Subject: Re: Umbrellas (or not)?
Ziners, Great topic. While researching our upcoming trip to London and Ireland, where we are sure to encounter some rain, I came across this information. So, we won't pack - we'll just buy from the oldest umbrella store in England - or perhaps a walking stick, which seems like a good idea for tramping over Irish hills.

Not packing an umbrella can lead to some wonderful experiences. In a rainstorm in New Orleans, I ducked into the doorway of the Hove Parfumeur on Royal Street. Invited in, I discovered a world of scents and Southern hospitality. This place is a gem - colognes, perfumes, soaps, all made on the premises. I've been a customer since that encounter - they ship worldwide - all it takes is a phone call and the store keeps a record of my preferences.

In Pompei, we were caught in a downpour and purchased plastic rain coats (for a pittance) which we still have (though we never remember to pack them). The bonus was that most of the visitors scurried out of sight so we had the place pretty much to ourselves for an hour or so.

In Limerick, we finished lunch only to find a downpour outside. The pub was closing, but the owner (who said it was "A fine Irish rain") let us sit in the pub to wait it out and we spent an amiable hour talking to him about everyday life in his town.

So, maybe we should all leave the umbrellas in our closets and go with the flow. You never know what you'll discover. Lucy, Toronto