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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chile 7.1

You remember how yesterday (or what feels like) I reported that we were down to 10 weeks? Well it is a nanosecond later and we are down to 7 weeks and 1 day. How does time speed up like this? We have started a count down calendar and we are down to 50 sleeps.

I am sitting on my loveseat in my living room enjoying a Blizzard raging outside (by the way...Yay Snow Days!!!). I can't believe in 7 short weeks we will be enjoying the end of Summer/beginning of Fall in Chile. I am so looking forward to some warmer weather.

The best part of the Snow Day is that I can dedicate my day to researching the trip with no guilt. I don't have to try to sneak in internet time while at work and everyone knows that cleaning the house is not allowed on a bonus free day.

So I have pretty big news to share about the trip (hmmm...I wonder if I should have started the post with the news. I got distracted by the blizzard outside). So as you are probably aware if you have been reading about my trip plans, my Mom, Gabrian, and I are going on the trip. Riley had chosen to stay behind. He felt he was getting to old to go on Family trips and we had just come back from Disney when we brought up the subject of this trip. On top of that we are going to be gone for almost 3 weeks and it was just too much school for him to miss. So up until a couple of weeks ago the plan was that Riley would stay home with a family friend while we were away.

Riley broke down 2 weeks ago and admitted that he wished that he was going with us and loves Chile. He also stated that he would never turn down another vacation even when he is in College (smart guy!). I am sure you can guess where this announcement is going! My Mom, Riley, and I (Gabrian got no say so :-))talked about it and decided that Riley will come with us for part of the trip!!!!

Everyone except for Riley will leave for the trip on March 18th. During this time we will visit family in Pucon. Riley will leave on the 26th and arrive in Santiago on the 27th. He will spend the first night in Santiago with family and then meet us on the road to finish up our road trip. We will head back to Santiago and spend the last week together. We will travel back together to the US on the 3rd and arrive in Boston on the 4th. We felt this was a good compromise. He is able to spend 8 nights in Chile with us and still minimize the amount of time he will miss school. He knows that he will be expected to keep up with his classwork while there. He will take advantage of the long flight to work on it and is prepared to spend some of his evenings working in the apartment.

I can't even begin to tell you how excited that Riley will be joining us in Chile! I never wanted him to feel bad or pressured about staying home but now that he is going, I can shout it out to the world..."I never want to travel without my kids!!".

With the decision made so late to have Riley go I was afraid we were going to be priced out a ticket for him (as it is we had to scrounge everywhere to come up with the ticket money and Riley has to pay a portion of the ticket). I spent a whole Friday night researching every option that I could think of. I started with Expedia and Sky Scanner to get an idea of what prices were coming in at. We would have preferred to have him fly out of Portland but were also considering Boston. The cheapest we could find doing these methods was $1247 out of Boston. I than started to search each airline's website individually. On the third to last airline I struck gold! I was able to score Riley a ticket out of Boston for $1031. The best part is that we are able to fly back from Santiago with him (how about that luck!).

Now that we have the ticket settled our next step was to figure out the schedule to find out where Riley will meet up with us. We were hoping to have him meet us in Curico for Vendimia (Wine Festival....no worries, we weren't going to let him drink the wine) but we finally found out the date of the Festival and it is the weekend before so sadly we will have to go without him.

Our plan is to have him meet us in Talca which is about 4 hours from Santiago. It sounds like a really pretty town to explore. The big draw for us though is the Rodeo. The Chilean Rodeo is definitely different from a Rodeo here. I am not quite sure of the rules but what I enjoy the most out of it is watching the horses run sideways. It is one of the neatest things I have ever seen and I look forward to seeing it again along with my Mom and the kids.

So that is where we are right now. We are still searching for a Hotel in Talca but have it narrowed down. We were able to extend our rental car to accommodate our trip to Talca. Riley is all set to go and we just need to finish off coordinating the meet-up with our Family in Chile. It is definitely coming together.

Only 7.1 Weeks to Chile (don't worry...I will be boring you with details until the day we go...it will only get worse when we are there and I feel the need to update you on the trip everyday :-)).

I will leave you with a few pictures that have nothing to do with Chile but during our Blizzard today I found a couple of old SD Cards and had a field day going through them!