I go through phases as I think about our gap year. Sometimes I daydream about the food, other times I imagine all the books I’ll have time to read and yet others I lose myself down cobblestone mazes. Today is a hiking day. This morning I woke up in the middle of a dream that took me into the chalky hills of Provence – the hills like those in the film, “Jean de Fleurette.” All I remember of the dream is that I was walking and walking and walking for miles but wasn’t the least bit tired. We’ve never done any significant hiking in southern France but it must be calling our names. So, with the dream as a sign, I went out and bought myself some hiking sandals this afternoon. I have some big, full-fledged hiking boots that have served me well and will continue to do their job as we trek through Europe, but I’ve had my eyes on some lighter weight footwear for less strenuous walks. After debating the merits of some open Chaco’s with those of a pair of closed-toe Teva’s, I settled on some Keen’s and am thrilled with my new dark earth/Caribbean blue sandals! I immediately took them out on a four-mile test walk and all went flawlessly. Not a blister to be felt! They’re now going back in their box and the next time I wear them, we’ll be in Europe! It’s somewhat childish, but as I purchase things specifically for our trip, I have a hoarder’s urge to tuck them away deep in the closet so they maintain their aura until it’s time to pack. I take them out every once in a while to make sure they’re still there and to imagine how excited I’ll feel when we finally get to pack our bags. The list maker in me had a very good day: hiking sandals – check!!