Seattle Layover

We have arrived in sunny Seattle! The flight was great and we are headed to grab a sandwich and get on the smallest plane I have ever been on.  I have already downed a Xanax and a Dramamine. 

Beautiful mountain range over Colorado.


Mount McKinley


Seattle from the sky!


I will be checking in as the wifi allows. AT&T is not fun to work with when traveling on a budget.

This plane has propellers! I’m going to barf.

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Vancouver bound!

Up at 4:15 am for Canada! That is not a fun time to wake up. We made it to moms and then on to the airport with a drop off from the hubby.  I somehow got approved for TSA pre check and got through security in 2 minutes. I’m sure it was my new slacks. My mom is in jeans and she got the full pat down. We had a quick breakfast at Cantina Laredo and walked around the duty free shops. We will be boarding soon and have books and movies downloaded to the iPad. Talk to you soon!  We got a free seat between us! Lucky us! Headed into airplane mode. Bye.

Money Exchange SUCKS!!!!

Angry frog

Can’t the world just agree to use Pesos? It would save everyone time, money and a lot of worry and headache.

As you know, I head to Canada on Sunday. I plan to use my debit card and not bother with travelers checks or cash. Today, I called my credit union to find out if they charge a fee to use my debit card in a foreign country. Surprise! MasterCard debit cards charges 1% and you have to call your bank to open your card to use in a foreign country! I was informed that if I had tried to use my card in Canada, they would have locked the account.  I then would have had to use my AT&T cell phone, at $.70 per minute (after having paid the $60 international plan) to call my bank and unlock my card.

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THIS INFORMATION IS NOT MORE READILY AVAILABLE? We live in a world where millions of people leave the US everyday!

Deep breath…

My mothers suggestion is that we just take travelers checks. How do you pay an Uber driver with a travelers check. This is not 1987. That is not going to work.

So I have decided to do the following, and will let you know how it turns out and what works best.

I am taking $250 in travelers checks, $500 in Canadian dollars and the rest I will use the debit card.  I am hoping this will be a good breakdown and I will be able to cover everything effortlessly. Ha!

frog

 

To Pack or not to Pack…

I am a planner. I like to feel in control. Everyone knows this about me.  When it comes to actually packing for a trip, I am the complete opposite. I can pack for a 2 day or a week long trip in 1 hour.

I leave for Victoria, BC in 6 days (Sunday). My son leaves for scout camp for a week on Saturday. I can not even begin to think about packing for myself until I can get my son out the door. Therefore, I have to do everything for myself on Saturday.  This seems totally doable to me. My mother, on the other hand, is a complete basket case. She has been laying out her clothes for this trip for over a week and likes to go in and stare at what she has picked out.  She came up this weekend and started asking me what I had packed and when I would be finished. When I told her I was not packing until Saturday, I swear I heard something in her head pop.

WTH Lion

She is now sure that I will have nothing packed Sunday morning and I will have to borrow her clothes. She knows in her heart I will be wearing the same pair of panties for a week straight. Somehow, she thinks her 41 year old daughter who has been traveling since birth can not calculate how many pairs of underpants she will need.

I do not understand how my mother thinks that I could not possibly pack in a 24 hour period. She asked me “Are all your clothes clean?” Well, no mom. I plan to wear clothes this week so some will get dirty between now and Saturday, but luckily I can always take them down to the creek and bang them on a rock with some lye soap before I have to pack up.  We are obviously from 2 different worlds on this one.

confused camelion

A Wedding and a Gown

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Road Trip!!!! I just found out my cousin is getting married next year in Austin on April 1! No, not a joke!

I have been waiting for one of my 2 wealthy cousins to finally get married, because, I knew they would do a fancy wedding! For me this means showing off my super hot husband, all gussied up in his grey pinstripe suit and I get to do something I never get to do…DRESS UP!!! I mean, really dress up. I am going to get to go formal dress shopping! The last time I wore an evening gown was to my wedding! I’m thinking something like this.

Black-Tie-Affair-St.-John-Collection-Liquid-Satin-Gown

I think we may also rent an AirBnB house. My Aunt will likely block rooms at a very expensive hotel, and that could be fun, but I can see my hubby and I, with my mom and her sister and husband chilling on the back porch of a nice Austin bungalow having a drink on Friday night. I guess we will see as the date gets closer.

I am going to have to find a hair dresser in Austin too! Can anyone recommend someone?

Vegas, Baby!!!

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Hot Springs has been put on hold until next year, so I just purchased our 17th anniversary trip to Las Vegas! Sunday to Wednesday…four days, 3 nights at the Luxor! Early November.

Monday:  We are renting a car for the day, so we can go disc golfing! Every woman wants to spend her anniversary disc golfing (eye-roll). I should know, since we did it last year too. 🙂 It’s okay because I love him! In the evening, we are going to see Blue Man group at the Luxor! We have always wanted to see this, so I am super excited.

Tuesday: We hope to take a tour of the Hoover Dam. I have been before, but Stephen has not. It is amazing and I really want to see it again. That evening we are going to see Ka (Cirque du Soliel) at MGM.  We saw a Cirq show last year and loved it and this one is supposed to be great!

I am super excited for this trip and using every coupon and discount I can. We will be on the 2-for-1 buffet train!

The Cheap Traveler and new luggage!

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m cheap when I travel. Being cheap allows me to use my money wisely and get to do more stuff! Priority 1 for a hotel is a free breakfast. I don’t book a trip without heavily researching every possible discount. I use coupons to save on everything when I travel, from the buy-one-get-one buffet coupons to my just purchased discount whale watching trip on Groupon!  Plus, I don’t just buy a Groupon. I wait until Groupon gives me an extra 20% off, then I buy. Double-super cheap!  I am relentless.

For example, I play a free casino game on my iPhone that is based around the MGM hotel  chain (MLife). When I play the game I earn points. These points can then be redeemed for free stuff in MLife hotels. Last year, the hubby and I went to Vegas (on Spirit!) and I put my points to work. We got a free premium ticket to Cirque Du Soleil (2nd row!), 4 free beers at New York New York, and 2 free admissions to the Mandalay Bay Reef Exhibit. I saved us close to $200! BAM!

We are contemplating hitting Vegas again this year. I started digging for a trip deal. We can go Sunday to Wednesday, 4 days, 3 nights, flying (Spirit) out of DFW and staying at the Luxor (Not the best, but not the worst by far.). Round trip shuttle to and from the airport to the hotel included.  Total cost for 2 people…..$317.93!  Damn, I’m good!

Next stop on the cheapskate train…Spirit approved luggage. You know I’m not paying bag fees. Hell No! That defeats the purpose. So, I begin to dig. Spirit allows 1 free personal item that must fit the following dimensions 14x16x12. Challenge accepted!

I dig until I find videos of cheap people like me talking up their bags on YouTube. Then I find it…the American Tourister Atmosphera II Overnight Tote!

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Measurements: 15x14x8.5…It is the holy grail of travel bags. It has wheels and a handle. It comes with a warranty and only weighs 4 lbs. I saw a man on YouTube fit a weeks worth of clothes, a laptop and a video camera in this bag. Obviously, you are not getting an evening dress or a 3-piece suit in this, but we are not those types of people.  On to the best part…$39! That’s right…the bag is cheap too. I am so happy right now!

Next issue…I need 2. One for me and one for Stephen (hubby). I don’t want 2 black bags. I dig…this bag only comes in one color. Poo. I look at other bags…too expensive or not right. I go back and look at this heavenly bag again and then I see it…the American Tourister Atmosphera Overnight Bag.

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It’s the exact same bag in blue!!!!! Did you notice that one is called a Tote and one a Bag! WTF? I am so excited at this point. I have found the best of everything. Plus…since I spent more that $50…FREE SHIPPING! I immediately purchase this through Ebates so I can earn 1% back.

I can not wait for my next flight on Spirit Air….I bet no one has ever said that before!