My new passport arrived yesterday, so I now have all I need (except new clothes, which I am working on) for my trip in April.
Round trip plane ticket: Austin to Heathrow; Cologne to Austin (neither flight is direct. As they like to say around here, "You can't get there from here.")
Heathrow express ticket (15 min to central London from airport rather than 1+ hour via cab. Yes, please. Oh, and I LOVE traveling by train)
Studio apartment in Chelsea -- very close to the V&A (Victoria & Albert Museum)
Oyster Card for the tube (4.50 GBP each way without, 2.10 GBP with--seemed like a no-brainer)
Ticket to "Treasures of the Royal Courts" at the Victoria & Albert Museum
I'll be meeting up with a sewing friend and her husband
EuroStar ticket to Paris (I splurged for first class :) Did I say I love trains?)
One bedroom apartment in Montmartre --A friend and fellow seamstress quickly figured out that this apartment is only a couple of blocks from some of the best fabric shopping in Paris. If you've seen the movie "Amelie", this is the neighborhood.
5 day Paris Visite pass -- for trains, metro, buses in and around Paris
4 day Paris museum pass --gets you into most Paris museums and monuments and lets you bypass the lines (that alone is worth the price for me)
Thalys ticket to Cologne -- Paris, France to Cologne, Germany in 3 hours 14 minutes. (trains, hooray!)
Oh, just remembered one thing I am still waiting for: Chip-and-PIN credit card. This is a newer security measure that is being used in Europe. Not many banks offer them here, but according to my manager, life is much easier if you have one of these.
I hope this helps my friends who want to experience this trip vicariously. :)