• Day1

    Off we go!

    December 26, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    First things first is the christmas outfit! Went all out!
    Second thing is I'm never flying on Boxing Day again - too hectic trying to get everything organised for a long trip combined with christmas. And everything takes longer than you think.
    Even a simple thing like advising the banks of the travel plans took ages. ANZ have a very detailed procedure where you list dates in and out of each country and because my plans involve several countries and abit of back and forth I kept on getting timed out - so thats one hour of my life that I will never get back!

    Next was the packing. Naturally this wasn't started until I got home on christmas night. You can see the chaos in the photo!
    And so of course last minute isn't complete unless you soak your clothes in mosquito repellant thus ensuring they are not dry for the flight. You can see some of them drying laid out on plastic in the background of the photo!
    Then as you are stressing out with the packing there is the lovely scent of permethrin in the air from the mosie soaked clothes as you wonder if the ventilation is enough so that it doesn't become toxic.

    Anyway no sleep for me as I head off to the airport!
    Tried to buy my way into the business class lounge to no avail so I left mum (aka margy) and headed for the floor - literally! So exhausted I joined a few people who were lying on the floor in one of the gate areas. A new low.

    Flew american airlines which I haven't done for a while - good food in terms of airline food - much better than united and delta. Killer chocolate mouse.
    And as a bonus a very good looking crew!

    Arrived in the US before we left for our 2nd boxing day. Weirdly customs didn't open until 6am so we had to sit on the tarmac. Checked into our budget hotel - booked the night before so we could check straight in.

    So as mum went to bed I headed off to an Amazon pick up centre where I had some purchases directed. Such a great idea and saves postage to Australia if you happen to be going to the States. And they accept returns saving postage which is good because I returned two items. You will see my happy face picking up my goods in a later post!

    Then to REI in San Monica for sturdy walking shoes and ugly waterproof sandals. Mission achieved - see photo of super ugly walking sandals

    Then it all went to shit! Tried to withdraw US dollars for the trip and discovered I had mistakenly bought my expired citibank card. I have a truly terrible track record with card mishaps on my travels. So after discussions with Citibank in the US and calls to Australia I can get my money but then discover the transfer of funds is still pending.

    More calls to Australia and I transfer my money out of Citibank back to ANZ but won't be able to access the funds until Ecuador. Also my emails and text messages on my mobile are not sending/receiving so I have to change my mobile number in my Citibank profile to mum's mobile which is working - another call to Australia. However I can go online for sending/receiving emails but in Cuba wi fi is going to be few and far between.

    Thankfully I am not travelling solo at this stage so we have the money from margy's Citibank transfer but her card is not working. Another call to Australia to fix that up. Then we also take the maximum each day from margy's savings account but we still haven't got as much money as we wanted to take.

    Anyway I take margy to another REI store to get her ugly waterproof sandals for the Galapagos and after alot of trying on the perfect model are not in in her size! Bummer. We try other places but nothing.

    We have dinner in my favourite burgar place In n Out and while margy goes back to the hotel I go to Target and CVS - another two of my favorite stores - to stock up on a few things for the trip.

    Go to bed exhausted and stressed about the expired card and the money situation!
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