Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I'm remarkably calm for someone who just spent a ton of money

I made my final selections on flights and so on, and I've now booked and paid.A fortune.

The last time I booked an overseas flight was to Dublin in 2009 and the cost of these tickets was DOUBLE the cost then.

Nevertheless, you can't focus on the past otherwise you'll never get anything done.

But woohoo! I can't believe I'm going to be jetting my way to NYC in 7 weeks time.

I decided to fly direct to NYC from Jhb, and back again and I'm really excited by no transit time in another country.

It made sense to cut out nearly two days extra travel time and stress. Twice I've been that crazy person (as if on The Amazing Race) running through airports and quite honestly, I'm not cut out for stress :)

I fly into NYC, fly out to Charlotte 5 hours later, stay there for 5 days, fly back to NYC for 4 days and then fly back to Jhb.

Sounds perfect to me.

So I've set some intentions for this trip:

  1. meet 5 friends from my online community and give them big hugs!
  2. do two city tours - one in each city
  3. do two photo walks - same
  4. say yes to fun (do some not-really-Marcia things :)
  5. go shop in an American shop like Target :)

  1. give two speeches - authentic, passionate and totally God
  2. have a good conference - participate, engage, learn all I can
  3. step out of my comfort zone
  4. connect with 5 ladies
  5. promote book
  6. get clarity from God about future speaking - topics and how to steer this thing
  How does that sound?

I haven't booked any accommodation or tours yet. But I'm going to start with all of that either tomorrow or Friday.

Have you had a good experience booking through the likes of priceline or hotwire?

My budgeting style is to decide here what my daily budget is, get there and then start thinking in the local currency. Otherwise I will go crazy thinking, "R50 for a cup of tea" and similar, as I did when we first travelled overseas.

So how much should I budget for food and incidentals per day, in both Charlotte and New York?

If you're in either of those locations, please tell me and hopefully we can have a nice cup of tea and a scone :)


  1. YAY!!! Finally. Americans love their BAGELS, I guess they'll prefer that to scones ;-) :-)

    I have used priceline and orbitz but not hotwire and they are both very good and reasonable. Only thing is check the fine prints on cancellation and changes, trust you to have all your 'i's dotted and 't' s crossed anyway.

    Can't wait to hear all about your trip and see all the pictures once you are back and about meeting all the 'friends from the computer' in real life

  2. Ooh...we should go to Target together! Maybe we can do that whatever night after the girlies are in bed. A little retail therapy, and then grab a late dessert and tea??? You'll definitely want to do Target in NC, not NYC. The NYC stores (in the city) aren't as representative.

  3. Congratulations! I will admit NYC is very expensive for food (and you've already seen accomodations I believe). Check out some menus online and look at prices to get a feel. Whenever I travel, I have a habit of eating a late breakfast and then dinner and basically skipping the whole lunchtime thing.

    I can't wait to give you a big hug!!!

  4. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's so exciting!

    I would definitely echo Mandy on the Target in NC. What other "American"ish stores do you want to see?

    I think food wise budgeting, it might depend on when and where you eat. I would totally recommend eating at least once at Bojangles in Charlotte. It's this AMAZING fried chicken sandwich place. And it's cheap! (There is on in terminal B at the Charlotte airport, among other places.) We don't eat fast food much, but always hit Bo's at least once when we're in NC.

    NYC is very expensive for food... Heather's deal sounds like a good one. Or just grab something small like a fruit or yogurt. Food carts are also good options there.


  5. oh YAY! you're coming our way! no idea what your schedule is, but I would love to see you while you're in NYC. no pressure though if your time is already spoken for!

    I love the Charlotte airport -- I flew in and out of there every week for a year and a half (!) there is usually live music playing in the center, and rows of rocking chairs for people to sit and listen and enjoy. Charlotte is a lovely city, and that's definitely the place to do your Target shopping!

  6. You are going to have a FANTASTIC time. And I do think that flying direct is a better idea.

  7. Yay for Target!
    Aaron loves Bojangles. I'm not a fan but I'll eat it.

    It appears I'm going to be in NY from June 22 until July 16- for three weeks.

    Then back again the first week of August- But I'll probably drive up the weekend before that to settle the kids in at my mom's- which would be around when you'll be there.

  8. I love that you're excited for Target, LOL!

    We have used expedia and priceline, without complaint. I always check the actual hotel's page before I book though. Twice I've found it cheaper to book directly through them.

    I'm big on Heather's eating plan, I also tend to choose hotel's with complimentary breakfast bars as well since I'm not big on breakfast to begin with. I would say for one person you're looking at no more than $40 a meal. Much less if you're a cheap eater like me.

    Speaking of tea, DH and I were discussing you and tea last night! I was having tea with dinner and was thinking out loud that you would probably be disgusted by sweet tea. You'll have to let me know your NC schedule!!

  9. Yay!! I'm guessing you will love Target. You also must visit a Hobby Lobby or Michaels (craft stores)...I KNOW you will love them!

    I have used Expedia many times and have never had a problem. I echo Mandy's comment about breakfast at the hotel. Continental breakfasts are a great way to cut out that cost entirely! I also want to hear what you think of southern sweet iced tea. : )

  10. Wish I was one of the ladies you were getting to meet ... but Texas is SO far away from North Carolina. Not sure how close to my sister that you will be.

    But I would love to try to mail you something for the kids - if you email me an address and a date - I'll see what we can send.

    So excited for you. I loved my trip to Ecuador back in 1988. :)


  11. That sounds wonderful! Sorry to see that the tickets is so much more now than it was. I don't even want to start imagining how much they were.

  12. Ok, judging by all the comments here you've got a load of friends waiting for you over there - yay!

    Am sure you are going to have an awesome time and yes, flying direct is definately the answer.

  13. Oh I am so excited for you! I want to hear and see every single thing you did. Please, for me, enjoy the architecture too. And go to the Guggenheim museum - not only great architecture but great art too. It is one of my have to visit buildings. And go up the Empire state building (was it in Harry met Sally?)

    Have you been in an Ikea on your travels? Really, I loved the experience.

  14. You are going to have a GREAT time! :-)


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