After a grueling trip, not just because it was so long, but because both legs were so full, I am ensconced in the guest casita at Mick's in Ashburton, South Africa. As people get bigger and bigger, seats get smaller and smaller, with limited legroom in economy seating. Of course, the solution is to fly first class, or at least business class, but unfortunately at the moment that isn't an option.
The Start of a New Life
The last few days before leaving Washington were hectic, but I got it done and with just one big suitcase, a carry on and back pack, I left my old life behind. The weather gave me a great send-off with an enormous storm hitting Seattle Airport, just as I arrived. Fortunately, it cleared quickly so my exit flight wasn't delayed.
Spending four days at Ryan's in Southern California was a good break, a place to catch my breath, and I managed to pare down my belongings even more. And got my hair cut, ready for warm weather and snorkeling. I had hoped it would be long enough to donate, but I was an inch or so short! But I feel a lot lighter :)
On Saturday, we went out to Rancho Palos Verdes for breakfast at Nelson's, a lovely spot on the bluff. It was more brunch than breakfast and included a couple of mimosas that went down way too easily.
Sunday night arrived very fast, and then I was onboard Virgin Atlantic's direct 10 hour flight to Heathrow. I could tell by how many people were in the departure lounge that any idea I had of getting a row to lie down in was a fantasy. There was an empty seat between me and the other passenger but one seat isn't enough to provide any reasonable space. I did doze a bit, but it seemed like days before we touched down in London.
A short 3-hour layover and back onboard for the 11 hour flight to Johannesburg. No luck having an empty seat this leg; three across, jammed in like sardines. I was so happy to get off the plane, get through customs and immigration, despite arriving on my US passport. Then trek to a different terminal, check in again on a small flight whose baggage weight limit is less than international, so had to shuffle stuff into my carry on. But the ironic thing is I Sky Checked the carryon, which meant the same weight got checked into the hold. Oh well...
By this time, I was feeling really buzzy and tired and it was such a relief to see Mick in the tiny arrivals lounge at Oribi airport.
The time difference is 9 hours, but I managed to stay awake until about 7pm and got a reasonable night's sleep. And now, two days since I landed, I feel pretty good! We've been out to lunch both days, and with the exchange rate soooo in my favor, it doesn't ding the budget too much!
So tomorrow I will most likely rent a car and get geared up to go visit distilleries - I think the first one will be one of rum distilleries in Zululand! So stay tuned - I've been working on setting up a craft distillery website for this project!