What a relief! We had difficulty figuring out where to go in the US and finding flights and holiday homes available so close to Christmas and on short notice. We researched for hours, finding only a few flights with less travel time and almost no holiday homes available for our preferred dates of December 15 to March 31, three and a half months.
The first question we asked ourselves was where we wanted to go. We were thinking of either Nevada, our home state or Arizona, close to the Mayo Clinic. There were no affordable holiday homes in Phoenix, Scottsdale, or Apache Junction, close to Tom’s sisters, since so many retirees and seniors visit Arizona during winter.
There were several condos available on VRBO for Lake Las Vegas. Years ago, when I visited my son, Richard, he showed me the area, and I loved it. It stayed in my mind as a possible place to stay at some time in the future. The reason there was availability in that area is the 25-mile drive to the Las Vegas Strip, where most visitors prefer to be in close proximity.
For us, staying there makes life so much easier right now. And easy is what we’re looking for based on current circumstances. We need easy grocery shopping, going out to dinner, and some form of socialization, which may be readily available in Lake Las Vegas.
So, here’s what we booked/planned in the past 24 hours:
- December 14: Drive for three hours to Guayaquil, where there is a larger airport than Manta and shorter flight times
- December 14: Fly from Guayaquil to Panama City to Las Vegas
- December 15: Pick up the rental car at the airport in Las Vegas
- December 15: Check in to the holiday home in Lake Las Vegas. See the link here. Dates: December 15, 2023, to March 31, 2024
- December 30: Return the rental car to the airport and pick up another
- January 9: Drop off the rental car
- January 10: Tom flies to Chicago for his pulmonology appointment regarding exposure to asbestos while working on the railroad for 42½ years
- January 10: Tom flies back to Las Vegas from Chicago and picks up another rental car
- February 10: Drop off the rental car at Las Vegas airport and pick up another.
We’re renting cars, which are so expensive in Nevada, using reward points. On one of our credit cards, collision insurance is included for only the first two weeks of the rental, whereas on another card, we are covered for 31 days. We chose the card based on the rewards’ value, but must comply with the insurance periods.
As a result, we’ll have to return the rental car after having it for only two weeks. It’s 15 miles to the airport from Lake Las Vegas. Coverage is only provided on new contracts, not extensions on prior contracts. Tom is fine with this. Also, I will be driving the rental car to the grocery store. Tom is thrilled with this, and I won’t mind being able to take my time while shopping. It’s mind-blowing for me to be able to peruse the countless options.
I’ve spent enough time sitting at my broken laptop for one 24-hour period. I am excited to put it down and relax a little.
Photo from ten years ago today, November 26, 2013: