Sunday, June 13, 2010

Meet our House Sitter Crew!!

Meet Kristi (mom), Kelsey(purple), & Kinlan (pink)! They'll be holding down our fort for us while we're away. They came by the house today to inspect the new digs and to get an idea about how things work here. I think the girls are excited to have their own room and lots of room to play. Amarra and the girls made fast friends. Kristi got a quick tutorial on using Skype, where the circuit breaker is located and how to add salt to the water softener. I'm pretty sure there will be a million things we'll forget, but hopefully our local friends and family will be able to help her out if any issues arise.

We received our amended itinerary, now sans China, but extended time in Europe and elsewhere. We now have e-tickets, which will make changing dates, if necessary, much easier. We're pinning down plans to get from Sydney to Port MacQuarie--we'll probably take the train b/c baggage fees alone for the flight option was going to run us close to $1200! There's a great deal on train tickets in the area from Melbourne in the South all the way to Brisbane in the North that's good for 6 months and costs just under $400 each for adults, then the kids get tickets for $1 each every trip! Tamara's been very busy getting the finer details of travel at least researched and we've done some purchasing.

It appears that my application to the Australasian Medical Council for my temporary license has been accepted, though I have not yet gotten word that I've been approved. Once I get that things should move pretty quickly on finalizing our Visa and my work contract. It's a relief to know that all the paperwork is pretty much done. It's also convinced us that it's not worth it to go through all this for Tamara to be able to work part time...way too much trouble.

Our August 5th departure day is officially just 53 days away now! I have 29 ED shifts left in those 53 days. And we have a TON of packing, and last minute items to finalize..are all the bills set up for auto pay? We have to suspend cell phone and home phone. We have to "winterize" the lake house. And some minor, but important, "something" seems to crop up every day. But it's close, and we're ready!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

No China :-(

Well, we're still going to Hong Kong, but b/c of the goofy 'Round-the-World' ticket rules and lack of available seats we had to add a segment in Tokyo (literally cost a segment b/c we arrive in one Tokyo airport and fly out of a different one...we can't go to China b/c of a 15 minute taxi ride!)

The kids are really disappointed as am is/was the number one country our family chose that we most want to visit.

On the positive side, they are going to be able to convert our paper tickets to e-tickets so we can make itinerary changes ourselves without going to an airport with the tickets. And, we were able to extend our time in India, Greece and Spain!

When we told Amarra this she asked if we would be able to "eat 100 crab legs" in Spain? I said, "What"? She said, I mean "Lobster legs, will we eat a lot of lobster legs?" Still confused we pushed her telling her we didn't understand why she was asking that. Finally she said, "Just like last time we were there, we at lobster at Dr. James' house." We said, "Oh! That was in Maine!" It was great for a laugh, they sounded a lot alike to her and she still can't quite comprehend the geography. But she understands enough to be embarrassed at the error.