Preparations for seven weeks of adventuring abroad
Saturday 7 May 2011 - Monday 9 May 2011
So the count is down to 43. Only 43 hours until we depart from Chicago, London-bound. After more than a year of imagining and planning, it seems surreal that the time has finally come to heave our giant packs up onto our shoulders and begin the journey across a continent. But the time has indeed arrived and we are BESIDE OURSELVES WITH EXCITEMENT. Europe, here we come! But before we depart, some details are in order.
Chelsea just graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Computer Science, and is heading to Apple full time in August. After making it through an arduous final semester, it unclear whether she is merely quite excited for the group's planned destinations in Switzerland, or whether the final push was too much for her, as she is now wont to lapse into long periods of declaring "Laaauuuuterbrunnen!" gleefully to nobody in particular.
As a recent graduate from Michigan State University with a degree in Mathematics, Lindsay Gerst plans to masquerade as a Swede while abroad by only smiling graciously when spoken to and wearing her hair in braided pigtails more often than would be appropriate for a girl her age.
Nick, headed for a full time position at General Mills with a degree in Chemical Engineering, claims of Europe, "Magics".
Noah (recent Computer Science graduate with a full time position at Zynga) will be making a late appearance in this journey after spending the first two weeks traveling elsewhere in Europe with his father. Current wagers put his expected catch-up date with the rest of the group somewhere between week three and just prior to the end of week seven, dependent on how frequently he chooses to use the xbox controller and laptop he decided to bring on his backpacking trip.
As the blog says, we're pretty much flying this trip by the seat of our pants. We plan on trying to hit the following circuit, though.
- London, England
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Brugge, Belgium
- Paris, France
- Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
- Grindelwald, Switzerland
- Lyon, France
- Barcelona, Spain
- Avignon, France
- Marseilles, France
- Cinque Terre, Italy
- The rest of Italy
- Athens, Greece
- Greek Islands
- Plitvice, Croatia
- Budapest, Hungary
- Salzberg, Austria
- Munich, Germany
- Heidelberg, Germany
- Paris, France
- London, England
Preparations are underway, and almost complete by this point. Yesterday, Nick, Gerst, and I "practiced" in Ann Arbor. And yes, practicing for backpacking is much like what you'd imagine. We wore giant backpacks throughout Ann Arbor. We got some funny looks.
However, we also had a few girls stop us and tell us that they'd done the exact same thing last year -- apparently we're not as nerdy as we thought. Or else, those girls are as nerdy as we are. REGARDLESS. We trooped on down to Moosejaw to get Gerst a pack, and for Nick and I to have ours fitted better. The guys at Moosejaw even weighed our packs for us to gauge how well we were doing on packing, and mine weighed in around only 24 pounds - score!
Now we're literally all packed and ready to go. Just willing that the hours until Monday morning pass faster! So close, so close, so close!