They said we should bring sun hats or visors, but when I didn’t want one, Jerry didn’t take one for himself, either. They said to bring sunglasses but when his fell apart, I loyally left mine behind in the cabin when we went ashore. As for sunscreen, you know how men are about basting themselves with grease.
They said to bring “sturdy, comfortable walking shoes” but the sturdy, comfortable shoes I wear for our morning walks are old and ugly. Instead of replacing them, I fell in love with a pair of blue denim tennis shoes which gave no support at all but were really cute. I also sent for a pair of sandals from a catalog. What hadn’t shown in the catalog was that the three-inch heels were not platform but narrowed down to a quarter-inch across. They would have turned an ankle the first time I wore them on cobblestones.
Anyway, I tossed the sandals on our bed at home with the mounds of other stuff for Jerry to pack, to wear on the ship if it didn’t roll. (None of the information we got indicated whether the ship rolled. It didn’t. It did other things but it didn’t roll).
I took five pairs of shoes altogether and Jerry took two. Off the ship I usually wore the two enclosed pairs (the blue sneaks and a pair of ancient penny loafers) because of the cobblestones and because of rain.
The cover of the catalog featured a tanned, willowy woman in a long, white cotton skirt against a European backdrop. I will never be tanned or willowy but I bought one of those skirts, too. Then I was afraid I’d trip over it. I wore it to dinner on the ship once or twice because the skirt wasn’t too long if I wore the precarious sandals and I figured I wouldn’t trip if I held onto Jerry.
I didn’t follow the wisdom of the Viking recommendations to take half as many clothes as you think you’ll need. Jerry told our fellow passengers on the ship dryly that he had finally added another suitcase so I could bring all of mine. I obsessed about clothes for every possible temperature, weather condition and occasion.
The hardest part was being sure the two of us matched each other every day, like we do at home. There was black day, white day, light blue day (when I wore “Aging gratefully”*), brick red day (when I wore “In dog years, I’m dead”*), teal day, mango day, rainbow day– All with accessories.
Black: Relaxing on sun deck.
Teal: Rose garden at top of a long climb up the hill in Bamberg. It had just started raining and our umbrella was on the Embla.
Red: Dinner on board.
Rainbow: Some street in a medievally town in Europe. I have no idea which one. (But note my shoes! :o) )
It all worked out. I had everything I needed and I wore everything I took. Every eventuality was covered. (Ted, I heard that wisecrack.)
(*See April 12.)