We Did It!

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Nov 23 ~ Day #197
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$19700
$15.00
$17041.71
$86.51
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
16084.6
12056.7
7662
196
35999.3

We Did It!

When we began this adventure we set ourselves a challenge. To complete this trip on an average of $100/day or less.

As you can see from the recap of our final totals, we not only met that challenge, we exceeded it.

We traveled for a total of 197 days on an average of $86.51/day. Not bad!

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

First we’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to all the friends and family we stayed with along the way. We could not have achieved our goal without your generous hospitality.

We have mentioned all of you in each appropriate blog post but we would like to thank you all once again. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Putting Things in Perspective

When we mention the mileage, the number of days, places visited, etc. sometimes things just become a blur and the true magnitude is not particularly clear. So, here we’re going to recap things and try to bring some perspective.

Mileage

The total miles traveled, including road, train, sea and air, was 35,999.3. Too bad we couldn’t have added just 0.7 of a mile more. That would have pushed us to an even 36,000 miles.

But, to put this mileage in perspective, the circumference of the earth, at the equator, is 24,901.55 miles.

That means we could have traveled around the globe almost one and a half times. Wow!

Days Traveled

I don’t think we actually calculated the number of days we were going to be traveling when we started this adventure.

Oh sure, we knew the day we were going to start. We also knew the day we were going to fly back home. Both were booked before we set out. But we didn’t actually take the time to calculate just how long the time in between those dates was.

Total number of days traveled = 197.

If you apply an average of 30 days to a month, then we traveled for a total of 6.6 months, more than half a year. Again – wow!

Cruises and More Included in the Trip

It seems amazing even to us what we were able to pack into this trip. Here’s a quick recap.

Cruises

Our trip included three cruises:

  • a two week Alaska cruise
  • a six day Greek Islands cruise
  • a two week TransAtlantic cruise

That’s a total of 34 days – more than a month – spent on cruise ships.

Narrowboats in the UK

We were able to spend an entire week on a narrowboat on the Trent/Mersey canal system in the UK.

Orlando and Disney

We spent two weeks in Orlando at two different timeshare resorts and spent time at more than one Disney theme park.

Landmarks Visited

Along the way we were fortunate to visit many landmarks both in North America and Europe.

Here’s a few:
United States

  • Carlsbad Caverns
  • Monument Valley
  • Grand Canyon

Canada

  • Victoria, British Columbia (a must-see)
  • Hell’s Gate, British Columbia
  • Columbia Ice Fields, Alberta
  • Banff and Jasper, Alberta
  • Lake Louise, Alberta
  • Terry Fox Monument, Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • Reversing Falls, New Brunswick
  • St. Andrews-By-The-Sea, New Brunswick
  • Confederation Bridge, between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island
  • Birthplace of Canadian Confederation, Charlottetown, PEI
  • Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia

England

  • Buckingham Palace
  • Tower Bridge
  • Tower of London
  • British Parliament Buildings
  • Big Ben
  • British Museum
  • Stratford-Upon-Avon, birthplace of Shakespeare

Spain

  • La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
  • Dénia Castle, Dénia

Portugal

  • Madeira, the home of Madeira wine

Greece

  • Santorini

Croatia

  • the old walled city of Dubrovnik

Italy

  • St. Mark’s Square, Venice
  • the ruins of Pompeii
  • the ruins of Paestum
  • the Amalfi Coast

And, I’m sure there are things we are forgetting. It’s time for us to go back and re-read all the posts we have made along the way and to review all the photos and videos we have as well.

This was the trip of a lifetime for us. We will continue to travel, of course, but it is unlikely that we will ever again take such an extensive trip. It was a great adventure but a very long time to be away from home.

We will continue to have, we hope, many, many more adventures. But, perhaps shorter ones this time. 🙂

Thank you to everyone who has followed along with us and to those who have made comments as well. It was a pleasure to share this adventure with you.

Mopping Up

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Aug 30 ~ Day #112
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$11200
$27.20
$9458.17
$84.44
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
13853
4451
000
69
18373

Current Location: Davie, Florida

Accommodation: $27.20

Mopping Up

A bit more water got into our tent overnight, so we had some mopping up to do in the morning.

It wasn’t too bad and things were dry again in no time.

Too Many Meatballs

We had bought a rather large package of pre-cooked frozen meatballs when we were in Orlando and it was beginning to feel like it was an inexhaustible source.

Even after having some at the condos and having spaghetti and meatballs for dinner this evening, there’s still enough left for at least a couple more meals.

Cooler Isn’t So Cool

As the days progress the frozen water bottles we use as ice in the cooler are beginning to melt. We are making sure that we’re using up anything that require refrigeration.

It’s not a huge problem because the camp sells a 10lb bag of ice for just a $1 so we don’t have to worry about anything going bad.

By the end of this week we’ll be into the canned stuff.

Moving Day

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Aug 27 ~ Day #109
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$10900
$93.19
$9376.57
$86.02
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
13580+273=13853
4451
000
69
18373

Current Location: Davie, Florida

Transportation: $30.00
Accommodation: $27.20
Food: $35.99

Today’s Total Expenses: $93.19

Condo to Camping

Today we made the transition from a one-bedroom condo back to our tent. It actually isn’t as difficult as you might think.

With all the tenting we’ve done on this trip the tent and inflatable mattress have become quite familiar and comfortable.

Geoff is now an expert at setting the tent up quickly and getting the mattress in place in the back of the Jeep.

We are here now until we leave for Europe in just a little over a week’s time.

We’re staying in another naturist resort. Yes, we’re very comfortable with that and, hey, it means a lot less laundry! 🙂

However, this resort was established in the late 60s and at that time it was out in the middle of nowhere. Now it’s actually surrounded by subdivisions with lots of houses.

Trying to Find the Cheapest Gas

We always try to make sure we get the best deal on gas whenever we need to fill up but this time we left it a little late and spent a little too much time trying to find the best price.

We pushed it so far this time that we almost ran out of gas! And, the gas station we did stop at had pretty high prices compared to what we had seen in the Orlando area and on the drive down to Fort Lauderdale. So, we just put $30 worth and headed back to the campground.

We aren’t planning to do much in the way of driving during this stay anyway. I expect we’ll head out for groceries in a few days and then the car will go into storage while we’re in Europe.

Inception at IMAX Pointe on International Drive

Blog Title: Inception at IMAX

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Aug 24 ~ Day #106
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$10600
$58.00
$9223.38
$87.01
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
13542+28=13570
4451
000
69
18086

Current Location: Vacation Village at Parkway, Kissimmee, Florida

Accommodation: $30.00
Entertainment: $28.00

Today’s Total Expenses: $58.00

More Rain? Yep!

We woke up to overcast skies and it wan’t long before it started to rain yet again.

The forecast on the Weather Channel calls for scattered thunderstorms EVERY SINGLE DAY!

Watching the Tropical Updates

We currently use the Weather Channel on TV and the National Hurricane Center (www.nhc.noaa.gov) online to follow any activity in the Atlantic. and, it looks like things are starting to heat up.

Fortunately, it looks like we don’t have to worry at all about
Danielle. But now there’s Earl and something else behind that.

Keep your fingers crossed that there’s nothing we have to worry about over the next few months of hurricane season.

Over the past few years it seems that most of the hurricanes have been going further North than usual. As a matter of fact, over the last 5 years Geoff’s daughter in Halifax has been hit twice, while we got nothing.

It also looks like she may have to worry about Danielle.

Unfortunately, the Weather Channel really only cares about hurricanes that may threaten the US. So, there’s not a whole lot of information about ones that threaten the Bahamas or Atlantic Canada.

Following the path online at the National Hurricane Center is a bit better but still slanted towards US interests. Not surprising as these are US sites.

Checking Out the Travel Club We Just Joined

We managed to get a temporary membership number from Global Discovery Vacations as we still have not received our regular number by email. That was promised to be available to us no later than Monday (yesterday) and still nothing.

Anyway, we have the TransAtlantic Cruise to book and have already determined the best price we can get on our own online. We called and spoke to the travel agent part of the club and they gave us the same price we could get ourselves!

I told them that and they said that certain cruise lines (this one is Celebrity) will not allow travel agents to discount their cruises. So, in this case, the travel club does us no good.

Next, we asked them to find a hotel close to the cruise port in Barcelona for around $60/night. They came back with three hotels ranging from $150 to $250/night and said that was the best they could do.

Again, we can do much better on our own using CheapOstay. And, we told them that, too.

One More Chance

We decided to give the travel club one more chance to prove that they are worth the membership fee.

One of the things they do is offer condo stays around the world. So, I checked for what condos they had available for a certain time frame.

For the entire two week time frame that I checked the ONLY condos they had available were on the Texas Coast. Really? Nothing else? That’s just way too restrictive for our needs.

Our decision was clear – this travel club would just not work for us.

We contacted our salesperson and they told us it was no problem to cancel, we just have to send our cancellation to Global in writing. I’m hoping we can do that by email, we’ll see.

We’ll keep you posted on this.

TransAtlantic Cruise Booked

We went ahead and booked the TransAtlantic Cruise on our own because the travel club couldn’t get us a better price. We certainly don’t want to use them if we’re canceling our membership.

We will be leaving Barcelona on Oct. 25th and arriving in Miami on November 8th. That’s a full two week cruise and we paid a total of $1432.74. That works out to just over $100/day and that includes food, accommodations, entertainment and transportation. A pretty good deal,
actually.

I did check airfare and it was only a couple of hundred dollars less. It was a no-brainer to take the cruise.

Inception at IMAX

Tonight we treated ourselves to a movie. We’ve been wanting to see Inception and it was playing at the IMAX theatre in Orlando.

We had seen Avatar at this same theatre in April, but that was also in 3D. Inception was not in 3D.

It’s a good movie and certainly worth seeing. We’re just not sure if it was worth paying the extra to see it in IMAX.

But, hey, at least in an IMAX theatre I don’t need to put my glasses on to read the credits. They’re not tough to read when the letters are several feet high!

See the movie, but it’s up to you if you want to shell out the extra to see it in IMAX.

We actually went to the late showing – 10:30pm. As it’s almost 2-1/2 hours long, that means we didn’t get out until after 1:00am!

Time for a Change

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Aug 20 ~ Day #102
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$10200
$148.10
$9064.38
$88.86
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
13472+16=13488
4451
000
69
18008

Current Location: Vacation Village at Parkway, Kissimmee, Florida

Transportation: $49.48
Accommodation: $30.00
Food: $68.62
Entertainment: $

Today’s Total Expenses: $148.10

Time for a Change

We had booked two weeks in the Orlando area using our timeshare, but at different resorts. That meant we needed to check out of Wyndham today and check into Vacation Village.

Check out time, which apparently is strictly enforced by the use of penalties (like a $100 fee if you check out late), is at 10:00am. We were a bit rushed but managed to make it in time.

Check-in time, however, is usually about 4:00pm. So, we thought we’d probably have some time to kill between condos.

Hoping our condo might be ready, we decided to go directly to Vacation Village at Parkway. As luck would have it, our condo was available and we were able to check in at 10:30am!

This made it very convenient as we didn’t have to worry about the frozen and refrigerated food we were bringing with us from the previous condo.

Parking Pass – Really?

As at the other condo, after we were checked in (oh, and this resort requires a $100 refundable damage deposit that was not required at Wyndham), we were directed to Guest Services to obtain our parking pass for the week.

The gentleman at Guest Services welcomed us, gave us each a welcome gift (a plastic toiletries bag containing shampoo, conditioner and shower gel) and then proceeded to sign us up for an owner’s lunch, tour of their new model and a survey.

We asked if they were going to try to sell us more timeshare and the answer, of course, was a resounding “no” but, yes, we knew better.

And, as usual, they wanted a $20.00 refundable deposit to “reserve our space for lunch”. And, of course, they were offering us discounted tickets for 2 to the Arabian Nights Dinner Show for only $20.00 (hmmm … how convenient that our deposit would cover that) or an $80.00 gift card. But, we didn’t need to decide which gift we wanted until after the lunch.

They had space for us on Sunday or Monday, so we chose Monday. More about this on Monday …

Gas Price Rip-Off

After finding our condo and bringing everything up from the car, we headed out for some groceries and gas.

We had passed a gas station a day or two before that advertised gas at $2.52/gal. That’s the best price we had seen and it was a Shell Station. The next cheapest price was $2.54/gal. We were almost empty so saving a couple of cents per gallon seemed like a good idea.

As we always do, we swiped our credit card at the pump and began to fill our tank.

Don’t ask me why I looked at the price per gallon that was actually displayed in the selected grade part of the pump, but for some reason I did and it displayed $2.64/gal – WHAT?!?

We stopped pumping and I went inside to ask about the discprepancy. Apparently the $2.52/gal was for cash only – and – sure enough – on the sign, in tiny letters, was the word “cash” under the price.

But, when others were charging $2.54 and credit was okay, how could this Shell Station possibly justify charging $2.64/gal when using a credit card?

We immediately stopped pumping on credit at just over $13.00 and paid cash for the rest.

But that didn’t stop us from feeling like we’d been ripped-off and mislead.

If you don’t watch every minute some greedy bastard is going to try to take advantage of you.