After six months of planning and designing flexible solutions for various "what if" scenarios, Day 1 has arrived. In a couple of hours Bob will swing by to take us to the airport. Last night was one of tossing and turning - S was in high productivity mode, and coiled tight like a spring. Got maybe 6 hours of fitful sleep, and K was not much better. Yesterday (Day 0) was spent entirely with bringing all the planning together. Forwarding phones so we can receive calls to any of our USA numbers on my cell phone in South America - done. Took me hours to work out the scheme, and over an hour to implement it yesterday. And it works like a charm when forwarded to my USA cell number, kindly provided by a T-Mobile pre-paid SIM card on an ancient iPhone 3GS. Getting my work phone forwarded to someone trustworthy (Connie), who will find someone to address urgent matters as they arise. Providing our emergency contact information to Connie and some other reliable folks. Reassuring family that we will not be out of touch. Taking out the garbage. Getting a haircut that may need to last 6 weeks. Talking to the neighbors, and advising them to watch out for things here. Getting the salt washed off the vehicles which will sit idly in the garage for over a month. Cleaning the house. Eating the last of the food. And packing.
We had a bit of a setback in the packing arena. Indeed everything on our detailed list did fit inside our four small bags - a backpack, large satchel, medium satchel, and tiny purse. But the satchels were pretty well full, the backpack looks like it has a goiter, and the tiny purse looks like it was filled with expanding construction foam. We decided to take a small gym bag to hold the purse and a few contents from the other bags. So now our luggage looks like this:
Not too bad for six weeks, and the purple gym bag can be folded down and carried, or abandoned, as we use some of the consumables we are taking.
For the morning we still need to shower and dress, eat breakfast, take out last minute garbage, turn the furnace and water heaters down to low, forward one last phone, and disconnect our roof heating cables - Bob will reconnect them if we get ice forming while we are gone. I will also take digital photos of the contents of the house for a sort of makeshift inventory, just in case. Oh yes, one inch of fresh Utah powder snow to remove from the driveway and walks. Tomorrow it will be summertime for us!
Our trip routing today takes us from Salt Lake City to Chicago, then an overnight flight to Sáo Paulo, Brazil. We are scheduled to arrive in Brazil at around 10:30 AM local time tomorrow, which is 5:30 AM here. The new United Airlines (mostly Continental Airlines in flavor) has decided that everything is for sale. So it looks like the Boeing 777 is full in 1st Class and Business Class, nearly completely empty in the middle, and nearly full in the low class rear. We, of course, are in the front row - of the low class rear! Moving up just one row to get an extra 3 inches of legroom will cost us $100 apiece, so no thanks to that. Not sure how much extra money they will charge for carry-on bags, oxygen masks, seat belts, the in-flight corporate magazine, or water. I expect we will be quite groggy upon arrival in Brazil. Stay tuned for more adventures!
It seems like I had just one more thing to do. What was it? Oh, I remember. Turn off this computer. Bye!