It rained quite a bit last night in Madrid, and now it's really chilly outside! Chilly for our taste that is, and not what we are used to while chasing Summer! We were still ok wearing jeans and our rain coat, but we saw most of the Spaniards pulled out their winter attire and were wearing heavy coats, and some were even wearing scarves! We simply did not pack for this kind of weather.
Regardless of the chilly wind blustering through the city, we were glad we had finished our sight seeing in Madrid the previous day. Today was all about little chores and preparations for our long day of traveling ahead.
Chore 1: Art Supplies
Our kids, especially Kian, go through paper at an incredible rate. We may have to have him plant a few trees at the end of this vacation just to offset how much he uses! We had been keeping an eye out for paper at shops around our hotel, but had no luck until we trekked over to the old town and went to the huge El Corte Ingles department store. Thankfully, they had plenty!
Chore 2: Post Office
Even after leaving so much behind in Riogordo, we still had things that we didn't need to trek across the world. These were mainly items that we actually would need/want later though, so we took a trip to the local post office, filled up a box and shipped it back home. Ah! 2 kg lighter off our shoulders, literally! :)
Chore 3: Exchange Currency
We stopped at a few money exchange places and banks to see if we could convert some of our euros to Vietnamese Dong, but it was not available anywhere so we gave up.
Chore 4: Vietnam Visa
After doing a lot of research before leaving the US, we had decided on the Visa on Arrival option for Vietnam. This meant applying online (and paying a fee) and getting a pre-approval letter. Once we arrive in Vietnam, we are expected to present the pre-approval letter (which my parents printed out and brought with them to Spain when they visited), a few entry and exit forms, 1 photograph per person, and another fee! Hopefully, that will get us a visa!
Chore 5: PACKING AGAIN
We also had to do some packing again since we had unpacked a little bit for our 4 nights in Madrid. The kids had a blast playing by themselves, and we had an easy time packing since we had 2 kg worth of stuff less!
And away we go!
Tomorrow, we will be picked up at 4:30 am to head to the airport! Our first flight to Paris is nice and short. The 11 hour flight from Paris to Hanoi is what I have been trying to get the kids ready for mentally. Their color pencils are sharp and the iPads and Nintendo 3DS are charged. Let's see how it will go! This will be the longest flight we have ever been on.
Wish us luck! South East Asia, here we come!