Business Idea: Airfare Limit Orders

May 12, 2014 By: erik Category: Musings, Travel

toy planeEvery time I shop for airline tickets, I find myself thinking about how little sense airfare prices make to me, and I’m reminded of the variability of the stock market. There are so many forces and variables acting on the price of a stock (or an airfare) that prediction becomes a matter of guessing probabilities where even the experts don’t really have much of a clue. The frustration at checking airline prices reminds me very much of that of playing the stock market. Prices seem to fluctuate for no reason and deciding when to make a transaction is painfully difficult…and the price seems to always go in the wrong direction right after you buy.
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Visiting El Greco – Toledo 2014

April 08, 2014 By: erik Category: Art, Photos, Spain, Travel

Gentleman with hand on breastFor many years now, my wife has expressed interest in visiting the Spanish city of Toledo. Although she’s not much of an art aficionado, if you ever ask her who her favorite painter is, she’ll reliably respond “El Greco”. So when we saw on the news that there was a big exhibition to celebrate the quadricentenary of El Greco’s death in 1614 (yesterday, April 7, was the actual date), in which his greatest works would be shipped from museums around the world to Toledo, it was not a matter of if, but when we would go. When we got an opportunity to leave the kids with my in-laws, we took it!
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International Travel With Kids

December 06, 2013 By: erik Category: Complaining, Reviews, Spain, Travel

FlightsWe just got back from our first transatlantic pond hop as a fully formed family of four. The offspring were very well behaved, considering the adventure we went through. I’ll be using this post to vent some of my frustration with our voyage.

It began when my mother dropped us off at the curb of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Just like she was for the first fifteen minutes of our car ride to the airport after saying adiós to her grandfather, Nora was wracked with inconsolable grief for the first fifteen minutes. She’s not good with goodbyes.
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Interview with InterNations

May 08, 2013 By: erik Category: Internet, Spain, Travel

Colindres and Laredo from aboveRecently I was contacted by InterNations, an organization I registered my expat status with several years ago and have since been diligently ignoring all their newsletters about meet ups in Madrid. They asked if I’d like to do an interview with them and to be featured on their site. I agreed, but then life got complicated, and they ended up having to nag me several times, but we finally did the interview and they published it. They’ve given me permission to re-post it here for your enjoyment. Some of my regular readers might not know my answers to some of these basic questions.
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Visiting Spain – March 2013

April 06, 2013 By: erik Category: Colindres, Family, Photos, Spain, Travel

The following is a document written by my father, Paul Rasmussen, about his trip to visit us in Spain in March 2013.

Drinks in Laredo

Tuesday and Wednesday

We dropped the dogs off at the kennel at 8:30 am, and an hour later we were at the Charlotte airport long-term parking lot. We flew to snowy Toronto, waited there for four hours, and boarded the flight to Dusseldorf around 5 pm. We landed in Germany at 6:20 am on Wednesday, enjoyed a croissant and coffee, and then waited three more hours for our flight to Bilbao. Our son Erik met us there, and an hour later we arrived at his home in Colindres.
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Morning in Limpias

April 02, 2013 By: erik Category: Family, Photos, Spain, Travel

Kayak TiltshiftTwo and a half years ago, we drove the seven minutes to the town of Limpias and very much enjoyed a walk along the river. I remember thinking at the time, “I should bring my parents here.” And last weekend, I did. The sky was clear and the sun was warming the cool spring air, and we decided to walk along the water in Limpias.

Limpias is positioned by where the Asón River begins to open up before spilling into the sea in Colindres, and Limpias still has a lot of artillery guarding the river entrance, presumably from the Spanish Civil War.
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Myrtle Beach Classic 2013

February 15, 2013 By: erik Category: Golf, Music, Partying, Photos, Travel, USA

Golf TrophyLast week I took my annual golf vacation to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to participate in the Myrtle Beach Classic, a golf competition among good friends that my father organizes every year in February. Since I started going in 2004, I’ve only missed one year (2011). Sadly, my good friend Jacob couldn’t make it this year, as he was called off on a business trip to Singapore. Careers can be so annoying sometimes! Despite his absence, fun was had, golf was played, music was made, and trophies were awarded.
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Rainy Saturday in Antwerp

October 20, 2012 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Travel

Antwerp ArchitectureOn Saturday, October 13th, my fifth anniversary, I took the Metro into the center of Brussels with Simon, and from the train station, we bought tickets to go to Antwerp. I like train travel; I miss it from my days in Denmark. It’s a lot more comfortable than traveling on an airplane. The trip from Brussels to Antwerp took under an hour. I had been impressed by the architecture of the Brussels train station, but then I was absolutely floored by the majesty of the Antwerp station.
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Walking Around Brussels

October 15, 2012 By: erik Category: Belgium, Food, Photos, Travel

Cinquantenaire ArchesOn the evening of Wednesday, October 10, my plane landed in Charleroi airport. That’s Brussels’ version of the out of town airport that the budget airlines fly to; London, Rome, Stockholm, and Paris have similar airports. I walked past customs and out into the arrivals area and began searching for my ride, an internet friend named Brian. After about three minutes of walking up and down the very small area outside a cafe, I saw Brian entering the doors. We shook hands and headed to his car, which had been parked for such a small amount of time that the parking machine didn’t charge him a euro dime.
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Do NOT pay more than $14 for your ESTA Application!

October 01, 2012 By: erik Category: Complaining, Fighting Stupidity, Internet, Marketing, Scary, Travel, USA

Department of Homeland SecurityIn preparation for our upcoming trip to the United States, I was double checking that everything is in order. After last year’s ESTA debacle, I want to be 100% sure we have my wife’s immigration approval number before leaving for the airport. So I did an internet search for ESTA to search for her approval number. What I found is a system of websites designed to scam unknowing foreign travelers out of their money.
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