Archive for October, 2010
We all know that Per travels for work a lot. A LOT. And it’s not easy having him gone so much. But…when the silver lining arrives, it arrives big. Thanks to Per’s thousands (and thousands) of Starwoods points, we just booked a fabulous hotel in Fiji. FIJI!!! Wheeeeeeee…….
People often ask why we are planning to spend so much time in Asia. And like many decisions related to the trip (and life in general), we are motivated by multiple factors. One reason is that Asia is far, far away from home, and once we get there we want to really check it out. We’re not likely to hop over to China for spring break, so let’s take advantage of the time we have. Another reason is we are fascinated by the region as a whole, and are excited to see more.
Kajsa has been sick for the past two days. Fever and sore throat. Possibly strep – we’re still waiting for final results. (Don’t get me started on the thoughts of “oh my gosh…what am I going to do if this happens on the road!”) Anyway, after 2 days of hanging out on the couch, Kajsa says to me, “Mommy, can we have Blue Fin (our local Japanese restaurant) for lunch today?” I find it fascinating that when my child seeks comfort food, she wants una don (eel over rice) and udon noodle soup. Truthfully, so do I. So today, to cheer up my sick daughter, I served her eel for lunch. And it did the trick. She is perkier than she has been all day.
This leads to yet another reason we’re spending lots of time in Asia. Comfort food.
On September 1, we started the process of structuring our itinerary in order to book the major air travel for the trip. Due to some special promotions, we were motivated to have it set by 5pm (West Coast time) on September 30. As you can imagine, it is not a simple process. We would send in our wish list, and Leah would send back our options. We’d look at the options, make adjustments, and try again. This happened many, many times. Countries had to be dropped. Entry and exit cities were changed. I had to employ the colored pencils again. But we did it. Here are some of the planning stats:
- 1 in-person meeting with Leah of Airtreks in San Francisco. Strangely, it is easier for Per to book an in-person meeting with someone in San Francisco than it is to book a meeting in Boston, so he took care of that.
- 37 e-mails between me and Leah – I can not possibly guess the amount between me and Per!
- 11 phone calls with Leah (10 of them in one day)
- 9 pages – length of final itinerary
I am happy to announce that we booked the tickets at 4:58 on September 30. That’s right, we had 2 minutes to spare and were even $4 under budget. Not bad!
Below is the trip with general timing. It is still changeable, and there are big sections still open to whim, but this is the structure we’re going with. Starting in January…
- 4 days New York City
- 10 days Chile – Santiago and other
- 11 days Argentina – Buenos Aires, Ushuaia
- 15 days South Africa
- 9 days Tanzania – Safari
- 8 days Jordan (including camels for Kajsa!)
- 5 days Dubai
- 11 days India
- 9 days Bhutan
- 7 days Thailand
- 21 days Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia
- 3 days Singapore
- 12 days Australia
- 12 days New Zealand
- 8 days Fiji
- 3 days Hong Kong
- 10 days Japan
- 23 days China – Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Macau
- 8 days Turkey – Istanbul
- 22 days Train Travel in Europe (Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland)
- 15 days Sweden
- Return to Boston
If you would like to see us along the way (or live along the way!), just drop me a note and I’ll give you the specifics.
Now, I’m going to splurge with the leftover $4 and get myself a latte!
I got some pretty funny responses to the last blog. We had three flavors of reaction…
- What are you talking about?
- Giggle…because I know what you are talking about.
- Are you being really sassy toward Per?
That last one really made me laugh, because “no, I’m making wigs for cucumbers” does sound sassy in a very nonsensical way. I’m sure Shakespeare would have been able pull it off (have you ever read some of the insults in his plays…check out King Lear King Lear 2.2.15-23), but not me. I was being completely serious.
This brings us to the obvious next question, “why are you making wigs for cucumbers?” I am fortunate to be the co-leader of two Girl Scout troops, which right there explains everything. It is not unusual for us to find ourselves doing crazy, silly, and sometimes very stressful things in the name of wholesome fun. This year, Kajsa’s Brownie troop entered the “veggie creatures” contest at our local fair. The girls brainstormed ideas, and decided on “Fairy Girl Scouts” made out of cucumbers. Adorable, fun, silly and loaded with prep work for the leaders. Thus, my brief stint as a wig designer for vegetables began. And ended.
I now present to you the photographic evidence…
I really wish I had a picture of me, Joan (my fearless co-leader) and Per sitting at the big farm house table at the Main Street Market, eating lunch and sorting through all the supplies in preparation for the meeting. “Here are the sashes and vests….I have the acorn hats…do you think this is enough hair?” It makes me giggle just thinking about it.
By the way…the troop won 3rd place! Go Brownies!