(In this sixth installment of my blog series leading up to NHL Premiere 2010, featuring the Minnesota Wild in Helsinki, Finland, we look at other diversions which interferes with trip planning, and we look at planning what to take...and what not to.)
It is now the end of the summer. Labor Day. A holiday set aside to honor the American worker, and the efforts of labor to build a great nation. Of course, in Minnesota, there is another event passing today.
The end of the Minnesota State Fair signifies the end of 'deep-fried' season, when any food stuff that can be breaded and fried, is then sold to nearly 2 million normally very hungry patrons, throughout the fair's 12-day run.
It's also start time to think about what's ahead. Specifically, four weeks from today, when the Minnesota Wild take the ice, at the Tampeeren jäähalli against the Tampere Lynx (Ilves Tampere) for their lone European exhibition game, prior to the NHL Premirere 2010 series against the Carolina Hurricanes.
So, for me (and my wife), what's ahead?
We need to make a list for exactly what we want to take, how much, and where we will put it en route, as we will be extremely limited as to the amount of baggage we will be able to carry. Unlike Amtrak (and VIA Rail Canada), European railways generally do NOT handle checked baggage. It's kind of the 'You tote 'em' theory of travel; you can bring along what you can carry on, and that's it. Period. Most people cannot carry more than two pieces of baggage, anyway, so that kind of limits what people take onto European trains (most trains between major centers run often enough, that a lot of business is done as same-day trips, anyways.)
We are already resigned to probably buying a bag in Finland, in order to take all the souvenirs back from Helsinki that we will have collected en route, for friends and others who ask.
The looming big question: will the hotel we are staying at in Helsinki have a guest laundry? (By Day 5, we will need to be washing clothes. Definitely, will need to wash clothes by that time.) The rest of the Helsinki details (since we are part of a tour this time, for the first time in our personal history) will either be taken care of once we get there, or are items we do not need to worry about, as they have been arranged in advance.
So let's see, here... underwear, socks, shirts, slacks, Wild jerseys, Wild hat, Wild pins... and of course, passport...
(to be continued)