• James Eric Fristad

Ever do this fun thing?

Not ever-ever, but within memory of deliberately setting out to engage in such stuff in the company of a little one who is ju-ust old enough to love it when they all come tumbling to the floor.

I used to love this. Creative Playthings Kindergarten Blocks Set. Whoa. Dinosaurs, airplanes, castles, cathedrals eventually, barns for the tiny plastic animals. Whatever came to mind, that maybe we had been reading about while nestled on the sofa poring over some book, before bedtime.

A parallel activity, other than using our imaginations to see how shapes and, really, heaps of those maple blocks would capture the essence of those imagined things ... that parallel activity, as I say, was making a tower. Taller and taller and taller, made with improbable combinations of squares and rectangles and pillars and triangles. With (the important part) absolute certainty that we would enjoy pulling a piece from the bottom and see and hear the carefully made structure come tumbling to the floor. SPLAT. Hahahahaha. "Let's do that again!"

And you do it again, for the joy of the kid has seeped into your own heart.

Sigh. That continues in this little outing I have been working on. The blocks/reservations with their seeming stability ... then the removal of one element somewhere down the (structural) line. And if not actually catastrophic, the pieces do have to be picked up and rearranged as artfully as possible and hopefully with a better structure at the end of it.

Lisbon to Bordeaux, for instance, has far and away the least expensive air-fare on Friday. Not available on our planned Thursday -- not even nearly, cost-wise. Now, simply staying a day longer at the Lisbon apartment would solve the problem, yes, but the dominoes would begin to tumble against scheduled days and weeks farther down the line. And I happen to like those other plans as they are now, thank you. The good news is that Alaska Airlines (wherein our best Frequent Flyer Miles reside) has just joined OneWorld Alliance. And Iberia Airlines is part of that as well, so that sometime before the end of this year it should be possible to use our Alaska miles to purchase flights on Iberia. Cool. We do hope so, else all those downstream arrangements will have to be tweaked. Sigh. So far the heap of blocks sways a little but remains vertical. Which situation I am happy with, tiptoeing around the floor.

Another little tweak, in the present toys-metaphor, is that our single-night stopover in Ventimiglia has had to be rebooked because the place we had settled on and reserved had decided they wanted every renter to spend a minimum of two nights there. I understand that; but wish they had bothered to put that bit of information on booking-dot-com's website. The easiest and most relaxing part of all this juggling practice, is adapting the website with all its little links and placement and illustrations; also trying to assure self that the text's narrative continues to make the amount of sense that at one time it did. Hahaha.

I had imagined it would be interesting, maybe even fun, to be a travel agent. Not. Anymore.

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