Monthly Archives: August 2011

Travel: Love and Hate

First the high, high praise to Southwest Airlines!  I have always liked Southwest–great fares, fair seating, friendly service–but today, my like turned to full grown, head-over-heels LOVE.  I bought 2 round trip tickets during a recent fare sale but will probably have to change plans at the last minute.  I called to find out what the fee would be to make the change and found out that, it isn’t just my sparkling personality, for ALL of their customers changes are FREE.  Yep.  We get every penny we paid as a credit for future travel.  Yahoo!  In this day and age of “travel insurance” and “non-refundable” and poor customer service this was awesome.

Now hate.  I used to be a fan of Priceline.com and used them multiple times per month to book travel–air, hotel, rental car.  Never again.  My last and awful experience involved placing an offer on a hotel, winning the bid, and being assigned to a hotel ADJOINING A STRIP CLUB.  Um.  That’s not okay.  Not okay.  I immediately called Priceline to work it out and they were completely unhelpful.  I even got my credit card company involved and Priceline was still unbending.  I understand that it is nonrefundable but there is a certain standard of care that one expects in a travel bid situation with a major company.  There is a level of trust that the hotel will not be a place where rooms are rented by the hour, that has air conditioning and heat available, that has electricity.  If there is a possibility that a hotel might adjoin an adult facility, not have basic American lodging standards, that ought to be disclosed as a potential risk.  I understand that the economy is bad but seriously I should not have to worry about my Dad seeing Starla Sparkletits walking to her car after her shift while enjoying the complimentary breakfast.  Priceline, shame on you for supporting the adult industry, degradation of women, and not being family friendly!  So, please join my boycott of Priceline.  If you love opaque travel as much as I do, you might try Expedia and Travelocity which are now offering opaque options or Skyauction if it is the bidding that gets you.  If Priceline makes this right for me, I will post a retraction and how they fixed it.

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Lost?

No, I haven’t been lost.  I have just been non-stop and I think about writing and either I’ve got to post to my ice cream blog or sleep.  It has been a hectic 4 weeks or so, shew!

At the end of July Little Miss and I made the journey to Indiana to celebrate my Gramma’s 90th birthday.  It was fun!  It was good to see everyone. Mr. T went as far as Louisville with us.  We stayed at a hotel and had a good time.  Although it was that night that AU decided that sleeping from 10pm-2am is for the weak.  Giggling, grabbing her toes, moving from side to side.  What a trip!  Except it was midnight and we were really, really tired.  She cried all the way from Louisville to Indianapolis instead of napping.  That was not great fun.  BUT being there to celebrate with Gramma was excellent.  As my brother pointed out, not many people can say they celebrated both their Grampa and Gramma’s 90th birthdays!

Miss A and I were home for about 15 minutes (okay maybe 3 days) and it was time to go to Illinois to help celebrate BFF’s daughter’s 1st birthday.  It was a good time.  It is so funny to see our kiddos play together at 6 months and 1 year old.  They poke each other, trade toys back and forth, smile, drool, and seem to really enjoy being together.  Very cool to see.

As we were driving back from Illinois I got a strange phone call from my Mom.  She probably had a small TIA.  That stands for Transient Ischemic Activity.  Basically a tiny part of her brain lacked blood and died.  Made her a little looney and resulted in a 30 hour hospital stay.  No sleep for me but AU conked right out and lit up with smiles and good cheer from all the attention from nurses and strangers.  She did really, really well!

AU and I came home on Wednesday, Mom came here on Thursday so that Friday I could have a skin tag removed.  Oh!  But before that happened on Thursday Mr. T and I got to entertain a wonderful 4 year old.  We had such a great time!  We helped her make dinner for her family (she is excellent at rolling enchiladas!), then we went to lunch at a Thai place, and then went swimming.  It was nice to have her around to talk to and to see her interact with AU was great!  Then Mr. T and I went to see a double feature of Cowboys and Aliens/Captain America at the drive-in.  I actually think I liked C&A more than Capt. America.  I had really high expectations for Captain and they just didn’t pan out.  I felt like the important meat of the movie was “montaged” and that this was executed in such a way as to get it over with so the Avengers movie could be made.  Disappointing.

So, Friday Mr. T and I go to the doctor’s office, Mom stays with AU.  I have aforementioned skin tags removed.  I am okay.  No big deal.  We are home about 5 minutes and then pain medicine wears off.  OUCH!  Mom stays and visits with AU and I until Monday helping to lift AU, change her, and take care of me.  I decline that 3+++ soaking baths I’m supposed to take each day for 15 minutes a time after I realize the affected area probably isn’t even getting wet.  I don’t hurt too badly though until I decide on Monday to go to the Y to workout.  Yeah.  Evidently, I needed a little more recuperation before I added much exercise back in.  Live and learn.

Then this week Mr. T and I journey to visit his Grandfather who is dying.  It is a long trip, especially to go there and back in one day, but very worth it to see him smile at AU and tell Mr. T he loves him.  On Friday, Mr. T’s parents are in town and get good news at his Mom’s oncology appointment–just calcium deposits, not cancer!

I listened to an interview with Warren Buffet today.  I wish I had his phone number.  I’d give him a call.  You know what I’d say?  I’d say, “Warren!  What the heck!?  Don’t you know there is a difference between *income* taxes, *payroll* taxes, and *capital gains* taxes.  Plus if you want to pay more tax, you can, there is a little line on the 1040 form where you can pay more.  No one is stopping you.  Please, stop saying that income taxes need to be raised until you get your facts straight.”

Also, I’d like to call President Obama and have this conversation, “You know, the media hammered President Bush for playing a round of golf while we were at war and so he stopped playing golf.  The economy is falling apart, we are still at war, and you are taking a vacation at freaking Martha’s Vineyard!  Don’t you think now isn’t the time for spending my money (taxpayers money) on vacation?  Maybe some of that balance and sacrifice could be demonstrated?”

Oh, and I had 4 little skin biopsies this week.  Ouch.  I didn’t realize a skin check would result in a razor slicing off some of my favorite freckles.  I’m fully anticipating the results to be non-dramatic and then I can complain in earnest about the scabs!

I am half way through the 2nd book in the Hunger Games series.   I guess I’m probably the last person in America to read them.  They are pretty good though.  I read the first book out loud to Mr. T while he drove us to and from his Grandfather’s.  The second one is getting a little depressing though.  Hopefully there is some redemption or happiness afterall.

Last night I got super inspired and stitched up an apron dress for AU.  It is pretty in primary colors with floral, polka dots, and a graphic print with letters.  It is fun and twirly.  I tried to make it big enough so that in a few months when she is standing/walking/actually able to twirl it will still fit.  She is growing so fast though!  She is completely off the chart for height for 6 months!  It is amazing!  She is cutting a tooth this week (I hope it hurries up!!!) and it out of sorts, fussy, and clingy.  Hopefully she will sleep okay tonight.  I need it!

Speaking of sleep…when I went to be with my Mom at the hospital I went about 36 hours without sleeping.  I went to bed around 7pm and didn’t get out of bed until about 11am the following morning.  AU woke up 4 times in those 16 hours, ate, and went right back to sleep.  My brother calls her a “magical little person” and I have to say, that night, he totally sold me.  She hasn’t spent 16 hours straight in bed ever.  It was completely amazing and I am so thankful that I was able to get good rest so I could drive us back home.

So, it has been busy, busy but with fall fast approaching I don’t anticipate it lightening up.  AU and I have lots of traveling to do.  I’m looking forward to it!  I’ll try to keep better posted here.  No, really!

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