Colorful skies appeared out our front door once again this past week!
Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!
As if things weren’t already complicated enough, our flight to Paris changed once again this past week, this time to an absolute nightmare of a schedule. What had started as a simple flight from Baltimore to Montreal and then on to Paris when we bought the tickets last October had now morphed into impossibility: fly to Toronto from Baltimore, then take another flight to Montreal to catch a flight to Paris . . . except the Paris flight departs 15 minutes before the flight from Toronto lands in Montreal! The notice from the airline added a sentence at the bottom saying there might be problems with our schedule and we were welcome to choose another from four schedule options located further down the page. Each of those options were just as awful: all included 12-14 hour layovers in both Toronto and Montreal before finally departing for France nearly two days later than originally scheduled. Insanity! Ticket prices seemed to have gone mad as well as we noticed our affordable seats were now priced at over $3990 per person!
We took this as a sign we maybe shouldn’t go to France at this time. We’d been feeling somewhat uncomfortable about it as it were, and Tuesday we made a decision to go to Mexico instead. We changed our flight destination to Mexico City at no cost, and I cancelled our Strasbourg Airbnb reservation and booked a place in San Miguel de Allende. If all goes according to plan we’ll fly to Toronto, spend the night at a hotel near the airport, then depart the next morning for Mexico City where we’ll catch a bus for San Miguel de Allende after arriving around noon. What we’d paid for tickets to Paris covered business class seats (!!) on our flights to Mexico (two days later prices for the seats had increased to where this wouldn’t have been possible), and we’ll also receive a gift card from the airline for $290, the refund of taxes we paid from the Paris flight. Heaven knows what we’ll do if this new flight gets changed, but I guess we’ll just cross that bridge if and when we get to it.
Our lodgings in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
We’re going to come out ahead by going to Mexico. The cost of living is much, much, much less than Strasbourg (especially with costs expected to rise on everything, everywhere in Europe this summer). Our flight to London from Mexico City in August will be more than it would be from Strasbourg, but we won’t be paying for two expensive train tickets (another surprise) to get to Strasbourg from Paris, so the difference hopefully won’t be too horrible. We’re feeling sad about not going to France but think for now it’s best to wait and try again later. We’re quite excited that we’ll finally get to experience Mexico and spend time in San Miguel de Allende.
Anyway, this morning I am:
- Thinking of what we accomplished: 1) I had to wait on hold for over 45 minutes to talk with an airline representative (in the middle of their night), but the ticket change was accomplished easily once we finally connected. Likewise, it was easy to make the lodging change with Airbnb, and a hotel reservation in Toronto for the night. 2) Seven more packages were mailed back to Massachusetts and we have just seven left to go. Eleven of the original fourteen sent have been received and put away. The remaining three are larger boxes and aren’t expected to arrive until the end of the month. 3) I listed our TV, sake jug lamp, and hibachi table on Buy & Sell last Sunday afternoon. The lamp and TV sold in less then two hours, and when the couple came to pick up the lamp, they also bought the hibachi table on the spot! I was so worried it wouldn’t get sold, but they were thrilled to get it and we were thrilled to get what we wanted for it. We got a good feeling from them as well, that the hibachi and lamp will be appreciated and with them for a very long time. Everything now has pretty much been sold except for the car and smaller things that will go out at the yard sale next month. 4) Brett and I switched our language study to Spanish last Thursday.
- Thinking of good things that happened: 1) The airline representative I spoke with was extremely patient and helpful. Her reaction to our last flight schedule was priceless: “What? You mean you can’t transcend time and space?” She was actually horrified we had been sent that schedule and was very apologetic. 2) Wednesday’s weather was predicted to be somewhat gloomy, but we woke to beautiful blue skies so we headed out for a perfect afternoon at the beach. Thursday was almost as nice so back we went for another lovely afternoon of sunshine and relaxation. 3) The woman who has been staying in the apartment above us while our neighbor’s been away has very curly hair like mine, and she gave me the name of the woman on the island who cuts her hair. I am so happy that I can get my hair cut by someone who knows curly hair before we leave the island rather than have to find a stylist back in Pennsylvania.
- Thinking of ways we saved: 1) We bought a bag of frozen blueberries and organic bananas at Costco on Monday; otherwise we had a no-spend week (postage was again paid from our travel account). 2) We had to forfeit what we’d paid for the first 30 days of our Strasbourg rental and the accompanying Airbnb service fee (ouch!), but the apartment we’ve reserved in Mexico costs so much less that including the forfeiture we’ll still end up paying $1500+ less than we would have for the same time period in Strasbourg.
- Looking forward to next week: Once again there’s nothing scheduled on the calendar for next week. We plan to mail six more packages to Massachusetts, and do a Not-So-Big Shop on Tuesday, but otherwise the week is ours to do as we please (fingers crossed there will be good beach weather!).
Our upstairs neighbor, J, returned this past week after a long absence and once again he’s noisily thumping around his apartment. We had almost forgotten how much noise he makes, but it’s possible K, who’s been staying in the apartment while he was away, may have spoken to him because for the past few days he’s been much quieter up there, at least when she’s there (we had mentioned to her how quiet she was and how clumpy he was). If it’s just J though he makes a lot of noise. K will apparently be staying with him for a little while longer while she looks for a more permanent place to live. We believe she’d love to move into our apartment after we leave but isn’t sure she can wait that long living with J. Brett has been put in charge of collecting what J owes us for his share of the Internet because it’s always an effort to collect from him (he’s a check’s in the mail kind of guy).
We had a delightful week here, busy but not too busy. Books were read, tasks completed, hikes were taken and the beach was visited. Time is moving along at a nice pace: quickly, but not too quickly, giving us time to enjoy our remaining days on Kaua’i and reflect on our time here. I hope everyone is looking forward to the week coming up as much as we are!