We thought that the answer to the mileage run conundrum would be Alaska, as it's a cool 7,142 miles round-trip with an obligatory stop in Chicago. H has always wanted to go to Anchorage, while it's not high on my list, so it seemed like a good choice for our purposes. However, the only flights arrive Anchorage at 11:15pm with a red eye (and stopover!) on the way back, the bulk of the journey on the hated Alaska Airlines. But, for a few weeks, we played the hold and release game, holding the same flights over and over to buy time before actually buying the tickets. Eventually, though, the tickets went up to over $600 and it seemed less and less worthwhile for a two day trip.
Over the holiday weekend, I tried another tack and looked at Europe flights, after reading this Portfolio Seat 2B column. Not wanting any flights that involve London Heathrow even as a layover stop, I compared fares in continental Europe. Amazingly, the cheapest and least painful tickets were to Brussels, for a 3 night trip. The irony here is that Belgium is just where I wanted to go for Christmas originally. I am massively jealous, and am insisting that H bring me Belgian chocolate (I imagine the fries and beer wouldn't travel so well) and visit the Christmas markets.
H and I have sort of started watching The Amazing Race, as we watch Cold Case on Sundays and TAR often runs into the Cold Case's start time. If the application deadline weren't today, we would totally apply for the show. How awesome would a hotel publicist and a business traveler be on that show?! H can be the expert in packing for an around-the-world trip in one carry-on and bitch about how it's like these people have never flown before, and I can help local hotels to create "newsy" items and packages around their village ceremonies and customs ("After a day at the market, bring in a chicken for a complimentary welcome cocktail!"). We can't lose!