Yeah, packing already... I had to do some preliminary packing before I even left Gainesville, since I knew if I didn't keep all my winter stuff in one place, it would start to migrate off to parts unknown. I've kept it all reasonably together, but now that I've decided to get a five-country Eurail pass (Spain, France, Italy, Greece, and Ireland) for the three weeks before the start of the semester, new factors have been introduced to this equation (including a second bag). My tentative plan is to fly to Boston on the 5th of August, swim in the Boston Light (one of the oldest marathon swims in the country) on the 6th, then fly on to NL, ditch my rolling duffel and swim bag in my room (or, failing that, at one of my friends' places), grab my backpack full of summer clothes and travel-size toiletries, and head off to whichever of the countries I decide to hit first. (France and Italy are the two I'm absolutely going to; the others may shift depending on time and/or interest factors.) Two or three weeks later, I'll go back to NL and start school. During our weeklong break from school (in October), I'll probably head over to England; Tara is studying abroad in London (not like it's that much of a jump; she's from Ireland), and I'd love to see Joanne again too. Plus Stonehenge and all the good touristy stuff. I've never been to 'real' England; only to Heathrow and Gatwick (although I sure spent enough time there to have circled the entire UK ten times... by turtle...), so I can't wait to actually see it. Maybe my co-worker Marcel, who's from London originally, can give me some tips.
Oh, one bummer, though: my big 'fun trip' was going to be this - either the full version or the weekender - but when I checked today, ready to book, they'd sold out. Figures. I've sent the company an e-mail asking about waiting lists, but I'm not expecting miracles. Crap. I really wanted to do that. I'd been checking the site every week to make sure they weren't sold out, but hadn't booked because I wasn't sure what my travel dates would be or if I'd make enough money to justify doing it in the first place. That'll teach me to wait. Bah.
Anyway, not much else to note. I met a girl named Anna today who used to swim for UF (she was a miler) and knows Renate. She swims in lane 5, and we were having a good conversation during the kicking set, so I jumped over in her lane and ended up staying there through the whole practice. I was the slowest one in the lane, but I made all the intervals, so it wasn't too bad; I just made sure I always went last, so I didn't hold anyone up.
At the moment, though, I'm facing the impending doom of having to take my rapidly-descending-into-Alzheimer's grandmother to the hairdresser, the mall, and lunch tomorrow morning, and I only got (*yawn*) six hours of sleep last night, thanks to work, so (*yawn*) I believe I'll...