We're down to the wire and I am actually -- be still my heart! -- packing.
Everything came together beautifully today. We went down to Berkeley in the morning for our last China class (there is one more class next week; we told people we would be on our private "field trip").
When we came home, there was a package in the mail for me. I couldn't believe it arrived so quickly. I almost always have to use a seat belt extender whenever I fly now, because the seat belt doesn't buckle. It's always an embarrassment to have to ask for one, especially when they forget (about half the time) and I have to look around to find a flight attendant to ask again.
At one point I looked into buying one on line, but they were horrendously expensive and I learned that this is not a one-style-fits-all planes. I probably fly Southwest most of all and the belt they use doesn't fit other airlines, like United. So, since each belt cost something like $60, I gave up the idea and just ask for an extender.
But a couple of days ago, someone mentioned getting an extender from eBay. I checked it out and there was one for $20, so I ordered it. It would not fit Southwest belts, but I am hoping it will fit the China airlines (both China Air and the 3 in-country flights we will be taking). But I didn't think there was a chance of getting it before we left...but it arrived!
I went out to the Dollar Store to get some stuff to give to kids. We will be visiting a school that Viking sponsors and I noticed in the video that I watched about the school that they didn't have much chalk, so I talked with a Viking rep about bringing chalk. She was verklempt that we would be so nice as to think of that. But then I read that everybody brings things to the school, so I think maybe they aren't quite as poor as they seem, given how many visitors they have. But someone who was just there said that she was sorry not to have a gift for the student who invited her to sit with her at her desk. So I got some "just in case" gifts, like a little calculator, a harmonica, the chalk that started it all and some decorated pencils. Nothing much, but it's something.
When I returned home, there was a package sitting in front of the door. My pants had arrived. Not only had they arrived, they FIT! I finally opened my suitcase and started packing. The easy part is done--all the clothes. Now I just have to make sure I don't forget the "extras" (mostly electronics, batteries, cards for the camera, the computer, cords for the computer, the iTouch, the iPod, batteries for both, earphones, digital recorder, and I'm sure other things I'm forgetting.
Walt went out to buy a new bag of dog food so Ashley won't have to and while he was out, Jeri called to wish us bon voyage. We had a wonderful talk and I promised to send postcards
(Oh...that's what else I have to do...bring addresses. I probably won't send much stuff, but now that I'm into all this snail mail stuff, I'd like to send some things. I've also had some requests of things people want me to buy for them, and I must bring the right addresses to have shipped home!)
I also have to finish writing a review before we can leave.
We will be leaving her mid-afternoon tomorrow, having dinner somewhere with Mike and Char and then waiting for our 1:30 a.m. flight on China Air.
Don't know when I will have internet access and what the journal posting schedule will be, but all I can say is keep coming back--I will post whenever I can!Jài jiàn!