Friday, September 22, 2006

Let's Get Caught Up

It's all about me and what I've been doing, right? I've haven't blogged much lately, but I have been busy. I'm trying to plan for the upcoming trip to the UK, but I'm afraid I've done more research on luggage than on the sights of London. My new Travelpro Crew5 Rollaboard has just come in at Harlow's (the owner's very nice and helpful, and they now have discount coupons on the WRSI website) in Noho and I'll be picking it up tomorrow. It's the first wheelie bag I've ever owned. I usually use really cheap nylon travel bags for air travel or my ivory marble vintage Samsonite luggage from the 1950s for car travel -- it's very stylish and mod, and has great features like places to hang actual hangers; I feel like Gidget when I travel with it. I'm a sucker for features, and my Rollaboard is chock full. I'll try to post some pictures of it, empty and packed. Mine's ivy -- I wish it came in orange, but no luck. Orange would have looked so nice with my new pale lime green microfiber hooded raincoat with zip out lining.

As my travel anxiety creeps steadily upward, I'm focusing more of my energy on the actual trip planning. I'm now deep into Eccentric London and am just beginning to read about the walking tours in the book. Yesterday I discovered via Flickr (yeah, Flickr! I use it for research almost as much as Google) that there is a self-guided walking tour, endorsed by Michael Palin (step aside, Rick Steves -- Michael Palin is the travel god), of Belsize Park. So now I have my first activity on my first day planned.

Oh, yes. You've all been waiting for my report on the North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival. Let's just say that I haven't seen so much tie dye or dreadlocks on white people since the last time I was on the Hampshire campus. It looked like Spring Jam, except the bouncy castle and the cloud of pot smoke were missing. All the new age-y, crunchy granola folks of Franklin County had rolled down from the hills to taste the garlic treats (the pesto was really good, but I thought the pickles made without vinegar were suspicious), engage in non-competitive games, march in the Garlic City parade with the mayor (photo above), or try out some expensive hula hoops. I didn't engage or march or hula, but it was a good opportunity to replenish my garlic arsenal since I had depleted it in the war with the red army (see Tomatoes! below).

Between all the tomato freezing, trip planning, and garlic festing, I've managed to do some photo shooting as well. See Flickr for the latest.

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