Planning Diary

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The following is a running update of the planning tasks that are taking place.  The latest event is shown at the top, followed by older events.  We did not start tracking until 7/10, so lots of planning stuff is missing.

7/31

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Made reservations for a hotel for the first two nights in Cairo.

7/23

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Moved the site from the @Home site to Talk City.  With @Home, you have to be using the cable modem to modify pages.  We need the ability to do basic HTML editing while on our travels.

7/22

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Huge Day!!!  Got a call from United with the latest pricing on our flights.  There is one price for the United ticket and one for the non-United tickets in Africa.  We promptly marched down to the United office here in Redwood City and purchased the tickets.  It was a big moment.  That's a major planning task that is now behind us.  The lady at the counter said she had never seen so many segments on a ticket.  That actually seems a bit surprising, but it was funny anyway.

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While at the ticket office, Don also signed the necessary form to use miles for Diana's ticket to Sydney.

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Everyone now has their tickets.  We have ours for the entire trip.  The Moms and Oly have theirs for their respective trips to Australia.  This is a big milestone.  Still lots to do, but at least we know we're going to get there now!!!

7/17

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Purchased Diana's ticket from Sydney to Hamilton Island and back.  Turns out that the Qantas flight was half the price of the Ansett flight we had looked at previously.  That was a nice surprise.

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Booked Diana's fight from Kansas City to Sydney and back.  Need to go to a United office to ticket it.

7/15

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Made an assault on REI.  Left with a little more than we planned on.  Picked up more clothes (pants, rain gear, gloves, hat, etc.), sleeping bags (lightweight, compress to the size of a loaf of bread), and miscellaneous gear (flashlights, concentrated camping soap, clothes line, pack towels, crush sack, etc.).  We now have most clothes required.  Don needs some new shoes as the hiking boots he bought are causing ugly blisters after only a couple of miles.

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Verified with Diana (Dawn's mom) that she would like to stay in Sydney an extra day and leave on 11/29.  Shirley and Oly, Don's mom and step-dad, are leaving on 11/28.  All will stay in Sydney on the night of 11/27 after flying from Hamilton Island.

7/14

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Got our first round of shots today.  Pretty shocked by the price tag ($850).  We get a few more shots in a month.  Diseases we got shots for include: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, and Typhoid.  There will be a couple more shots in a month, with of course are not covered by today's bill.  Not sure if it was the shots or the bill but something caused Dawn to roll her eyes a bit and then pass out with the form of an award-winning actress.  She is quoted as saying, "I didn't even feel it coming".  After a brief "rest", a couple of leg twitches, a press of the Emergency button on the wall, and some orange juice, Dawn was back with us.  This all made Don a little nervous about getting his shots afterwards.  Note: He did not pass out!!!!!

7/10

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Received latest pricing from United.  Each time the itinerary gets modified, they have to send it to their "rate desk" for pricing.  Takes a day or two.  We are pretty pleased with the latest outcome.  We originally planned to fly from Cape Town to Germany to Delhi on Lufthansa so the flight would be covered in our around-the-world ticket.  We later learned that this segment caused us to go from less than 29,000 miles to over 35,000 miles, crossing two price thresholds with United.  Part of the reason is that United counts the miles from Cairo to Cape Town, even though we are not flying with them.  In other words, you get charged for an gaps in your itinerary.  Scam!!

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Anyway, United priced all of the flights from Cairo through to Delhi and those flights combined were only slightly more than what we saved by reducing the mileage to less than 29,000.  Huge win!!!  Shaved about 20% from total flight costs.  Additionally, United was able to save some money by pricing all of the non-covered legs together.  There's something called a "through fare" that apparently can apply when you have multiple segments priced together.

 

 

 

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