I’ve been back in Toronto since mid-April. It’s a great time to watch the city transform into summer, however we have had an unusually cold spring. As I write this it is a chilly 10C and there’s been light rain all day.
Last week was my first venture out of town; one of several I’ll make to the lovely city of Stratford, Ontario. It’s just slightly over two hours driving one way.
The city is home to the exciting Stratford Festival. one of the greatest classical theatres in North America. This year marks my fortieth year of attending performances there. Thursday I attended performances of The Three Musketeers and Blithe Spirit. There’s nothing like some Noel Coward to end your day with a smile.
I’ll be back before the end of June for two more productions, and probably several times more before their season ends this fall.
This looks like a good year for a summer road trip. Over the coming months I’ll be in Cleveland, Fort Wayne, Saint Louis, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Little Rock. More to come, for sure.
There was no stop in South Carolina, Delaware or Pennsylvania. Instead, my first overnight stop was in Statesville, NC. I arrived early in the evening while the sun was still shining. Took a small tour through town, which looks pleasant enough. Stopped at a Mexican restaurant near the hotel, then done for the night.
Day two had me stopping, late afternoon, in Youngstown, Ohio, where I met up with a friend. Some hanging out at the hotel, which had an onsite restaurant and bar. Across the parking lot was another Mexican restaurant. Food was excellent as was the service.
Weather played a large part in changing my return trip.
We left Youngstown after only one night. The temperature was 21C when we left. Forty minutes later it was 8C. There was a huge rainstorm after we crossed the border into Canada, and by the following day everything was covered with snow.
Now I’m back in Toronto, high in the sky while I plan my next trip.
Time to leave the sunshine coast of Florida. I’ve been here since early December, and usually leave late in March. Unfortunately, Easter arrived so bloody early I got stuck here. My travel day is set for Sunday, the 7th of April.
My first stop will likely be at the Best Western in Bennettsville, South Carolina. No particular reason, except I’m trying to keep my Diamond member status, and driving on I95 through the southern states is rather bleak. Most cities are located well off the highway.
From there, I’ll arrive in Bear, DE to visit a friend for a few days.
The next stop will be the Genetti Inn & Suites in Hazle Township, PA. A friend is staying there on a short golf vacation. I’ll be catching up with him for one day. After that, I should be in Canada on 12th April.
2013 is the first summer in some time that I don’t already have travel plans in place. I’m town between visiting the east coast of Canada or taking a trip down Route 66 in the US. The cost difference between the two is substantial.
The big event for 2013 has already been booked. I’ll be leaving for Turkey on 31st October, visiting Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia and a few other cities.
Air Canada advertises on their website “Air Canada Lowest Price Guarantee always at AirCanada.com
An opportunity to check this out came today.
There is a return flight in July from JFK – DUS via Air Canada available on Orbitz for $869.00
A quick check at the Air Canada website shows this same return trip, on the same dates (20 July/26July) is priced at $1169.00. The actual trip is JFK-YYZ-DUS, then DUS-YYZ-JFK. $300.00 in savings are available by not using the guaranteed lowest price at Air Canada dot com.
Also, because this trip involves Tango and Lufthansa, Aeroplan miles would accumulate at 50% for part of the trip, and 0% for another part of the trip.
When I eliminate the JFK – YYZ leg of the trip, and using the same parameters, a return flight from YYZ – DUS comes in at a whopping $1818.00
What this means is I could book a return flight from YYZ – JFK on Air Canada’s website, book the Orbitz flight from JFK – DUS, and save $481.00 versus flying direct from YYZ – DUS.
I checked my Aeroplan account today, and my balance has made a considerable jump.
There were two flights remaining from Egypt Air, dating back to September, which had never been credited to my account, despite my jumping through hoops providing proof. My Aeroplan number was even on the boarding pass.
I can’t discern when these credits came through, since they show up on the dates my flights would have occurred. None of credits specifiy Egypt Air – all are from “AE Customer Service”.
4,200 Miles dated 31 August
314 Miles dated 3 September
530 Miles dated 7 September
Having arrived at this point, I won’t pursue this any further. The 4,200 miles must be for JFK – CAI, although I was credited 5,600 miles for CAI – JFK.
Two weeks ago I flew United to Las Vegas, a total of five flights. All but the last connection JAX – TPA have been credited to my account. I don’t think I’ll bother following this up.
Unless Aeroplan does something to piss me off again.
I contacted Aeroplan on 28th November. Still little progress, but the agent (Mark) said all outstanding miles would be posted to my account by 12th December. I’m skeptical, of course.
Turned out I was correct. I waited for the new year before contacting Aeroplan again. This time, I’m told that Mark couldn’t possibly have any idea about when these miles would be credited. This time, I’m told to wait ten weeks from the time I spoke with Mark, so my next call time will be 7th February, unless, for some remote reason, the two remaining flights actually get taken care of.
Since I stated this process last September, the majority of the small flights have been credited. I’d give up, except one flight is worth 5,600 miles – far too much to let go. Aeroplan puts the reponsibility entirely with Egypt Air.
I’m left with these two flights, one in August, one in September outstanding
JFK – CAI
ABS – CAI
Next week, I have five flights scheduled on United, another Star Alliance partner. I’m wondering if I’ll have the same problems?
Downtown San Juan is old, crowded, and noisy. Tight streets, I couldn’t find anywhere to park my rented Toyota Yaris except at the parking garage by El Morrow. Beer costs more in these crowded streets. Stumbled across this old wreck of what was once a hotel. Long abandoned.
Reminds me of Belize City, with its burnt out, abandoned or otherwise derelict buildings.