Tuesday Ramblings…

So, we are finally back in the good old US of A. And it feels so wonderful to be home. Wonderful, but chaotic. One quarter of our quartet is still struggling mightily with jet lag. So much so that the rest of us have learned to sleep through her middle of the night chat sessions. At some point between midnight and 2am, she shows up in our bed and starts chatting away. And we continue to sleep. Now that she’s back to pre-school, we’re hoping that the schedule helps, but I’m not convinced. So, I ask, how do you deal with jet lag? Or more specifically, how have you helped your kids adjust to a significant time zone change?

Getting back to my routine has been very much welcomed by me. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE longer vacations where we really get to see and know a destination. Two weeks in Australia was great! But I’m an introvert by nature and cherish my alone time. For nearly three weeks straight, I was with someone 24 hours a day. Even my showers weren’t my own many times. I’m feeling rejuvenated with just the few hours I’ve had to myself.

But the house is a wreck. It always takes a little time for clothes to be put away, suitcases stored, etc. when we get back from a trip, but this time, we also had Christmas chaos to deal with so it’s been a double whammy. I could spend a week picking up and still not be done. Hopefully over the next few weeks, we’ll start to get life back in order.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response I’ve seen here on the blog after being featured by Million Mile Secrets. It’s been wonderful. And one of the items at the top of my list is getting the $50 Southwest gift card out to the winner. There were 27 comments to that post (commenting was required to be eligible to win). And, using a random number generator from random.org, Carole was the winner with this comment:

“Our family of six took an epic trip around the Northwest this summer and my favorite part, although I had a pretty tight itinerary, was that everyone was willing to go “off-book” to try something unexpected. One of my unforgettable moments was being the ONLY people running around Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC as the sun went down and Night Illuminations came on.”

Carole, I’ll be in touch via email shortly to request your mailing address at which to send the gift card.

And thanks to all of you who have reached out for award booking assistance. The response was far greater than expected so the influx of new clients on top of the normal flow combined with the fact that I was many time zones away trying to enjoy our long-planned Australian adventure left me feeling less than adequate in the timeliness of my responses. Now that I’m back in full swing, my response time will be back to normal, I promise.

In the coming week or two, I’ll have full reports on our trip, including a final breakdown of the costs. Spoiler alert: this wasn’t a free or even cheap vacation. Australia is not cheap, but the favorable exchange rate did help. Even so, we spent on average, $100 Australian a day on food alone. That’s much more than we ever do on vacation. I can easily say that this was one of our favorite adventures we’ve had, but it was not inexpensive. Stay tuned for the final breakdown of all the costs!

And on the subject of vacations, in the next few weeks I’ll be moving forward with booking our flights for our next big adventure. With award availability, you never know what will be available when it comes time to book, but hopefully we’ll end up with something close to what we’re hoping for! Stay tuned for that and more adventures in award bookings for a family of four!

Hopefully, I’ll be able to continue to make use of our new Hilton Diamond and Hyatt Diamond statuses that we recently received via status matches from the respective hotel programs on our upcoming trips. While I’ve not had much luck in receiving any sort of benefits from mid tier status with both of these programs, it was quite clear that we received considerable benefit from the diamond statuses that we held while in Australia. I urge anyone presented with a status match opportunity in the future to take advantage. The benefits can be considerable.

Clearly, we have a lot going on in our neck of the woods. Reflecting on our recent adventures leave me longing for more. But for now, I’m content to be back home, back to our own beds, back to our crazy schedule. We’ll be headed out again before we know it, but one of my favorite parts of travel is always returning to where we belong.

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Our Frugal Life

One Comment

  1. Hooray! Thank you so much! We are all so excited to add the $50 Southwest GC to our WDW trip savings. Moving six people around for cheap is a challenge and every little bit really IS exciting!

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