My first week back in the States is done and much has been accomplished, with most of the stuff on my bucket list taken care of. I’ve got to say I’m really enjoying being back but I’m already getting antsy to get moving again. Went to the local Sam’s Club and stocked up on food for me and Kim’s family. Made sure to get some frivolous items, like ribeye steaks, baby-back ribs, and a few other extras, like two new iPod Shuffles. I was like a kid in a candy store. We ate the ribeyes that night. Yum!
That night, went to a tavern about a mile from Kim’s house, found some people to play pool with and then walked back. Later in the week, Kim and I went to Walmart so that I could resupply for my European trip – shirts, shorts, socks, underwear, toiletries, etc. I’m afraid now I have too much stuff for my two bags and a pack.
While I’m here, I’m helping Kim with her fall vegetable garden. The soil needs work and so I’m digging up the plot, before it is tilled. Then we’ll add some peat moss and retill. The heirloom seeds I ordered were already here and should provide some fun and tasty fall crops.
Went to Wachovia to cash in my Travellers’ Checks and to pursue the $630 charge a hacker made on my account last November. I’ve tried to recover it since then – unsuccessfully – so thought an in-person visit would be good. The money was credited to my account the next day. Yahoo!
Also had some good financial news in the mail when I arrived here. The IRS sent me a check for about $750. Seems I didn’t need to pay taxes for last year and they gave me a refund. In fact, they gave me back more than what I sent them. Again, yahoo!
Sunday we went on a family outing to a trout stream in the national park here. Lots of people picnicking, camping, hiking and rafting. Danny (Kim’s husband), James (Danny’s friend) and I went straight to the stream. I soon had a large brook trout before learning it was a catch-and-release stream. Then began walking downstream. It was a beautiful area, nice trails, pretty stream, no people – brought back memories of when the kids and I used to camp in the north Georgia mountains. Caught a nice rainbow and returned to the group, ate some of the food we brought and headed upriver, only to be told by two fly fishermen that the stream was limited to fly fishing in the area we were. We left and found a lower section where we could use our spinners but didn’t catch any more fish.
Today, I finally reserved my flight to Croatia for Wednesday, Sept. 7. I’ve decided to first try the town of Zadar for my 90-day visit. Zadar is on the coast of the Adriatic Sea across from Italy and about a 3-hour drive or bus ride from Zagreb, the capital. Pop: about 70,000. I will be flying out of Charlotte, N.C., because it is closer to Asheville than Atlanta, so my daughter will have a shorter drive getting me to the airport. My flight first goes to Cincinnati, where I will change planes en route to Paris. There, I’ll change planes again to Zagreb, arriving late morning on Sept. 8. I guess the trip involves two customs checks – in Paris and Zagreb. From there, I will find my way to the bus station for the ride to Zadar.
I will be flying Delta/Air France/British Airways and have one bag fee, $60, for my second checked suitcase if done online. Unlike Spirit Air, no charge for the first checked bag or for my carry-on backpack – and no charge for an actual seat. And my checked bags can weigh up to 50 pounds, not the 40 pounds allowed by Spirit. Can you tell I really don’t like that airline?
It’s good to be back in the ol’ USofA! todo bien