My Favorite Type of Mail

I got the best package in the mail earlier this week. I called Mike to come over to the kitchen as soon as I opened this! 009
Inside this mysterious package from my friend Christine…
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Homemade chocolate donut holes! I had written her around Christmas and told her how much I missed her baking – Christine is the Korean Martha Stewart, and the day she moved away from DC was a sad one for me. She’s also an incredible friend! – I mean, how many people mail you chocolate donuts across the country?? My aunt is the only other person I’ve gotten baked goods in the mail from; when we were kids, my siblings and I used to get regular packages of homemade cookies and cakes (yes, we received a frozen fudge cake once) from Wisconsin.  She would also send us (not homemade) summer sausage and cheese.  MMmm.

We gobbled a few immediately and put the rest in the fridge.  They were AMAZING! Let me know if you’re interested in the recipe and I’ll try to convince her to share :) We’ll be snacking on these the rest of the week.

My Run Yesterday (#RunforBoston)

I went for my first run in a week yesterday with the Shirlington Running Club. I wore my race shirt in memory and support of Boston.

raceshirtboston

I was a little nervous about my left foot (tendinitis still healing), but mostly I just really wanted to run. For Boston. It is incomprehensible to me that someone could could set off bombs to kill innocent people, not caring who was hurt. That such a joyous event turned into a tragedy, and that there are those who are indelibly marked – physically, emotionally, both – by the explosions that day just breaks my heart.

I’ve run before in memory of my dad, and I often cry at the finish line of a race, wishing he could be there to celebrate with me and thinking how proud he would be to see me. Now the Boston victims will be in my heart too. 

Those were the thoughts in my head as I started out for Shirlington yesterday.  I don’t know whether it was the emotion that carried me, or my new CW-X Stabilyx compression shorts, but I ran what’s probably my fastest mile so far on the way there: 7:41.  

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My CW-X Stabilyx Ventilator shorts – these were on sale on Amazon a few weeks ago (still are!) – a steal at $39 – so I picked up a pair since I’ve been wanting to try compression shorts for a while.  Jury’s still out on this one, guys; I definitely felt the IT band support, but they were hard to get on and uncomfortably tight, especially on a hot day.  But I also ran my fastest mile yesterday.  I know I bought the right size – maybe I just have to get used to them?  I’ll do a full review after I’ve worn them a few times.  It’s not the love at first sight I felt with my Pro Compression Marathon socks!

Overall, this wasn’t my best run – my allergies were terrible, I was tired, and my Nathan’s Gel Pack was bouncing ALL OVER THE PLACE.  I could not get that thing to stay put and it was driving me a little batty.  Overall I averaged about a 9:00 pace, and my foot felt okay.  I’ll be icing and taking ibuprofen for a while longer though.  But I’m glad I went, and it was good to see many others wearing their race shirts in support of Boston.

And now I’m gonna share the story of how I got $400 back from my worst mistake ever.

My Hotel No-Show Mistake

(AKA how the mistake I made in two seconds wasted one month of my life)

Back when I signed up to run the NY 13.1 Marathon, I booked two nights at a hotel through Travelocity. I was all set to travel with the gnome.

travelocity1

Fast forward to March 22, the day before the race. I’m on the train, double checking my reservation out of habit on the way to the hotel. And then I glance at the dates, and my heart nearly stops. They say February 22-24. NOT March 22-24. I realized I had seen the charge on my credit card, but just assumed it was a placeholder like they do with car rentals sometimes.  I quickly called up the hotel and explained my stupid mistake and requested a refund and new reservation, and they said that while they couldn’t refund the reservation since it was made through Travelocity, I could make a new reservation and pay again. Finding a place to stay was the priority at this point, so I made the reservation on the spot, figuring it would be a fast phone call to Travelocity later to explain my mistake and get a refund for the February no-show.

That was naive of me.  It took nearly a month of phone calls around and around with the hotel and Travelocity before I could get the hotel to refund Travelocity (which needed to happen before Travelocity would refund me). Several times I thought about giving up entirely, but the thought of losing all that money made me very persistent. Finally, I got a hold of the right manager at the hotel, and he was extremely nice and quickly made the refund to Travelocity.

Then I called Travelocity to request that they refund me. The customer service rep said, “sure, no problem, once the refund clears from the hotel”. Well, it did, but when I called back a few days later, this new customer service rep refused to refund me, since it “wasn’t Travelocity’s policy”. I was livid; I had done all the legwork to get the refund from the hotel, had gotten confirmation that Travelocity would refund me once they got their money, and now after nearly a month, it looked like I wasn’t going to get the refund after all. I calmed myself, and said in a controlled (but angry) tone, that it made absolutely no sense for Travelocity to refuse me a refund when the hotel had processed the refund to Travelocity.  I requested to speak to a manager, and she said she would see what she could do. Five minutes later, my refund was finally processed.

Anyway guys, I relayed this because I learned two things.  The first lesson is to double and triple-check all my reservations in the future. I will NEVER make that mistake again! The second lesson is that if this situation happens to you, be tenacious! Find the hotel manager and talk to them on the phone.  Talk to Travelocity (or Expedia or whatever) and make sure your explanation gets documented.  Be humble about your mistake, but don’t give up until you’ve tried everything!

Have you ever made a mistake when booking travel?  Were you able to reverse it?

What’s the best thing you’ve received in the mail lately?

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2 thoughts on “My Favorite Type of Mail

  1. Sister J

    That looks like an awesome package!! Made my mouth water :). Glad you got your refund too- I’m still poor because I couldn’t get a refund for my flight home from Sweden lol.

  2. Pingback: Hot Yoga at The Studio DC | sneaker∙therapy

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