The Itinerary

The Itinerary

Friday, January 30, 2015

Seven More Days!

A week from today we will be on our way. First, some time in Napa Valley and then aboard the Queen Elizabeth for a 23 day segment of her 2015 World Cruise.

Today, Carolyn closed the luggage for the last time before we leave. We are all packed in two 46 pound pieces to be checked and two 25 pound carry-ons, one camera bag and one largish purse. There is also a small empty duffel bag packed in one of the larger pieces to get us over the weight hump on the Australian flights where there is a 15 pound carry on limit and 46 pound limit on checked pieces. All that is left to pack are our two small laptops, iPhones and Kindle Fires. They go in an outside pocket on our carry-on pieces.
We are carrying more on this trip than in 2009 because they will not ship luggage from Sydney to Cape Town. The reason being that the luggage security can’t be guaranteed once it reaches South Africa!!  Therefore, we need to carry our cruise clothes instead of simply shipping them like before. This has made Carolyn really selective and we will be wearing things over and over not only on the over land part, but also on the three cruises. Thank heavens for ship's laundry and washer/dryers in the various cottages!
We now have all our visas: Australia, Indonesia and Myanmar. We have pages clipped together for the Thailand, Seychelles and South African visas which we will get on arrival at the airport. We are still using our passports from the 2009 and 2011 Around the World and Circle South America trips. Many countries required a visa for those trips so quite a few pages are full or have at least one or two stamps. Fortunately, we got new passports in 2006 with the maximum number of pages and then paid extra for additional pages. We really have plenty of pages but some countries (South Africa) require two clean facing pages or they won’t let you in! Since the officials don’t stamp the pages in any kind of sensible order, we are going to attempt to protect a couple of facing pages like the cruise ships do. We did get a second passport, so we are OK whatever the agents do.  Getting a second passport was an experience!

Dick has been busy getting all business and personal matters set up for our sojourn. Last thing we will do is drain the pipes before we lock the door. Right now the yard looks terrible, but by the time we get home all will be lush and green. Carolyn will feed the roses next week last thing since they are normally fed on Valentine’s Day. So, hopefully they will be blooming when we get home!

Next report we will be traveling!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Finally 2015!!!

It is the tenth of January. This trip has been in the planning stage since the first of May 2013 and we are finally in 2015 the Big Year!!

We had a quiet New Year's. Dick came home from his camping, scouting and hunting with the three boys and four grandsons. His two days in the wet and cold Scout camp at Camp Strake, the final Winter camp as the property has been sold and this was his final camp there,
left him with a cold which bloomed while he was at deer camp so he isn’t feeling to good.

We planned to have some friends over for an early fondue supper on New Year's Eve, but several canceled during the day because they had a bug and with Dick sick also, we called it off by late in the afternoon. I already had everything ready so the two of us had the fondue supper and went to bed early.....Happy New Year!

We are spending these last three and a half weeks checking off those things that can’t be done much ahead of time. I am working on the medicine chest...we need 125 days worth.

Dick went to Houston and got his international driving license and a clearance from the eye doctor (for the cataract surgery back in September) and a new glasses prescription. He also got our Myanmar visas on line...thankfully Myanmar has now opened up the e-visa for people entering through the airport in Mandalay! It took only 48 hours to get the email containing the visas. So that is done.

Bali is proving to be a little more difficult..the wording on the form is odd. Dick had to call for help and he has to get another picture as he only has one. Hopefully that gets taken care of next week. The place that does passport pictures in our little town is out of film, if you can believe that, but they expect some any day now. The Consulate told him it would take a couple of days to get the visas, so time wise we are still good.

Carolyn got Christmas put away and the luggage out. She has a working list and started putting things in the cases today. We need to keep the luggage to two, 50 pound checked bags and two 15 pound carry-on bags. We will also carry a small duffel so we can make a fifth bag for the three flights that we can only have maximum 40 pound bags. We have pre-paid for the extra bag for those flights. We don’t want to have to deal with five bags the whole time, but the Australian flights have the 40 pound limit.

And so it begins.....