I should be able to stop sidetracking by looking up vacation ideas because I got my August vacation booked. I had to go to the airport to get my flight because you have to either book by phone and then mail a voucher (which tends to get lost) or go to a ticket counter. Since getting the good hotel rate requires prepayment, I didn’t want to book the hotel without being sure of my flight, so I went to the airport. It was on my way to a friend’s house, so I’d have been going past it, anyway.
And it turned into quite an adventure. The place was relatively quiet, especially for a Friday afternoon, so I didn’t have to wait at all to walk right up to a ticket counter. That turned out to be a good thing because it took an hour, three ticket agents, two supervisors, and a phone call to get my ticket. The first agent didn’t know how to deal with vouchers at all and had to ask the second one for help. The second one tried to type in something and recoiled in horror at what she saw on the screen. Apparently, it wasn’t supposed to do that. So the first agent went in search of a supervisor, tried what the supervisor suggested, and when that didn’t work, she called elsewhere in the airline and got put on hold, with a projected wait time of an hour. Meanwhile, she kept trying other stuff that didn’t work. It seems that my voucher was some weird type they’d never seen before. When the first agent finally got an answer on the phone, they didn’t know what she was talking about. The supervisor came over to see how it was going and didn’t know what to advise. Another supervisor came over to see what was going on, and she wasn’t sure what to do. Then a third ticket agent who’d just come on duty came over to see what the fuss was about, looked at the voucher, typed in some things, and it worked.
So I paid for my “free” ticket in time (I think it took longer to redeem the voucher than I was delayed by taking the bump). But considering that someone else paid for the flight that got me the voucher, this is a doubly free ticket. And then this weekend I booked the hotel, so I’m set.
But then one of the hotel chains I have a membership with sent me an e-mail saying I could get an extra 15% off during the month of my birthday. They don’t have a lot of hotels, but there is one in downtown Fort Worth, and I thought that might make a fun mini-break for my birthday, itself — take the train over, maybe go out in Sundance Square. The hotel has a spa, so I could make it a spa retreat sort of thing. Then I noticed that there’s a show I’d like to see opening at the downtown performance hall the night of my birthday. But this hotel would be a walk that I’m not entirely sure would be safe alone, and the show ends after the downtown trolley stops running. Skimming around on other hotel web sites, I found that there’s an Embassy Suites across the street from the performance hall, and it would be less expensive — or free if I use my Hilton points — plus the big breakfast buffet. On the other hand, no spa, no morning tea brought to your door with the morning paper. So, maybe I could hotel hop — do one night in the fancy hotel and do the spa thing, then go to the other hotel for the night of the show and a big breakfast.
I spent way too much time on Saturday researching possibilities for a semi-staycation trip. I’ve talked about wanting to do a trip just to relax and not come home tired and hadn’t considered something quite that close to home. It would be about an hour by train, so it would feel like an actual trip without being too draining. I may or may not do it for my actual birthday, but I might do a mini-break during the fall when I could walk around outside without bursting into flames because there are museums, the botanical gardens, etc., to enjoy there, and I seldom go because it’s not a pleasant drive.
But now it’s the work week, and I want to get one project off my plate so I can concentrate better on other projects.