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Where should we go on holiday?

Sandra has decided to take a vacation. But where should she go? The question is best answered by making an appointment with a travel agent. She invites her friend, Donita to go with her. At the agency, they discuss possible journeys, the length of the travel and the cost of the trip.

Sandra:		I would like to be gone at least 2 weeks, 
		but not more than three weeks.
Travel agent:	How about a trip to Alaska?
Sandra:		No, I’ve been there; I’d like to go 	
		somewhere tropical.
Travel agent:	Perhaps a trip to Hawaii?	
Donita:		No, I just went there for a wedding last 
Travel agent:	Maybe you would like a trip to Bermuda? 
		You could take a ship from Florida.
Sandra:		Yes! I’ve always wanted to go there.
Donita:		That sounds good to me; cruises are a lot 
		of fun.
Travel agent:	All right, let me check on the computer 
		about what is available. (She looks at the
		computer screen while typing). Hmm. This 
		doesn’t look good.
Sandra:		What do you mean?
Travel agent:	There is a cruise ship available for 
		the time you want, but... (She stops 
		talking and continues typing).
Sandra:		But what is the problem?
Travel agent:	I can’t find a flight from Portland, 
		which is the closest airport for you. Oh,
		Sorry. The computer screen shows that 
		someone just took the last reservation 
		for that cruise.
Donita:		There must be something else available. It 
		doesn’t have to be Bermuda.
Sandra:		I agree. We just want to get away somewhere 
		warm. This winter has been so long and cold.
Travel agent:	I’ll keep looking. How many days can 
		you be gone?
Donita:		I have the family trucking and ranching 
		business to manage, so I need to be back
		in two weeks.
Sandra:		I teach English at the college
		and am a visiting professor. I could be 
		gone for 15 days. Then I need to prepare
		for giving a lecture in Japan.
Travel agent:	I’m still looking for trips for you; I 
		have good news and bad news.
Donita:		Give us the good news first! (Everyone 	
Travel agent:	The good news is that I found you a 
		wonderful cruise TO ARUBA. The bad news is
		that I can’t find a flight. At this time 
		of year, everyone wants to travel. If you 
		wait another week...
Sandra:		What if we drive to another airport?
Travel agent:	The next closest airport would be in 
		Seattle. (Looks at computer screen). Yes, I 
		can get you a flight from there.
Donita:		(To Sandra.) Let’s do that. We can drive 
		there and leave the car in long term parking. 
		It shouldn’t cost too much.
Travel agent:	There is one more problem.
Sandra:		What else?
Agent:		I can’t get you back to the same airport. 
		You would fly into Portland on the return trip.
Donita:		So I guess we couldn’t drive to Seattle. 
		What about taking the train?
Sandra:		It would take too long. Why don’t we rent a 
		car, and then return it at the airport?
Donita:		There are so many obstacles; maybe we 
		aren’t supposed to go on this trip.
Sandra:		But I think we can solve all of them; let’s 
		go for it!
Donita:		Only if you are willing to do the driving. 
Sandra:		I don’t mind driving; how far is it?
Donita:		It’s about 250 miles from here.
Sandra:		(Groans.) Oh well, it will be an adventure 
		for us. Maybe we will leave early in the 
		morning stop a few times to sight-see.
Travel agent:	Well, there is another problem….
Sandra and Donita:	No, now what?
Agent:		The flight leaves at 7:00 a.m.
		You would have to be there one hour before, so
		it means you would be driving in the middle 
		of the night.
Sandra:		I don’t want to drive that far in the dark. 
		What about a later flight?
Agent:		It isn’t a non-stop flight and you would 
		miss the other connections.
Donita:		O.K. Let’s do this: find us a hotel with 
		shuttle service to the airport. We will go to
		Seattle the day before, get a good night’s rest
		and be at the airport in plenty of time.
Sandra:		Good idea!
Agent:		That would mean you get to Florida the day 
		BEFORE the ship leaves. Do you want me to 
		make a hotel reservation in Florida, also?
Both:		Yes! 
Donita:		So, as I understand all of this: We need to 
		rent a car on Thursday, drive to Seattle, stay 
		over-night, fly to Florida, stay over-night 
		again, then board the ship on Saturday, right?
Agent:		Correct. Then when you return, you might 
		want to stay overnight again as the best flight
		for you would leave the next morning.
Sandra:		What time would we get to Portland? 
Agent:		There is a time change of three hours, so 
		you would get there around 3 in the afternoon.
Donita:		That would be a great time to get home! I 
		can ask my grandson to pick us up at the 
		It’s only an hour and a half drive from there.
Sandra:		That would be great! Make the reservations 
		for us.
Author: Sandra Marttinen