I’m increasingly spending time thinking about and roughing out rough plans (Did I emphasize rough, enough?) for our Europe trip, now at week -1 day. I’ve detailed road-maps of France, Spain, and Italy (thanks to Borders), since this is a touring trip, and I’ve highlighted the generally proposed rough route upon them so that my wife can see whereabouts we might be going and check the various resources in print and on the Web in order to persuade me one way or another — ’cause I can get to where I might just want to drive drive drive once we’re on the road. So, yesterday, I loaded up Google Earth on her very-super-fast PC and gave her a bit of an intro, including, of natural course, highlights along our roughly proposed route that we might be taking. “Good. Now we don’t even have to go,” she says. For those who don’t get it, it’s just a sideways endorsement for using Google Earth to engineer your vacations. What a resource. I paid $20 (yearly fee), but honestly, there’s not a whole big lot of difference if you just use the free version.