Maggie was surprised this morning in Panama, waking up to find that they had been hit by Hurricane Otto. They were hit pretty hard down there, four deaths by noon, mostly from trees falling. They had to open the canal to relieve the back pressure on the water from the storm. Otto also hit Costa Rica and Nicaragua, but they are much larger countries across and were not totally swallowed up by the storm.
I set up my laptop in the back bedroom and spent much of the day getting stuff done there. I am still working on my Italian language training via DuoLingo and am making good progress. Finally hit 19% fluency this morning.
This morning Dominica worked on getting our flights booked for the early part of the year. Hard to believe that we are scheduling the flights for our third year totally abroad already! She found some amazing deals on Norwegian Air flights from JFK in New York City to Rome. We are all booked for the four of us to fly out on January 15th.
Our current plan, and of course this will change, is that we are going to drive from Dallas to NYC just after the first of the year and spend almost two weeks with my dad. Then we will go down to NYC and fly from NYC to Oslo to Rome. Then spend a week in Rome doing sightseeing and whatnot. This will be the first time for any of us to go to Rome or this far south in Italy. We have not been south of Florence in the past.
After a week in Rome we can get local flights down to Catania in Sicily for about $23. Our plan is to be living on the water south of Syracuse. So flights to Catania and the local milk train down to the village, we hope.
Dominica also has her flights booked for returning to the United States in February for Kathy and Tricia’s wedding which is on February 23rd (Rachel’s birthday) at Cocoa Beach, Florida. So she is going to fly from Catania to Rome, then take British Airways from Rome to Orland, rent a car and drive to the coast. She has her Rome to Orlando flight and back all booked and paid for now, as well. So I will be alone in Sicily with the girls for a week during my birthday.
I spent much of the day in the back room on my own and actually managed to get through thirty seven DuoLingo Italian lessons today. I’m rather impressed with myself. I am up to 24% fluency according to the site, now.
This evening Dominica and I went out on a date and found the Preample not far away in Webster, Texas which was awesome. Trey was our bartender and there were a few other people in the bar for a while but then eventually it was only us left towards the end of the night. We ended up hanging out with Trey for a while. The drinks are fantastic and the selection is really impressive. We found out that they only opened up around April 1st of this year, so we discovered them on the early side. This is going to be our new hangout when we are in the area.