Things are looking up. I booked my flights for my visit to Israel later this year. Considering how far away Israel is, the cost was pretty decent for the round trip. I was expecting to pay several hundred more than I did. Yay!
I'm leaving via LAX on Thanksgiving and returning on 12 December. It's a good long trip, but I don't think I'll wear out my welcome. I think I make a decent houseguest, plus Sam and Ari will be working during most of my time there, so I think that their dog Jack and I will become best buds.
We're also setting up a little 3 day trip to Cairo while I'm there, to visit that magnificent (crowded) old city as well as the pyramids at Giza. We'll do that over a long weekend so Ari and Sam will only need to take one day off from work. I've got a tour company almost arranged - I'm still doing some comparison shopping, but hope to get that nailed down soon. Internal flights to/from Cairo we'll be doing on our own. It's only an hour flight from Tel Aviv, but it shaves tons of time off the trip from the driving alternative.
Other travel plans also include Adrienne's and my annual birthday trip - this year we're going to New Mexico. Our flights are booked for that too, so I now need to make hotel/B&B arrangements, car rental, etc. This trip is in late September. We will visit Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
Next weekend, I'm going to Sonoma to pick up Lucas, who will be staying with me for 2 weeks, while his mom and dad (Jim and Mary) fly to New York to visit with their son Jim, who is one of my long-time close friends. Jimmy recently returned from a 10-year stint in London and is now living and working in New York City. He's excited to have his folks come to New York to visit. Jim (elder) had a pretty serious stroke 2 years ago while visiting his other son, Greg, in Rhode Island. Jim's now mostly paralyzed on his left side, but let me tell you something - this man has found ways to get around, move about and do things you'd never believe, given his condition. I know he scares his kids by the things he does, (including driving....) but I'm in awe of him. This man does not let anything get the best of him. God bless him. Oh, Lucas. Well, Lucas is a 3 year old (or is he 2?) standard white poodle. He's HUGE. And he's a good boy, likes Miss Molly, and I'm excited to be able to have him come stay with me. I'm also hoping that by having Lucas here, I'll be able to sneak out of the house once or twice and maybe go to a movie, or visit a friend. See, not being able to leave Miss Molly alone, due to her significant separation anxiety, has me pretty much house-bound over weekends and evenings. Most of the time it's not a big deal, because I love to putter around the house anyway, but I think that having another dog to keep Molly company will put the kabash on her anxiety. When Roxanne was still alive, this was never a problem, so I'm hoping Lucas' being here will bring the same results.
We shall see.