You guys know this game. Close your eyes and dream. Then open them and start the work. How to get the miles/points and, of course, how to spend them. Where to accumulate them so that you can actually GET to use them. Of course, for many of us, that means planning way ahead but after awhile, it just become the way we do things. We don't even react when people can't believe we plan so far ahead. We read blogs, MP, FT and anything else we can get our hands on in order to make those dreams a reality. It can be grueling, frustrating and aggravating but there is simply no way to explain the feeling when it all falls together. Print up all the parts of the itinerary and then some friends look at it and say, "You did this all yourself???!!!" You smile and say yes but you know it's really not true. You didn't invent it. You were guided all the way, in my case for about ten years, by a whole host of generous people who were as excited about this stuff as you became. Gary, Lucky and Brian top the list but so many are people whose names you don't even know who answered a simple questioned you posted and gave an answer that absolutely MADE the trip! You pass it forward. So if you're wondering where this is leading, it is to our longest trip ever and it begins this evening. We fly Business Class Cathay Pacific from Newark NJ to Melbourne Australia via HKG. Then on to the Park Hyatt Melbourne, Sheraton Port Douglas and Park Hyatt Sydney. Two flights within Australia in Business Class. Then fly to New Zealand on Emirates on Business Class. Guided private tour for 8 days in the South Island (please forgive me - we actually PAID for this! ). Finish at the Hilton in Auckland and then home but this time First Class on Cathay. 23 days start to finish. Never packed for so long, never been away for so long. For the first time, actually a bit nervous. When we did Thailand two years ago, had the same Cathay flight but leg two was only 3 hours or so - this time it's 9 (and 11 back from Auckland). Still putting on a brave face for my wife who is trying to seem excited but failing miserably and wondering how I could be so insensitive as to take her away from her grandkids for so long! Grateful for Skype and FaceTime! So thank you all. Thanks for your tips and your help. Thanks for sharing our excitement so many times over the years. Don't imagine I'll be posting any photos of sitting with a big friggin tiger in my lap this time but I'll try to post some highlights over these next three weeks. And then we'll return home and start planning for the next trip!