Category Archives: Trip Reports

My 1 Year Wedding Anniversary Trip to Carmel, Monterey, and Big Sur

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  Yesterday (July 27) was my 1 year wedding anniversary – what a crazy year it has been!  If you are unfamiliar with our love story, please read Quick Update Regarding the Old 150x British Airways Avios & Match.com Promo.  Long story short, I joined Match.com because British Airways was running a huge promo and offering thousands of British Airways Avios.  In the end, I didn’t get the Avios, but I did get the girl and we got married in Sonoma, CA on July 27, 2019.  Last weekend, we drove down to Carmel / Monterey / Big Sur for our anniversary.  Here is where we stayed and ate during our trip…

Grant & Laura’s Wedding Day – July 27, 2019

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Anatomy and Timeline of 2 Cancelled Air Canada Aeroplan Award Tickets

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  Long story short, I planned an awesome award trip to Africa (Victoria Falls, South Africa, and Madagascar) for August 2020, but due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, we decided to cancel the trip and try again next year.  I planned / booked this award trip in October 2019 and part of the award booking process involved transferring 77,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points to my Air Canada Aeroplan account.  I recently wrote about my Anatomy and Timeline of a Cancelled American Airlines Award Ticket, so I decided I would write something similar for my experience cancelling 2 Air Canada Aeroplan award tickets.

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Work from Home Diary 12: Eating in Restaurants & Sunburns at the Beach (SoCal Update)

Good morning everyone, I hope your week is going well.  I started sharing my thoughts regarding working from home in a series of Work from Home Diary posts.  Feel free to share your work from home feelings in the comments section below.  I apologize that it’s been more than a month since my last update in early May titled Work from Home Diary 11: My Thoughts on TWG Turning 7 Years Old Today.  For today’s update, it’s not about work, but about my roadtrip from Northern California down to Southern California to visit my parents.  I haven’t seen my parents since the end of February and I had to cancel my last trip down to visit for Mother’s Day Weekend (read PSA: Don’t Cancel Airline Reservations through Citi ThankYou Portal; Cancel Directly with the Airline).  Laura and I have been staying safe the last few months and so have my parents, so we felt like now was a good time to visit.

I’m not sure about the state you live in, but in California, every county has different rules regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic and which businesses can open.  In Sonoma County (where we live), restaurants have only been open for takeout and delivery, but in Orange County (where my parents live), restaurants are open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery.  It’s probably been 3+ months since I last sat in a restaurant and I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much (I got used to eating every meal at home and cooking dinner most nights of the week), but boy was I wrong.

Image source: https://atlanta.eater.com/2020/4/23/21232907/atlanta-georgia-restaurants-opening-dining-room-april27-2020-covid019

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Anatomy and Timeline of a Cancelled American Airlines Award Ticket

Good morning everyone.  A long time ago (February 2020), I purchased 2 American Airlines award tickets to fly from LaGuardia, New York (LGA) to Dallas, Texas (DFW) to Orange County, California (SNA).  Laura and I were going to be in NYC in early July and then fly to Orange County for Fourth of July weekend.  I picked this route because I wanted to check out the American Express Centurion Lounges at LGA and DFW.  I used 20,000 American Airlines miles per ticket (40k total), paid the taxes with my Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card, and paid for upgraded seat assignments with my American Express Gold Card and JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Visa Infinite.  Then the Coronavirus Pandemic hit and we cancelled our entire NYC trip.

This was my first time cancelling an American Airlines award ticket, so I didn’t know what to expect in terms of refunds and redeposited miles.  In this post, I will walk you through the timeline of events.  I cancelled our American Airlines award tickets on May 7 and received the following Trip Cancellation email immediately.  In the email, it said, “If you booked with AAdvantage miles, and your trip is eligible, we’ll automatically reinstate your miles within 48 hours.”  Unfortunately, 48 hours came and went, but nothing happened…

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Work from Home Diary 7: Adult Easter Egg Hunts & Seeing My Family on Zoom this Easter Weekend

Good Friday everyone.  I started sharing my thoughts regarding working from home in a series of Work from Home Diary posts.  Feel free to share your work from home feelings in the comments section below.  For today’s update, I wanted to wish everyone a very happy Easter weekend.  I know that many churches around the country are closed and many family gatherings were cancelled, but we can still celebrate Easter individually but still be connected to others.  It is important to reach out to your friends and family members and check in on them, tell them you love them and are thinking of them, and reminisce about happier times.

One of my fondest Easter moments was from a few years ago when I was at my parent’s house.  Since all the kids have grown up, we did an adult Easter Egg Hunt.  The brightly colored plastic eggs were filled with mini alcohol bottles (the kind you would buy on flights), chocolate eggs, big chocolate bunnies, and some cash.  The real adults (our parents) hid the eggs all over the backyard and they made it very difficult to find all the eggs.  After 20 minutes of looking, all the brightly colored plastic eggs were found and we opened them up.  We compared hauls to see who got the most eggs and who got the best prizes.  It was a lot of fun and hopefully we can do it again in the years to come.

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