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?