Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Westjet and Travel Insurance

I mentioned yesterday that we had a bit of an issue with our bags being lost.

So here is the low down. We flew out of Vancouver on a Sunday morning on what they called Black Sunday because 7 cruise ships were coming into port. This meant the airport was going to be a zoo. We did hit the 1st wave of travelers around 8:30 AM, but since most ships dock at 8 AM down town, we weren't too worried.

When booking the trip I opted for travel insurance after an incident a few years ago where we bought insurance for Bill's brother when he came to visit. There was a clause in there that if bags were delayed for 12 hours he had $400 to shop for necessities. His bags were delayed, he went shopping, came home, bags came in, boom, new wardrobe.

Travel insurance also covers things like cancellation due to weather, illness, death,etc... since I work in insurance I tend to make sure we've got approrpiate coverages.

So when we showed up in LV and our bag didn't, we figured it had been caught up with other bags from various cruise ship passengers going who knows where.

We started a claim with with Westjet people at McCarran Airport. Let me say the people there were so friendly and helpful, it was really nice. It was annoying our bag wasn't there, but over the next 3 days they did everything they could to locate our bag, call us with updates and put up with my 3x/day phone calls. I gave a description of the bag and what would be inside. When they located the bag they knew it was ours b/c they took the time to compare our list with what they found.

Among the things inside were books 2 and 3 of Suzanne Collins Hunger Games trilogy, and I had finished book one and I needed book two!! Have you read the Hunger Games? If not, why are you not running to find it right now? Phenomenal. I am 30 pages from the end and am sad it is almost over. Thanks again Colorado Nancy for putting me on to this one. Bill has been enjoying it too.

We got our bags. When we got back to Vancouver I had to clear up the claim with the baggage counter there. Again, super friendly and helpful employee. We were allowed $75 for necessities and a $150 travel credit for the broken bag (the handle had come off, did I mention that?).

So yesterday I go to submit our receipts and I submitted more than $75 but sent a note saying that with a 3 day delayed, these were the neccesities we had needed, and get this -Westjet covered all the receipts I submitted, no arguements.

I really appreciate that despite the annoying inconvenience of this all that they were friendly, helpful, and efficient.

Now I am waiting for my claim forms from RBC for the balance of the claim. What Westjet paid will be deducted from the RBC claim, so it's not like we come out ahead by Westjet paying more, but it's the fact of the matter.

I know we also got travel insurance for Hawaii, but I hope we don't lose anything there going with the kids and all... What's that, you don't know about Hawaii? :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our Las Vegas Adventure

Hi everyone!

I've been meaning to post since we got back about out little trip away, but I just haven't bothered :) You know it's funny how you go through enjoyment of the internet in bouts. Some times I could spend hours online, and then some times I couldn't care less. I stopped playing Farmville, I unsubscribed to a bunch of the blog I used to follow, I post on my blog less. It's all good though!

Anyhow, we're back from Vegas and had a wonderful, wonderful time. I would love it if we could take off there every year, and maybe we will. I doubt we can swing it next year with going to Hawaii in January (oh I didn't, tell you about that? Later then) and Bill's entire family coming out next fall. Yeah. 11 people in this house. Come to think of it I think I will go stay with my parents during that time and let them have fun of the place. LOL!

So we flew out Sunday morning, landed just after 1PM. Unfortunately our luggage didn't. We settled in and then headed over to Macy's to pick up some stuff we needed at least for the night (pjs, toiletries, etc...). I had bought travel insurance, and so if our bags were delayed by 12 hours we would get $400 each for necessities. Well the next morning our bag still hadn't arrived, and it had been 12 hours, and after checking with the insurance company twice ("really? we get $750?) we went shopping!! We hit Target (love Target! Got most of what we needed there), and then the mall with a Lane Bryant, and headed back to the hotel. That was quite fun. We still need to settle our claims with both Westjet and RBC, but we came out with better clothes than we went in with!

So let's see... lots of walking, not as much eating as we'd have thought. We'd have a good breakfast, split a sandwich at lunch, and a nice dinner. Did room service 3x - which said and done wasn't too horrible for the money. We did the CSI Experience... well let me back up. We stayed at the MGM Signature in Tower 3 and LOVED IT. It is set way back from the strip (like 3 blocks, although attached to the MGM - it's down form the Miracle Mile Mall, which was actually a decent shopping place). Aside from the pillows being way too soft, it was fantastic and I would totally stay there again. We cabbed almost everywhere, which is totally the way to go if you don't want to spend your whole day walking.

So, CSI we had discount tickets for and it was worth about that. No where near as much fun as the old Star trek Experience used to be. Lounged by the pool - and in the pool. Enjoyed the real jacuzzi bath tub in our suite. We saw the Lion King which we loved. Lots of fun. We ate dinner at Emeril's - which was also fun and delicious. We plugged $40 into the slot machines and cashed out at $80 which paid for some ice cream, Starbucks, and Burger King on the way home at McCaran Airport which later gave Bill food poisoning. Poor guy still feels like crud. But at least that didn't hit until we got home.

Mom and Dad did awesome with the kids. Thank you again. I think we wore Mom out, but she survived :) And the kids were mostly really good for her. Even Strider didn't mind having the dog around.

Oh, and our luggage did show up on day 3. The handle holding all the tags had ripped off and then for some reason it went to L.A. instead of Las Vegas, but they got it to us. So we came home with 2x as much stuff as we went with, but customs had no problem with that. Westjet is being good about it. Actually, they were all fantastic to us.

Another comment. Every service person in LV was just so nice. You know people actually seem to enjoy their jobs whether it's being a waitress, a cashier, a bell hop, room service, cabbies... everyone was just really pleasant. We look forward to heading back!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Hey, even if I don't post about much else, this is something simple I can do. I can't promise this will stay in this order, but it is essentially what we'll be noshing on this week!

Sunday - Nachos (these were yummy!)

Monday - Mushroom Linguine with chicken (I used spaghetti)

Tuesday - Saucy Beef and Peppers (let's be honest, it's a stir fry)

Wednesday - hamburgers and fries

Thursday - Pesto Chicken pasta and garlic bread - made with President's Choice Tomato Pesto

Friday - whatever we feel like!!

How about you? Check out http://orgjunkie.com/ for more meal plan ideas.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday morning

Hi friends!

I know I haven't been blogging at all, but quite honestly there is not a whole lot to say. We're all doing well. How are you?

Let's see... one week until we take off for Vegas and my Mom moves in to watch our monkeys. That will go fine b/c they are always super good for other people. Although I know there will be a certain amount of tears when we head off. I'll miss the kids but I'm trying not to think about that part of things.

School started for Duncan this week. New school, new teachers, and of course he jumped right in. I took Wednesday morning off and went to the 1 hour orientation, and then Friday was the 1st 2.5 hour class and Nikki said they both did great. So I'm glad that transition went well.

Duncan also starts soccer soon. This coming Thursday is the meet and greet and then next Sunday (of course the Sunday were gone) is their 1st practice and game. They practice for 30 min and then have a game for 30 min. My Dad has said he will take Duncan though. We also think we're going to sign Duncan up for another round of swimming lessons. It's about time.

The house is coming along great. We've been here for 2 months now and we just love, love, love it. We're so at home here. My Dad has been in this week renovating our laundry room which now also has a working toilet - which was very important for little boys who are playing trains and suddenly need to go pee NOW! The vanity is actually a laundry utility sink with drawers, so it will double well.

And finally, after years of nagging, we have a cleaning lady starting on Thursday!! YAY!! This is the woman who has been cleaning my parent's house for years, and she does a phenomenal job. You know, I know to some readers it might seem silly, or a waste of money, or excessive to have someone come in and clean my house, but quite honestly it's a time vs. money thing and right now I'd rather pay to have it done really well every few weeks than spending all my weekends scrubbing. So I'm happy about it!

Have a great weekend! It's beautiful here. We're about to go meet some friends for breakfast.