Janel was thinking northern Germany, Belgium perhaps. I was somewhat drawn to Ireland and England. In either case, her energy about getting together and doing something was increasingly infectious as April turned into May. As Janel put it, “Europe really is our oyster here.”
Early in May, Janel dropped me a concise email, “Slovenian farm tourism!” with a link to a NY Times article: (http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/07/05/travel/05explorer.html?pagewanted=all&_moc.semityn.levart). The article talks not only of idyllic food-centric stays on Slovenian farms, but also of coastal towns, caves, mountains, and idyllic resort areas within the country too.
A week and a great Skype call later, and our adventure was taking shape! Ten-plus days in August in Slovenia, with a simple plan to explore a variety of the country’s facets. As an unlikely coda, we tacked on 4 days in Berlin, a town that Janel sorely wished to share and further explore.
Planning took the month of June, followed by piecemeal booking of flights and lodging. We planned for backpacking and simplicity, leaning towards a low budget but not overly constrained by it. We also planned to utilize public transportation, i.e. planes, trains, and busses, throughout.
For better or worse, the trip’s nickname soon evolved as “Slo-Ber,” and over time Janel created a big wide spreadsheet containing daily travel, lodging, activity, and food opportunities. It seemed to me that her ability and energy in putting this together fully indicated her possession of at least pieces of the MP genetic code.