Saturday, August 30, 2014

Friday, August 29th – Paris, Ontario, Canada

We are back in Canada, safe and sound after a lovely flight home.  Cathay Pacific is now my favourite airline, every part of the flight experience was perfect.  We were picked up at the airport by my brother and sister-in-law and it was nonstop chatter the whole way back to Brantford, where we went over to my in-laws house for a visit.  They were so, so happy to see the kids!  It sounds like it was a very long and dull summer for them being without their grandchildren.  The kids were happy to see everybody and were feeling pretty good to be home.  After we had exited the plane and were walking up the ramp to the gate Magnus turned to me and said, “You were right Dad, I have to admit it – it feels nice to be back in Canada!”

We let the kids stay over at their grandparents for the first night and we were home shortly after midnight.  Yes, it would have been a great idea to go to bed but we weren’t tired so instead burst into a frenzy of unpacking, laundry and cleaning the house.  By about 4:30 or so we were finally getting tired so went to bed, but were back up at 7:30 so that we could go back over to the in-laws for breakfast.

We spend our first full day back in Canada shopping for school supplies for the kids, school clothes, getting groceries and taking care of a few administrative things.  We bumped into our friends Justin and Heather so asked them over for dinner, along with Ana’s folks.

After ten weeks of rice and noodles our first dinner back home was heavenly.  Grilled chicken and pork, with fresh garden potatoes, tomatoes, onion, basil and peppers.  Our guests brought dessert so we had an apple crumble, blueberry crumble, and a big ice cream cake for the kids birthdays!  Though I loved the food while we were away, the meal last night was simply amazing.  Man, it is nice to be home.

So, here I sit.  I was in bed by 10 pm but at 2am my eyes shot open and I was awake.  I laid in bed for at least half an hour trying to get back to sleep, but no luck.  So I admitted the Zombie Walk was upon me so I made a cup of peppermint tea then headed downstairs to the office and decided to put together a financial summary of our trip (it’s the Finance guy in me).

The trip of a lifetime cost us $218 per day.  That includes absolutely everything – all flights, visas, hotels, meals, transport, entrance fees, souvenirs, gifts, and even the extravagant catamaran trip.  If you exclude the catamaran then the daily cost is $198.  That works out to $50 per person per day.

Is this a lot of money?  Well, considering all the amazing things we did and saw, the special moments we shared as a family, and the amount of ground we covered, I would say it is quite reasonable.  With that budget we were able to stay in top quality hotels, do three internal flights on top of our main flight there, and really not have to scrimp too much along the way.  Our goal for this trip was to do all the things we wanted to do, as opposed to trying to cover as many miles and countries as cheaply as possible.  I consider every penny of it to be money well spent.

So after 70 days, 7 countries, 5 flights, dozens of bus, taxi and tuk-tuk rides, and countless miles by foot, there remains only one thing left to do to complete this epic journey...

Begin planning the next one!

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