Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stop one of many

It's currently 5:45am and we have just gone through US customs and have another hour before our scheduled flight to Chicago. Normally, I would spend this time people watching, browsing the shops and debating as to whether or not I should buy some over priced airport food. Today, however, I am blogging at the gate. Believe it or not, this is actually the first time I am travelling with a laptop. On past trips, I have always just made use of local internet cafes. This trip, however, for whatever reason, I decided to bring my own computer. I think it could be due to a combination of not wanting to waste money to use some one else's computer, having good access to free wifi throughout most of the continent, and also a little bit of paranoia in losing my precious travel photos. This fear stems from my trip to South East Asia when my camera was lost and so were most of my photos. It was a devastating experience, and one I have no desire to repeat. By bringing my own computer, I can upload my photos regularly and Matthew even helped me set up "drop box" so that if something (God forbid) happens to my laptop, I will still have my photos.
For those who don't know, this trip has the hope to be quite epic. We will be visiting 4 countries in just 2 weeks (bringing my grand total of countries visited to 26!). Compared to my previous trips to Europe this may not see like a quick passed trip, but when you realize the grandeur of countries like Brazil, it seems a bit more reasonable.
Once we depart Ottawa, we will be travelling to Chicago, where we have a 7.5 hour layover. This may seem like a long layover, and I suppose it is, but I plan on making the most of the time we have there. I would say that 7 hours is the minimum amount of time needed in order to justify leaving the airport and seeing the city. So that is what we will do. Take the train to downtown Chicago and sample their famous deep dish pizza! I have never been to the windy city before, and so I am quite excited. I know that there are many things that we just won't have time to do during our visit today, but so long as we try the pizza I will be happy. If we have time to visit "the Bean" as well, it's a bonus.
From Chicago, we fly to Miami for a short(er) layover before leaving just after 11pm for Buenos Aires. As this is an overnight flight, I plan to sleep as much as I can. I have my eye mask, pyjama pants, slippers and my ipod is loaded with music designed to help you sleep. I think I'm set! Once we arrive in Buenos Aires, we have 5 hours to pick up our bags, check in with TAM airlines and then wait for our flight to Rio de Janeiro. If all goes according to plan, we should arrive by 8pm tomorrow night. Ugh. What a long couple of days!
This being my first official post for this trip, I suppose I should say what my hopes and expectations are for this trip and what I am most looking forward to. I hope that this will be a fun trip. I hope that all my planning will have paid off and that plans will run smoothly. I expect there to be obstacles along the way, but I am still hopeful that things will go fairly well and according to plan. I also expect there to be times where I get stressed out or upset, but I hope that I will recognize these feelings early and be able to react to them appropriately. In the months leading up to this trip, I have become more anxious and excited for various things. At first it was just going to a new continent. Then, it was the anticipation of the food (I love a good steak!). But now, strangely enough, I am really looking forward to the beaches. For those that know me best, I say this is strange, because I am generally not a beach-loving person. But, for whatever reason, I am excited to just sit on the beach and relax.
Best line heard at the airport so far:
Girl: How much did you pay for your sandwich?
Guy:$7, but it tastes like $2!

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