Yesterday, we spent most of the day at Greg’s home in Chaska, about a 20-minute drive from here. We stopped at Target to get some football-watching snacks. It was fun to watch the game with Greg and the kids, who wandered in and out of the family room during the three-hour game, chatting with us on each occasion.
When Camille returned from Christmas shopping, it was great to catch up with her. By about 4:00 pm, we were going back to the hotel to make a plan for dinner and put away all the laundry we’d washed and dried at their house. With the clothes we purchased at Target when we arrived last Saturday, we only had two loads of laundry.
It was great to use a clothes dryer. It had been a long time since we had access to a clothes dryer. Everything came out unwrinkled, and nothing shrank. We’d each bought a few flannel shirts to stay warm, and I was concerned they’d all shrink, but this morning I am wearing one of those shirts, and there was no shrinkage whatsoever. Even my flannel pajamas came out perfectly.
We begin thinking about any items we may need before leaving the US, knowing we won’t return for nine months. Saying goodbye this time will be a lot easier, knowing we’ll return next September at the end of two cruises. We’ll also head to Nevada to see Richard and renew our driver’s licenses in our state of residence.
While here, we’ve made several phone calls to see if we qualify for any refunds or credits due to our recent travel fiasco. But we’ll need to wait until we return to South Africa to get the wheels in motion. Ethiopian Air doesn’t consider our bags “lost” until 25 days have passed, so we can’t file a claim until then. Our credit card lost baggage benefit will also require documentation from the airline showing our bags are considered lost. We have no choice but to wait.
It appears we won’t be able to recover any part of the loss of the cruise fare. This is frustrating, but they consider the obstacle we encountered “our fault.” We take full responsibility for the fiasco but are disappointed with the cruise company, and Intrepid Travel didn’t give us a heads-up when we inquired about any governmental documents we may have needed to enter Seychelles. There’s nothing more we can do. It’s frustrating.
But, as always, we must pick ourselves up and carry on and focus on the positives in our lives for which we feel grateful and fulfilled. Slowly, I am beginning to feel better, but the headache pops up every few days and the facial pain remains. I don’t know if I am going to seek further treatment. At this point, I feel like I have tried everything possible.
Perhaps, I have to resign myself to these lingering Omicron symptoms, and in time, they will improve. It is not debilitating in a manner that impacts our lives, but I am aware of it each day. I make a concerted effort to stay cheerful and take extra good care of myself. I am still using the various nasal treatments which, luckily, I had in my carry-on bag. When we fly on the 16-hour flight from Newark to Joburg, I won’t be able to use the products since it’s not sanitary in the plane’s restrooms.
In only three days, we’ll be on our way. Our first flight from Minneapolis to Newark is at 2:00 pm on Thursday. We have a long layover in Newark, 3 hours and 20 minutes, and then we’re off to Joburg on the 16-hour flight. Once we arrive in Joburg we’ll stay overnight at the City Lodge airport hotel to catch our flight on Airlink the following day. This way, we avoid driving to Marloth Park in the dark on the dangerous N4 Highway.
Soon, we head out to make one more stop at Target for a few items, and then Tom will drop me off at my friend Chere’s home in Eden Prairie for a few-hour visit with a dear old friend.
That’s it for today, friends. Have a great day!
Photo from one year ago today, December 5, 2021: