Preflight checks

Today, we fly. My first news this morning was an email from the Vatican:

Dear Visitors to the Necropolis of Saint Peter,

Following the directives of the Health Department of Vatican City State, and taking into account the development of the epidemic, the decision has been made to suspend visits to the Necropolis of Saint Peter starting Monday, March 9, 2020, until the foreseeable future.

I'd hoped they might hold off for another day or two, so we could get our tour in, but it's not to be.

Spellbooks and amulets

I've thought a lot about risk assessment and tolerance today. As a result of some conversations I've had, I'm aware that Noah and I may be unwelcome at some social gatherings tentatively planned for Prague. It stung—it still stings—but there is absolutely nothing to be done for it; we did a detailed risk assessment and made a decision that not everyone in attendance may find comfortable. It may well just be us, on our own, for five weeks.

I've started calling it "The Zombie Apocalypse Game."


It took us a couple of hours of discussions before we came to a decision: we would still go.

We've had plans brewing for a significant work-from-Europe trip for some time, and we learned yesterday that the linchpin of the entire trip had collapsed, leaving us with a major hole in the middle of our itinerary, and a 100% plausible opportunity to seek refunds and not travel. That, coupled with the knowledge that coronavirus has come to Italy—our first stop—meant we needed to make major decisions, and fast.

taking, and making, stock

Over the past week or so, I've been asking myself the question every self-respecting traveler asks well in advance of his/her trip—"What's gonna go in the bag?" My goal, admirable but perhaps ill-advised, is to make everything except my toiletries bag fit in one bag, which I will check.I will live out of that bag for a day short of two weeks. Thankfully, the vagaries of flight will deposit me in a land known more for sunshine than for snow. It's far easier to pack for sand and sun than it is for snow and cold. No boots, no sweaters, no scarves.