Sunday, January 11, 2015

I Think We Are Ready!

Like all of this is not stressful enough, I hate it that 2 of my credit cards and our bank are making me call in with our travel plans. Their online forms are only set up for a maximum of 30 days. Beyond that, calling them is all you can do. There is nothing worse than thinking you can use an ATM somewhere and have your bank deny the transaction. Bank of America has charged us for failed attempts in the past. This is still on my “To Do” list, because they are only open limited hours on weekends and the time zone difference besides, makes it unruly.

Our suitcases are packed. We each have one; Ron’s is a carry-on size, but he will check it allowing him to also have a backpack. Mine is slightly larger than a carry-on, but is within the overall 158 centimeters combined allowance by TAP Portugal. My suitcase is 11.5 kilos, but up to 23 kilos is allowed, while my backpack with all tech stuff is 7.8 kilos just

under the 8 kilo limit. I hate having to worry about luggage sizes for different airlines. Ron will take the tablet and cord. I will have a book, my phone and laptop cord in my travel coat.

The backpack really needs a Sherpa cart it for me. I bought a USB hub as my laptop only has 2 ports; one is used for the mouse. Sometimes movies have lesser than optimal volume; there are two compact external speakers tucked in there. Then there are the cords for my phone, 2 cords for the laptop (one each European and US), camera lens, 2 adapters, a compact external disk drive with dozens of movies and projects for my downtime and lens cleaners. Last year, I bought 2 sets of packing cubes, one for each of us. They really are fantastic. The middle sized one holds all things electronic that I generally take along. It then fits really nicely into the second section of my backpack. Being nylon, it glides right in there.

The suitcase will be about 4 pounds lighter when we return. In the smallest packing cube of the set, I have 6 bottles of Vitamin D, 2 bottles of Vitamin C, one large bottle of Calcium-Magnesium-Zinc tablets, my diabetic pills, aspirin, sleeping pills, medicated soap, eye drops, and lip moisturizer. I am not packing bottles of shampoo and all that other stuff. It can be bought on the ground. Hopefully, the one night stay in Quito upon arrival will have things in the bathroom to get us by. Toothpaste and toothbrushes travel in my carry-on; the only thing I have to show security for liquid control.

I bought TSA approved locks, set it from the default 0000 to another set of 4 digits. Later, I thought I had better reset it to a number we are likely to remember easily, but different from our usual. Somehow I screwed up the lock and now it will not work at all. Thankfully, I have 3 others. This is my first time using them.

The taxi has been ordered. They will be here at 1:50 am Monday to drive us to the airport. We have a four hour layover in Lisbon. Diners Club lounge here we come. Our routing is:
Budapest > Lisbon TAP Airlines
Lisbon > Miami  TAP Airlines or American, both show on different documents as the scheduled airline
Miami > Quito LAN Ecuador

I tried both TAP and American Airlines, but was not able to get our boarding passes beyond Lisbon. I know in Miami, we have to go through Passport Control and security again. One would think that if you are a transfer client, they could keep you in a secured area to change plans without all the commotion. We only have 2 hours in Miami to get our luggage, recheck it and make our way through.
The following morning, Tuesday at 7 am we have another flight from Quito > Cuenca on LAN Ecuador. We will be in Cuenca until March 1st getting a lay of the land before exploring other parts of the country. Our return date is April 9th. We have lots of territory to cover.

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