Monday, August 14, 2006


As I sit down to write this I still distracted by news reports of foiled bombing plots and images of air travelers wading through discarded containers of gels and liquids. I've reevaluated my well thought-out strategy for our upcoming trip to Europe. I’d planned to limit our luggage to a pair of 21-inch roll-aboards. In the coming days “carry-on” may become a fond memory and airlines can convert the overhead baggage compartments into “no frills” seating. It seems the more energy I put into planning events, the less sure I can be of the outcome. I'm too old to set off with a backpack and a Eurail Pass. Too picky for hostels. Those days are past. I like four-star hotels and business class. I prefer window seats. I like the welcome that comes with a reservation. "Oh yes. We've been expecting you Ms. Mantz. We trust your trip was pleasant." I like big comfortable beds with more pillows than I need and toiletry items I can slip into my bag and pretend I am stealing. I like upgrades. "We hope you don't mind a Mercedes. We are all out of Fiats." I expect a fresh basket of fruit and a vase of flowers to greet me when I arrive at the villa in Bosco Chiesanuova. I expected to be able to hike in the Dolomites without worrying about the peaks collapsing due to global warning. I expected to be able to board my flight to Frankfurt with water, moisturizer and an iPod. It's true. If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.