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IT'S BEGINNING
I don't know if you are anything like me, but the second fall seems to have entrenched itself, I find my thoughts turning more and more to Christmas. There are always so many things to plan for and anticipate around the holidays. I don't know if it's a way of speeding up time in an effort get through the dreary, sodden winter season or what, but it's something I can't seem to help.

The wish list I send to my family, soliciting their lists to give me ideas and inspiration for gifts, is in the works. Yesterday, I bought (at an insanely expensive price) Martin's plane ticket home for the holidays. I've actually thought about decorating and getting a tree already. Not DOING IT right now, just thinking about the fact that it's coming up. Fleeting thoughts, but nonetheless. Eek!

Searching for plane tickets online makes me crazy. It's so stressful and so expensive and so confusing. I finally gave up and called my brother to get the contact info for his best friend who is a travel agent in the US. When I got in touch with him and told him I was hoping he could help me see if buying the ticket for Martin FROM the US would be cheaper than me trying to buy it from here, he agreed but also told me that my googled-knowledge idea that mid-October was the best time to buy airline ticket for Christmas time was totally off, by about 3 months. According to him, airlines put up flights and schedules 9 months in advance and sales start 4-5 months in advance, so really I should have been looking in June/July for December tickets. Who can plan that far in advance?! I didn't even know dates at that point. URGH.

We ran into the same issue we had last summer: flying into and out of Detroit is ridiculously expensive. It's much cheaper from Toronto or Chicago but getting Martin to one of those places and back again added up to about the same price it was to fly from Detroit in the first place. And when Mark came back saying that the cheapest prices he could find were $500 MORE than what I was finding, I gave in. I can tell you, though, if both my kids end up in the States, we won't be seeing much of each other unless something changes in the airline industry. One small bit of good news was that WOWAir, the super-low-frills, low-cost airline from Iceland, will be flying from Detroit starting in the coming spring, but that doesn't help our wallets now.

I bought a pumpkin the other day for the front of the house, to be carved or not, depending on how motivated I am by Halloween. I also bought a pile of small decorative gourds for the big bowl on the dining room table, just to pretty things up and make me smile. Thanksgiving invites went out and so far, everyone (!) is coming, though I have still to hear from 2 people. It will be a very full house!

Tuesday I have an appointment with the surgeon to get the details and schedule a date for gallbladder removal surgery. I am quietly freaking out about it on the inside, but since it seems to be the best course of action, am also resigned.

We are planning a quick weekend trip during höstlöv but haven't made up our minds where to go. Karin wanted to go to Amsterdam but we ruled it out as too far (to drive, flying is already out of the question). Then we talked about Gdansk, but it turns out that is actually farther. We talked about Hamburg, but couldn't find anything super appealing about it and Oslo (too far, plus too expensive). I've looked at Bremen as well, but we might just end up in Stockholm. Tips?
awake
mood: awake
music: Stevie Wonder—I Just Called to Say I Love You


Comments

It's funny that you mentioned Christmas because our local grocery advertising leaflets came today and they are all about "tjuvstartar jul" with gingerbread, Christmas marsmallows, glögg, julmust etc. L-G nearly had a heart attack - ha, ha! But yes, I know what you mean - my mind is already thinking Christmas decorating because it's getting so dark now in the evenings and I need my bling.

How lovely that Martin will be home for the holidays. That makes it really special.

Good luck with the surgery. You'll feel so much better when it's all over. It's just the thinking about it that's a pita. My offer about the turkey is still open, just in case :)

It will be nice to put up the advent lights! They always make such a difference. :)

I used to like the puzzle of finding the best deal on plane tickets back when I flew backnforth regularly but nowadays tis just stressful and annoying! And I hear you about planning these things that far in advance.. impossible for us as well so we never manage to take advantage of better prices.

Shame visiting amsterdam was scratched off the list already 😊

Good luck with the surgery!

haha! It would have been fun to meet you and see the new baby!

(Anonymous)
From Megsie

I am glad that your surgery will be scheduled soon. I just want you to feel better! As soon as I saw your title I knew what you were going to say....AND NO IT'S NOT. The trees are just starting to look pretty! NO SNOW. NO REINDEER. NO HOLLY. Stop. It.

Sorry about the cost of the plane ticket. I bet you are excited to see Martin though!

xoxoxo

Re: From Megsie

I wrote that headline just for you! :D I was thinking about you the whole time I was writing, laughing at your anticipated reaction! haha!

(Anonymous)
Re: From Megsie

I KNEW it. You torture me. :)

I feel your wallet-pain. The holiday flights Montreal-Paris-Montreal are budget-killing. I shouldn't be surprised, but each year I am. And those websites know when I come back to them (after researching other airline fares) because suddenly the SAME ticket is now 124 euros more.

My mom says that too, that the websites recognize your return and up the prices. Wouldn't that be illegal, though?

Would that it were! Consumer advocates tested this empirically by using two PCs to look at fares on the same site. One of the PCs had a masked IP (or they were able to change the IP when they revisited the website); they were offered the same fare on the revisit--the site read them as a "1st time visitor" each time they visited the site. But the other user, who revisted using the same IP address, saw his/her fare increase. And that increased fare increased even more when he/she went back to the site days later! So the site retains your IP.

The only work around is to peruse fares from different IP addresses---say from home and from work, and grab the best fare the 1st time you see it.

(Anonymous)

Glad that is confirmed I thought it was just me being paranoid....airline prices and the increases. But its true.
SUCKS
Seester

It's NOT confirmed. I did quite a lot of googling about this, and it appears that it is not actually the case, it just feels like it, because prices change all the time. I can't find anything to confirm it one way or the other to 100% and couldn't find anything on snopes.com but since it WOULD be price-gouging which is illegal, I find it hard to believe that agencies would risk the issues they'd engender with criminal behavior. Still, it sucks that it so often feels like prices go up every time we search!

I did quite a lot of googling about this, and it appears that it is not actually the case, it just feels like it, because prices change all the time. I can't find anything to confirm it one way or the other to 100% and couldn't find anything on snopes.com but since it WOULD be price-gouging which is illegal, I find it hard to believe that agencies would risk the issues they'd engender with criminal behavior. Still, it sucks that it so often feels like prices go up every time we search!

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