Monday, February 29, 2016

Guest for Dinner!

We were surprised by a guest for dinner. All was fine until Emma tried to actually have him/her for dinner! I swept him out the front door. He was not well.

Doing About the Neighborhood

Terry on the prowl. 
Today was spent learning our way about town and visiting some easy places. This morning we headed out for the Okavango River Lodge, which is, however, on the Thamalakane River. No accounting for naming conventions, I guess.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Thamalakane River

Chloe investigates...inquiring minds want to know.
On Saturday evening, we took Chloe, Emma, and Terri down to the Thamalakane River for a walk. This is just a couple minutes from Glen's house. We're told that most of what you see as grass now is actually river in the winter. There are birds around, and I'll get some of them on the blog later. There are also some suggestions that  more sinister creatures are lurking in the water. We saw a mighty large disturbance in the water's surface - could have been a croc.

We Have Arrived

After an uneventful drive to Reston, we met up with Anna and Seth for bite of dinner at the Cafesano and headed to the hotel for some rest. By 3:15 Friday morning we were showering and organizing for the shuttle trip to Dulles.

You see, we thought we were flying South African Airlines. Way down in small type a the bottom of the page it said some thing about Jet Blue. Turns out that we cross listed with Jet Blue. But of course, JB can't (won't?) check out luggage all the way to Maun only to Johannesburg. We're told we have to get the luggage and go though customs and security again before boarding our flight to Maun. Whatever. It is 4:30 in the morning and we have no choice.

The flight to JFK was uneventful and short. JFK was anything but. When we walked off of the plane there was no person or sign to tell us our gate for the next flight. The ticket says gate B20, but there are no signs for any gets at all. I asked a gate attendant and she said we wanted terminal four and to take the train.

We managed to find the train but there were no indications of what airline was at a what terminal. We took the train to terminal 4 and things got a little clearer. With some help we found the elevator up to the ticket level (because of course, you are just starting over, right?). Next comes security in a line with a bunch of New Yorkers. We got the easy screening (TSA pre-check) at Dulles because of our Global Travel screening, but here we had to slog through the barefoot and belles line with everyone else. Then the hike to the gate. So far so good.

Fortunately for us, there was a call that everyone who had been ticketed through another airline needed to come to the desk to get a new boarding pass. Fine. While there I asked if our luggage could be checked on to Maun and after a few minutes one of the attendants notices there did not have enough time in Johannesburg to take care of business on the ground, so she started the process. By the time we boarding, she had it done and we got on the plane without that worry.

Johannesburg was much nicer than JFK, but the walk to the gate as a long one. From the gate we took a bus for what seemed to 20 miles or so across the tarmac to the plane. Once on the plane we both crashed and slept to two  hours to the spacious Maun airport. In case you missed that little bit of sarcasm there, let me be clear. Think bus station. Our luggage made it just fine.

Once we met with Glen, the owner of the house we're sitting, all went swimmingly. He's a delightful fellow and we got along great. Yesterday evening, we took the dogs (Chloe, Emma, and Terry) for their walk down to the river. I'll have pictures soon for all the above. We also met Losiento, the resident cat.

This morning (Sunday) Glen took us to the monthly farmers market for breakfast. Was the first one of the season so the market part of slim but the breakfast was good and we met everyone because Glen knows everyone.

We are no engaged in a serious sit on the porch with Losiento, Chloe, and Terry (Emma is in the house on the cool tile). Although we can hear the traffic on the street, we are surrounded by the sounds of birds in the trees and we can barely see any neighbors. Going to be the best month of March ever!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Next Stop...

Now that we've had a monster estate sale, made a little money, and cleaning out nearly all the chaff, we have a pretty darned empty house. In part to simplify the final stages of preparing the house for sale (yeah, that's the reason I'm going with today), we are going to be gone for a month. Where, you may ask?

Botswana. We are headed to Maun, Botswana for most of the month of March. Highs in the 90's and wildlife to see.

And an interesting mix of old and new. Stay tuned. Getting there takes a while: elapsed travel time 30 hours. Hope to start posting once we are there and mostly in the right timezone mentally.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Clearing Out the Unnecessary Bits

Yesterday we began the process of selling off all the things in our lives that are not needed. In the same way that a sculptor removes all the marble that isn't the statue envisioned, we are getting rid of all the bits that aren't part of the life we are moving toward.

The estate sale went well yesterday and we hope to do even better today. We had a good crowd and made some money. Along the way we may have generated some interest in our house. Lots of people liked our carriage house. If you buy the house, we throw it in for free.

By Tuesday, one way or the other, our house (and carriage house) will be very nearly empty. We're hoping it is by sales not donations, but it will happen one way or the other.

Then on Thursday, we drive to Dulles to start our adventure in Botswana. I'll keep you posted.