Prep & Planning

No Turning Back Now: We Just Bought Return Airfare

Posted on: Monday, October 20th, 2008
Posted in: Travelog, Latest Trip, Prep & Planning | Leave a comment

San Juan, Puerto Rico: The best place to fly home from.

  • $206: The per-person cost of a one-way ticket on Delta from San Juan. Cheap cheap!
  • Today: The day we decided on a date and bought the tickets. Non refundable.
  • 2-24-08: The day we fly home.
  • 69: Number of days we’ll be gone. If all goes as, dare I say, “planned.”
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A Place to Call Home? NOT!

Posted on: Wednesday, October 15th, 2008
Posted in: Travelog, Latest Trip, Prep & Planning | Leave a comment

The good news was: We were close on a lead for a nice house in Dominica, an island we’ve never visited but are curious about.

The bad news is: It’s off. PSYCHE!

It was fun while it lasted. The view from the roller coaster is stunning when you’re on the top and moving slowly. But then, you start falling, falling, falling—SCREAM!

That house is not only too expensive, but it is not yet finished. They say it WILL be by the time we’d get there. But we know islands enough to know…otherwise.

So we’re now looking at about 6 alterna-accomodations on Dominica. You know, jungle retreats, organic farms, little apartments. And the possibility of moving around a lot (yuck!) and gaining a lot of experiences (hit or miss).

Those options all come courtesy of a rental agent there. But there are more questions than answers, again. More unknowns than knowns.

So many dilemmas, so little time. Once again, winter in Minnesota ain’t sounding so bad.

Just don’t ask me about THAT in Jan or Feb.

  • ODDS OF GOING: 30%
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Doors Will Open: A Lead for Housing Appears

Posted on: Thursday, October 9th, 2008
Posted in: Travelog, Latest Trip, Prep & Planning | Leave a comment

As my family plans our BreakAway, the biggest obstacle still facing us is finding a shanty (or castle—ha!) to crash in after the first few weeks on St. John. We have a few possibilities in play. Hooray!

Do they look perfect? Of course not! Are they for sure where we would choose to go? Heck, no. Desperate and late and frugal as we are, must we try to trust the fates and follow these leads like groupies follow rock stars? Therefore:

  • ODDS OF GOING: 75% and holding…
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

No Place to Call Home

Posted on: Thursday, October 9th, 2008
Posted in: Travelog, Latest Trip, Prep & Planning | Leave a comment

Brrr. Pout. Sigh.

We’ve had some contact with folks who have houses, modest or otherwise, that we thought would be candidates for long-term rental. You see, most places rent by the week—and already have much of their season rented. So we can’t live there. And we don’t want to move around all the time, what with kids and work to do and all.

Anyway, no luck so far. Our alleged angels are either too expensive, not interested, unaligned with our schedule, or all the above. Maybe we’ve picked the wrong place to go. It’s a jungle down there.

We now don’t have one decent live lead in play. I’m like, we could end up living on the streets. Or worse yet, coming home with our tails between our legs to live out yet another tundra winter.

Plan Z, if all else fails, is now an overdue consideration. I love the Caribbean. But maybe she don’t love me. HELP!?!?!

  • ODDS OF GOING: 33%, and dropping
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Let’s Go! But Where?

Posted on: Wednesday, September 17th, 2008
Posted in: Travelog, Latest Trip, Prep & Planning | Leave a comment

Hello, World.

Please be kind. For some of us, this sort of exhibitionism is un-natural.

“This” is my blog—a word that always sounds to me like a three-dimensional burp. A noise your body makes when you’ve guzzled too much beer. (Don’t get any on ya…) And this is my first official blogpost. Sounds like funky body piercing.

The very thought of strangers reading my stuff makes me wince. Fortunately, I know better: 3 out of 4 blog readers are fellow bloggers, sniffing at each other (or so I’ve read). And most blogs get little attention in the crowded chaos and cacophony of the internet. So maybe there’s not much to worry about. And yet, maybe Link Love will save the world.

Still with me?

Hope so. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

LIKE…In 3 months, the next Sabbatical (a.k.a. BreakAway) begins. One-way air tickets will take us to St. John for about 17 days, and then…

LIKE…Where do we go from there? Could it be the Bahamas? Bermuda? Dominica? Grenada? Timbuktu? With some angst I must confess: I don’t know. Wasn’t it the late, great Donald Rumsfeld who once declared, “There are known knowns…There are unknown knowns…But there are also unknown unknowns.” Wow. How did he know? As for my troops, we just want to know…what are our marching orders?

That conversation has, at times, taken on a contentious, cocky tone that does NOT soothe the soul like a Sabbatical should. Sure, there are many options, but many more criteria and obstacles (known and unknown). Not to mention, the Caribbean is not exactly known for its easy transportation, affordable prices (on anything!), and transparency.

I mean, each and every island thinks of itself as an island unto itself. Island time rules, among other bizarre rules that take time to figure out. A ferry that runs “on the hour” may go awol, have a breakdown or mutiny, or take a week off for a holiday you’ve never heard of. Heck, there are countless languages, dialects, currencies, and chunks of sharp coral just waiting to slash and infect you during a simple snorkel outing. OUCH! No doubt: The planning is the hard part. Getting there is not always half the fun.

LIKE…What does one do with the feelings that arise now? You know: Fear, denial, panic, sticker-shock, nausea, family differences, what have ya. Wish I knew. Sometimes it sucks. I’m like, who needs THIS?

That all stated, we aim to go anyway. Or at least try. Having done this a few times before, I’m familiar with the emotional hurricanes that blow up about now. Good thing I’m much better as the years go by at managing such messes and stresses. HA!

  • ODDS OF GOING: 55%
  • TODAY’S BIGGEST BUTT: Cost—even a golf cart is $300/week in the Bahamas; airfare for one scenario just passed $8k (for cattle class, although in the islands you’re more likely to be seated with goats.)
  • TODAY’S BIGGEST GROAN: The markets are sucking wind. How can one justify spending savings when those investments are worth less every day? Don’t postpone joy, sure, but on whose dime?
  • TODAY’S BIGGEST INSPIRATION: It’s summer again here, and I want it to last forever. So remember: It does in the Caribbean!
  • TODAY’S BIGGEST PROCRASTINATION: It’s summer again here, and I’m thinking maybe it will last forever (so we won’t need to go to the Caribbean!).
  • TODAY’S PROMISE: A hot kayak ride at sunrise leaves a guy splashed with bliss and vinegary sweat.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email