Saturday, 17 April 2010

RTW update

This last week we worked on an important aspect of our RTW planning: getting our French house finished, so that it can be let out and make its contribution to the budget. We sent Antonia off to Easter Holiday camp. She loved it but came back completely exhausted. I painted the basement, while a guy came in to plaster and paint the kitchen. All the kitchen things were moved into the living room so we could sort of use them, but there wasn't much space left. Plaster dust got everywhere anyway and Mike got sick, perhaps partly as a result. But the kitchen looks great and the guy is coming back while we are away in June to finish the upstairs. Mike and I went for a nice romantic lunch together, then we went to look for furniture for the basement. Mike knew what he wanted: solid wood bookcase units for a very large area for about 1000 Euros. Yeah, right! I'm waiting to see in what direction his ideas get adjusted.

In the meantime, I'm feeling so positive about everything that I started to seriously thrash out the itinerary for the US portion of our trip. I have changed my mind so much on this one. First we were going to drive across the US. Then we were going to get a camper van and drive around most of the western US. I'm sure there will be more changes, but I love itineraries so this is what we're doing now:
  1. Visit English family
  2. Transatlantic crossing from Southampton to New York
  3. Visit East Coast family and see a few sights
  4. Drive across the US to New Mexico
  5. 3 weeks in the deserts of New Mexico
  6. 1 week in Santa Fe
  7. Drive north to South Dakota
  8. 3 weeks in the Rapid City/Black Hills area
  9. 1 week in Yellowstone
  10. Drive to Olympic National Park area
  11. 3 weeks to 1 month in Olympic National Park
  12. Drive down Pacific Coast slowly taking in sights and visiting West Coast family
  13. 1 month in the Joshua Tree/Palm Springs area with excursions into Arizona, Nevada and other parts of California
  14. Take train back across the US, stopping in Chicago for a day or two
  15. Visit East Coast family, then fly out of US (my visa will expire)
  16. It's unclear where we'll go but the idea is that Mike and Antonia can spend Thanksgiving in the US, and I get to spend Christmas with my folks - though wouldn't I love it if I could persuade them to go somewhere warm!
  17. On to New Zealand and Australia, with no option at this late stage, but to fly out.
That's about 7 months, from April to October. So far, not much budget control has happened, but I can start thinking about it now that there exists a sort of plan.

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