I thought it would be nice if Xy and I got out of town to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Nothing fancy, just a day at the beach. After our trip to Vero I resolved that we’d get out of town every few months for the mental health benefit.
So last week I booked a couple nights at a condo in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
It’s been nothing but trouble.
First of all, I was overcharged. Instead of the (very attractive) $190 advertised online, my bank account reflected a charge of $357.90. Then, when I called to complain, I got the classic runaround. Seems there’s one company that runs the website, another that runs the hotel, and a third that actually charges your credit card, and they all blamed each other.
After repeated phone wrangling, I came to suspect that the page I stumbled on was not even supposed to be online anymore. It was a page on lodging.com, but you can’t even get to lodging.com anymore since they were apparently bought by Orbitz. Customer service reps were mystified by my conformation number which didn’t show up in my system.
I finally got a supervisor to agree to refund half of the $167.90 overcharge. Half? I won’t be satisfied until I get the other half refunded too.
But here’s what really sucks: the weather, and the timing.
See, our reservations are for this weekend. There’s a system in the gulf, which right now is being called “Subtropical Depression 10.” It might strengthen to a tropical storm — but then again it might not. If it does, it will be named Jerry, but for now it’s just Depression #10. It’s supposed to bring a lot of rain, move slow, and make landfall somewhere between southeast Louisiana and Pensacola on Saturday.
And there’s the rub. The whole area’s under a tropical storm warning, but if the weather veers toward Pensacola, then Gulf Shores might not even see any rain. If it heads toward Biloxi, then Gulf Shores will be on the wet side and New Orleans might stay dry.
Of course, it could also strengthen rapidly and veer toward New Orleans. Unlikely, but possible.
As it stands, there’s just too much uncertainty. A weekend getaway is supposed to be fun, not stressful. So it’s looking like we will stay put. Unfortunately that means we’ll have to eat the expense.
But, on the bright side, there’s no better place for a romantic anniversary dinner than New Orleans.