It’s funny how a problem can turn into the best thing that has ever happened to you.
The problem: Our experience with flights to and from Houston have been less than ideal, and are inconsistent.
For instance, my Aunt Susie has visited a few times, and she has always had trouble finding flights that worked for her schedule and price point. We never understood this. She is flying from a major airport, Newark, NJ, to Houston, which is the fourth largest city in the U.S., and not to mention that there are two airports to choose from. She has made it work, but she has had to go over budget to make the trips happen, and she has had to fly at inconvenient times.
The scenario: We were planning on going to St. Lucia at the end of May, as a celebration for Derek finishing graduate school. We booked a hotel about six months ago, and we had not gone any further in the planning. I looked at flights a few times, and found that flights from Houston to St. Lucia were averaging $1,800. What? Why?
My Uncle Paul looked and looked at flights but could not find anything cheaper. So he said, “I’m sorry, but it looks like St. Lucia will not work. Where else would you like to go?”
I have a detailed bucket list – 38 trips in all, St. Lucia included. I sent him the list. I didn’t really care where we went, so long as it was still on my list.
My dream vacation, at the top of the list, is Sicily, Italy. My family immigrated from Ragusa, Sicily in the 1800s, so it would be a trip to the motherland.
For a few days, Uncle Paul asked me questions here and there, and looked at different destinations. Hawaii, Croatia and Paris all came up, but Uncle Paul kept coming back to Sicily. They asked me, “How much money do you have saved for Sicily?” They knew I have been saving for Sicily dollar by dollar for the last six years. They also sent me some tours to look at, but I was told to “stand by.” The waiting was agony.
After three days, my Uncle Paul broke the news by texting me a picture of a piece of square Sicilian pizza. I cried. And then cried some more.
The irony was not lost on me that this trip was technically supposed to be for Derek, but I originally picked a beach vacation, and he’s not the biggest fan of the beach. He burns too easily, even with generous amounts of sun screen. Italy, even though it is my dream trip, will be a better fit for Derek too. He will soak up the art and architecture, not to mention the wine.
I never thought I would say that I was thankful that flights from Houston to a destination were too expensive and we had to cancel a trip, but it worked out for the best. Eight days in Sicily (flights included) ended up being cheaper than a 5-day trip to St. Lucia. So, thank you Houston airports for being both too expensive and inconsistent!