Sunday, October 11, 2009

Of Turkey and Decision Days

So today is Turkey Day for us, or I guess Thanksgiving Day if you want to be more formal. I think most Canadians will agree that Thanksgiving isn't as big a deal up here as it is south of the border. One of the amusing things for me this year has been watching a very good American friend of mine, who recently moved to Newfoundland, trying to wrap her mind around the idea of Thanksgiving occurring now as opposed to towards the end of November. Apparently it isn't "fall" enough yet.

Another big difference? She's cooking for five today as opposed to the usual 30 she did when she lived in the US. I would think that's a bonus, but what do I know.

As for us, we're having the downstairs blogging neighbours up for some turkey (and more Nunavut blogging domination plotting) and a friend of mine in town for a couple of months for work, but stuck in a hotel. Being stuck in hotels for holidays always struck me as not being particularly fun, so he's coming over for turkey. And to play with Boo, because I know he misses his dogs something fierce.

Along with Turkey Day we're also approaching a D-Day of sorts. We haven't booked any tickets home for Christmas yet. There's a whole bunch of factors coming into play here. First of all, I still don't have a job. On the off-chance I land something in the next couple of weeks, asking for eight days off over Christmas, plus another 5.5 days off at the end of November to play in the Dominion Curling championships might be pushing my luck a bit, even if I offer to go without pay.

But the other thing is that neither Canadian North or First Air have put on any seat sales. It's unusual for both airlines to go so late in putting on Christmas seat sales. Normally they start in September, but so far there's been nothing. I have the sneaking suspicion because both airlines are in a seat sale war with Air Canada and WestJet over the Yellowknife to Edmonton route if we're not getting screwed over. They're losing money over there so they have to make it up somewhere else. Lucky us.

So a ticket from Iqaluit to Ottawa is currently hovering just below $2,000. Air Canada wants an outrageous $1,100 to fly from Ottawa to St. John's. WestJet is just weird because even if we wanted to fly with them, they have no flights out of St. John's from January 1-3. As Cathy has to be back to work by the 4th, that's a non-starter for us.

The airline we're considering is Porter. It's cheaper in that it's only $700 return to Ottawa. The downsides? We have to land in Halifax (not that big a deal), but we would also have to overnight in Ottawa.

Still, $6,000 to fly home for Christmas. Cathy wants to go because it's been a long time since she's seen her parents and I understand that. However, I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been going back and forth a lot on this over the last few weeks. One way or another we'll decide either Tuesday or Wednesday. So if you're in St. John's you'll see one, and perhaps even both, of us over the holidays.

Last Five
1. Hold me tight - The Beatles
2. Becky, I keep singing this song - Hey Rosetta!
3. Things have changed - Bob Dylan*
4. The way you want it - Keane
5. Bruised - Ben Folds


Dups said...

Thanksgiving in Canada is pretty important and ultimately even tied to Newfoundland and Labrador (well, Labrador).

The history of Thanksgiving is pretty neat and I think personally very different from the same celebration in the south. While I guess it isn't a big deal to most people, I think it's one of the most canadian of holidays and most canadian of celebrations one that encompasses both the later immigrants to the new world and the celebrations of the first nations of canada. Of all the celebrations we have other than Canada Day, there are few that can actually be part of all our society (ie. not just western, not just religious).

The history is here:

So Happy Thanksgiving to you and Cathy!


Melissa said...

I feel your pain, Townie. Being from Newfoundland only sucks when you have to pay to travel home. Add to that the cost of getting out of the North and it feels like sanctioned robbery.

We'll probably stay in the North for all Christmases because they are just too rushed and short to justify the cost.

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving with your friends, old and new!

Sarah said...

hope you enjoyed your turkey...I know I sure did!!

One thing you need to think about with flying with Porter...(when I flew with them from Toronto to Ottawa) I had 2 bags...and they were ok to fly north with First Air...but NOT so with Porter... I ended up paying almost $300 to get it on the plane from Toronto to Ottawa b/c the 'excess' baggage fee for them was something like $5 for every kilo that you were over the designated... so look into that if you are thinking of flying with them... (there baggage weight is I think 1/2 of what First Air/ Canadian North allow...)

Just something to think about... enjoy deciding!! :)

towniebastard said...

Thanks for the head's up, Sarah, but we're always pretty careful about weight limits. Plus, Cathy has the uncanny ability to know within a few pounds of how much each bag weighs.

We checked online, the northern airlines allow up to 70 pounds per bag, Porter allows 50, the same as Air Canada or WestJet. So it's the usual percautions when travelling.

WJM said...

Have you looked into chartering?