Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saturday, 8 September 2007 (Atlanta to Amsterdam)

I had been smiling non-stop all day long. It started with a Weight Watchers meeting, where B and I had our pre-safari weigh-in. We thought it would be neat to see how we did after two weeks of African safari food. (Little did we know exactly how well we would eat during our journey.) We had our friends witness our living wills (always a good idea to get an update before traveling overseas), and they wished us luck, happy pictures, and happy eating.

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 4:45, so we spent the day relatively quietly. This was going to be very hard, saying goodbye to Momma and the Three for two weeks. I expected it to be hardest on Noble. Abby and Angus tend to stick together, whereas Noble, being the Alpha, is most comfortable when the entire pack is together. And they know the difference between a weekend in Tallahassee and a major trip (though either way Angus enjoys a good nap on the clothes.) I don't remember how many times we kissed the furries between wake-up and lunchtime.

After going through the bags one final time, we had a light lunch, then headed to the airport around 1:00. They say give about 3 hours for an international flight out of ATL, so we made sure to get there around 1:45. I wish we could have spent more time as a family, but usually it's easiest if we just say our goodbyes at the curb. Again, it was very hard, handing out the hugs, and best wishes. But all the time I have been reminded of how great this gift was, and would be, to be able to make this safari, when I never in my life thought it could happen. So we said goodbye, thankful for the chance to come home and share memories, pictures, videos, and to celebrate being together again. Backpacks on our shoulders, Micato bags rolling behind us, through the doors and off we were.

Thankfully the typical ATL experience was not typical this time. From check-in, through security, and to the gate, under an hour. Really not too shabby at all. B went and got a Starbucks, and I started listening to my safari mix on my iPod (for the first of a zillion times on this trip). We spoke to Momma two or three times before boarding KLM flight 622. We had some nice folks sitting all around us, including a young gentleman with a look of purpose on his face. I wondered where he was off to in Europe, but figured I'd never find out. Sitting in seat 20B, I couldn't help but look around us and wonder to myself "who else on this flight is going on safari?" I guessed we wouldn't find other adventurers until we got on the next flight. We were scheduled for 12 in our group, so there seemed to be a good chance to have at least two others on our next leg.

It was a very comfortable plane, comfy seats, with those neat side-folding headrests and a cornucopia of choices with the in-seat entertainment. The dinner was good, with chicken, curry cous cous and a light sponge cake. Of course I followed that with a brownie, a Butterfinger, and a mint patty, all from home. The lights didn't go off until very late, and although I liked the idea of choosing from the movies, I brought my sleepmask for the purpose of actually sleeping, so I figured I should go ahead and get a few hours, but not before enjoying some more iTunes. I had loaded Toto's Africa, and it wasn't until recently that I realized the line " sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti" was a complete myth - Kilimanjaro rises over Amboseli, thank you very much. I should write a letter to VH1. Time to get a few winks, just enough to make it through the layover at Schiphol.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Friday, September 7, 2007

19 hours to take off...

Will I even get any sleep tonight? Probably, I'm pretty beat.

Lord, please be with us all while we go on our adventure. Even when our family is apart, we know that we are together because you are with us. Thank you for this blessing.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

One more day at work...

Then it's off to Africa. Trying to wrap up everything here and get my mind in the right frame of mind. Funny, how some vacations will put you in the right frame of mind (Disney, anyone?) and others need a little prepping. I think just being over there will do it for me, but I enjoying trying to focus on what's to come.

Mother just sent me a wonderful message, the Real Simple Daily Thought:

September 06, 2007
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.
— St. Augustine

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Even longer than I thought

OK, I'm at work, so I have to make this quick, but MAN, this is going to be a long week. I've checked the countdown clock (get it here at on my desktop about 30 times already. I've even set my watch ahead 7 hours. This is nuts.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The final countdown

Something tells me this is going to be one of the longer weeks in recent memory...

Sunday, September 2, 2007

In one week, I'll be in Nairobi

The bags are packed, saved for a few items. We've been through our list a few times, and the weight in each duffel (duffell?) is less than 33. It helps to add the heavy stuff to the backpack, and make sure they don't weight that!

I wonder how relaxed or removed from stress I'll feel this time next week. I hope so.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

One Week

Flight leaves a week from today. Now is the time to go through the bag and make sure we have everything. I noticed that Micato changed the recommended packing list. No they say just 4 sets of underwear, fewer changes of clothes, etc. That's not a bad thing, I guess. It all turns on weight and how often you wish to have your clothes cleaned.

I've updated my backpack, now it's ready to go.

And currently playing on mouseworldradio....Horizons ride-thru. Nice.