I've made significant strides this week in finalizing things for my Paris trip. Here's what I've managed to do, day by day.
Monday - Researched and purchased a VPN or virtual private network in order to be able to access all of my USA based sites/accounts without restriction. (Places like banks, Netflix, email, etc. are sometimes unresponsive to an international IP address. A VPN hides your location, and makes it appear as if you are still operating from an American IP address.) I'll only purchase two months of service at roughly $12 each month. I think it's well worth the money to insure that I can access all the sites that I need/want to while I'm abroad. If you're interested in something similar, I ended up going with this VPN.
Tuesday - Researched and purchased a travel insurance plan. After looking at several plans via Insure My Trip, I chose the Global Underwriters Diplomat International. Total cost was $67.08, and it covers trip interruption, terrorism, dental and medical coverage, accident insurance, 24 hour assistance, and repatriation of my mortal remains. When I combine that with the coverage that my regular health insurance covers internationally, I feel like I'm in pretty good shape. Of course, I hope I never need to use any of it, but I think it's always good to be safe rather than sorry.
Wednesday - Stopped by Walgreens to get a passport photo made - not for my passport, but for my Navigo Decouverte metro card that I plan to purchase upon landing at CDG in Paris.
Thursday - Researched and reserved train tickets, hotel room, and tour excursion for a side trip to Normandy. I've never been there, and this seems to be the perfect opportunity to explore that area. As a history teacher, I think it's important that I visit some of the sites I discuss with my students, and WWII is a favorite era of mine to study/teach. I hadn't originally planned to take any major side trips, but I feel like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I want to eke every bit of enjoyment and potential out of that I can.
Friday - Print out and begin penciling in my daily/weekly plans for Paris. I don't want to be locked into a calendar, but I'm afraid I'll miss out on some things I really want to do if I don't begin to formulate some sort of more specific plan.
Saturday - Work through the French practice worksheets that I found online and printed. See how much French I'm actually remembering from all of the DuoLingo practice I've been doing.
My departure date is just a little over two weeks away! Aaaccckkk! There's still so much left to do!