St. Augustine, Florida- January 2015

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Traveling is great, but it’s even better with friends. BUT do not assume because you are related or best friends that you can travel together. That’s a post for another day.

When I first graduated from college, I went to work for United Airlines where I met Renee.  Being in our early twenties and broke, we did what most gals would do. We hopped on planes going anywhere and everywhere.  Our first international trip together was to London.  We only had 2 1/2 days, so Renee took the map split it half and said we would go one side each day. Yes we did London on roller skates, but I learned that you should always go, even if it’s only for 2 days. I also later learned, the hard way, that Renee is a fantastic travel companion.

Over the years, life happened, Renee married an Army man and moved all around the country. We’ve keep in touch and manage to see each other every now and then. We had such a great time catching up last year when I had my work conference in Savannah, we said we should hang out more often.  Lucky for me, Renee is very organized, and we penciled in a date right then and there.  We looked at the map and flights and choose St. Augustine, Florida for our first annual girl’s weekend.

I was able to fly a direct flight to Jacksonville and Renee just drove down from Savannah.  There was no Hyatt in St. Augustine so we stayed at the Doubletree. Which should have been ok, given that it’s a fairly new hotel. BUT apparently the contractor forgot to sound proof the walls.  I have spent a lot of nights in hotel as of late, and I can safely say this was first……

Renee was recovering from a medical procedure, so we did not split the map of St. Augustine in 2, rather we just did enjoyed our time together and took in a few sights. Lucky for me, Renee loves to take pictures.

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I realize that I spend a lot of time visiting other countries, I really should spend more time seeing the United States. I take what’s in my own backyard for granted.  And what’s a trip report with about something silly to share?  As a women, I should know better then to underestimate my ability to shop…….well too much shopping equaled a really heavy bag… FLO TRAVEL FAIL……

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Until next time……. Happy Travels!

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Back to Zero, January 2015

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January 1st is a sad day in the frequent traveler’s world, all counters reset to zero ( well US based travelers)

UAL ****Yes I am hiding the fact I spent WAY too much for a flight from Miami to Chicago…

Capture                   Hyatt

My sister said to me, you are done right? You are not going to keep chasing “status”? Originally, I quoted Ryan in “Up in the Air” movie, ” Let’s just say that I have a number in mind and I haven’t hit it yet”.  Now that I am back to zero, I am rethinking my strategy. I mean come on, what is the end game? What is “gasp” the point of accruing all these miles and points if there is no plan?

Originally my plan was to book a fantastic trip with my family members for my 40th birthday. Well the destination for the “big” party has been narrowed done to a couple of places. And dare I say, Star Alliance, does not fly there. SO, Plan A, out the window.

Moving on to Plan B, take my family some place for my 40th birthday, where there is a Hilton or Hyatt. Yep, you guessed it party destination does not have either a Hilton or Hyatt.

Now for Plan C? Burn baby burn, the travel bloggers that I follow will tell you airlines miles and hotel points are not a commodity worth hanging on to. They will loose value and by the time your accrued enough for that trip of a lifetime,  the rules may have changed and you’ll need more.

I was able to find a business class ticket to Sydney using my miles. I had not planned on going to Australia, but for $120 in business class, ok why not? Free nights at the Park Hyatt Sydney? Sign me up.

In the past I worked so hard to track my flights and hotel nights, I am taking a different approach for 2015, I am just going to go…..

I am going to use my miles to fly to places maybe I’ve already been or some place new. And I am going to use my hotel points to pay for my rooms vs. worrying about nights and points.

But mostly importantly, I am just going to go…….ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE.

**well maybe I want to keep my Hyatt status, so any suggestions on fun places with Hyatt’s would be appreciated.