three-ring binder

For the first time in over a decade, I purchased plane tickets on a carrier other than (former hometown bidness) Continental. Nevermind that Continental doesn’t exist anymore – until a few days ago, you could still buy tickets on with the Continental name on them. You could, but I didn’t. Their price just wasn’t right, especially when you add in $50 each in bag fees. Southwest doesn’t charge you for your bag. In fact, they don’t charge you if you check TWO bags. I’m practically making money on this deal.

We have gone to the Bay Area every other year for the past little while, and we always fly Continental out of IAH. There’s a system in place. But this time, it’ll be Southwest out of Hobby. I haven’t even been to Hobby in probably 15 years. I may like surprises and seat-of-the-pants action for some things, but when it comes to traveling I like my little ducks in their little row, each wearing appropriate footwear, sunblock and layered clothing in case it gets hot/cold. But, change is good.

My friends have long made fun of my vacation planning. For a couple of months before we go anywhere, I am all over the interwebs looking for shit to do, food to eat and cool places to sleep. This information is poured over and distilled into a three-ring binder that serves as the bible for our journeys. I won’t show you the inside of the binder (it might scare you), but I will show you the photo that sits in the sleeve of the outside of the binder, which has gone on a lot of trips. It’s a totem, of sorts, that helps guarantee a good time on our travels.


I love this photo for so many reasons. For one, my grandparents Ted and Elsie (who are on the right) are kicking fashionable ass. I love her shoes and his tie. And the fact that it looks like he just threw out some bullshit and they are all looking at the other guy for his response. And the other dude doesn’t know what to say. Runs in the family. My grandfather was a journalist and then an ad man. I went to an awards show for Houston ad agencies a couple of weeks ago (since I’m now in the ad biz). It was a 100th anniversary celebration, and at one point they did an in memoriam video that flashed the names of ad hotshots who’d passed over the past 50 years. It was cool to see Lloyd Gregory, a man my grandfather worked for, flash on the screen. Connection.


4 responses to “three-ring binder”

  1. Let me know if you need some cool stuff to do in SF or the wine country (if you haven’t found all of the cool stuff already).

  2. With Southwest, make sure you do the online check-in, I believe they let you do it 24 hours in advance. That way, you’ll get an “A” boarding pass without having to get to the airport ridiculously early. Last time I flew SW, I did that and walked up to the gate about ten minutes before boarding time and walked by a little old lady who was holding a “B” pass and she asked me “How’d you get that? You just go here and I’ve been here for two hours!” My reply was, “I’m magical.”

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