Two months out... with some sad news.

Hey guys. I know it's been a while. My family received some pretty sad news and honestly the thought of blogging about my extravagant vacation while my family was hurting was just not an option. I'll post about it at the end of this post for those who would like to know what's going on outside of my vacation world. 

Now back to vacation planning. 62 days. 62 DAYS! Time is flying by! Since I left you guys I received my PacSafe backpack that I had won on e-bay. I love it & it is in perfect condition as described. It's the perfect size and I am so thrilled I found it. A few weeks ago the euro had dropped pretty drastically. I took advantage of that and paid for a lot of our tours. I also ordered some euro. I never want to arrive in a new country and not have at least a little bit of their local currency already on me. Now let me tell you. I am an obsessive planner. Not to brag, but I am your dream travel companion. On all big vacations I do a "walk through" of the entire vacation on paper. I think of every area that we would need money and write out all the totals. Then I get tiny envelopes and place the cash each in it's own envelope and then write on the envelope whatever it's for. Then I place all the envelopes in a ziplock bag.  Once we get to our hotel, I place the ziplock in the safe and the each day I just take out all the envelopes with that date and head out. No surprises, we've got all the cash we will need. I gotta tell you this is an awesome way to handle your cash. For example: Our taxi from the Dublin airport to our hotel should cost 25-30 euro. So in an envelope I place 40 euro to cover the cab and tip, and then write on the outside of the envelope, "9/14 Dub/Hotel Taxi 40 euro". I know some of you may think I'm insane and I tend to agree but I actually love it. I'm a planner. I love to plan everything. I went to school to plan events... it's what I do. So just work with me people. So anyway, I got our euro and went ahead and put them in their individual envelopes. I had ended up ordering the exact amount of cash we'll need for the entire trip minus souvenirs and places where we'll use our cc. As for getting more euro for little souvenirs, etc. The absolute best place to get euro is the atm machine, however be sure your pin is only 4 digits and it does not start with a "0" as most atms in europe will not accept them. Now for fees. As of now I use Bank of America but they charge $5 per atm transaction as well as 1%. My local BOA branch closed recently and it is quite annoying, so I'm thinking about switching back to HSBC who only charge a $1.50 fee per atm transaction, period. Plus, HSBC has a cc that does not charge any fees for using it in Europe versus my present cc that would charge me 3% on each transaction. Also, Capital One does not charge any fees for cc charges in foreign countries. Quite a lot I know. If you are planning to travel overseas and would like a great place to read more on this click here. Now that I've totally gone all Ben Stein on yah... I'll move on. I also bought a new electrical adapter for both Ireland's plugs and Spain's plugs. Um. Why the heck can't we all use the same plugs and voltage?! Really? I don't get it. Well I actually already had a set but on my trip to the middle east two years ago I didn't have enough. So I found these great ones that take two plugs at a time, which just makes my day. You can find them here and here. They're great and the best part is they're purple so you won't easily forget them in the walls 'cause they wont blend in. I still have to look at all my electronics. Now most electronics convert the voltage so we'll see if I'll need to still buy a voltage converter. Ugh. I'm serious. I feel like I'm doing a research paper. Luckily I will only have to deal with the power issue the first 5 days. Disney's ships have US plugs and voltage. God bless them! I also bought two new purses that are adorable. They are wristlets. Which by the way, I feel like a moran using that word. That's got to be the dumbest word on the planet! Anyway my "wristlet" part is like a bracelet... a "bangle" actually but again another word I hate. When I hear bangle I don't think "pretty bracelet", I think "weird mixed breed dog". I digress. I still have to buy my pirate outfit. For those who don't know, Disney Cruise always does one night on the ship themed as Pirate night. They have a special meal, they hand out pirate bandannas, then there is a big deck party out by the pool. They have those giant turkey legs, dessert buffet, etc. All free and all in addition to the 4 course meal YOU JUST ATE! It's the best! Then they end the party with fireworks, yeah fireworks. sea! Then, as if that wasn't enough they play the Pirates of the Caribbean movie on the "DumboTron" or "ArielVision". Yes, those are the names of the GIANT tv screens over the pool on their two ships. They are more than 30 feet! Now that's the way to watch Johnny  Depp... sitting in the hot tub starring at a his 30 foot self. Oh, Lord! ANYWAY. We usually never dress up for pirate night as we are dull, however this year I am stepping up my game. I'm gonna wear, brace yourselves... a pirate t-shirt. I know, very adventurous. A pirate t-shirt and then probably jeans or I may get real adventurous and wear slacks- if of course I am feeling like a more formal pirate. I'm stuck though. There are two I can't decide on so I don't know what I'm gonna do. I'll post the pics below. You COULD let me know your pic in the comments section, BUT I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable so don't worry about it. Okay. I think that's enough for now. This has been quite a long one and there's just so much more. I promise the posts are gonna be coming quick now, so check back often. Also, I have big news coming in the next post and it involves a pretty big, exciting addition to my trip. Let's say it together... Cliffhanger! Check back soon!

Our sad news:
Last week we got news that my 7 year old, second cousin, Timmy was diagnosed with Leukemia. We know we'll be able to declare Timmy cancer free one day, but it's going to be a long road for him. So please keep Timmy and my family, his parents especially, in your prayers. He's one of the toughest kids I know, so if anyone can get through it, I know it's him!

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