Part of the difficulty in travel was assuming I'd have my laptop at the villa. They had wireless! I could type by the pool. More importantly, I could google important sites to visit, research more deeply the history of the region, find out where to go for dinner, figure out what the 7 hour siesta was about. Without that, I really had no way into places. I felt like a passive observer--more like traveling when I was a young kid. Being in the backseat of Erik's parents' rental car probably attributed a little to that feeling too.
The good part was that I really disconnected. So much that I've been a little better since I've been home. I had a loaner computer without wireless so I was connected via an anachronistic wire to my DSL. I couldn't move it around so I left it behind. I watched whole television shows that I already thought I'd seen, like Burn Notice, and realized that 90 percent of the show I hadn't really paid attention to. It was like getting another whole season in!
The sadder, and embarrassing news, is that my Kindle is already lost. I'm only admitting it because I believe in blogging the lost. I was on the last flight of a 28 hour trip (including layovers) from Rome. Z was asleep, shoeless and saying "Stop it" when I tried to wake her up when we landed. I was all concerned about how I could get her milk that late since the airport shops would surely be closed (needless concern: Paradise Bakery in airport and restaurant in hotel still open). I remember reading it right before take off, asking Erik if it counted as an electronic device. I decided it did and I put it in the dreaded back seat pocket. Then I turned on CNN, watched about Michael Jackson's cardiac arrest, then coma, then death, then fell asleep. I woke up, gathered up everything except for the expensive reading machine. I've spent the last 1.5 weeks calling Delta and harassing their poor lost and found folks but to no avail.
1 Lesson learned here: books, one by one are cheaper.
2 Lesson learned here: milk is cheaper than Kindles.
3 Lesson learned here: don't forget stuff.
Hopeful lesson to be learned: blogging the lost a surefire way to have materials returned.
Other electronic disasters included forgetting the iPod with my Italian lessons on them (which was OK since I'd had the lessons burned into my earbudded head), the microphone on Erik's camera breaking, and of course Z's nebulizer. She still has a bit of a cough. Perhaps I could make a trade with the lost and found gods: one cough for one Kindle.