We left our bedroom looking incredible. I mean seriously, I want to stay at our place as a guest. It wasn’t littered with toys and books. The bed skirt finally arrived, which hid the ugly box spring and stuff stored underneath. The freshly washed bedding was perfectly made. It was so hard not to climb in and refuse to leave.
Alas, it was not for us. Our Finnish subleasers arrived on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m., after nearly 24 hours of travel. They looked utterly disheveled and exhausted, though adorable 10 month-old Veikko mustered a smile for the crazy American lady pinching his cheeks.
They were just as lovely as I expected from the two months of emails and the Skype conversation. I have to admit, it wasn’t really unnerving to open our furnished apartment to complete strangers. Of course, the female-half is affiliated with a university, so it was easy to verify she was who she claimed to be, but really, it was not at all stressful. I was more worried about them – traveling so far, young child, and possibly the fear of us not being who we had claimed. They had paid before arriving (their insistence, not ours) so I can only imagine the thoughts running through their collective heads (baby Veikko included).
We packed the car with everything, including stuff for the pre-departure week. Clothes for the cool spring weather, a flat iron I won’t bother with in the Caribbean humidity, running capris and lots of shoes. The luggage will eventually get narrowed down to two check-ins.
Yes, we are flying Spirit Air. Getting from Chicago to Santo Domingo is surprisingly cheap. Bringing luggage makes it surprisingly less cheap. But, when you are used to traveling the way we do, it’s no big deal. Who needs more than four outfits anyways? Lily and I managed to fly to Myrtle Beach for three days with only a “personal” sized bag. And we had a great time (although I forgot her toys).
Are we ready? As ready as ever. I’m sure I forgot underwear. We have our passports (hopefully they make it to Chicago with us). One suitcase is crammed full of art and craft materials for teaching. I still can barely understand spoken Spanish. We have enough extra room for all of the rum and cigars we’ll bring home. I have gone through every scenario on how NOT to get cholera. I am mentally preparing myself for cockroaches. My thesis is being reviewed by my adviser. I’m caught up on work for long enough to get settled into our first hotel (which I remembered to book).
Today, we’ll head to Chicago and spend a few days with family there after a great visit up north. At 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, we will leave for the airport to catch our 5:30 a.m. flight. I’m sure we’ll be too early. We’ll then land in SDQ at 3:00 p.m. – ready to enjoy a tropical evening in America’s first city.