Saturday, July 28, 2007

My Computer and Me

Have I mentioned I love cruising?
Today I really do have no theme to hang an entry around, but if I go too long without writing here, I lie in bed at night imagining these legions of fans, sitting forlornly by their computers, every so often clicking the link to Grammar’s blog and shedding perhaps a tear or two when they see the same old headline of days gone by.

Okay. Probably not so much, eh? But allow me my fantasies!

This week I have been continuing with much work, blah blah blah. Same old thing. There is great turmoil in my office. People with seriously ill family members, people on leave mourning deceased pets, people on holidays… Sometimes it seems to me as if the poor frazzled clerk in the office and I are the only two people running this company at the moment. I am able remain largely unfrazzled, mostly because I am, thank goodness, at a distance and don’t have to go in there and can just stolidly plug away at things at home. Also, perhaps, because the weather has been co-operating and it has not been excessively hot. And we're almost halfway through stupid summer! Yay!

What has been a lot more fun this week has been putting the finishing touches on the arrangements for our big October trip. I don’t know how many travel agents there are these days compared to ten years ago, but I think they’re a dying breed. No one I know uses them anymore. Our trip this fall is a bit involved and complex, but I've had a blast using the internet to put the pieces together. It is not only easy, but empowering to take charge of things, comfortable that the prices I'm paying are appropriate as I browse Expedia, Travelocity, review sites, etc.

We will be starting with a few days in New York City. (Online: flights, hotel, Broadway show tickets.) We will depart from there on a ten-day cruise which will end us up in Quebec City. (Online and some phone: cruise, shore excursions, cruise line notified of our flight arrangements so they can pick us up.) We are then spending several days in Mont Tremblant, apparently a very attractive Whistler sort of place in between Quebec and Montreal. (online: accommodation in Mont Tremblant ) We are going with our great travel buddies The Lawman and Ms K, so there’s been lots of co-ordination going on, as well. This is almost as much fun as the trip itself!

I booked the flights into JFK and out of Montreal directly with Scare Canada, who offered prices as good as or better than I could find anywhere else. I found two things quite interesting as I did this. First of all, the flights from here to New York and from Montreal home are both listed as exactly five hours and 19 minutes. Don’t you think that’s a bit freakish? Secondly, amongst all the myriad and arcane taxes and fees one resignedly pays on top of the ticket price, I was bemused to find one listed as “US Agricultural Fee”.

US Agricultural Fee. My dear heavens. What on EARTH does that have to do with flying in an airplane? And what will they think of next? The mind boggles.

And finally, I must confess that nearly the most fun of all is choosing my plane seats online. They display a layout of the aircraft for your flight, with cute little people sitting in the seats that are already taken. And when you select your seat -- poof! -- a happy little green person pops into the one you’ve chosen! Seriously, what could be more entertaining than that?

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