At exactly 4:00 p.m. this afternoon I stood before the water dispenser in the kitchen at my office, filling a Styrofoam cup with hot water as I dunked a Red Rose Tea bag up and down until the water was a color of my liking. I would be sipping my tea and munching on a Girl Scout cookie.
Something was terribly wrong! Where was our wonderful, white-gloved server, Anna? Where were the exotic teas, delicate cucumber sandwiches, tender scones, and sweet pastries? Alas…High Tea was taking place somewhere in the Ionian Sea aboard the Seabourn Spirit and I was back to real life in Charlevoix, Michigan. Sigh!
When I told my clever friend Suzanne Dalton, (clever because not only is she talented, but she’s found a way to spend part of the year in Italy teaching English and the remainder of the year in her beautiful studio and garden in Northern Michigan) that I’d be visiting Italy, she had one bit of advice, “Don’t wear a fanny pack!” There were two reasons: petty thievery is rampant there with the fanny packs being easy prey AND they make you look like a genuine tourist!
I found a terrific bag at the on-line vendor Travel Smith: the PacSafe bag has four anti-theft deterrents: indestructible cabled straps; slash proof sides and bottom panels;tamper-proof zipper clip; and snatch-proof shoulder strap that can be secured on your chair arm or other fixture. I loved this bag and it turned out to be perfect for the trip.
I also purchased some nice new white walking shoes, as well as a pair of Keen sandals. I never wore the walking shoes. The Keen sandals were so comfortable that I even wore them on that death march up the Acropolis with no problem.
These are my recommendations for your next trip, whether you’re going to Italy or staying closer to home. If you happen to have High Tea with Anna, give her my regards!