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 month. 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 laughs.) 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. (Laughs.) 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 airport. It’s only an hour and a half drive from there. Sandra: That would be great! Make the reservations for us.