Friday, January 14, 2011


Yesterday, as the snow kept falling and getting deeper and my arthritic joints ached more and the sting of previously-frostbitten toes kept the shoveling sessions short, I started thinking how nice it would be to get out of this cold climate for a little while.  Two years ago, in February, I flew with Carol to San Francisco for about a week, to attend the CODEX book fair at University of California Berkeley and since the CODEX and the San Francisco Antiquarian book fair are scheduled within the same week this year we started looking into the possibility of doing the trip again.  There was an Air Canada seat sale available which was to end last night so we had to act fast.  It's always been one of our favourite places to visit.  Carol is from the Bay Area and we met there and had many memorable dates in "The City".  In fact I proposed to Carol in my 1949 Chev one evening, parked on the Marina, looking out on San Francisco Bay.  We both thought this was a great plan.  We checked on a few hotels and finally picked one we had not stayed in before, then sat back and did the calculations.  We calculated the seat sale (which hid the massive amount of taxes and fees and the baggage charges).  We added that to the cost of the hotel for four nights (we wanted seven, but knew that would be out of our budget).  We added the hotel cost in Calgary the night before (our flight was to leave early in the morning).  We added our hotel in Calgary upon our return (our return flight would arrive too late to drive home to Red Deer).  Then we added the parking fee for our car in Calgary while we were gone and the food and transportation costs in San Francisco and Berkeley and the then we totaled it.

The total was a figure that was over what we could afford without putting it on plastic.  We winced and groaned and told each other how disappointed we were that we couldn't do it and then we tried to convince each other that it was for the best.  But we both knew we still had doubts about the decision to cancel the plans and deep inside we both probably felt the debt would be worth it.  Think about how nice it was two years ago in the Bay Area, with only a little mild rain once or twice and seeing live trees and green grass, while our driveway was filling up with snow back in Red Deer!

It was best to get our minds off this regret so we settled in front of the TV and turned on the news.  One of the first items we saw was a story about an eighty year old British Columbia woman who was filing a complaint with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority about her treatment at the Calgary airport when she was returning to her home in BC.  The security person must have thought she looked like she may be a possible terrorist who was packing some explosives, because the security person started feeling her breasts and embarrassed the poor lady by dislodging her breast prosthesis.  She had had a mastectomy in the past and was extremely emotionally sensitive about it and broke into tears there.  Of course that meant nothing to the security personnel who were only "doing their job".  That job seems to be to fool all of us into thinking, if security "cops a feel" before passengers get on the plane, it will make us safer.  

Right then and there we decided we made the right decision to cancel our travel plans and we decided we would save our travel for better weather when we can drive. 

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