(Lonely Planet guide not pictured.)

When in doubt, read. That has worked well for me so far, so with a European excursion days away I’ve been doing a whole lot of reading, searching and watching.

I owned a bunch of travel guides and checked out a few more that were more recent than some that I owned. A steno pad I’m taking with me is tabbed and filled with notes according to country and city. I reread my entire collection of Afar magazines (fantastic travel magazine btw). Travel Channel is the only thing I watch (besides select NBC programming).

Am I ready? I hope so. Like Hermione I have been relentless with preparation, but like Hermione I will be reading up until I get there. Once my feet hit the ground I’ll be too distracted by bliss to remember the extensive lists and maps I have created.