A glimpse of the Rocky Mountains.
A few days ago I shared my Road Warrior story about our trip to Denver. It was a quick trip there and back, and then a day and a half later my Travel Man took off to Spain for a week. Yes this is how our crazy life works. Travel here-travel there and planning ahead pretty much is non-existent. I have come to terms with that part of our lives, and I just make sure our time together is quality time. No fussing, nagging or whining allowed!
Now, while Travel Man was doing his work thing I kept the rental car and went exploring in Thornton, Colorado. This was truly a first time experience for me. I normally just stay at the hotel and take walks to go shopping or to eat, or many times I go for a swim at the hotel pool. But this day was different, I had some wheels and I wanted to make the most of them! Also, I did have the trusty Travel Man GPS to guide me on my way.
In our normal travel tradition (for us this is “normal”, you may think we are just weird) I located the nearest Super Wal-Mart and got some snacks and bottled water for our hotel stay. Next I wanted to get some cash so I used the GPS and found an ATM nearby. After that stop I decided to bop over to Barnes and Noble for some “browsing” time. (This was going to turn into a shopping afternoon after all.) While at Barnes and Noble I happened on a display of adult coloring books. These books are the latest “stress-relieving” rage. Have you picked one up and perused it yet? I could not resist not getting one, so I picked out one that had designs that appealed to me. I did browse around the store a little after that, and tried to locate some colored pencils, but there were no bargains to be found. So, it was off to the Office Max next door for some colored pencils. The pencils were successfully located, and there was a Cost Plus next to the Office Max. Of course I had to go in and browse the Cost Plus. Such interesting furniture and fabrics there. A fun place for browsing to your heart’s content.
Coloring for me…
My last stop of the afternoon was the hotel. I wanted to get us all checked in before I had to pick up Travel Man from work. Now remember this is not my normal operating mode. Usually I am the travelling bystander and Travel Man is taking care of these details. Not on this day though, it was my job to get it done! After we were successfully checked in it was time to go and get the Travel Man from work. We had a nice anniversary dinner together, and then got ready to head for home the next day.
Our dinnertime fajita platter-yum!
This was a definitely a different kind of day for me. It was nice to change-up the travel routine and do a few out of the ordinary things on my own. What’s the last travel adventure you took by yourself? I’d love to hear about where you’ve been.
This is the first day of a three-week trip for Travel Man. He is on a work assignment that requires travel to Brazil, and will return long after the Fourth of July. The preparation that went on before this trip was so stressful. He was not originally slated to be dispatched for this job. What this meant was that we had to scramble to get a visa for him to travel yesterday. In the normal course of things this would not normally be an issue, but Travel Man had to get this visa on a “rush” order. He had to take all of his paperwork to the passport/visa service office last Tuesday in order to get the visa by Wednesday of this week at the very latest. He was flying out on Thursday.
On Monday afternoon he calls the visa service office, and is told his passport and visa are scheduled in that afternoon, and he will have to drive to their office to pick it up on Tuesday. We call again on Tuesday morning and are told that the Brazilian consulate has gone on strike this morning. They proceeded to find out if Tom’s passport and visa had cleared through the system before they went on strike. After 3 most stressful hours and numerous phone calls by Travel Man we find out that his passport and visa had been released, and he will have it on Wednesday morning. Remember he is leaving on Thursday morning. The major panic subsides for both of us, and Tom tracks the package via FedEx.
Thankfully his passport and visa arrived early Wednesday morning, so we could breathe a sigh of relief. If it had not cleared on Tuesday before the consulate went on strike there’s no telling when he would have gotten his passport back. This was the most stressful pre-trip preparation that Travel Man has had in a long, long time.
For myself, I have not been this stressed out since Travel Man went to Russia last year. My stress level stays right up there until I hear from him that he has made is to his destination, and has cleared customs without incident. My Travel Man has been all over the world, and had some crazy experiences going from country to country. Maybe one day he’ll find time to blog about it or write a book. For the time being this Domestic Goddess is thankful that her hubby is safe and sound and on the ground.
Today is Friday, and presently I am texting with Travel Man via Skype while he is 30,000 ft in the air on his way to Denver. I am still awed and amazed that we are able to have this type of communication. I mean granted we just spent two days together, but to be able to continue our conversations while he is on the plane is fantastic. I’m a lucky girl.
Travel Man will tell you he is grateful to have the communication avenues that we have today to stay in touch. We like to use Skype for the video calling, and the occasional IM(instant messaging). When he is out of the country we use Tiger Talk to text with each other due to the roaming restrictions on the phones. For his international travel we have also used Skype’s phone calling feature to make international calls. We just buy a set amount of Skype credits, and this way we stay away from any roaming charges on our personal cell phone plan.
Travel Man uses TripIt to keep track of every bit of his travel information for every trip. It logs airline reservations, hotels, and car rentals, and it notifies me (aka the Domestic Goddess) when there is a new itinerary in place. TripIt also has mobile apps for either the Android or iPhone to stay completely connected, and it syncs with Outlook. TripIt helps me, to help Travel Man make sure all of his plans are in order. Especially when he has back-to-back trips. For tracking the air travel I like to use an app for my iPhone called FlightAware. This app tracks the flights and notifies you of any delays along the way. I have used many flight trackers over the years, and this is my favorite to date. The user friendliness of the app is what appeals to me, and the accuracy of the information.
Since I am fortunate to have Travel Man in my life to keep me informed on the latest and greatest technology, it’s easy for me to learn about new apps, or new technology available. I’m glad we are both able to have lots of ways to communicate with one another. It’s how we stay sane. But you know nothing beats just an old-fashioned phone call to hear the voice of your loved one. What’s your favorite form of communication in this technological era?