Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dreaming of Warmer Weather

Last weekend my friend Anna and I took a little road trip over to WI for a quick visit due to Lisa's baby shower that her family threw for her. I also got to see Emili and her new baby Jonah, what a cutie! It was so nice to have all my girls together again - I miss them all so much! Lisa was a beautiful mother to be and hardly looked 7 months pregnant! Her family was so welcoming and a lot of fun to hang out with over the weekend! It felt just like college days when Anna, Lisa, and I spent the night at her parents' house and we stayed up until 2:30 AM (MI time, only 1:30 WI time) talking. It was so good to catch up. I've decided that I need to be better about calling and staying in touch more regularly so when we do get together it's less catching up and more heart-to-heart stuff, which I so dearly miss.

Cam and I have been talking about taking a trip to Europe for a while, but keep putting it off because my job has always been up in the air. After our trip to Australia and signing up for some credit card offers, we had enough miles for free flights for both of us to either Europe or South America. Last year I had just started at Amway and wanted to wait until I'd been there a year and had vacation time. But I left before that. And then I started at and wanted to wait until I had a permanent position or at least had an idea of when that might happen. But I'm not sure when either of those will happen. I recently got approval for a week and a half unpaid time off since temps don't have vacation time in June to take a trip, only to find out last week that flights booked with award miles book up way far in advance and there were literally no flights to anywhere in Europe for this summer. I was pretty bummed, but we decided that instead of waiting for next summer that we just had to go for it and work around it if we had to.

So we booked flights to Buenos Aires, Argentina over the week of Thanksgiving! Man, they sure do not make it very easy to book award flights either. Since we both have separate award mile accounts, the only way we could book our flights was to book them separately, but since there were only 3 flights left I was scared that we'd only get one booked, or we'd end up on different flights. So we had to call and reserve on the phone, but they try and tell you that there are no flights available when I'm looking right at them online. Basically you have to feed them all the flight numbers and it takes them forever and they charge you $25 to book over the phone, but we got our flights!

So the plan is to fly into Buenos Aires and stay there 4 nights. Then we're going to take a domestic fight over to Puerto Iguazu, which is where the Iguazu Falls are and stay there for 2 nights. They're right on the border of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay and are bigger than Niagara, and in the middle of the jungle! I'm so geeked; if you know me you would know that I kind of have a thing for waterfalls. I've seen Niagara Falls, and those were pretty amazing. But to be in the middle of the jungle without so much touristy traps in a place that is so much more remote just sounds so thrilling. After that we'll return to Buenos Aires for the last night before leaving.

My work has the Rosetta Stone software that we can use for free, so I've been relearning my Spanish a bit, but having this trip booked will definitely give me motivation to study up before then! We'd be fine in Buenos Aires, but Iguazu is little bit more remote, and I've read reviews that say there aren't very many English speaking people. I can't wait to use my Spanish skills! Oh, but 8 months is so long to wait for a vacation, especially since we haven't gone anywhere since Vegas last April.

There a lots of deals in Ireland right now though, and if we come across a good last minute package deal for 4-5 nights, we still might do that this summer. Otherwise we're planning on visiting Lisa and Ivan in Philly after they have the baby sometime. And there's always the new and cheap direct flights from Grand Rapids to Myrtle Beach that we could try out. After having to work basically every weekend last summer at the hotel, I'm excited to have my weekends off again this year and actually be able to go to the beach. And not miss out on holiday family get-togethers.

I've been craving a good concert too. David Gray is on tour, but he's not coming to MI, despite making 3 stops in Ohio for some reason. But we might make his Columbus stop since it's the Saturday after my birthday next month and stay overnight for my birthday present. Seeing David Gray would be amazing - hint hint Cameron...

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