Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Even though Ed no longer travels, he and I both subscribe to airfarewatchdog.com -- a moderately reliable website that sends us emails when a bargain airfare appears on any of our chosen routes. If he gets a message first (say because he is on email and I am not at that moment), he always tells me -- ah! cheap fare to Dublin, now! or to Oslo, or to Barcelona. (Those are typically the cheapest gateways to Europe these days.) We look at the dates, the terms, the airlines and if all fits into my travel expectations, I try to book.

You have to be ready to book right away, because these super cheap fares do not last.

In fact, most often, they are gone by the time I fill in all the required spaces, check off required boxes and click "purchase."

This would be mildly annoying if it weren't for the fact that if you try, say, an hour later, they may appear again. Fleetingly. And then you go through the whole rigamarole once more, only to be told at the final stage -- sorry, you waited too long.

Too long? Do you know how fast I am at booking? Everything on those airline pages are by now auto-fill for me (with the exception of a credit card number). I know the planes I want (only ones with two seats off the aisle). How much layover I'll tolerate (never less than an hour, hopefully not more than three). I know me emergency contacts, my seat selection protocol (bulkhead on transatlantic), I can zip through the process faster than it takes a page to load.

Sorry, you waited too long.

The fare alert this morning was so good that I would not let this one pass. (Especially since I know that I have a 24 hour free cancellation period by law, so any mistake I make is without penalty.) So I call the airline. And the agent is nice, in an "I can do nothing" sort of way. And she tells me her supervisor will call me back after she looks into things. And this is how I spent a whole morning on airfares for travel for next year. Airfares that I did not, BTW, manage to land in the end. (Unless the supervisor does call me back with the message -- guess what! the CEO of Delta relented! You are good to go!)

And so breakfast is late. And it is in the kitchen, because I had to be near the computer, in case the agent called.


That's okay. The view toward the garden is good from here as well. Especially when the porch screens aren't drenched with rain.


(Though the garden is always prettier if you just step outside!)


Oh, for the good old days when sale airfares stayed with us for days instead of seconds!

Speaking of gardens and speed, I wanted to mention that this has been a phenomenal summer for birds and butterflies. I do not have any zoom on my daily use camera so I have resisted trying to take photos, but today the hummingbirds were so  outrageous and energetic, that I tried to get closer to them (and therefore to take a few photos for Ocean). The birds are speedy and elusive, but I do have something for you.




And in other news -- well, it was time for Ed to pick tomatoes again. Today's haul loaded two bags for our freezer.


This year's crop is so good that we are, in fact, packing our downstairs freezer full. Chili will feature prominently on the dinner menus this winter.

But not today. Today's supper was supposed to be eggs and our local farmer's oyster mushrooms, with my garden beans, but I panicked that the beans had been left on the vines too long and so I also threw in garden corn. Just in case. In the end, the beans were fine and the corn was fine (though truthfully, we waited with that also a tad too long; we both prefer delicate, first blush kernels) and so our supper plates were quite full.


Oh, and did I tell you? The skies were outrageously beautiful today! We did play tennis, but mainly, we worked on our various projects -- Ed in the sheep shed, me on the porch. Of course. With frequent breaks for a walk through the garden.