- Thursday, July 25, 2002

The past few weeks find us concentrated on planning for our upcoming trip to Aus/NZ. We leave from Portland on the 18th of August with a stop over in Dallas to see EJ & Gideon (M's Sis & Bro in Law). We are also stoping in LA for one night prior to flying out to Brisbane. We'll be staying with our friends Margot & David. It should be nice to catch up with them on our way out of the country. Got to love using FF miles=free stopovers. Plus they told us they had to route us through Dallas & LA anyway.

We have been busy taking time to plan our trip and get information for Aus/NZ & SE Asia. Route planning is important due to the type of ticket we are using from NZ to SE Asia, Europe, Central America and then home to the states. We have to keep the mileage under a certain limit and choose no more than 15 cities. Trying to balance flights with overland travel is important for parts of the journey. All the while keeping track of the mileage. We did find out that if we purchase the ticket while in NZ we can take advantage of the favorable exchange rate.

We recently spent had dinner with our friends Scott & Jen about a week prior to their due date for their first kid. I'm happy to report that on Friday the 19th they had a baby boy, Landon Benjamin, all 9 pounds of him. We can't wait to visit them again in a little while after they have settled in with the new baby at home. A few days after our visit with the Maccolls, Marisa was able to head back to Austin for her friend Lory's 35th B-Day Extravaganza. I know that she was excited to see her friends and enjoy their company without having a to do list or errands to run. Much more relaxing to be in Austin when there is no pressure to get anything accomplished vs. being there for sinus surgery like our last visit. She then traveled to Las Vegas to see her mom and stepdad Joel. Marisa was looking forward to going out to dinner and the new satellite TV hookup.

I've been here in Seattle staying at my old roommate Hugh's house. Thanks! Marisa and I started to clean out his yard, and when Hugh returned from Australia he and I finished it up. Had to do something to earn my keep. After the yard project was completed, I've been staying busy reading up on Australia and NZ travel information. I'm looking forward to this weekend as my brother and his wife (Jon & Jen) are coming up and we'll be attending an engagement brunch for Michael Bach (James' younger brother).

We are excited and looking forward to leaving the country in the next month.

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