Sunday, February 27, 2011

South Africa Pre-Trip

I leave for London on Tuesday night -- then Wednesday night I leave for Cape Town. I have two full days of work left, then a 2100 departure on Tuesday. I've got a couple hours of work I need to do today, and then some trip planning to finalize.

While in London, I am going to meet a friend that I've known for 6 years, but I have never met her. She was my insurance underwriter from Lloyd's of London when I was working in the Fine Art Insurance game. I use to talk to this woman several times a week and email her 4-6 times a day, but never met her. Interestingly enough, I've met her sister several times but never her. Her sister is a stew for British Airways, who makes her way to Chicago with some regularity.

So, I started making my packing list for Southern Africa (I'm phrasing it this way, instead of saying South Africa, because we are doing both South Africa and Zimbabwe). Half way through the list, I thought it was just stupid to write it down -- shit, just pack! So I did.

Here is what my initial plan has be toting 25,000 next month:

1 Pair of Dress Slacks
1 Dress Shirt
9 Undershirts
9 Pairs of Underwear (boxers)
8 Casual Shirts
6 Pair Short/Sport Socks
6 Pair Long Socks
3 Pairs of Shorts
2 Pairs of Casual Pants
1 Pair of Dress Shoes
1 Pair of Casual/Hiking Shoes
2 Magazines (Outside and whatever else I can grab that I haven't read yet)
1 Novel (Talented Mr. Ripley)
1 Frommers Travel Book (South Africa)
1 Black Out Sleep Mask
1 Package of Pretty in Pink Sleeping Ear Plugs (Mike snores and planes are loud)
1 Copy of my itinerary and 4 copies of my passport
1 Package of Airbonne Vitamin Tablets
1 Package of Band-Aids various sizes
1 Tube of Neosporin (see above)
2 Cans of SPF 30 Sunscreen
2 Packages of generic Immodium (don't want to get traveler GI issues)
1 Max Strength Antiperspirant (I sweat like a fat pig in winter -- the African jungle will be interesting)
2 Different anti malaria drugs
6 Doses of antibiotics to counter travel GI issues not fixed by immodium
1 Set of Bose Noise Cancelling Headsets
1 iPod Touch
1 iPod Nano (two iPods because they are older and the battery won't last for 20 hours of flying)
1 Octopus (what I call the batch of charging cords for my camera and iPods)
1 Eddie Bauer Sling Back Pack (carry on bag and activity pack)
1 Victorinox 22" Wheel Aboard Suitcase (checked luggage)
1 Toiletry Kit
1 Mini-tripod for camera
1 Nikon Coolpix S8100 Camera
1 Nikon Coolpix S3 (Don't intend on using this camera, but if I break the above, I will be fucking pissed)
2 8GB Memory Cards for above cameras
1 Extra batter for S8100

This is more than I had intended on packing. When I went to Portugal last September I found that I didn't necessarily use everything that I brought -- but I don't want to
be in the middle of BFE Africa and realize that all of my close stink and I can't stand being on a flight for 24 hours wreaking of the African Bush (not that way, you pervs). My plan was to get all this stuff laid out and then weed out the extra stuff...but since Lilly must lounge on everything I have out and about, I decided just to throw everything in the suitcase to keep the cat hair off of it, and repack it tomorrow night....low and behold, everything (except one pair of shoes) fit in perfectly. Huh? I know...so I am pretty happy, I will repack this tomorrow night.

What am I missing?

Best Year Yet - February Recap

So, I've done a very bad job on my BYY Plan for 2011. I tried only one new recipe this month -- and it was during the blizzard. I tried Ina Garten's Chicken Chili, and it was pretty good. It needed a bit more spice to it, as it was a bit bland. I would suggest seasoning under the chicken skin with lots of salt and pepper and perhaps a bit of red pepper flake. Speaking of, I'd add more red pepper flake and chili powder. The best part of this recipe was preparing the chicken -- each time I've used her recipe (just the chicken prep piece) the chicken comes out so moist and amazing. It's really great to broil some chicken on Sunday and just have it in the fridge for a quick meal add-on throughout the week.

I didn't do much networking this month, and I really didn't do the writing that I intended to do. I haven't done yoga in weeks. I did manage to mark a couple of things off of my check list though. This month was my birthday month so I had several evenings dealing with that -- I say dealing with it because I don't really like celebrating my birthday, but everyone else makes a big deal about it, so I have to go with the flow. I was able to get some good meals out the month though.

I've been working lots of hours at home so I can be fully prepared for my upcoming Southern Africa vacation, so I haven't had a chance focus as much time as I wanted on BYY, etc.