Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jack's blog entry

Are you looking for something warm and cuddly to follow you through the house all day, giving you love every step of the way. Something to come cuddle up in your lap and purr his love for you each time you sit down. A warm cuddly ball who would do anything to sleep next to you at night. (Don't tell my owners that I am okay sleeping alone at night.)

I am looking for a loving home while my owners abandon me and leave me behind while they travel. I've begged them and pleaded with them to take me with them, I even convinced them to let me camp with them in the backyard in the tent and was on my best behavior. So far they have not given in, so I am sadly, beginning to search for someone to love me while they are away.

I come with my own automatic feeder, that feeds me twice a day for about four days, so if you are gone a few days, I'll miss you greatly, and I'll be okay. I am very good about going in my litter box, and as long as my toenails are cut every month or so I am really good about scratching only on my scratching box. I travel well, I love car rides and I've even flown on airplanes. I can stay alone for up to a week, but I do get quite lonely and very happy to see you when you return.

I'll be the best kitty you've ever met, and when my owners do return, I'll have loved you so well that you may not want to give me back! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 15, 2006

New Gear

After weeks of searching for the perfect tent, and sleeping bags, we had a chance to initiate our gear. We started Thursday night by setting up the new tent in the living room. I was especially happy that it is so simple and easy to set up after reading a complaint about difficult set up.

Saturday night we decided to set up camp in the backyard, we set up the tent and even stacked it to the ground. Next, we tried out our nifty thing-a-ma-jigs that keep our sleeping mats together through out the night and zipped together our warm new sleeping bags.

I felt sorry for Jack who was missing out in the house and Case graciously consented to let Jack sleep in the tent with us. Jack throughly enjoyed looking out the tent window most of the night and then cuddling between us, on top of us, and along side us through out the night. Jack, has already cast his vote for joining in the next camping trip. Although my empathy and Case's graciousness feel a little less likely to give in after getting less sleep then usual!

Our tent got our stamp of approval, the sleeping bags were great, roomy and warm, just need to work out the bugs with the sleeping mats. Case's therm-a-rest is twice as thick as mine and he felt like he was falling off a cliff to my sleeping mat through out the night. So it looks like he'll need to down grade from the therm-a-rest(less likely) or I'll need to up grade (more likely).

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Change of plans.

Earlier I mentioned this year will be a ride of the planned and expected, the planned and unexpected and the flat out unexpected. The adventure is well under way...we just got unexpected news today. We've been planning to be in Oregon the end of October for months. Got all the information ready filled out all the forms to apply for the Oregon license, with some help from the locums agency, but the Oregon Medical Board will not have Case's license ready by then so we are not going to Oregon. So what's up for the month of November? Stay tuned, I have no idea!!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Preparations, Projects, & Processes

I've spent the last week organizing and starting the projects that need to be completed to take off. Case's previous realtor, Joyce, will be over seeing our home while we are way. She has been very generous to offer her help, and she is needed because we are hoping to do at least one home exchange over seas this year. We've been setting ourselves up with a few companies that help arrange these contacts. We are hoping to find a base home in Europe for a few months this year. It has been fun setting up, both this blog and home exchange web sites, and I am grateful to Case who patiently helps me when I get frustratingly stuck. We've also found people to finish all the details of the house remodel so we can pass our final inspection, as well as a tree maintence man to trim our trees, and remove our dead palm tree in the back yard that the power company topped because it was in the power lines.

I've also been poring over books, maps and websites to map out at least a loose plan of our travels for December - middle February. We are very excited and looking forward to exploring Chile and Argentina, especially southern Chile in the Lakes District, Patagonia and Torres del Paine, and if we can find away maybe make it down to Antarctica. Case dreams of seeing Antarctica and I am game to explore and adventure just about anywhere, although he may need to find me a warm tropical beach later to thaw me out! We have been setting ourselves up to travel warm and light even though it will be summer, the coastal tempertures will be in the mid-sixties for highs and Patagonia is know for wind and rain, Should make for interesting hiking and camping! We did hear back finally from our prospect for work in Anchorage, Alaska and it seems to have fallen through. The good news is that there are lots of options still remaining and since it took this long to hear back we had a feeling it wouldn't work out. It was a tighter work schedule than Case was looking for but the consistency did appeal. It is for the best because this leaves us more free to adventure and we will fit work in around our adventuring rather than work dictating when we can adventure in our sabbatical year.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Where will the adventure take us?

I've been on the internet alot lately...and we are beginning to hear from people who are interested in a house swap. It is fun to open the email and discover families writing from Denmark, Germany and the most interesting lady from Nairobi, Kenya. She wrote short informative emails, with hints regarding her work for the UN, writing from both Nairobi and Geneva where she was "servicing a conference on chemicals." She contacted us hoping to vacation near Disneyland, and looking at her web page she describes an amazing home, sleeping 10 with 6 bathrooms and a home theater. Unfortunately, Kenya wasn't on our agenda, but I couldn't help running it by Case, "Hey, if you ever wanted to go to Kenya, nows our chance."

This last Sunday REI had a sale, Case and I have been patiently waiting for this sale for the past two weeks, to buy our few remaining needed items. We found quality warm sleeping bags on sale, I found Gortex hiking shoes, Case needed a new camping stove, that can burn ANYTHING...gasoline, white gas, diesel....coal, wood, air,water....just kidding, and some small, light cooking pots. Now we are waiting for our last piece of equipment...Case's dream tent that he spent time researching on the web, it is quite an amazing tent, almost like sleeping outdoors, with a great rain fly. http://store.hermitshut.com/bldiskte.html.

Last week we also booked our airline tickets...after much hunting and searching on the internet and newspapers. The cheapest tickets were actually advertised in the travel section of the Los Angeles Times. We leave November 27, at 12:16 am, on Copa Airlines, lay over in Panama and then on to Buenos Aires, Argentina. We arrive home following the same route around 11am, February 21, 2007. (Yes, we will be away traveling over Christmas this year...as well, as both Case's, December 14th and Ginger's, December 12th, birthdays.)

After arriving in Buenos Aires we begin with a cruise, November 29, that follows the Argentina coastline south, around Cape Horn and into the Chilean Fjords. I am really pleased that we found this discounted cruise (www.vacationstogo.com) out of Argentina, because the going rate for a 3-4 day trip on a ferry with a berth, through just the Chilean Fjords, is $700-$1200 dollars in high season and we paid that much for an 18 day cruise.

Ports along the way include, Punta del Este and Montevideo, Uruguay; Puerto Madryn, Argentina; Port Stanely, Falkland Islands; Ushuaia, Argentina, near Cape Horn; Punta Arenas, Puerto chacabuco, Puerto Montt, all in the Chilean fjords and Lakes district of Chile; and then up the coast to Valdivia, Talchuano, Coquimbo and finally arriving inValparaiso/Santiago, Chile.

We may need a few days to find our land legs after that part of the trip.