I need to decide whether to go to Philadelphia in June or not. (Ted would probably not go with me.)
1. There’s a family reunion that coincides with the birthday of my Dad
2. … who has just had surgery for lung cancer (healing well and his lymph nodes are cancer free, hooray!)
3. See my nephew while he’s still a baby
4. See a great-aunt who is probably in her 90s
5. I worry that my parents will be upset if I don’t visit, since we’ll be seeing my in-laws at least a couple times this year (that is largely because they’re only a couple hours from our house in Oregon)
6. It does solve the annual question of what to get my dad for his birthday!
1. Expense: 5 days holiday time, €840 airfare, $300 for 2 nights at the reunion hotel. I can afford both the time and the money, but it does seem like a lot. (I can stay with my parents for the rest of the time, so no expense there, and I won’t need a rental car.)
2. I don’t actually know the vast majority of the people at the reunion, aside from the aforementioned aunt and her daughter, whom I can barely remember. These are my dad’s foster family and we didn’t see them much when I was growing up; they started doing these reunions later, so I think my brother knows them a lot better. However, they were good to my dad during a difficult childhood and I know being accepted by them as one of the family has meant a lot to him.
On the whole, I think I’d probably better go. That brings up the next decision, though: which flight? I will definitely be flying Delta (or KLM or Air France, because that’s where most of my freqent flyer miles are and their prices are as good as anyone’s. I will *not* be purchasing at KLM, because despite quoting the same prices as anyone else, they then proceed to add another €350 in fuel charges that other airlines don’t add.
The choices here are:
A. Fly via JFK (New York City). There’s a 2.5 hour layover, which is about right for international travel, but I’d have to go through customs there.
B. Fly via Charles de Gaulle (Paris), with a 1.5 hour layover. That should be enough, but I’d probably have to transfer from the domestic side of the airport (flight within Europe counts as “domestic”) to the international side.
C. Leave 45 minutes earlier and fly via Paris with a 2 hour 40 minute layover. I’m inclining to that one – though then I need to be in Amsterdam at 7:30 AM, so it’s either leave here at 5:30ish or stay overnight at the airport (which is what I usually do because I get a kick out of the Citizen M hotel and because I don’t really trust the NS train system).