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Depression #10

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, but you can’t even get to 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.

Published inTravelWeather & Seasons


  1. Jenny Jenny

    Beggin my multiplicationalness — but isn’t 190 times 2 the total of 380? More than the 357.90 charge for two nights in romantic bliss?

  2. Jenny Jenny

    I had to eat some money recently when booking a place in Memphis which, after reading several reviews (I didn’t, of course, read anything _before_ booking), but it was only a booking type fee, not the whole amount. The place is Artisan & the pictures on the internet are niftier than the actual reviews.
    We stayed at Days Inn Graceland instead!!!!
    Come visit us in Starkville, it’s a romantic paradise!!!

  3. Kathy Aiken Kathy Aiken

    Happy Anniversary from Bloomington! My husband Charles and I attended your “puppet” wedding at the Waldron. Xy and I worked together at the Horrible Terrible many years ago. We also have birthdays on consecutive days in December and so are both Capricorns.
    I’ve been reading your blog for some time and really enjoy your insights into life in New Orleans, one of our favorite cities in the whole world. We actually ran into Xy on the Riverwalk several years ago when we were in town…maybe she remembers. I was happy to learn that you two are expecting a baby and the Xy is doing okay. Please give Xy a big hug from me and tell her I still wear my “Christy Paxton Show” T-shirt with great honor. Keep fighting the good fight!

  4. Frank Schiavo Frank Schiavo

    Happy Anniversery folks. I also think you should dispute the card charges and maybe contact the local tourist agency, to see if they can help you some with this or offer a solution that would help. And if it is a chain that runs the Hotel, complain [loud & a lot] to them too. Never know if that could help.

  5. David David

    Whenever I make a transaction and end up unhappy with it, I know that I can, if nothing lese, contest the charge on my credit card. Believe me, I’ve saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars do this. Once I make the call, I typically have to write a letter explaining why I should get a refund. When there’s money on the line and I’m irritated with an unhappy purchase, I can be very convincing. I suggest you try that.

  6. […] Back in September, I felt I was overcharged for a hotel room in Alabama. The price listed online was $95/night, but the cleaning fee was $147. The amount of this fee was not disclosed until after the transaction was made. When I found out, I immediately called to complain, but I was not allowed to cancel. Strangely enough, I did badger one rep into promising a refund of half the fee. I said I would seek a full refund. […]

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