Monday, November 27, 2023

Car rental gouging!

I didn't get to spend too much time on the Virtual Retreat, and it was pretty quiet, and I think it ended early. I promise - I'll be there for the entire retreat next month. My travel will end soon, although I still have one more trip booked, but it's not business. Will I make my 35K status this year? I'm close! The significant benefit between 25K and 35K is the luggage. I could bring THREE suitcases with a weight limit of 70 pounds. Then I don't have to be so picky about that 50 lb limit. 

We had two excellent Zoom sessions yesterday. One of them is called Out of the Box, and I give them a prompt each month, and they go off to create ANYTHING they want with that prompt as the starting point. We get all kinds of media - digital art, quilts, paper, vinyl, and so much more. I absolutely love this class, and it will continue in 2024. I think most people will continue for 2024, and sadly, there's no room to add more people. We make it through in one hour, and any more - well, we have one hour! I should post a couple of pictures from time to time. 

What I love is the participation level! It's HIGH! That tells me the group is enjoying what they are doing, and most of them are digging new tools or patterns and trying something they have never done before. 

The second session was our Many Blocks. This is where we are working on those BIG projects with MANY blocks, like Dear Jane or Town and Country, and attempting to finish them. We're not a huge group, but we've had TWO finished quilt tops this year, and the others have made HUGE leaps and bounds to get their tops done. It's fascinating to see how much work everyone puts into their projects.

I wasn't as prolific as I would have liked due to my schedule, but this coming year, I will have more time, which I will use wisely and get more done. I should be able to finish 45 (out of 365) this year, giving me 90 blocks. I am still far from finishing, but I hope to change that next year. 

There is room in this club if anyone wants to join. You MUST have already started the project, although if you want to start a new project, that's OK. But it's for ANY BIG project with many blocks. 

I got everything done and was out the door on the way to the airport right on time! I swear that getting through security and checking luggage is old news. I weighed my suitcase before I left, so I knew it wouldn't get rejected. I saw a lady whose suitcase was rejected, and she went off to repack or pay for heavy luggage. I used the kiosk to check my baggage and immediately checked in my second bag. If you're going to check one, you might as well check two, and with my status, I don't need to pay for that second bag. 

Then I only had my backpack to go through security, and since you no longer have to take your laptop out (at Toronto - domestic), I breezed through the NEXUS line - there was NO ONE else in the line. I was through and on my way to the gate within 8 minutes of entering the airport. Yep -- you got to love that. I think it took as long to walk to the gate as it did to get through security and baggage check-in. 

I've become pretty proficient at moving around with two suitcases and the backpack, so all is good. I even packed my winter coat in my luggage so I didn't have to deal with that at the airport. 

I boarded in Zone 2, and it was the most boring flight ever. I don't think there was a second of turbulence, and I slept on and off. I had an ebook to read, and all was good. However, it was a bit of a shock when I arrived in Winnipeg. Yikes -- it was minus 9 with a wind chill of minus 18. I'd better unpack that jacket! 

At Winnipeg airport

OK -- so here's something absolutely ridiculous, but what do you do? I got to the car rental and had initially booked an economy car, which would cost me $217 for four days, which is a good price. I was told that if I wanted snow tires, it would be $20 extra a day! Seriously???? What the heck is that all about? Shouldn't the car rental company provide me with a properly outfitted vehicle for the temperature in which they are renting it? 

And if I said no -- were they going to remove the tires? I have no idea. So they said they would upgrade me for free, but I'd still have to pay for the snow tires. Now that I think about it - that doesn't make sense at all. So I got a Ford Escape for about $320 for four days and have snow tires. I shall be writing them a letter because if that is the case - they should identify that WHEN we book the car. And I did book the car ahead! 

I get it if they asked if I wanted a GPS (no need for that any longer) or a car seat or something, but NOT something highly suggested for SAFE driving. And while there isn't much snow on the ground, the way the streets are plowed (or not), almost all the streets are covered with packed snow. On top of that, they took a $500 deposit. What the heck is that all about? 

Snow covered streets

Then, when I arrived at the hotel, which had room for me for four nights, I was given a rate. Sunday was the cheapest at $149, increasing progressively to $204 on the final night. Then I asked for a senior rate, and when he printed it out for me to sign, the first night was $153. MORE than the original price - supposedly with a discount. I questioned it, and he said - "OH - I said the first night was $179." How could I argue - it was his word against mine. But I got $189 on the other night, that was originally $204. 

So they up the price and then give you a break. And I was charged a $200 deposit as well. I will have to watch those deposits get back on my VISA, but that sure eats up the limit in no time flat for things I haven't bought. 

But better than the price of hotel rooms in New York. DH has some travel, and the room rate he was quoted was $1,600 US a night. That is NOT a typo. He got it down to $800, but people are paying $1,600 a night!! That's INSANE, and I would NEVER pay that. I would find someplace cheaper. We have totally different standards when we travel. 

And what's with hotel room chairs. They give you a desk and a chair, but the chair is so low that it's challenging to type. Maybe they think people don't actually use the desks and chairs to work. Oh well! 

But I'm a spreader. The minute I enter a room, my backpack explodes, and stuff is everywhere! Well, I keep it contained to the desk. 

My crap exploded out of the backpack

I got some work done yesterday, and I have more to do. I also brought stuff to help me plan my classes, particularly my software clubs for next year. It sure makes it a lot easier when you have things planned out rather than scrambling to come up with a topic at the last minute. There are three clubs for 2024, and I don't want to run the same subject in each class, although that would make it easy for me. There will be a couple of topics that I'll do in all classes. 

Last night, I got dressed up and walked to the restaurant. Hey -- it's a bit cold, but not unbearable. I hesitated when I packed my winter stuff -- should I pack the hat or not. I ended up packing it, and I was very grateful for that hat last night. As mentioned, the temperature wasn't bad, but the wind was wicked. It was a night when I could have used my fleece-lined pants! 

Thankfully, it was no more than a 10-minute walk, so all was good. It's cold again today, but tomorrow will be much warmer. I hope to get out this morning for a walk because otherwise, I won't get one in today. I'll wait until the sun rises, which will warm things up nicely. 

The links to the Husqvarna Viking Designer Epic 3 blog posts should go live this morning. I'll post the actual link tomorrow, but if you're excited - you can check out QUILTsocial later this morning. By the way -- I hope you subscribe to the QUILTsocial blog, as there are oodles of ideas for quilts, notions, and other stuff. 

On that note, I'm off to do more editing. I'm almost done and can move on to the next thing, which is prepping class material for 2024. 

Have a super day!!!



  1. 12F this morning. Sun doesn't really warm the air here however, it does feel glorious to the face ;-)

    Happy walking and wish you a terrific Monday!

    1. OH -- I'd have to convert -- I've lost my Farenheit sense! There is NOTHING wrong with a brisk walk - keeps one on their toes!!!

  2. You should report that rental car company to the Ministry of Transportation or whomever issues their license to operate. Here in BC it is mandatory to have winter tires on your car in my municipality, and on the highways.

    1. I plan to BUT apparently when renting a car in BC, where as you mentioned it's mandatory to have winter tires, the companies still CHARGE extra and in some cases don't even have cars with winter tires. That is CRIMINAL and should be reported. I will do so when I return!!!