Upcoming changes in our lives for over 66 days...Hotels and ships...

Yesterday, we noticed this flower growing in our yard, as it breaks free of its pod.
Once again, we begin the process of winding down.  The last flight we took from Marrakesh to Madeira after paying for overweight luggage, aloud I promised Tom that I'd ditch the second computer bag and lighten the weight of my luggage.

These colorful steps are located at the elementary school in Campanario.
Yesterday, I unloaded everything in my laptop bag tossing several unneeded items and placing the few essentials into his laptop bag.  Luckily, his bag can hold both of our laptops which we've done all along.  Now we're free of one heavy carry on bag.

Weeks ago, I unloaded no less than 10 pounds, 4.5 kilograms, of clothing as I'd also promised that day.  I'd said it aloud, more to myself than to him.  He never asked me to do this nor expected it.  His luggage weighs almost as much as mine. 

This house appears to be unfinished.  This has been a common case everywhere we've traveled.
Today, we'll head to the supermarket for what I'd hoped to be our last trip but, Tom reminded me that we'll need more water and another visit to the ATM before leaving Madeira.  With 17 days remaining until departure and the tiny fridge and freezer, we probably couldn't have lasted that long.

Finally, we booked our flight from Boston to Vancouver for September 17th.  We were pleasantly surprised when the one way flight was only US $173 each, EU $127.22. 

A stairway to a cave.
All bookings required to make our way to Hawaii on October 5th are in order.  Arriving by cruise ship we'll stay in Waikiki for 11 nights and then head to Maui for another six weeks staying in a vacation home.  We've yet to book the several island-to-island flights in Hawaii, not necessary at this early date. 

Once we arrive in Honolulu and are settled in our vacation home we'll book the next few flights. We've learned when we need to book early and when it doesn't require a sense of urgency.  Thank goodness for our spreadsheet (which is saved in several locations each time it's updated), or it could be tricky keeping track of all of our comings and goings

We didn't see any reason to enter this cave.
Tomorrow, we have to return the blue rental car to the Funchal airport when Europcar's lower prices weren't available on any online site.  We had to switch to Hertz for an equally good deal for our remaining 16 days. 

We've learned to book cars through discount sites for as much as 50% less than the going rate.  But, they don't allow a booking at those lower prices for more than 30 days. 

Two caves side by side.  Surely, kids in the area have enjoyed these over the years.
We have no choice but to continually rebook online for more time in order to get the discounted pricing.  The annoying part of this plan is the necessity of returning to the rental car facility each time to sign new paperwork.  Its time consuming but, well worth it when saving over US $1000, EU $735.35 during the 75 days we'll have spent in Madeira.

Most travelers don't experience this dilemma when on a vacation/holiday for one or two weeks.  For us, the car rental issue is an ongoing challenge.  At times, in certain locations, a driver is simply more convenient.  We continue to play it by ear as we go.
These are the pods that have been growing in the yard that finally bloomed as shown in the today's first photo.
This morning as I put two more loads of laundry into the small front loading washer, I thought about how we won't be living in a vacation home with access to a washer from July 31 to October 5, 2014.  Here's where we'll spend the total 66 days that we'll be on the move:
  • July 31 to August 16 - Paris hotel
  • August 16 to August 31 - London hotel
  • August 31 to September 14 - Cruise from London to Boston
  • September 14 - September 17 - Boston hotel
  • September 17 - September 23 - Vancouver Hotel
  • September 23 - October 5 - Cruise Vancouver to Honolulu
Usually, we do six to eight loads of laundry each week.  Leaving out the usual towels and sheets, we'll be paying high fees for our laundry during these almost seven weeks.  Long ago aware of this reality, we budgeted for this expense.

Also, we won't be cooking a meal for 66 days. Also, we'll be dining out during the 11 nights in Honolulu when it won't be worth purchasing the necessary cooking supplies over this short period. 

Yesterday, Gina explained that the number of cloudy days we've experienced lately is unusual. 
Those of our readers that had followed us through 75 days in Morocco know the angst we had over the never ending spicy food.  Within the first week, we couldn't take another bite.  At least going forward, we'll have plenty of variety during the above venues, consisting of ships and restaurants. 

We've begin to adjust our thought process to the changes we'll experience over the upcoming months, differences we've experienced for the short term but, never for this long.  We've never moved this often in a short period of time.

One of our neighborhood goats taken from the highway.  Its hard to tell if it's a female or male when both have horns and beards.
We continue on, full of hope for continuing good health and relative ease of safe travel.  On the flip side, there's always Paris!

Photo from one year ago today, July 14, 2013:

Not our photo posted on our story about insects in Tuscany.  For details of that day's post, please click here.


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