Saturday, February 27, 2010

Earthquake and travel dates

Before anything I want to address last night’s earthquake and subsequent aftershocks in Chile. I’m as far away as possible on the coast of Argentina so I didn’t feel anything here, but apparently it was so big that it was felt all across both Chile and into parts of Argentina. Renee still has a lot of friends in Santiago and so far they all seem to be OK, just weary of the many large aftershocks they’ve suffered throughout the day. I’ve emailed my friends from Valparaiso but I’m sure they’re OK as well. Thank you to everyone who reached out to ask if my friends and I were safe and sound.

In terms of infrastructure, Chile is as modern as it gets in Latin America, and they also have one of the most well-organized governments this side of Europe, so I’m confident in their ability to deal with this emergency in a calm and efficient manner, which they’ve already demonstrated today. In the meantime my eyes are trained on Hawaii - I've been watching the news nonstop since the warning took effect two hours ago.

I know I promised a final beach entry, and that will come shortly. But first I have some dates to share with anyone who might be interested (i.e. my mom).

Today marked the purchase of three separate tickets for travel in and out of Argentina.

Tuesday, March 2: Villa Gesell to Buenos Aires

I’ll be on an overnight bus leaving at midnight this Monday/Tuesday, ending my month at the beach and kicking off my last month in Buenos Aires when I arrive at 5 am Tuesday morning.

Tuesday, March 30: Buenos Aires to New York

I made the decision to leave Buenos Aires a little earlier than originally planned in order to get a full month in Philadelphia before heading back to Seattle. Airfare is insanely expensive right now, but I managed to find a one-way ticket for $850, leaving Buenos Aires at 7:30 am and arriving at JFK at 9:30 that Tuesday night on a Columbian operator called Avianca. It was an ordeal buying the ticket, ending in a 36-minute English/Spanish phone call, but I finally got an e-mail confirmation for the right date and price, so I am at ease. There’s nothing like the paranoia that a ticket’s price will go up while you’re waiting to buy it.

I’m actually kind of excited to travel with Avianca since all their reviews have been glowing – great service, big seats, personal entertainment consoles. It’s also only a 14-hour trip with one two-hour layover in Bogota, Colombia’s capital, and I saved about $400 not flying directly into Philadelphia, plus I get several days in New York which is always fun.

My friends Jacob and Keehnan have been kind enough to agree to put me up in their Brooklyn loft that Tuesday-Thursday, then I’m transferring to Beth’s Manhattan digs to celebrate her birthday. My dear friend Matt has agreed to drive up to NYC during his spring break weekend and take me back to Philadelphia with him on Sunday, March 4, which today he informed me is Easter. I’ll have Easter dinner with Matt and Katharine and then be in the Philadelphia office bright-eyed and bushy-tailed first thing Monday morning to start my month of working from our east coast branch. As always, Adam and Lydia have graciously agreed to host me. I’m already looking forward to my now-annual tradition of spending April or May in Philadelphia. It’s always such a great time and never fails to remind me why I love the city so much.

Saturday, May 8: Philadelphia to Seattle

I actually bought my ticket to Seattle this morning, before my ticket out of Buenos Aires was confirmed. I leave Philadelphia at 6 pm and arrive in Seattle at 9 pm (love flying against time) via US Airways since they’re the only operator with a nonstop service, plus it was pretty cheap at $160. So, I’ll not only be back in time for my promised date of May 26 for Jacob’s first birthday, I’ll also make it in time for my sister Tessa’s birthday as well.

When I get back to Buenos Aires I’ll have exactly four weeks to pack in everything I’ve always wanted to do and never have, plus re-do everything I loved the first time around. I’m a big fan of “going while the going’s good;” that is, not waiting until something has gone bad before taking my leave, and that’s exactly what I’m doing with my love affair with Argentina. I’m looking forward to my last hurrah in Buenos Aires in what is traditionally a lovely, warm month, but at the same time I’m really looking forward to New York, Philadelphia, and Seattle, which lets me know I made the right decision.

See all you state-siders sooner rather than later!


PrincessDipti said...
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PrincessDipti said...
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PrincessDipti said...
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Ben said...

Glad to hear you are ok.

AmberAnda said...

Thanks for letting us know that things are okay regarding the earthquake. I totally thought about you down there. And now back to BA for one more month! I can't believe how fast the time went, but I know you will make the most of the time you have left. Glad to hear you get some solid philly time and that all the plane tickets were reasonable. Enjoy your last day at the beach!

Momma Archer said...

May is my favorite month and now you will make it even better. Can't wait to see you!

Enjoy your last month in BA and also your NYC and Philadelphia time.

Love you!