*I spent much of the past weekend watching seasons 2 and 3 of Little Britain, so I must reference the bank/travel agent sketch.*
Husband and I are already looking forward to taking a vacation around Christmas, when our offices are closed. We have $1000 in American Airlines vouchers, 160k Marriott points, and 40k Starwood points. H wants to go somewhere warm, even though we are not resort people and I know we will get bored lying on the beach for a week, surrounded by other fat Americans, drinking watered down drinks, and being captive to the resort restaurant. But, as H points out, it would be something different and thus sort of exotic for us. Naturally, every other moron wants to go somewhere warm for Christmas, so airfares are sky high, hotel rates are exorbitant, and you have to pay double points at any warm-weather Marriott to override blackout dates. I just don't want to clean out both hotel point accounts to go to Puerto Rico and be subjected to gaggles of children and resort entertainers. I remember staying a few days in Miami a few years ago at a resort and trying to eat dinner while an overly enthusiastic fat man shimmied at me and sang "Hot! Hot! Hot!" on his headset microphone. *Shudder*
I have advocated the opposite of warm, and want to go to Europe. I've never been to Paris, and fares are relatively cheap to Belgium. I'm suggesting going to Brussels and taking the train to Paris, Antwerp, Ghent, and Bruges. I've heard the Belgian cities (well, other than Brussels) are really cool and interesting, and we can use hotel points at the standard rate for most nights. It'll be much less touristy, albeit cold, but sorta Christmassy and festive. H is unmoved by the articles I send him about how cool Belgium is, as it will be seriously cold, but no colder than New York, as I point out.
I'm still not over my near coup for tickets to Istanbul. Last week, Alitalia had an inexplicable fare sale *business class* (and I'm a total slut for business class) to Istanbul over Christmas for about $500 each! It was only up for a few hours and by the time I tried to book it, it was gone, with no trace that it ever existed. Damn, really should have gone for it, though Istanbul isn't exactly warm in December, I would have gone! We are thinking we'd like to go to Turkey next year, but maybe in early summer when we can go to the beach there.
Stay tuned to this riveting drama to find out where we end up…