The mad rush
07/01/2010 - 07/01/2010
So as planned, there was a lot of "business" to take care of the last day. So we starting some packing, did the mall one last time to update this blog and check emails, etc. Next we drove to the V&A Waterfront for lunch and one last visit. One of the other things that I had done (incorrectly) was to order tickets to the Quarter Finals (Germany vs. Argentina) for Saturday - obviously we will not be here. However, originally, I was hoping to move our flights/extend our stay and/or that the USA would finish 2nd in the group and then win (the Germany path). None of that happened of course, so we were left with tickets to sell for the game. The Waterfront seemed like a good area and the Paulaner is down there as well. It was also a good place to do some last minute shopping and get an extra piece of luggage. We carried around signs that we had tickets for sell. There were a lot of people interested and one guy wanted them but then chickened out because of a ticket scam there - I never heard the details of that, but heard something about it.
The problem is that all of the locals can get the cheaper tickets and they did not realize that as the games progress, the ticket prices go up. So, it was unlikely that any South African would pay face value for our tickets. We also learned that "face value" must be an American term. Anyway, after a few blotched attempts, a couple of guys finally bought 2 of the 4 tickets, so at least we had half of our money back.
Time was running out so we headed back to the cottage to finish packing up, take showers and check out. We were cutting it a bit close, and then the landlady wanted to chat more about our stay, impressions, etc. Eventually, we had to cut that off. We also had one last goodbye to Wilma and drop off a few USA items for them as a thank you for hosting us for dinner. Now we were really late. The airport is fairly close, except we were trying to get there during rush hour and the traffic was bumper to bumper for some of the way.
Checked in the rental car, then checked in for flight - seems like some people were have issues, so that took a while. They oversold the flight, so they were offering $375 cash to get bumped. After that, we went to the FIFA ticket booth at the airport to see if there were any options to return the tickets for them to resale. No such luck, but the agents were extremely helpful in helping us to get them to someone else as well as helping to verify the tickets were real. After a few false starts - people that wanted them but had trouble getting enough cash. We finally found a couple of guys that just came in - they hit the ATMs to get rand and we then hit the exchange burro to convert all of our rand to dollars. And then hustled to the gate in order not to miss our flight - but we were fine in the end as the gate closing time was really the boarding time.
The flight to London was really nice as that leg was business class again. I'm writing this final entry from the BA lounge. Even though it is quite nice, we are quite exhausted and a bit run down; we will be glad to be home soon. Sorry for the lack of pictures for this entry, but nothing new to show. I guess this will do it for 2010, so until 2014, ciao for now.