Five short days from now, I board a plane bound for New York City. In NYC I connect with a flight bound for Moscow, Russia. I’m excited about going, but I’m not quite ready to go. Nothing is packed.

I suspect that my bags will be heavy. I just checked the 10-day forecast for Moscow and warm clothes will be a must. It’s going to be cold. The warmest day will be Jan. 7 (Orthodox Christmas) – 26 degrees. There should be snow on the ground when we arrive Jan. 5. Snow is forecast for Jan. 6-9. I’m looking forward to a white Christmas.

My Notebook

I am also excited about my new Moleskine City Notebook – Mockva.

I started using Moleskine journals/notebooks in 2008. My friend Michael had one and I liked it. Then I read Moleskine’s marketing. According to the company, Hemingway, Picasso and Van Gogh all used these notebooks. Man! I wanted to join in the Moleskine tradition. I guess I’m defenseless against marketers.

My first Moleskine purchase was a three-pack of “cahier” journals. These small, passport-sized notebooks fit easily in your pocket – great of quick notes and observations. The journals served me well during Hurricane Gustav. The notes I scribbled each day helped me produce news stories and updates about the storm in record time. I carried a Moleskine journal with me down Route 66 to the Grand Canyon last summer. My slightly bent journal from that trip contains notes, lists and several sketches of the canyon and the Wigwam Motel. Sadly, I didn’t write more in the journal on the Grand Canyon trip – most of my notes were typed directly into Facebook.

When I saw that a City Notebook was available for Moscow, I had to have it. The City Notebook has pages and pages of color city maps, a Metro (subway) map and lot’s of pages for notes. They call it “the guidebook you write yourself.” I like that. One of the neatest features is the small supply of transparent “sticky note” sheets you can lay over your maps to draw out your route. Of course it has an expandable pocket in the back to store loose items. I hope to fill the notebook with memories and observations – I start writing in it early Monday morning – I have to be at the airport by 4 a.m.


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