Friday, November 6, 2015

Safari #3 update

Through all the other travel, I didn't think I'd get here.  But today I'm finally into double-digits in the countdown.  Flights were booked in April (BA this time, after KLM price gouged me repeatedly at the payment exactly does a fare get $800 higher between seat selection and "enter your payment details"?) and trip insurance procured.

Today I visited the Travel Medicine Clinic, was deemed fit to travel. Never when I got my first vaccines for Russia, then China, then safaris 1 and 2 did I think I'd need boosters of something like Typhoid.  But there you go.  Anti-malarial and Cipro prescriptions in hand, I walked out ready to roll.

And then the final payment was made today.  So I'm all paid up, drugged up and revved up.  February cannot get here fast enough.  The holidays and two more trips involving long-distance travel will happen first and I imagine that will help make November and December fly by, but January could be a challenge.  Maybe I can spend that month figuring out how I can fly carry-on only to Africa, which I've managed to do on all of our other trips this year.  It's so liberating, but is it possible on a trip that requires a little more "stuff" than usual? 

Whatever the case, I'm locked and loaded for Kenya.  Phew.

What all has happened to 2015?

After an embarrassing amount of time away from this blog, it's time to update it.  It has an embarrassment of riches on the travel front this year.

Italy wrapped up in early April and I actually stayed home for a while.  That was a novel feeling but I knew the summer was shaping up to be a busy one.  Morrissey announced another tour and we had tickets to quite a few shows.

June started with three concerts pretty close to home:  Billy Idol in Portland, Noel Gallagher in Boston and David Gray back in Portland.  All were driveable and didn't require any overnights.  My sister made the trek to Atlanta for Morrissey the night I was with friends in Portland for David Gray.

Mid-June we drove to Philly for a weekend for a Morrissey show, which was my 15th and just perfect, as expected.  So good to see him back out and what a perfect gig.  We turned around pretty quickly and drove home, as we'd be seeing him on the Wednesday that week in Worcester, only an hour from home.  Then the fun began.  That Saturday it was a drive back to NYC for a show at Madison Square Garden, a quick return the next day, only to pack and fly out at 5 a.m. on Monday for a show in Akron, OH that night.  So four shows in 9 days.  WOOT!

We managed to work in a fair amount of fine dining and museums along the way. My latest rave is Morimoto, both in Philly and NYC.  Service and food are exceptional.  We saw Frederick Leighton's Flaming June at the Frick in NYC and that was exquisite, just took my breath away.

A break of a few weeks and then we headed out to LA to celebrate my birthday, with a David Gray show at the famous Hollywood Bowl, dinner at our favorite Nobu in Malibu, Spago in Beverly Hills and fine vegetarian cuisine at Gracias Madre in WeHo. 

Early August saw us making two trips to NYC for the annual Mike Peters residency at the Iridium.  Never disappointing, always a crowd pleaser, these shows were no exception.  And they'd become even more important to us as the year wore on.

And then we thought we were done for a while.

Except not.  I managed to get really good tickets for a somewhat unplanned Morrissey show in Visalia, CA, so at the end of August we were headed back out that way.  Literally a week before we needed to be there, I booked air, car and hotel.  We flew out to LA for two nights.  Landed in LA, went to bed in Culver City, woke up and drove 3 hours to Visalia, saw an awesome show in one of the hottest places I've ever been, woke up again, drove back to LA to the airport and then home.  PHEW.

September saw us at two Mike Peters shows in Boston and Londonderry, NH.  They were stellar, Mike is the consummate performer.  We found out not a month later that Mike's leukemia had relapsed (and actually had been all summer) and he was back into treatment in October.  We have love, hope and strength for him that he's over it and back on the road in 2016.  We'll plan to be at the Iridium in August when he is.

Surely, we were done now?  Not in the least...  but I'll have to update on that after it's happened.