January 2

We had a good Christmas and New Years in Seattle - spent time with family and made final preparations for the trip.  This time has been a good ramp-up for our overseas travel as we are still paring down our luggage and learning how to travel with a notebook computer.  I still have more work to do in the paring-down area.  Currently, we are at Seattle International Airport waiting for our flight to Orlando.  At check-in, we were told that my piece of checked luggage was 8 lbs. overweight.  I made an attempt to take out some items, but the crush of people behind us in line, convinced me that paying the $25 overweight fee would be the better route.

I am learning the different ways to connect to the Internet with this notebook.  It turns out we can connect three ways: 1) dial-up, 2) directly, using DSL or cable modem, and 3) via wireless modem.  The wireless connection has been the most fun and interesting.  I have learned many new things about wireless, such as, there are places called a “hot spots” where you can connect to the Internet.  The wireless modem in my notebook looks for a connection whenever I turn it on.  A hotspot could be a Starbucks coffee shop in downtown Seattle or a Borders bookstore or the entire Seattle Airport (which is).  It is really cool, that is, until you find out that the connection costs money.  Actually, I was not surprised at this.  Most wireless hotspots cost $5 to $10 to connect for one day or you can sign up for various plans.  

We got email a couple days ago from our travel agent, Airtreks, informing us that our reservations from Lima to Rio de Janeiro were cancelled.  I copied part of that email here below:

We have received notice from the airline of a change in their schedule for your flights.  Unfortunately, Varig Airlines contacted Airtreks to tell us that your reservations from Lima to Rio on the 10th were cancelled - though the flight is still operating on the 10th, Varig has elected to not honor your reservations that day. Coincidentally, the flight is very full, so it looks to us like Varig is "off loading" passengers to make sure the flight is not severely oversold on the day of departure.

The email goes on to say that they are working on the issue, but that we will likely have to call the airline ourselves and try to get on the same flight the next day which appears to have plenty of available seats.  Cheryl is working on this.  I’m just glad that we have our Brazilian visas.