Thursday, August 23, 2007

Progress Report...

Thought it was a time for an update, since we're only 60 days away from the big trip happening.

I have got all my tickets, they turned up at the travel agent within two working days of me booking and paying for everything. So my flights and Amtrak pass are all groovy, as well as my insurance (I was re-reading that document, I'm covered for EVERYTHING!)

I got an email yesterday to tell me that my passport has been approved, created and I'll be able to pick it up next week some time. God, you should see the photo. Why did I wear my hair back in a bun that day? I never photograph well like that! At least they accepted the photo, the lady in the post office told me they might not because the rim of my glasses is too close to my eye on one side. Thankfully it didn't come back for me to get re-done, they cost me $14!! Rip off!

I'm in the process of getting myself sorted for money access while I am in the US at the moment. Making sure I can access my accounts and stuff, that they're secure, that I'm not paying through the eyeballs for conversion to US and Canadian $$, setting up an emergency fund to be safe, and making sure all my bills at home will be paid directly while I'm away. Just so I don't have to worry about them.

So, the current plan is now to spend Christmas in Michigan with Mandie (hey hon!) and New Year in Pennyslvania with Karen and Autumn (*waving*). It will be so damn fabbo to have a Christmas/New Year that aren't traumatic or depressing! Yay for being selfish and doing something for ME this year.

I also really want Mandie to take me to Hell. So I can fix all those bastards in life who told me to "Go to Hell" or promised me stuff when "Hell freezes over". Hopefully it WILL be frozen over while I'm there! One of the guys at work has begged me to send him a postcard from Hell, so I must find something suitable for him.

I am so excited about this trip. I find myself just drifting off into thoughts and ideas and daydreams about it all the time. Sometimes it gets a bit daunting, being my first trip out of the country and all, particularly as I'm doing it so THOROUGHLY. No two week guided tours for me, nope, jumping on in for almost three months and doing it on my own (with plenty of friends along the way). Mostly it's only the REALLY big cities that daunt me though. Chicago, New York... probably because I am a Brissie girl after all, and I found Sydney boggled my brain. I have this silly fear of getting lost. But it IS silly, because I have a fantastic sense of direction. Well I hope that when I get to the Northern Hemisphere it isn't thrown out too much.

Oh, and I'm dying to flush a toilet over there and watch it go down the pipe backwards. But I'm like that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Lot o' Money... But Worth It!

Today I slapped down the largest sum of money I've ever spent in one place! Booked my flights to and from the US, paid for my passport, insurance, tax, a flight to Vancouver from Chicago, and an Amtrak pass for one month for anywhere in the US. So it's definitely done now, I'm all booked ready to go.

I leave Brisbane on the morning of the 24th of October, and arrive in Denver on the afternoon of... the 24th of October. Gotta love the time difference thing hey? I actually come home from Chicago, leaving there on the 7th of January 2008. So all in all I am in the US (with a sojourn to Vancouver) for 11 weeks.

I've also booked my flight from Chicago to Vancouver on the 19th of November, and I hope to spend about a week there. I'll head back into the US via Seattle, where I pick up my month long nation-wide Amtrak pass, and I want to make my way across country to Florida, then up the Atlantic coast to NYC!

From there I'm not sure, but I have to be back in Chicago on the 7th of January to fly home.
This is so exciting! I can't believe I'm finally doing it!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Game On!

Well I got the word yesterday that my finance has come through for my trip! Only 24 hours after I put in my application. So Monday morning I am all booked to go to the bank and sign my life away (well, the next 5 years anyway) and they'll consolidate everything for me, and hand me a lovely big pile of money.

From there I go visit the travel agent and book my tickets to the US of A. My current plan is to make Denver, Colorado my port of entry. I hope to be there on or about the 24th of October, ready for my birthday on the 25th. And of course the plan is to spend birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year over there, heading home in the first week of January 2008.

Somewhere in there I want to get up to Vancouver so that I can see my dear friend Ian, whom I haven't seen for, God it would be 12 years or so now. Maybe more. I miss him!

I'm so excited, I'm beside myself. I've got SO much planning to do over the next 10 or so weeks, and of course it will zoom by so quickly, I am sure.

I promise I will keep this more updated from here on in, and this will be the basic port of call for info for me while I am away. Just so you've only got one place to check for updates!