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Subject:  Re: Jeff goes East - Prequel Date:  12/31/2012  12:12 PM
Author:  OrmontUS Number:  19162 of 23310

First thanks to BB - I'll try to get the polio booster (but time is short). Globetrotter was not being a jerk, just pointing out the obvious.

Look, on the tux thing, I'm not a prig. I chose the cruise ships we are on because of the itineraries. There are plenty of ships where "formal" is not done, but they didn't meet other criteria I looked at. I own a tux (bought years ago at Sym's in NYC - now unfortunately a fatality of our current economic downturn - who sold name brand wool monkey suits for under $150) and since they don't go out of style if you choose a conservative one, have probably worn it 30 times over the years. It's no big deal and if the appropriate good looking dame (THE BOSS) is along with me, it makes me feel like a cross between being in a B&W 1930's movie and being James Bond :-).

Of course, I could show up on a formal night wearing a bathing suit and robe to prove a point, but the point would be that I was being a fool. Nowadays Holland America lets you wear a dark suit and tie instead of the tux (and I'm taking one of those as well for variety). And, as has been pointed out, for the rugged non-conformists, there is always the buffet (but that somehow lacks the ambiance).

My biggest challenge is shoes. After justifying (rationalizing) based on the unlimited availability of luggage, I've settled on a pair of black leather loafers (will also wear these with the tux even though they are a bit informal), a pair of brown leather lace-ups, a pair of Five-Fingers to use as water shoes and general off-the ship stuff (it's fun to see the looks on people's faces who haven't seen these :-), a pair of Noat leather "walking" sandals, a pair of light hiking boots for volcano climbing, etc. (this bulk usually gets worn when I take them during travel so they don't fill the luggage, but this time I have space to burn) and a pair of Merril slip-ons that I have found to be extremely comfortable as walking shoes. In a nod towards economy of space, the shoes are filled with socks, underwear and so on to save space.

The suitcases weight in at 55-58 pounds each, but I laugh at these puny weight requirements as it "don't matter none" 'cause I'm going by boat (and most of that differential will be shed if I pick up new bags when we hit Italy).

BTW, while it's not exactly the same as the list I use, this one is pretty good:

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