Saturday, February 26, 2011

Changing Plans, again

Good news on Facebook, the Barnes family is all safe and sound, and though they were without power and water, and are still shaking, they are staying strong. I wish we could pick them up and fly them out of there for a bit - come join us in Brisbane for a week? - but for them, I guess, earthquakes are a part of daily life, and that is home.  We are very disappointed that New Zealand is not going to happen for us, but honestly, the airlines are being asked to fly in vicitims families, aid workers and auxiliary police officers, so we would not feel right taking our family of six on holidays there, not now.  I guess it leaves a "top of the list" place for our kids to come on their own in the future.

So, back to Virgin for yet another credit.  Don't even like that airline, but since they won't do refunds I guess we have to fly part of our trip home with their carrier.  Unfortunately, they don't go straight to Hawaii, and wont transfer to their V partner that goes to LA, so that gives us only a few options:  somewhere else in Australia (Darwin, Sydney, Cairns, Whitsundays maybe?), or an island en route that we can get a one-way onward flight to Honolulu... Cook Islands and Tonga don't give us any forward options, so that leaves Fiji and  Samoa.

Best value for dollar, we think Oz is out.  Australia is very expensive for all items:  food, gas, hotel, everything.  With our dollar par with the US, we are better waiting in Hawaii for the snow to melt, though by the weather reports from home, we might have to wait til June!  After several hours of Expedia, Trip Advisor, Vayama, and all of our other favorite websites, plans were set.

Wow, I marvel again how much technology has changed the world.  We have not set foot in a travel agency apart for initial inquiries with Maria in Lamont, and I know we have paid way less for our fares, as well as had much better flexibility by "flying by the seat of our pants".  Maybe not everyone's comfort zone, but it has worked for us.  And with everything that has happened along the way (you know, riots, floods, cyclones, earthquakes), I am very glad that flexibility was within our budget.

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