12.09.2005

....clusterfuck....

first, a word about our weather. we got about 7 inches of snow last night. actually, more like this morning. when sean left around 5:20ish, he cleaned off my car and shovelled the front walk. by the time I got up at 7, you couldn't tell that he'd done anything at all. trent had off from school, but of course my work was open. thank god bella's daycare was, too. she's at daycare, I'm at work, and trent's at home. and there's 7 new inches of snow on the ground. did I mention that we rarely get snow here before january? I just hope this doesn't mean that the entire winter is going to be full of snow. I can't take that much.

okay. back to business at hand. you know how back in june, I went to las vegas for work? well that same conference I went to then is happening again, this time in january. so this time, I decided to take sean, trent, and bella with me.

because it's already december, I wanted to get the airfare out of the way asap. we only just got permission to attend this thing, so I immediately went to our travel lady here (who sits across the aisle from me) to make the arrangements. sean already had a credit from when he was planning to go with me in june. this is important for later.

so I decided that since I was taking trent, I wanted to have him miss the least amount of school possible, and since the conference was on monday and tuesday, I figured we'd go out late friday and have the weekend before for vacation. so I told the travel lady that we'd like to check on flights leaving late friday and returning wednesday.

I had her hold off on looking at hotels because my boss was being wishy washy about which one he wanted to stay at. he's been to vegas many times, and refuses to stay somewhere he's already been. this is important for later.

so she sends me times and and I choose the flights for going out and coming home. then I get hit with the first of many snafus. sean's original ticket was about $400, back in june. we didn't use the ticket, so that money is a credit, minus a $100 fee for transferring the dates of the ticket. normally, how this would work is that you take the $100 off the top, giving you $300 in credit. you subtract the amount of the new ticket (in this case, less than $200 but I want to use round numbers) from the credit, and you get to use whatever is left over on any additional tickets. so, we'd lose only $100 on the whole deal because we were getting a new ticket that was less than the old one, and could use the remaining money for other tickets. however, since us air, who issued the original ticket, was taken over by america west (which, when did that happen?) they will not allow the additional credit. this means that the ticket was $400, we had $300 in credit after the penalty, and the new ticket was only $200, and we have to forfeit the additional $100 due to the new rules. okay, we can live with that. sucks, though.

then the second snafu. america west won't take the $100 off the top of the ticket. we have to pay that outright, outside of the credit. so now the ticket was $400, the new ticket is $200. we get an even trade on that and lose the additional $200. and on top of that, we have to pay the $100 penalty outright. so sean's ticket is now $500. okay. not much you can do about that.

later that day, I hear laughing from my coworkers. we find out that there are a few other conventions going on at the same time, one of which is the AVN awards. remember this for later.

so ONE DAY goes by, and I finally find out that we are all supposed to stay at caesar's. it's reportedly about $139/night. literally as I am looking at hotel options, the travel lady sets my tickets down on my desk. they are booked, period. she walks away just as the website for caesar's comes up. I put in my arrival and departure dates. and as predicted, the price per night is $139. EXCEPT saturday night, which is $539 for the night. and friday night. which is SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS.

of course, I'm immediately freaked out. like, oh my god, what am I going to do freaked out. I send an email to the travel lady, who helpfully says "well, I could have told you that they'd be expensive that weekend." hey thanks. I go to look at other hotels for friday and saturday and they are ALL exorbitantly priced. like rooms that are usually $60/night are $300. my idea is that trent will have to miss more school, and we'll fly out on sunday and stay till friday instead. so the travel lady says that we can transfer the tickets for me and trent, but sean's ticket will have to be forfeited outright because america west doesn't transfer transfer tickets. I am in such a panic, I can't make any decisions, so I call sean and hash it out with him. we were trying to figure out whether it would be more expensive to stay somewhere for friday and saturday, or to just buy sean a new ticket.

then another snafu occurs. are you keeping count? this is number 3. the travel lady, who sits across the aisle from me, comes over while I'm on the phone and mouths "it's cheaper to stay the weekend." I can't figure out how this is, so I end my call and go to her desk, where she proceeds to tell me that by "transferring" my ticket and trent's ticket, we incur the same $100 penalty that we discussed before. so we'd have to buy a new ticket plus pay $200 in penalties. not only that, but in the ONE DAY since we booked our flight, the prices have gone up to over $300. so we'd have $200 in penalties, plus the difference in ticket prices for me and trent, plus a whole new ticket for sean, plus the $500 we paid already for sean's ticket.

at this point, I'm sort of hyperventilating. so we decide that we will stay in vegas those nights. just obviously not at the caesar. I start looking for cheaper rooms. here comes snafu #4. there are NO ROOMS in vegas on that friday or saturday night, the aforementioned AVN awards. which, if you didn't click on the link, is the PORN OSCARS. holy fuck. literally.

so we find 3 rooms available - one is at a super 8 motel that is technically on the strip, only about 30 blocks north of even crappy casinos like the riviera. I've seen that area. I do not want our family to be starring in CSI. so that's out. one is the tropicana, and it's only $105. whew. does it surprise you that it isn't available? so our last hope was the travelodge on the strip, which wasn't so bad at $125. (as I try not to think about the fact that the room is normally $41.) it's between the belagio and new york new york, so not a bad area. only the room, and all the rooms around it, is smoking. so we went with that, and we're packing a fan. asthma and baby-suffocation be damned.

so the short story is that we are going to vegas in january, for 5 fun-filled days that fucking better be filled with winning a shitload of money on the slot machines to pay for everything.

14 validations:

NME said...

Good GOD. The karma gods owe you some good luck in Vegas with all the crap you are going through to get there. Sheesh.

Stupid airlines. Stupid, stupid airlines.

jon said...

the thought of the four of you wading through a city overrun by porn stars makes me squeal.

OldMotherHubbardSharesAll said...

I know you probably travel a whole bunch and know this - but just in case you don't - when you get to the hotel be sure and ask if they have any NON-SMOKING because you Baby is allergic or something and they usually try really hard to PLEASE you.

KATIEmagic said...

Oh my God clusterfuck is right, holy shit!

the beige one said...

When playing roulette, don't bet on 22, instead watch for patterns on where the ball lands.

In craps, you can feel safe asking the croupiers for help in procedures, but do NOT bet with others at the table, those that offer to are out to screw you. Otherwise, stay simple.

Unless, of course, you decide not to gamble.

Jen said...

Oh. My. God! You poor thing. I hope you win a jackpot to make up for it.

lonna said...

Jesus, that is totally fucked up.

My brother just got back from Vegas and for the first time ever (and he goes at least once if not twice a year) he won some money. I hope that you guys definitely have such luck. At least it will be warmer there than it will be in PA.

rob said...

You're gonna be there for the AVNs?

AWESOME!

You might see me, then. I'm nominated for the "Most Improved" category. I was hoping to get a "Plays Well With Others" or "Good Sharer" nod, but I think Peter North is gonna sweep those two.

Hit the Casino Royale. They're the only haunt with dollar blackjack on the strip.

Kodi said...

Cool! Missuzj and I should meet you there for dinner of some such. It's only a couple hours from where we live. What do you think?

Katy said...

OOH OOH!! I wanna go too!!! Whenever I play the Betty Boop slots I walk away with at least 20 bucks. Just a tip :).

Stine said...

That's some crazy dough P. Man I hope those Vegas gods shine on you.

Rebecca said...

what extreme suckiness.

worrying about money has got to be one of the single most awful feelings there is. believe me, i'm a college student, i know about worrying about money. hang in there.

Jen O. said...

One of the thousands of travel sites online should really find a way of simplifying all this shit.

I think Trent would like the Peppermill. Half of it is diner, half bar.

Oh, and if you meet the star or director of "Slut Puppies 4," PLEASE get an autograph for me. Thanks!

Kat said...

Just a little tip tippity, if you can find a room, the "old strip" is way cheaper, has looser slots (heehee) and is only a short 15 minute bus ride to the main strip. We stayed at the Freemont, and managed to win enough money at the place down the street playing nickle and quarter slots to pay for our entire trip and a little extra.