Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Almost There

Well, five days before the big trip. We can't believe it is upon us. We are packed and have done all that we can think of to prepare for the trip. Things like:
  • Get shots and medicine to take on the trip.
  • Make all reservations and plans in advance. Boy, was that a lot of work, but hopefully it will cut down on what we have to do on the trip
  • All of the major flights are through frequent flier - we chose to use Delta and their alliance. It is only 210,000 miles per person for six stops going business class
  • Arranged for all our bills to be paid while we are gone
  • Gotten a friend to house and dog sit while we are gone
  • Packed one suitcase each for carry-on and one suitcase to check with all the liquids that we need. It is unbelievable what our medicine kitty looks like and how fast a suitcase can fill up
  • Gotten an MVP to download pictures as we take them in different countries and also to have listen to Japanese lessons and music. Things like this are beginning to tax Edith's technology knowledge in terms of all that is available. Also we hope to learn more Japanese so that when we get there, we will be able to communicate in Japanese with our relatives
  • Tried to do some preparation in case disasters like hurricanes happen while we are gone.

In fact, we can't wait to get on the airplane because once we've boarded, we have done all that we can. No more preparation - it is what it is.

Our first stop is Sintra, Portugal. We have rented a villa which you can see in the pictures. Bailey, Carol's husband is joining us for this part of the trip and other friends of Carol will also be coming.

It is supposed to be a very beautiful part of the country - an historical town near the coast of Lisbon, it was a favorite retreat of kings. The coastline is dramatic, the forests are thick and lucious and the streets are lined with cobblestone. Hope it lives up to its reputation. We expect good eating from the markets, great weather and good company - just in time to chill out from all the preparations for this voyage.

During our 10 days there, we have rented a car and will see some of the countryside. We are thinking about visiting a number of small towns like Calas de Rainya, Alcobaca, Batalha, Setubal, Evora. Of course, we hope to partake in the great port wine and seafood for which Portugal is well-known. At the end of our trip, we are going to spend two days in Lisbon so look for stories and pictures next week.