Monday, January 26, 2009

flying on the cheap

In my nightmarish scenario, the IRS and various bill collectors will be chasing after me, clamoring after my nonexistent funds and I’ll turn to them and say – sorry, I have a plane to catch.

If I wasn’t born restless, I most assuredly became this way very early in life. I was the family go-to girl when trips needed to be planned and motels booked. I was all of 8 years old.

Ed and I are in the process of negotiating our spring and/or summer travels. As usual, I am strictly bound to a work schedule and he is not. He cares about one thing: if it has to be across the ocean, what’s the cheapest place we can get to?

I spend time searching. Bizarre: it’s Scotland. Half the price of any other destination.
My occasional traveling companion is enthused. Let’s hike in Scotland! With a tent!

I know Scotland to have finicky (that’s being kind) weather. I lived there in the Fall of ’77 with my then partner, soon to be husband. We were graduate students and we put many a shilling piece into coin heaters to take the chill out of an interior. Memories of those quick-to appear clouds stay with you. And now, almost 35 years later, I’m to go back -- to camp?

It’s rare to see Ed positively chirping about Europe and so I find myself weakening. I look at trails through the highlands. I can do this. We purchase his ticket.

Only, I need to get there as well. I’ll be coming from the south and I’ll have a handful of days to kill before he shows up. I could, in the interim, take (the very cheap) Ryan Air to Sardinia…

You’re going to Sardinia? I want to go to Sardinia. Fly down from Edinburgh. Why am I going to Edinburgh if on the same day I am to fly down to Sardinia? Because it’s cheap and you like cheap. Will you camp in Sardinia? Maybe we should go to Barcelona instead. You hate cities! I’ll fly to Sardinia and wait there until you can join me and then we’ll both fly to Edinburgh and camp in the highlands. And then go home, right? Sure, only we have to stop in Paris overnight on the way back, because otherwise we’ll surely miss our connection. Just one night in Paris, correct? Actually two. The airfare returning a day later is way cheaper…

Outside, the winter continues to hit below the waist. The news on the economy is bad, the work for the weeks ahead is daunting.

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But hey. Sometime in May or June, I’ll be pitching a tent as the sudden dark clouds explode with torrential rain and the winds gust with such force that they close the bridge on the return from the Isle of Skye. Our food supplies will be low and we’ll have to make our way to the nearest pub and eat whatever they have. Blood sausage maybe. And I’ll say – aren’t you sorry that you yawned when I suggested a gentle hike along the coast of the Mediterranean? Yeah, that’s what I’ll say.