Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Travel Blog #1: "Why Mimes Have It All Figured Out"

I'm pretty sure mimes have it all figured out.

They don't talk.

If they don't talk no one can really get annoyed with them. This has been on my mind all day because my wife has been packing. Packing makes her crabby. Exceptionally crabby. Maybe dangerous crabby.

"Just say the word if you want to do this job," my ordinarily mostly pleasant but much better half will snarl. I stand to be corrected, but I think her eye teeth grow a couple of inches and her fingernails lengthen and sharpen all on their own.

Yes. It is a good day to be a mime.

We are sitting together right now. The bags are packed and waiting by the door. We've reserved a taxi driver. I met him the other day: he has an impossible name -- so he told me to just "call me Bob."

We've negotiated a fee for a trip to the airport -- which is going to be a lot more economical because parking there for nearly three weeks will be ghastly expensive as opposed to only mildly unpleasantly expensive.

These past few days have been a blur: getting Brazillian money, working at the company doing a huge payroll for the performers, the last six hundred and seven details that need to be taken care of before we charge off onto our trip.

The snow started this morning and it hasn't stopped. Being basically a pretty anal person, I have checked the flights at the airport. (Okay...Sheree told me to check the flights.) A bunch of them are delayed. Not ours. Yet.

The happy anticipation has given way to a few tendrils of anxiety. I am not sure exactly why. Don't get me wrong -- I am still really excited about the trip -- but there's something about jumping off the high travel diving board (an overly flowery way of saying "boy we are going a long way from home") that usually makes me take a few minutes to pray for safety, great pictures, wonderful encounters with people and splendid travel memories.

We'll be using our Nexus passes for the first time tonight. Nexus, for those of you who don't know, is a way of getting across the US/Canada border more quickly. Applying takes some time, background checks and scans of your eyes -- but the immense satisfaction of taking the fast lane through customs will be worth it. (I am usually the one in the line-up glaring at people like me, muttering "who they think they are? " But tonight I think I'll wave at the person trapped at the end of the line who is REALLY in a hurry. Maybe I'll wish them a cheery "Happy New Year" as I pass them. This should be a relatively safe course of action since there is always ample security at airports.)

So here's where we're going, since you are coming along, okay? We're flying to Toronto. From Toronto, we fly to Fort Lauderdale and from Fort Lauderdale, we get on the cruise ship.

I've checked the documents at least a dozen times. Passport: Yup. Yellow Fever Certificate: Yup. (I am PDG "Pretty Darn Glad" Sheree remembered that certificate since I forgot all about it and you can't get onto the ship without it...which would SERIOUSLY suck) Brazillian visa inside passport: Yup.

Camera, charger, lenses, lens pen, lens wipe, camera manual, flashlight, silica -- yup, yup, yup, yup, ummm yup...yup, yup. iPod, Palm Pilot and laptop? Yup. Power cords for all of the above? Yup.

Since we've flown before, let me suggest you do what I've done. (Okay: what Sheree TOLD me to do.) Pack your toothbrush and all the things that make you feel fresh and acceptable to the world -- along with a clean pair of underwear in your carry-on bag. This way if (God forbid) you get messed up at the airport, you can be a sweet smelling mega stressed out traveller.

Sheree has promised a glass of her world-class egg nog before we go. I'll ask her to make one for you too.

We'll get on the plane a few minutes before midnight and take off about twenty minutes into the New Year. I've led a relatively sheltered life and actually think that's pretty cool.

Now we just need Bob, a couple of planes and a ship.