Comparison Shopping

If there was ever any question whether comparison shopping for airfares on a daily basis makes sense I’ll give you a few examples of why it does:

Monday, August 26th I booked the following fares:

9/4 – ORD – RST; MSP – ORD for a price of $218
9/11 – ORD – LAX for a price of $288
9/18 – ORD – IAH for a price of $248

Today, just because I realized how cheap the fares were I went back and looked at the same tickets – same flights, times, class, everything and here were the prices today:

9/4: $248 (+$30)
9/11: $447 (+$159)
9/18: $1,148 (+900)

What a difference a couple days make!
Why is it so expensive to fly to Houston (IAH) from Chicago when both American and United each have multiple daily flights from O’Hare? I’ll never know….but I was amazed to get it for only $248 when it typically costs closer to the $1,148 that it was selling for today. I know there are myths about when the best time to purchase a ticket is. However, as I think the above examples will show – you just never know so it always makes sense to check back daily, heck hourly, to see what if any movement there has been in the price of a ticket.

Photo of the Day – The Bridge

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The historical stone bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A fantastic structure and something that has withstood a lot from the mighty Mississippi. So much so that it is one of the only original bridges left on the river.


St. Paul Cathedral – Side Altar

I took this picture while waiting for the main altar in St. Paul’s Cathedral in St. Paul, Minnesota to clear. This cathedral is one of the most pristine in the US and certainly rivals those you see throughout Italy. In fact, it is a ‘sister’ cathedral to the actual the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome–which means, in plain terms, if you make a spiritual pilgrimage to St. Paul’s Cathedral in Minnesota, it’s considered to be the same thing as making a spiritual pilgrimage to the Basilica in Rome, symbolically speaking.

Photo of the Day – St. Paul’s Cathedral – Side Altar

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Four Horsemen

The Minnesota State Capital is located in Minnesota’s capital city – St. Paul. I went to St. Paul to see the Cathedral but it wound up closing early on the day I was there so I decided to walk around (in the rain) and take some more pictures of other buildings in the area. Above the southern entrance to the building is a sculpture called ‘The Progress of the State’. According to Wikipedia the four horses represent the power of nature: earth, wind, fire and water. The women leading the horses symbolize civilization while the man on the chariot represents prosperity.

Photo of the Day – Gilded Quadriga

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Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go into this building either because it to was closed but next time I’ll try to take a tour since it seems like there is an opportunity to head up to the roof which would allow me to photograph the horses a little closer and also take some pictures of St. Paul from above.

Drinks at the Bank

The bar at the Westin in Minneapolis is a former bank and thus the name of the hotel bar is ‘The Bank’. They keep wine bottles – way more expensive that I can afford – in the vault by the elevators on your way to your room. I stay at a lot of hotels but the way this bar is laid out and the classiness of it really appealed to me. In the evenings they get a ‘hotel’ crowd but most of the people are well dressed and seem to be well mannered. Alot of times when staying in hotels on business trips you get some people that just ruin the experience for everyone involved. Something about this particular bar intrigued me – maybe it was the symmetry, maybe it was the woodwork, maybe it was the delirium from lack of sleep but I set my camera on the ledge and took a few shots. In the early morning hours, the place was clearly dead but it allowed me to capture what I saw as the beauty in it.

Photo of the Day – Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn…say what

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This was the early morning – 7ish – and thus there aren’t many people hanging out but breakfast was being served in the other room and after I ate I stopped and took a picture before heading back to my room to shower and get ready to fly back to Chicago.

Giving you what you don’t need

I saw something about this on the news the other day as well and thought it was a stupid idea but maybe others feel differently. Sometime this summer the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom will be released – it will effectively become the first phone and point-and-shoot camera in one. However, do we really need this is the question?

Samsung hit a home run with the ‘Note’ which I also thought was a dumb idea (how many people actually use their phone to create work presentations, take notes on conference calls, etc….) so maybe this will work as well but I for one am someone who has different gadgets for different reasons. Maybe I’m in the minority here but I’ll keep my iPhone and happily snap away without the zoom.

Photo of the Day – Stone Arch Bridge

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The stone arch bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota was built in 1883 as a railroad bridge – today it is a pedestrian bridge – across the Mississippi River. I also believe it is the only stone bridge still in existence across the Mississippi River.

The Chapel of St. Peter – St. Paul’s Cathedral Minnesota

The Chapel of St. Peter is located in the Cathedral of Saint Paul in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a side chapel but is gorgeous. I spent time here during my visit to the church because of the wedding that was going on in the main chapel.

Photo of the Day – Side Altar

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Off to watch Game of Thrones on tape delay so a short post tonight.

Grain Belt Beer

Hope everyone had a fun Cinco De Mayo – still feeling a little bit of the bug and so we spent it at home watching the first half of the second season of Breaking Bad. It’s been a while since I sat and watched hours of TV without breaks in between. It felt good but still feeling like I didn’t accomplish much of anything today. It was a nice day and we did get brunch this morning but other than that a pretty lazy, little Sunday.

Photo of the Day – Grain Belt Beer

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When I was walking around in Minneapolis I saw this beer sign and noticed the houseboat sitting under it. The reflection of the boat in the water gave some nice symmetry to the picture. I had never heard of Grain Belt Beer and until I got home and googled it I thought it was actually a dysfunct company but they actually do make beer – just not very good beer according to Beer Advocate.