Tuesday, May 12, 2009

just as i thought

If you've read the little "about me" blurb on the sidebar, you know our family has a drawer full of passports. We are about (well, not actually "about", more like in 4 weeks' time . . .) to embark on some international travel and put our traveling stamina to the test. But, for those of you who know me IRL (in real life), you know I have to have everything perfectly organized and arranged beforehand - there will be no loose ends - there will be no "playing it by ear".

When we I booked the tickets back in March, in my great wisdom frugalness decided it would be much better to save 2000€ (that's 3171 CAD/2723USD) and fly into Seattle instead of Vancouver. Surely those savings have to make up for the inconveniences . . .? Those inconveniences would include: a 3-4 hour drive to New West from the SeaTac airport, having to clear US customs and border control at the airport, the long line at the border crossing and applying for some visa waiver forms ahead of time (which I am currently trying to sort out - of course, this is more difficult since we don't all have the same nationality).

What else do I need to sort out ahead of time?
  • get notarized letter of permission from Stefan to travel with the kids without him
  • figure out how we'll get to Helsinki for our 8am flight (it's a 6 hour drive)
  • figure out how we'll get home from Helsinki when our plane lands at 11:15pm on July 21st - we have a 7 passenger car, but the luggage won't fit . . .
  • arrange for the animals to have sitters once Stefan is on his way
On top of this, our savings didn't turned out as originally planned - Stefan's ticket ended up costing more because he's starting his travel in July (and he lucked out with an afternoon flight from Helsinki) and he's now decided to get a flight from Seattle to Vancouver to avoid the whole border issue. With my luck, he'll be bumped up to business class and be able to sleep on his transatlantic flight . . . All so reminiscent of our flight 3 years ago, when I was seated with all the kids and he had his seat several rows away from us . . . . C'mon BA, help me out here . . .


Over-Caffeinated X 4 said...

Add to that all the drama of choosing outfits for a girl instead of a few pair of jeans and two shirts for the boys and you have the makings of a bad dream! :) But seeing family will be worth it!


Stacy, Pat and Aidan said...

I wondered what we'll do when it comes time to travel with Aidan. . .we do have both his Russian and US passports, so we'll have to navigate that sooner or later! But, your situation must be quite interesting indeed!! Can't wait to hear more about your travels.

As for Hockey, we are in the midst of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. . .As Capitals fans, we are rooting for 5 Russians who play for us--Federov, Ovechkin, Koslov, Semin and Varlomov. Very exciting!!!

kate said...

Yeah, I had a major life-turning-point when I realized that time was worth more to me than money. (Okay, but saving thousands is nothing to sneeze at. At which to sneeze.) I used to be willing to leave at 4 a.m. and change planes umpteen times. Now, I'm really liking those direct flights...

How long will you be gone?

Elaan said...

What are the dates you are coming back home?! You're heading into NW -- there must be a free 30 min you could meet me for coffee! :) Ok ok, you have a huge family and many things to do. But in case you'd like a break... I am putting my request in now!

The Holms

Denmark Road Trip

The outskirts of St. Pete

St. Petersburg

Saint Petersburg: Sankt-Peterburg, Russian pronunciation: is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city's other names were Petrograd (1914–1924) and Leningrad (1924–1991). Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713–1728, 1732–1918). Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them hosted in historic buildings. The largest of the museums is the Hermitage Museum, featuring interiors of the former imperial residence and a vast collection of art. Celebrating the 300th anniversary of its foundation, Saint Petersburg was selected as the main motif in a recent Finnish commemorative coin, the €10 Mannerheim and Saint Petersburg commemorative coin, minted in 2003. The reverse of the coin features a view of Saint Petersburg, with the Peter and Paul Fortress and its three turrets. In the coin the words "St. Petersburg 1703-2003" can be seen.