The call with the Yahoo people went well, it was their legal team giving us the specifics on the trip such as taxation (ugh) and the budgets for the trips. Luckily, the trips are split up over 4 years so the taxes will be divided as such.We did learn that we could combine trips, like instead of doing four short trips in one years, we could combine all four or two and two if we could find sporting events close enough together, and geographically close. So, Wes and I have started planning using the combining method.
Wes and I made some progress today and decided on attending the 2011 South Pacific games in New Caledonia, a mini Olympics, if you will, with some 3500 athletes expected to compete. This will put us near Australia and New Zealand, so we are looking at ways to combine a few events, such as one in New Zealand, one in Australia, and then of course the games in NC. In fact, in order to get to NC you have to change planes in either Auckland or one of the coastal cities in Australia. For example, if we wanted to visit Brisbane we would just have to find a sporting event we’d like to attend and book a flight there from LAX. Spend a few days there, then hop on a plane to NC for the games, and afterward stop in NZ for an event before flying back to the states. I was checking out flights on kayak.com from Houston to Brisbane, Cairns (I would love to dive there!) and Melbourne but I had to stop because just looking at how long I’d be on a plane was making me swoon. That is another reason Wes and I would like to combine trips- we can only take so many 10hr+ flights per year. Even taking one every three months would be too much, I think. If you’re going to fly 13 hours, you might as well stay and play awhile, right? If we did the trips individually, the four per year that are included in our Yahoo Sports Pass, we would only average 3 days per event. By the time you get over jet lag and are ready to tour, you already have to leave! No, thank you. Besides, Wes has been to Australia and New Zealand before, and he’s told me for years how much he’d like to show me “the most awesome places” he’s ever been. Fine by me!
So, if you have any suggestions as to which cities we should visit in Australia (this will be late August- early September of next year), must-visits in the Auckland area, or your experience in NC, please write me! Comment below or email me at MissusMcTraveler@gmail.com, I would appreciate any and all travel tips you have!
Oh, I decided today that I am going to learn to speak French. I was looking up information on New Caledonia, and as it is a French overseas territory, has a strong French influence in its society. French is the national language, as it was in Tahiti (French Polynesia). On our honeymoon I was kicking myself for never learning the language, as I had always hoped to do, so now I’m just going to do it! I speak Spanish well enough to get by, and read it better than I speak it, so now I’m on to my third language! Italian will be next, and then I’ll go back and refine my Portuguese for our trip to the next world cup in Rio de Janeiro. I figure God gave me this big brain, so I might as well fill it up before I die- can you tell how excited I am?! I already bought the Instant Immersion French CD-rom set (Half Price Books has a great selection of language software for cheap), and the audio CDs are importing to my iTunes as I type this.