However, getting there is not turning out to be very easy at all. Here's the rumpus:
- I need to leave from Phoenix because I expect I'll be in Arizona during the week after Christmas.
- I need to leave on New Year's day because air fares are out of control any other day.
- I need to be home on January 10 because Seumas will be in town; I won't get to see him unless I hurry home.
- Although Hamburg is the closest airport to Kiel, it has no flights available at decent prices. Therefore, I am looking at Bremen, Hanover, or Berlin.
- To get to Kiel from these airports costs 69, 101, and 130 marks, respectively. (No, the prices are not available in euro yet, for whatever reason.)
- However, I can get a cheaper train fare (109 marks round trip) from Berlin if I book on Jan. 2 and Jan. 7 only.
- Given that I need to stay a few days extra in Germany, I would like to see something in addition to Kiel. Berlin is the most attractive option by far.
- All flights back to San José that are cheap require me to stay the night in Frankfurt.
- If I do fly back from Berlin, it costs $30 additional to take a late flight to Frankfurt. This would give me more time in Berlin, but is it worth $30?
- However, January 9 is the first day of a huge convention in Frankfurt, which means that there are very few rooms available, and none for less than 169 a night. This means I would probably have to sleep in the airport. (Anyone know if the United Red Crown Club lets people sleep in there overnight?)
This should give you some flavor of my dilemma.
So... what should I do here? I've got something like a heinous flowchart in my brain and I find I can't make a decision. Here are some of the basic gates:
- Spend as much time with Bret and Mark as possible?
- Worry about having to sleep in the airport if I return on the 10th?
- Worry about insulting Seumas if I return late on the 10th? (He leaves on the 11th.)
- Worry about saving $60 even though it means less time with my friends?
- Worry about saving $30 even though it means less time in Berlin?
I'm giving this another 24 hours and then, I suppose, I'd better buy a ticket before everything vanishes. Right?