Introducing e*starLA, Europe Edition

It suddenly strikes me that having both an asterisk with “star” after it means I my handle could be construed as “E star star L-A.” Redundant, really.

Anyway. That’s all irrelevant since I should perhaps be temporarily renamed as “E star London,” or “E star Sorrento,” or even “E star Munich” for the next couple weeks. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, though.

My brother pointed out to me once that “my generation” (which I consider to be X.5–halfway between X and Y) has a tendency to make acronyms of everything. He said it after I referenced Orange County as “The O.C.” and then had to clarify for him exactly which region I meant by it. First, I’d be quick to point out he’s not local so it’s not as if he would know. Also, that he’s not exactly a fan of cancelled, 3rd-rate TV programming about spoilt teenagers. But of course, it’s no coincidence that on teh internetz you see “FTW” (for the win), “A/S/L” (age/sex/location inquiries for cyber stalkers) and of course your basic “LOL” or “LMAO” acronyms (you really don’t know?). And we inevitably hold at arm’s length the “cutesy” things not even worth abbreviating–much less saying–that are common in generation Y.0+. What’s more, we Lolcat surfers even have adopted bad spelling … signing off with “Bai” or substituting “have” with “has.” (Case in point would be my usage of “teh internetz.”)

At the time, I protested to that acronym generalization made by my Generation Y bro. “We don’t abbreviate everything.” But now, I don’t know why. It’s completely true. And you know it all began with multi-worded cities: NYC. LA. You don’t see Chicago referred to as “C,” even though it’s the third largest city in the States. But as a snow sport enthusiast, I recognize SLC as Salt Lake City. For short.

I can see the conversation now:

“I can’t wait. I’m going to M for vacation.”

“What?”

“Milan, duh.”

So I won’t be e*starL or e*starR [Ravello], nor will I be e*starM [Munich] or even e*starAC [Amalfi Coast] the next two weeks. But the difference in content during that time will certainly be notable. So what I’m asking you to do is to check back, and check back often. Hopefully it’ll be worth it. 🙂

The last-minute packing–unattainable Yankee goods to bring to my Yankee girlfriend in London, camera batteries, battery charger, A/C adapters, memory cards, travel-size conditioner, just enough Fresh skincare samples to cover 2 weeks–is putting my poor organizational skills on trial. But I’m determined! Laundry, dry-cleaning, eating the food in my fridge before it spoils … all part of the game. It’s so worth it and there’s nothing like lists and lists to help myself out–they also help out with the last-minute shopping. Still, I have yet to go to a travel store to get a shoulder-slung money wallet to be worn under the clothes (especially in Italy) to protect my passport and important papers. Trust me; I’m buying it for the fashion.

Most of the hotels I’ve booked will have internet–no coincidence, of course. Connectability to their WiFi as well as accessible bandwith, however, remains to be seen. But I’ll try to blog often and blog short. Stefan, my new Canon S5 IS, will always be at my side. And of course Mariah, my trusty black Macbook, will also be surfing the internet cafes in each destination city.

And then there’s the exchange rate, with the U.S. Dollar at its 15-year low. Ugh. And check it: According to a report today in Yahoo!, the average restaurant meal in London costs $79! Hopefully my budgeting has properly anticipated this. The truth of the matter is, I was determined to visit Europe in the near future and if it costs me a few hundred more dollars to do so now, then so be it. American travelers beware!

I leave Friday, so thereafter stay tuned for updates from London, Naples, Sorrento, Ravello, Positano, Amalfi, and of course Munich (all one-worded cities) during the first week of Oktoberfest. Any suggestions, requests or even travel tips are greatly appreciated. I’m all about whatever feedback you may have.

Stay tuned…stay safe…and I’ll see you on teh internetz. 🙂

Love,
*e