His Return

Constantine arrives at LAX in 5 hours. My stomach has been going crazy all day with butterflies. I am very nervous for his return. How will I feel! How will he feel? I’m going crazy!

I have lots of stuff planned for the weekend, so I really hope that things go well.

I’m pretty sure they will, but you never know.

Work has been crazy busy the last two days and I have been keeping myself VERY busy at home.

Constantine introduced me to this wine called Fetzer Gewurztraminer. I highly suggest it. It’s delicious!


Ugh! Yesterday was a really bad day for me…

First the accident.

Then I get to training and he comes in and basically starts with a pop-quiz… Picks me first and starts asking all these questions about databases and shit. Stuff I would have known back in college. Stuff that I know the concepts to, but not the technical terms.

Anyways, I don’t know any of his answers… He says. “Well you should have learned all that in the first part of this class”. Somehow I got signed up for “Oracle Database 10g: Administration Workshop II”… NOTICE the two “II” at the end? Well I didn’t until yesterday!

My CEO sent me a link a while back and said. “Sign up for this class”. The link was directly to the signup page which needed all kinds of personal information, so he couldn’t do it for me. I didn’t even bother to look at the title at the time. And now when I go back and look at the confirmation page that I printed it just says “Oracle Database 10g: Administration Workshop”. I had NO IDEA that I was being signed up for the level 2 class. I SHOULD have been in the Level 1 class! I don’t know that much about Oracle.

I don’t know if he just thinks I know more then I do, or what. But it was very stressful all day because of that, and the accident and my Insurance agent kept calling and what not. There were moments when I was about ready to just crawl under the desk and cry. lol

Last night I decided that I wasn’t in the mood to drive back to LA, and I had already planned on hanging out with Nick for a couple hours, so I asked if I could just crash there. He agreed, so I went down there and we had dinner at Koffee Klatch and watched October Sky. Which was an excellent movie.

Speaking of Movie, this past weekend was just excellent at least. Friday I picked up Const from the airport and dressed up as a chauffeur, with a sign even. I carried his bags for him and what not. Saturday we went shopping with Erick and Jason for the day then headed out to Pasadena for a Thanksgiving dinner. That was lots of fun to hang out with some of Constantine’s friends for once. Sunday we lounged around the house for a couple hours and then went to Best Buy to spend my Gift Certificate, which I again couldn’t really find anything that I wanted to spend the money on. After that we went and watched The Bucket List. It was a pretty good movie. I was crying by the end, but I would suggest waiting for it to come out for rent or something. Some stupid lady behind us kept talking through the whole movie! Very annoying. After the movie we went to Cheesecake factory for some food and chatting. It was all very nice.

It also rained a lot this weekend, which was very relaxing and great. When I was dropping const off at his house that night it was raining pretty good. I wanted to stand there for a bit and make out with him in the rain, but I’m sure he wouldn’t have liked doing that in front of his parents house! haha.

Anyways, today is day two of training, I must start studying up!


American Airlines’ Reply

So, after I got back from my trip, I sent American Airlines the following complaint:


I am writing about my Flight on December 20 from LAX to DFW to DSM. My flight was supposed to get me to my home on the night of December 20th. However, I did not arrive until 2 days later because of your airline. I am very unhappy with the way I was treated by your counter assistance, and that I had to spend nearly $400 in excess because you were unable to get me to my final destination. I had to pay for 2 nights in a hotel, 6 extra meals for myself and a bus ticket from Minneapolis to Des Moines because your airline was unable to get me to DSM.

In all my years of traveling, I have never had a worse experience with an airline and been treated so poorly. I feel that I should be compensated for the lost time with my family and all the added costs of traveling home. I paid $550 for these tickets and you were unable to even get me to my destination.

Also this is the second time this year that my flights on your airline have been canceled (Sept 5 from SNA to DSM) causing me to spend at least one night in the airport and lose out on the very little time each year I get with my family.

Once I finally reached my destination, I was horrified to find my luggage sitting out without security.

Lastly, my flight on Dec 28 from DSM to LAX was an hour late leaving, causing me to miss my ride from the airport and having to spend nearly $100 for cab fare which I feel is unacceptable for your airline to be so constantly late.

Cj B

To which, I got the following reply:

Dear Mr. Cj B:

I know you emailed us some time ago and have been waiting for a reply. Due to the current busy travel period, we’ve not been able to respond to our customers’ emails as quickly as we would like. Thank you for your patience. I’m glad to have the opportunity to respond to your email now.

I am very sorry that your trip to Des Moines did not go smoothly. A review of your flights indicates that they were either cancelled or delayed due to weather at the destination or from where a plane was originating (as was the case with your flight from St. Louis). On-time performance is very important to us and when we can’t get our customers to their destinations as planned, it’s disappointing to all of us. After reading the details of your experience, there is no question that the cancellation and delay of your flights was frustrating — bad weather can really cause difficulties for everyone concerned.

Unfortunately, when the weather is inclement, we just don’t have very many options to make the situation better. Still, your comments help us understand how we could have made this experience a little less frustrating. We will learn from your criticism and use it to do a better job the next time inclement weather interferes with our operation.

In view of all you endured, I can certainly understand your request for reimbursement of your expenses. Unfortunately, we just cannot guarantee that you will always arrive at your destination exactly at the scheduled time. Since we cannot make that promise, I’m afraid we cannot reimburse our customers’ out-of-pocket expenses or compensate for personal time lost when we don’t operate our flights as planned.

Also, because it is considered a low risk for baggage theft, our claim area at Des Moines does not station security personnel to verify the claim checks of customers retrieving their luggage. Our procedure, however, is for any unclaimed baggage to be locked up, at which point a claim check is required for retrieval. In light of your comments, I have sent a copy of your email to the Manager at Des Moines for their review. We also will continue to monitor claim area procedures to ensure maximum security and efficiency. Your feedback will be used as a part of that continuous review.

Still, we want you to know that we care about the negative impact this had on your trip. Therefore, as a gesture of goodwill and to encourage your continued business, we’ve made arrangements for an eVoucher ($50) for you to use toward the purchase of a ticket to travel with us. I hope you will accept our gesture in the spirit of compromise. The next time you travel with us, we’ll do our best to make sure your trip is a good one.

Mr. Cj B, again, I am sorry that your plans had to be changed. However, I hope I have persuaded you to think more favorably of us; we are eager for another chance to serve you. I am confident we will restore your trust in us.

Lynette B. Reese
Customer Relations
American Airlines

Umm, what exactly have you done to persuade me to use your airlines again? Absolutely nothing!

I replied to them, we’ll see what happens.

Update://Well I replied to them with the following:

I recently wrote you about an issue with my Flight from Dallas to Des Moines, IA.

It has recently come to my attention that the exact same flight the next day was ALSO canceled and your airline bussed the people on that flight from Dallas to Des Moines THAT NIGHT.

It seems unfair that I had to spend 2 nights in hotels, and had to pay for my OWN bus ticket from Minneapolis to Des moines when your airline paid for busing of these passengers directly to their destination.

Therefore, I feel that I should be compensated by the airline for the $78.00 cost as well as the $50.00 for the additional hotel room that I had to pay for.

Cj B

And again, here’s their reply..

I am sorry we disappointed you by providing you with a goodwill voucher. It was meant to convey our disappointment in not getting you to your final destination. We also appreciate the opportunity to further respond.

It is never easy to say no to a customer. We attempt to design procedures that make sense for the majority of customers in most situations — recognizing that the rules won’t always be best in every single instance. For those exceptions, we evaluate all the circumstances and try to be reasonable and fair in our decisions. Having gone through this process, we reached the conclusion that we are still unable to satisfy your request for reimbursement of your out-of-pocket expenses. As indicated in my previous correspondence to you, we have the authority and the responsibility to make changes to our schedules to resolve problems caused by weather, flight conditions, mechanical difficulties or other operational challenges. Accordingly, we cannot assume financial responsibility for our customers’ personal time lost or for out-of-pocket expenses when extenuating circumstances prevent us from operating as planned. I am sorry.

Mr. B, again I apologize that weather caused such an inconvenience when traveling in December. We look forward to welcoming you aboard soon.

Lynette B. Reese
Customer Relations
American Airlines

I’m sorry, but again, I _REALLY_ Think that they should compenstate me for at LEAST the cost of the hotel and the cost of the bus because THEY PAID to bus all the people on the SAME FLIGHT the next night from Dallas to Des Moines.

Prague and Vienna Photo Tour Movies

Well I’ve been spending a lot of my free time arranging these and going through all 1,500 photos. But here’s a movie of my favorite sites in Prague and Vienna.

You can download the FULL movie here. (Please note, it’s 350megs, so it’ll take a while).

Or watch it individually in the following two youtube clips



Prague Wrap Up

Ok, So where to start with this trip! This is going to be one long as entry probably. Unless I get lazy!

Wed Nov 14th we packed up and headed to the airport. Got there and got through security with no problems. We were extra early because of the shuttle bus thing, but it really wasn’t much of a problem. We got the inner row (no windows) of the plane, but one of us had the isle, so that was good. I was sitting next to this older lady who was pretty funny. The flight was 10 hours from LAX to Paris. The TV screens on our seats didn’t work and about half way through the flight my glasses broke. Thankfully the old woman next to us had a nail file, so Constantine was able to screw them back together. At one point the turbulence was soooo bad that the old woman was praying! So Cute! Landing was HORRIBLE! We bounced and on the second time hitting it felt like the plane was going to tip over! Like EVERYONE was suddenly jolted hard to the left!

Got to Paris and had to take a bus to our next plane. Got on that and that flight was pretty good. Got into Prague and our luggage was no where to be found! We filed a report and headed to the hostile. Since our luggage was missing, that basically killed our plans for going out. Thankfully our host at Shelter Pension was very nice and stayed around so that we could go out for a little bit. I didn’t have my jacket on me (it was in my luggage) so I borrowed Constantine’s light jacket and we explored a little. We were very close to everything so that was great. We could easily walk to Wenceslas Square which was just perfect!! Spent most of the night in our hostel room though.

The second day we got up and our luggage still wasn’t there. They said it might be delivered at night, so I hardly slept at all because every sound I heard I woke up thinking it was them. The hostle guy came again at 9:30 and said they called him last night saying they would deliver at 2am, I guess he told them not too and what not. He again agreeded to stay for a while and Constantine and I headed out in the opposite direction from our hostle. We found a neat park and some other cool stuff in our area. Came back to the hostel because the guy had to leave and we waited an hour or so for our luggage. I finilly just decided to go to one of the THREE H&M stores within walking distance of our Hostel and bought some warmed clothes. Of course, once I got back our luggage was there! That afternoon we headed out to the Dvorak Museum. We also got very lost, saw lots of interesting squares and other stuff in the city. Saw a wonderful sunset from the banks of the river.

The third day we headed out to Prague Castle, which was just amazing! We saw St. Vitus Cathedral, Dailbor Tower, Powder Tower, Golden Lane, the Old Royal Palace, and lots of other stuff in the area! The whole thing was just overwhelming! From there we headed over to the Loretto and some other churches in the area.

Day four was a good day, but a little light on things. We basically went to Little Quarter and saw some churches, Charles Bridge, the Kampa Museum of Modern Art, the Hunger Wall and the Memorial to the victims of Communism.

The last day we had to fit in both the Old town and the Jewish Quarter because of the luggage mishap. We started off with the Old town and the Powder Gate and then wondered around the old town square area while waiting for the Astronomical Clock to go. That was totally a waste of time, but I guess it was probably reall cool when it was built 1410! We also saw the Church of the Holy Ghost. The day was very clear, so we climbed the tower at Charles Bridge, headed over to the Jewish quarter and saw a few synagoges and the jewish cemetery. We walked from there over to Prague Castle again and this time walked up the steps from the Little Quarter and saw the Cathedral again. The inside was just AMAZING this time! We also climbed the tower and it was a wonderful view of the city. That was our last night out so we went to this really nice place to eat which was in a basement but it was done up really cool! I can’t remmeber the name of it right now, I have the card or something at home. On our way back to the hostel we stopped at this cute little street vendor who was selling Staroceske trdlo

I was a little sad that we didn’t get the 6 inches of snow they had forcasted, but on the third day it snowed a little bit in the morning. On the flight in and the trainride out, there was SNOW everywhere! Idon’t know why it wasn’t in Prague! :'(

If you want to see our tracks that we did here’s a few different ways:

1) Download the GPX file and load it into your favorite program.
2) Download a Google Maps static image.
3) Download the Google Earth KMZ file. Download Google Earth here.
4) Or view it directly in your browser on Google Maps.

You can see all 959 photos from our trip to Prague on the photodump.

Apartments in Prague
Provides a variety of cheap and luxury serviced apartments for short term rental in Prague.