Yes, but what will I read on vacation?

Fourteen hours from DC to Tokyo. Seven hours from Tokyo to Bangkok. Sixteen days or so in Asia, including seven on a beach, then another 21 hours to get home. Not to mention all the time in airports.

I need some books to read.

Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace – Since meaty books like The Mill on the Floss and Portrait of a Lady worked well for me traveling this summer I thought, what could be meatier than finishinng the final 1,256 pages of War and Peace (I’m only a hundred pages in)?
Beryl Bainbridge: A Weekend with Claude – Close readers of my porch will know that I took this one to France this summer and didn’t read it.
Colette: Cheri and the Last of Cheri – This is another one I took to France this summer and didn’t read. I liked Colette’s The Ripening Seed. I hope I like this one. I recently saw the flim Cheri with Michelle Pfeiffer and I hated it.
Marge Piercy: Gone to Soldiers – I like Piercy a lot and the one I took with me this summer was about the same time and provided many enjoyable hours reading while John was in bed with a rumbly tummy.
William Haggard: The Arena – I generally don’t read crime fiction, but finding this green covered Penguin tempted me.
Kate Chopin: The Awakening – A classic just waiting to be read.
I tabbed the reference materials so I could keep track of what is going on.
I know my audience, you need to see covers. With the exception of Tolstoy and the green Penguin and possibly the Chopin, the rest will stay in Asia as I finsh them.

What to Do on a Snowy Day?

We don’t get many truly snowy days here in Washington DC. And it has been a long time since one of my childhood snow days in Minnesota. So I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself today. The obvious thing to do would be to read. But do you ever find that when you have oodles of time to read the urge to read diminishes? I do sometimes. Today was one of those days.

So, I decided to do a dry run on the packing for our upcoming trip to Thailand and Cambodia. This seemed especially important given that we have decided to take only carry-on luggage. Once we get to Asia we have about five puddle jumper flights and the thought of lugging a big suitcase and waiting five times for it to come off the baggage carousel (actually nine if you count the trip over the Pacific each way and the customs clearance in Tokyo on the way there and Beijing on the way home) was way more than I wanted to contemplate.

Since 18 days is a long time to live off of carry-on luggage, laundry will have to be done along the way. I figure each time we check into a hotel we have one outfit on the body and two get handed over to be laundered. That should keep us smelling nice.

For the most part the weather will be warm with some chilly nights up in the north in Chiang Mai so at least we only had to pack for one climate.

Things look a little wrinkly, but that is bound to happen in transit anyway. Tried to make it kind of smart casual, but short of going and doing some serious shopping and taking a much larger bag, it is probably more on the casual side than the smart side. Plus, as much as I don’t want to be dressed like a tourist, it is kind of unavoidable. And who am I kidding, 6’2″ of German/Polish extraction, I am hardly going to blend in.
I kept in mind that one outfit and one pair of shoes would be on my body for the flight. So that helped everything go in pretty easily.
Now I just have to wait two weeks until we actually go.

Kenya a Year Later

One year ago today we hopped on a BA flight out of Heathrow and landed in Nairobi, Kenya for an amazing week of Safari. We are lucky to get to travel a fair amount but nothing will ever compare to our week in Kenya.

UPDATE: If you want to see more pictures, you can go back into the My Porch archives from December 2008 to see them. After clicking on the link just scroll past the first few posts  to see all the photos from the Safari.