Book One – 78mph

Bucket list

My bucket list is more like “what would I do if I win the Lottery!”

I guess we all have some idea what we would like to do and/or see while we are still able, and I’ve been thinking about what I’d really like to do with whatever time I still have left. I bought tickets for tonight’s Lotto Max and, perhaps, I will win $50 million dollars. Now I know that’s in Canadian currency, and in 2015 prices, but that amount is just $10 million more than Tiger Wood’s Nike contract in 1996.

  1. I guess the first thing on my list would be to give money to my kids after I win. After all, who couldn’t use a few million dollars?
  2. I like living in an apartment condo, but I would really like to design a house because that’s something I’ve never done before. There are many things I would like to have in my kitchen and my bathroom that I am sure are available but I have not seen in any home.In my bathroom I want rear view mirrors so I can see the back of my head for curling and blow drying my hair. I want wall or counter receptacles for my curling irons that I can put a HOT iron into to cool and for storage. I have many ideas for storage behind small doors above the counter for tooth paste, tooth brushes and floss. Also the same type of storage for the make up I use on a daily basis. not on the counter and not in a drawer beneath the counter. I want specific mirrors above the counter not one big piece of glass.I have many ideas for a kitchen that has different work levels. I want to be able to use my Kitchen Aid Mixer without having to carry it to a counter space AND I want it to be hidden when not in use. All small appliances would be behind doors so all you have to do it raise the cupboard door and use the appliances. This means that you are actually going to have space behind the wall at counter height for these appliances.Space for spices. Now this is a challenge and I have seen many different ways to store your spices. There are drawers that are designed for spices but now I have 40 spices and about ten are not the regular size. There are boxes of soda, boxes of molasses, tins of corn starch and baking powder. All this needs to have a specific, size designed space in the cupboards. I want an efficient storage space specifically meant to hold freezer plastic bags and foil and I want a space specifically designed to hold all sizes of plastic and glass containers with lids used for food storage.I’d like a walk-in cold room for housing all my fresh vegetables and bags of flour.Under the sink I want a shelf for my sink stopper, scrubbers, dish washer detergent and dish detergent. I want a plastic bag container that automatically crushes the bags and makes it easy to pull one out at a time.I want a laundry facility that makes you want to do laundry. This includes a large counter for sorting clothes for wash and for folding clothes,when clean. I still use an ironing board and I want this to be a permanent fixture next to the counter so you can iron large items and they won’t touch the floor.

    And a walk-in linen closet. Right next to the laundry room.

  3. A Lady Datejust Pearlmaster Rolex
  4. A condo at my favourite US golfing destination, Sky Mountain, Utah
  5. And one in Hawaii. On Maui.
  6. A road trip to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans (in #9 below), and trips to London, Paris and a Ryder Cup in a business jet
  7. A golf trip to St. Andrews and one to Pebble beach
  8. L.A. Dodgers World Series Home Game
  9. A Lexus LX570. In black.
  10. To design an emerald and diamond ring.

What’s on your bucket list? What do you think of mine? I’d like to know.

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Canadian at par

With the Canadian dollar so low, it’s becoming more and more restrictive for Canadians to travel to the US for their holidays. Our neighbors to the south know this all too well, and some vacation destinations rely heavily on revenue on patronage from their northern neighbours. So when vacationers from Canada get scarce, many devise financially attractive schemes, like offering US prices payable in Canadian dollars.

For our last road trip, it was a stay-and-play offer and we booked it nearly as soon as we saw it. Our first night would be pre-paid.

Many seniors do a very good job of knowing where they stand financially. Many of us even know on a daily basis exactly where we are. That’s not just handy, it alleviates any surprises and, believe me, the last thing that seniors want are nasty money surprises.

The thing is, the offer didn’t correspond to the amount that we were billed when we checked the credit card statement the next morning. We got on the phone to try and get it sorted out, but we weren’t able to make the reservations supervisor understand that the price they’d charged needed to be discounted.

That’s when my daughter, Colleen, got involved. After a series of back-and-forth emails, the revenue manager determined that we were right and adjustments would need to be made. For the two nights, we should be paying $700 Canadian. That day, our dollar took 1.31 to buy one USD.

Unfortunately, that information wasn’t relayed to the front desk and when a further inquiry was made via email following our check in, we were informed it was an employee not familiar with the special offer:

Upon check in, we had a front desk associate who usually works at a different property that doesn’t have the golf package so she was unfamiliar with our current special.

Of course, in the end, it was a mix-up and the offer of $175 Canadian per person per night was honoured. It looks like we were the first ones to take them up the offer, which hadn’t been properly communicated to their staff.

However, if you take an offer like this, my advice is be tenacious about it, check your bills, and know what to do if the offer isn’t being honoured. Here are my tips:

  • Once you make the booking, check your credit card balance online so you can take immediate action. I know many seniors are distrustful of having their banking and credit cards online, but imagine what might have happened if we hadn’t caught this error right from the start? Obviously, there was a miscommunication between the marketing department and reservations, but it took tenacity, and time, to find the right person and get the problem resolved.
  • Know what the exchange rate is. You’ll see what the credit card company charged you, but you can know what it is ahead of time by looking on http://xe.com
  • Take copies of the offer, and all correspondence, with you and have it with you when you check in. You’ll be able to prove your case to the front desk clerk and, if a resolution isn’t immediate, at least he or she will know who they need to talk to within the organization to get it resolved.
  • Don’t forget what’s in the package and what you’re entitled to. In our case, there was an additional $25 food voucher with our package, and, as it wasn’t given to us when we checked in, we nearly forgot about it. Know what’s in the offer, and don’t lose out.

Travel safely!

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Being on a road trip, moving from place to place, playing golf — and writing about everything that happens — is a little crazy. What made it a bit more crazy is the forest fires in the North Western United States were impacting the places we visited in Northern Montana, Eastern B.C. and Western Alberta – including Wi-Fi reception. It’s only after I’ve been back at my home base and talking with my friends and family about our latest adventures that I remember some details that I think you’d like to hear. So here’s the “Six Days on the Road” Road Trip Review!

Even before we left, we were having problems with the Canadian par offer. Somehow, the dots weren’t connected between the flyer in the Calgary Herald and the reservation team in Whitefish. When it seemed to be finally sorted out, we discovered the Front Desk wasn’t aware of the offer, and they wanted to charge us a price much higher than what was promised, when we checked in. It all got resolved, thank goodness, and I will put up a post about what you need to watch out for with offers like that because we were running in circles for a while. And nobody needs that kind of stress.

The blue sky in Alberta that started our road trip

Alberta blue sky

When we left on Sunday morning, we had a clear, Alberta blue, sky.  Have you noticed? There is a different blue to the sky in Saskatchewan than in Alberta or even in Big Sky Country itself, Montana.  This particular morning was also wind-free, so what a great way it was to start a road trip!

The three highways, #8, 22 and 3 that took us to the USA are in excellent condition but #93 from the border to Whitefish, MT is narrow and breaking down on the sides.  Keeping close to the speed limit makes for a bumpy ride!  Close to Whitefish was the start of major reconstruction of the highway.  I must admit those construction workers seem to work really fast and efficiently there.

It was a bit smoky from the fires when we arrived in Whitefish and it was smoky when we played the North and South courses at Whitefish Lake.  We played as a twosome on Monday and a gentleman joined us on Tuesday, who introduced himself as Bob.

Bob was a true gentleman who spends the winters in Houston and the summers in Whitefish.  He was so encouraging to both of us, and commented so positively on our good shots.  I found that to be so helpful in my confidence and I am sure it was his praise of the way I was hitting my driver that I actually hit one of my drives 220 yards.

I can’t stop talking about it…

I was extremely impressed with the overall design of The Wilderness Club.  The Pro Shop wasn’t large, but it was well equipped. The plans are now to turn it into a four-season resort and the Pro Shop will be used to accommodate winter sports equipment in the cold months.  The eating area is more like a coffee,shop than a dining room, which I think is SMART.  There is no need to have a fancy dining room in the wilderness.  All the public really wants is a place to eat when you finish your sporting activities.  An extensive menu is not needed either.  Good food made by a good chef is all we want!

I wrote about how terrific the cottages are and the BEDS were at The Wilderness Club, but there are a couple of other great details I didn’t tell you about.  The shower was excellent too, with a great shower head.  There was a bench inside the shower, which I thought was an added plus, and the white towels were oversized and exceptionally soft cotton.  PERFECT.

Prestige Hotel and Resort - Jessica and me

Prestige Hotel and Resort – Jessica from the Front Desk and me, Maureen O’Shea

It is only 100 kms from Eureka, Montana and The Wilderness Club to Cranbrook, B.C. and we’d booked into the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort there for the last two nights away from home for this road trip. When we checked in we were gifted with a sleeve of balls and a golf towel each. What a nice surprise for our arrival at our new temporary home!

 

A sleeve of balls and a golf towel welcomed us when we checked into the Prestige in Cranbrook.

A sleeve of balls and a golf towel welcomed us when we checked into the Prestige in Cranbrook.

The Prestige Hotels & Resorts are a family-owned group of full service hotels in B.C. founded by the hardworking, first generation Canadian, Josef Huber Sr. His story is a very interesting success story and now his son Joe is at the head of the company, keeping it family run.

We were disappointed that there were no lamb shanks on the menu at the Purcell Restaurant at the St. Eugene Mission in Cranbrook, as we went there for supper (and do a little bit of gambling).  It had been two years since I was last there and it looks like their new chef changed the menu as well as the atmosphere: it is high class AND high price now.  But since we saw there were lamb shanks on the menu at the restaurant at the Prestige Hotel, we decided to eat there on Thursday night (both Ruth and I love <3 lamb chops!).  We both enjoyed the shanks and the vegetables were perfect!  Neither of us had seen lamb shanks as big as these before, but they were tasty and tender!

The oldest daughter of my good friend, Bob Fleming, lives in B.C. and she wrote a poem that she posted on Facebook, asking Rain to come and make a visit. I think it’s lovely and I asked if I could re-print it and Jennyi’s given me permission to share it with you.

Dear Rain,
We’ve heard whispers of you dear one,
With smouldering eyes & smokey throats,
We yearn for your arrival dear one,
The earth, her trees, her plant beings, her creatures,
We are all in awe & need of you,
Please Dear 0ne,
Come shower us with your holiness,
Dear one,
We miss you, we cherish you.
We love you.
—–Jennifyre Saje

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