We’ve been having WiFi issues this morning that put quite a damper on projects I hoped to get done before starting today’s post. After booking several trips, we must log the information onto our spreadsheet while it’s fresh in our minds to ensure we don’t miss a thing.
We have accurate records in Expedia, Hotels.com, Google, and TripIt. Still, we like to keep detailed records on our Excel spreadsheet with all of our upcoming expenses to plan finances and events for the future. So, at a glance, we can see what we’ve prepaid, what we’ll have to pay in the future, and any credits or perks we may receive on any trip.
I just received a message from Louise that the WiFi provider stated, “The fiber supplier is down. We have logged a call with them and are waiting for feedback. We will update you as soon as we get any news.” We can only wait and see what transpires. I am writing the text for today’s post in the Notepad app on my laptop.
Yesterday, we booked the hotel in Minneapolis for September 9 to September 23 after hearing back from the general manager of the Hyatt in Eden Prairie, where we stayed only months ago. He suggested we contact him when we knew we’d be returning, and we did so yesterday by email due to the time difference. We liked the ambiance, the spacious room, the breakfast, the cleanliness, and the friendly staff.
He offered us a reasonable US $25, ZAR 437 off per night, the best rate we found online, for the 14 nights we’ll be staying. Also, we booked the hotel at the Boston Logan Airport, where we’ll stay when we visit cousin Phyllis on August 30 before heading to Nevada. All we have left to do for that trip is book a rental car and a flight to Minneapolis, and we’ll be set for both trips to see family.
It made sense to stay at the airport hotel and take an Uber to meet Phyllis for dinner closer to her home, so she won’t have to drive far. Our flight the following day, the only non-stop we could get to Las Vegas, departs Boston at 7:00 am. This way, we won’t have to deal with leaving so early for the airport for the upcoming domestic flight.
We’re always thinking of ways to make travel days easier and less stressful. Sometimes we may pay a little more for such conveniences, but overall, we manage to make it work each time affordably, barring a few errors we may make from time to time, all of which we’ve shared here.
Once we had these bookings completed, we started discussing where we wanted to spend the remaining ten months until we returned to Marloth Park, when in July, August, or September 2024, daughter Tammy and family are coming to visit and stay with us at this house. That’s very exciting to us. It will be the first time any of our kids will come to see us in Africa. It’s a long way to travel and must take a lot of vacation time, considering four days is required for travel alone.
After many discussions over the past few months, we’ve decided we’ll be spending those ten months or so in South America, where we’ve been longing to see a few particular World Heritage locations, the Galapagos Island, and our long-time dream of traveling to the Pantanal, the largest marsh and ecologically diverse place on the planet.
Yesterday, our rep at Vacations-to-Go reserved a cabin for us on a 16-passenger expedition ship which will take us to see the Galapagos for 11 nights, including a four-day land tour and a seven-night cruise. Our cruise rep was going on vacation, so she reserved one of the two remaining cabins for us until she returns on February 15, at which point we’ll pay the deposit and firm up the details about the cruise. We’ll share more information at that time.
We had been using Costco for cruises, but this particular cruise’s pricing and response time were better at Vacations-to-Go.
Over the years, as we’ve mulled over visiting the Pantanal, more venues and houseboat-type cruises have become available, making the journey a little easier for us than sitting in a small row boat for hours each day. After all, we are senior citizens, and although we’re relatively sturdy, comfort enhances our experiences. In any case, it’s not the most comfortable journey, basically staying in a swamp/marsh for a week or more. But we’re anxious to see all the unusual wildlife in this unique area.
Last night, once again, we had a fun evening at Jabula, laughing, chatting, and commiserating with Dawn, Leon and David, and many other guests at the restaurant. Oddly, we ran into a couple from The Netherlands we’d seen at the immigration office in Nelspruit only days ago, also applying for a visa extension. It’s a Small world.
On another note, last Friday, we met a lovely young couple from the US at Jabula on Sunday night, and then on Monday, we ran into them driving on the paved road in Kruger. They, too, had been taking photos of the lion kill we’d posted on Tuesday this past week. What another funny coincidence.
The WiFi returned with a nice message from Tech Connect, our provider. They are very responsive, which means a lot to us. Now, I can get today’s post uploaded and work on entering information for the bookings mentioned above.
Photo from one year ago today, February 4, 2022:
No photo was posted on this date one year ago.