Sunday, March 24, 2013

I see "Cowboys" stickers, but ... is THIS Guatemala ??

White-out in Denver, yesterday.  30-something flights canceled, but ... not mine :-)

No.  Mine was delayed 5hrs.  No a real problem, except ... my connection to my Guatemala flight -- at DFW -- only allowed me 55 minutes.

Let's see.  Nope.  The math doesn't work.

Took a room a few miles from DFW, and will be shooting for TODAY'S 4:55pm DFW > GUA flight.

Nothing of note, but ... I DID stay in a Holiday Inn Express, last night :-)

Cousin Donald ??  I know you don't have a phone or a laptop with you, on this trip.  Can you feel this ??  Pick it up telepathically ?  Did you even NOTICE that I didn't knock on the door of Room #6, last night ?

So, at least *I* will miss Antigua, today, but ... it's Easter, and much will be closed.

Guess the new goal is to catch up with Frances at the Guatemala City airport, at 10:30am, in the morning.

Yep.  That's travel :-)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

38 hours left

The airport shuttle will snatch me up on Saturday morning, at 8am.

That leaves me two more breakfasts, pre-trip -- both of which will be assembled at the oh-so-local 7/11, about 50' from the hotel.

Yes, you CAN eat healthfully at a convenience store, but I don't plan to.  Decent coffee, some juice, and .... their sinfully delicious cheese/cherry danish.

The entire hotel room is packed and boxed.  Tomorrow, it all goes (two trips ?) to the storage space.  On the last trip to the storage space, I'll -- literally -- get out of my "street clothes," and into my travel duds.

Oh, I'll DEFINITELY look like the quintessential "adventure tourist," but ... c'est la vie.  Could be a conversation starter :-)

Dinner with my brother and sister-in-law, tomorrow evening.  I'll leave them my car, in exchange for a ride home.

The stuff is all purchased, sorted, organized, and packed.  The documents are all in waterproof pouches.  The "legal" documents are all completed, executed, witnessed, Notarized, and on their way to a family member for safe keeping.

Just in case a civil war breaks out, spontaneously, while we're ... somewhere, or ... Cousin Donald just gets sick of me and asphyxiates me.

I'm insured against either, incidentally.

Forecast calls for snow and ice on departure day, but ... that's not foreign to Denver International Airport.  Should be okay.

I want to offer my humble and sincere thanks to all who have helped to facilitate this trip, and to those who offered to do so.  I couldn't have done it without you.

Flying, this weekend, will prompt some insecurities in me.  A short while AFTER my flight, the TSA has decided that passengers will be allowed to carry knives with blades of less then 2.36" in length.  For some inexplicable reason, I KNOW I'd feel safer if I had a 2.358" blade in my carry on luggage.


Instead, I have a flashlight.  That will have to do :-)

The early travel, to the Mayan Village, in the Sierra de los Cuchamatane Mountains, will be the most "rugged --" maybe of our whole Central American journey.

After that, we'll probably enjoy more populous locales with more developed infrastructure.  With luck, we'll find a few beach towns that call to us, maybe rent an apartment, and stay for a week or two.  We could both use a tan.

The domestic phone service contract ended, today.  The international phone is alive and well, but -- I'm certain -- expensive to use.  I've decided NOT to throw away food, so ... I'm eating everything in the 'house.'  Luckily, I can do that ;-)

Even if I don't have internet access, in the village, I'll keep a running 'diary,' and upload the posts when I can.

Take good care, everybody.  Hug those that you love.  Keep them close.  And find your own little adventures -- no matter how seemingly pedestrian -- while I'm gone.  Just push a CENTIMETER outside of your daily comfort zone.  It's good for the soul.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Ahhhhhhh, Logistics. Sweet, SWEET logistics :-)

My last job was Director - Planning & Logistics for ... some company or another.

Meaning: I can figure out what we're doing, when we're doing it, and what it will take TO do it, and then back into the timelines to get it all done.

Yeah.  It requires coffee and the occasional aspirin, but ... generally ... I can do it :-)

The interesting thing about this trip is ... I'm cutting loose the tethers from any permanent residence.  No fixed address.

NOT easy to do.  Since I haven't divested all of my worldly possessions, you'd be amazed at how many entities require a fixed address.

So I gave them one: my dear brother and sister-in-law's house ;-)

The rest is a series of changes of address, shunting everything to an international mail forwarding service that gives you a street (rather than a PO Box) address, and -- for a price, of course -- will overnight your stuff to you, wherever you are.

Very cool is their process: they scan (take a picture of) and weigh every inbound piece of your mail.  Then the user interface allows you to have it sent, shipped to you, pitched, or -- for an upcharge -- opened, and its CONTENTS scanned.

All that you tally for forwarding ... will provide you with a total weight, and -- based on the destination -- an estimated shipping charge.

All the comforts of home, without actually having a home.

So, about .63 Billion Changes of Address need to be processed, online.

Received my Passport.  Purchased my traveler's medical/evacuation insurance.  Unwrapped all my goodies, and have been trying all permutations of take/leave -- just playing.

It's T-minus 12 days.  It's all coming together nicely.

Except the whole "leaned over while brushing my teeth, and threw my back out" thing.

Has happened maybe twice in my life.  I don't have a bad back (note to back: y'hear that ???).  Tylenol and some rest.  My back has work to do.

Tomorrow, I have an eye doctor appointment.  Though I can no longer wear my magical "scleral, fluid-filled prosthetic lenses," a light bulb went off: how about "soft bandage contact lenses ?"

The eye doc thought it was a wonderful idea.  Cross your fingers that it'll work.  The chemically burned eyes are profoundly dry.  It's maybe a 30/70 proposition, but worth a try.

So ... the "TO BUY" list is shifting powerfully from "NEED-heavy" to "HAVE-heavy," while the "TO-DO" list is extremely heavy on "X's" in the "DONE" column.

I wish I could term my state of mind as excited, but ... this is like a long trip to the Mayo Clinic -- something I've done before -- a medical journey ... a search for wellness.

And so it goes.