Well, it is in South America. Here in New Jersey, however, we are still in the dead of winter. Today we got about 27 inches of snow, and forecasts are calling for snow on Tuesday and Wednesday also. I am really hoping that the snow is not bad enough to delay my trip, as I am paying $80 a night for my hostel and am getting the sinking feeling that they will charge me whether or not my trip is delayed.
At the family party I got to see a lot of people I won't get to see until I return from my trip. The food was great, as well as the company. I discovered that the flash on my digital camera is not firing, and at first I was upset that I would have to find a new camera before the trip. A little bit later my brother and sister in law asked me what I needed for my birthday and ultimately the trip, and so I told them about my camera and they agreed to get me a new one for my birthday.
So I did some research online and now have a Canon Powershot CD1200 Elph. It's compact and got excellent reviews from friends as well as Consumer Reports, and from what I can tell so far it takes awesome pictures. You can check it out here:
I also found what is considered to be the Bible of travel guides for South America. The Footprints guide is 1800 pages thick and is updated annually. I figure that between that and the Let's Go Chile guide I have from Christmas a few years ago that I am set.
I had a birthday dinner with some close friends on the night of my birthday, and it was a really nice way to celebrate. I got invited to school to take part in a tapas event with some of my former students and the teacher I long term subbed for, and that will be a nice way for me to say my goodbyes there too.
For anyone following this, please cross your fingers (and toes if you want too) that my flight will depart on time without any problems with the predicted snowfall.
Countdown to departure: 4 days