This was to be my first overseas trip since I visited daughter Molly in Africa over Christmas 2007-2008. I was determined to make the whole two weeks with just carry-ons, as I felt the chances of lost luggage were too great, and given the fact that I was to moving around so much, there seemed a distinct possibility I might never get any lost bags. Also, since I expected a lot of meetings with officials, I did not want to get caught without a change of clothes.
I had bought a new rollaboard backpack just for the trip, and spent the night before departure packing and un-packing it to get things just right. The whole day had been spent at a county management retreat, so I was tight for time and stayed up way too late...
The final day was spent taking care of details: putting auto-responds on my phone and computer accounts, getting cash from the bank (large numbers of crisp one hundreds are hard to come by at a small town bank branch).
Finally left Dulles at 9:50 pm after a terrible dinner in Leesburg. Also left Mobile and CCs behind according to recommendation of briefing book (both turned out to be terrible ideas). And was not able to work on the lectures during the flight due to a dead laptop battery, which I would have charged at the airport if I had realized it was down. I tried to change $50 into Euros, but the exchange booth wanted to charge a $10 commission! Overall, it was not an auspicious start.