Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Heathpack and Africa

So I have a friend, Stacey Heath, that jumped on the blogging bandwagon recently and has decided to start a 101 list of her own!! She hasn't posted the full list just yet, but has already knocked one thing off (a rather creative one at that...way to go Stacey!). Keep a watch out on her blog for her list. I have to give props to the original list maker, my wedding photographer, Amelia Strauss. If I hadn't seen her list, I would have never come up with my own list. The weird thing is that making the list itself is causing me to try to knock things off much quicker than I would have without any incentive. It is my suggestion to everyone out there to make a list like this. Mind you, it is rather hard to come up with 101 things, as Stacey points out in her post, but it's worth it when you do.

One of the things on my list is going to climb Kilimanjaro in Africa and take a safari while there. We had originally not planned to do this until December 2011, however, as I have mentioned already and as you can clearly see by the countdown to the right of this, we couldn't wait that long and have started this planning process already. We leave on (or around) December 18th and return to the States January 2nd. And yes, that means that we will be celebrating Christmas and New Years in Tanzania. I did not have my passport previously so getting that was step one (and it was also something on my 101 list).

The next step is booking the flights, which is something Justin and I have been looking into for a while now. We are so incredibly close to finding what we want and booking it. The hold up right now is that we're trying to use miles to book my flight and you can't use miles out of certain airports AND Justin can't use his upgrade to first class on just any flight. We are pretty certain we'll be able to get first class from Birmingham to Amsterdam, but from Amsterdam to Tanzania is a different story. But on the plus side, one of the flights we're looking at booking has the SAME AWESOME first class seats that we had going to Hawaii on our honeymoon. You can see those bad boys here. We were playing with the idea of going through Paris, London, or Amsterdam for a two day connection to have a little sightseeing fun before wearing the same clothes for almost two weeks straight. My vote was for Paris for obvious reasons, but I really wanted to go to London too. After talking with Justin about it, we decided that WHEN we go to both of these places, we want to be able to spend more than two days there. There is so much to do in Paris and London, that they really need their own trips. Therefore, we have decided to go through Amsterdam (the plus is that going through there is cheaper). Justin looks at flight at least twenty times a day and he actually almost booked last night and again tonight, so I'm guessing we're pretty close.

I seriously cannot begin to portray how excited I am to be in Africa. It is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and to welcome the new year over there is just that much sweeter. Justin says that our guides website will post where we are throughout the hike as we do it (it takes 6 days total to hike the mountain). I don't know if they'll list our names or anything, but that would be a good way to keep up with us, since we will probably only have contact with our families and even that will be limited to a quick once a day phone call to confirm that we're not dead. We're both going to have to go through some crazy training to get in shape, a process that we have both already started, but as for what I am worried about the most...NO CAFFEINE FOR 16 DAYS!!!! I must start weening myself now...