Monday, November 19, 2012

Countdown to Departure

We still have a week to go here in South Africa, but I've already checked out!

Our housesit in the Western Cape has been good to us. We've been enjoying some down time, hanging out with laid-back, lovable pets, and meeting lovely, interesting locals. But I can't help but get excited about what's to come. We have quite an adventure planned as we make our way back to Arizona for the holidays.

We decided to break up the long trip back to the States with a stopover in Europe. Where are we going? Croatia, of course! We loved our earlier visit to Croatia so much that I can't wait to go back. This time, instead of visiting the coast, we'll be spending a few days in Zagreb, the capital. It should have a completely different vibe than the sun-drenched shores of the Adriatic. Think cafes, museums and an Austro-Hungarian influence. I just love an urban atmosphere and am already salivating at the thought of getting out and exploring the city on foot. The only hitch is that the weather might be a shock to our systems: the average highs for November are in the 40s (5-10 C).

We might be picking up a pair of these at the airport to stay warm!
After Zagreb, we head west  to Las Vegas. We got a smashing deal on Condor Airlines, which offers several non-stop flights from Frankfurt to the US. I think that Vegas makes a great landing spot for our return to the States. (If you're gonna get in the pool, might as well dive into the deep end, right?) Actually, practically speaking, Vegas is a really convenient stop-over city. The airport is only 5 miles away from a slew of competitively priced hotels and, as an added bonus to jet-lagged travelers, the city is open 24 hours a day. This is a good thing when you're coming off of a 10-hour time difference!

We're spending a night in Vegas to recuperate from our long day of travel. Then, we'll drive back to the Valley (rather than take the 45-minute flight) so that we can move at our own pace. When you add in the check-in time at the airport and pick-up at the other end, it's pretty much a wash anyways!

Once we arrive in Arizona, we expect the time to pass quickly... too quickly! After 7 months of travel, being in a familiar place is about as awesome as putting on your favorite pair of slippers. Knowing how to get around, where to eat and shop, and having friends and family to hang out with will be a real treat. Oh, and everyone will be speaking English. Not South African English or Franglish or British English, but American English! It will be music to our ears!

We're also working on our travel plans for 2013. There's still a few more details to arrange, so stay tuned for our big announcement!