m stuck on a few, so I want to be able to ponder them while I’m there and ready when inspiration strikes. With the tablet I can sketch right on the image of the painting. I’m also bringing along supplies and hope to get some new work going while I’m there.

DC artist Doug Kingsbury and Bob are already over in Florence, just starting a 4 month stay thanks to – or something like that. Stuart, an artist friend of Doug’s from Minnesota is staying with them for awhile as well. It sounds like Doug and Stuart have a great routine down and getting lots of work done. I hope to tag along with them. My plein air painting is a little rusty, but I’ll give it a shot.

The apartment I’m staying in looks great from the photos online. I’ll snap some pics and post here when I can. It has a big terrace with views of Florence. Even though the weather is in the 50s and 60s, I hope to get lots of use from it.

Shiny, sunny day here in DC, and it looks even better over there. Off to the airport shortly.

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