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Archive for the tag “vacation”

My Bags are Packed ( in theory) for my India Trip

In a perfect world, all my travel documents would be in place, my bags packed, all gifts wrapped, seats set in the flight, meal preferences set, house cleaned, not to mention stuff for PatternReview.com, but we wont go there 🙂

In my world which is as real as it gets, NOTHING is done! Some would say “And you are blogging!” Ah… okay so I need to work on my priorities, but you know what, I need to do this. I need to start this post to prepare myself for what’s to come in the next few weeks.

So here we go, I am going to Delhi, India tomorrow for 3 weeks. From there, I am flying to Hyderabad to attend my brother’s graduation and then to Mumbai to visit with my cousin who is also my best friend and with whom I share so many fun childhood memories.

I am taking my netbook with me, and my hope is to share as much of my vacation with you as I can. See, last time when I was there was almost 2 years ago and every time I would visit a fabric store, I would think of you guys. I didnt blog then, but I do now, so I am bringing my camera with me and I promise you will hear from me quite often actually in the next few weeks. Even if I can’t find the time to post pics, I will post updates.

There is so much more to India than just bright colors and curry powder (although over there if you ask for curry powder they’ll have no idea what you’re talking about!). It is things like showing up in the middle of the night at your neighbor’s doorstep and being welcomed with open arms, It’s kicking back and relaxing over a cup of tea and samosas, surrounded by your loved ones. It’s waking up every morning to birds chirping and fruit vendors calling out in the streets. It’s about getting dressed up in saris and wearing lots of bangles for a wedding! It’s also about starting a conversation and continuing for hours with a complete stranger in the middle of the street and last but not the least, its taking a bite out of a FAT, JUICY MANGO!!!! in the summer. Renee, are you jealous?

It is my hope to share some of the joys of growing up in India with you as I travel.

So yes, my bags are NOT packed but I have my knitting with me, and guess what else I have? An advance copy of Annika’s BOOK – Micro Macrame!

As I was going through the book last night, I was literally drooling over the stuff she has in there. Do I need another hobby? YOU BET!!! And I am going to the right place to collect the goodies for it. Wait for photos of the jewelry district and OH MY did I mention there is a wholesale fabric market in Delhi where I am going with my mom?

While there, I’m also going to interview one of the finest menswear tailor in Delhi.

Stay Tuned!

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It Pays to Speak Up!

It really does. Gagan and I wrote an e-mail to Delta regarding the recent delays and baggage mishaps at our Costa Rica Vacation. And guess what? Both of us got $200 vouchers. While that does not make up for our lost vacation, it feels nice to be heard and it tells us that they cared about our business. In this difficult economy every little bit counts. Me, I am thrilled! Why? Because I can use this for the next PR Weekend in Portland!

While I am certainly no expert when it comes to writing, I do have a few tips I would like to share with you. If your relationship with a company/brand/vendor is important to you and you feel that you have been wronged, here’s what I would do:

1. Leave emotions out of it. Just state facts. Emotions just bring out negativity in everyone so drop it..
2. Tell them why they should care about you as their customer. Example, if you like jam, tell them you eat their jam everyday and you’ve spent a lot of money with them and like their product.
3. Be polite, don’t threaten. Again it’s going to serve no purpose. Nobody likes to be threatened.
4. If you’ve been happy with any of their service, tell them that you appreciated it. In our case we thanked them for delivering the bags to our hotel in the middle of nowhere.
5. Tell them that you’d like to continue to do business with them and would like to be compensated somehow. Don’t be greedy. Don’t expect too much. Let them decide.
6. Finally – SEND THAT E-MAIL. Don’t sit around and keep thinking that you will do it. I know we’re all busy and it’s easy to forget about it. But like I said, it pays to speak up.

I’d like to end this post by thanking Delta for making it up to us. Not that any Delta employees are reading this 😉 But that’s not the point is it?

Costa Rica adventures begin!

Ah the warm breeze, the lush gree rain forest and the friendly people!
NOT YET!
That’s right. I am still sitting at Boston’s Logan Airport and probably won’t reach Costa Rica until Sunday night, fingers crossed.
Here’s what happened…
So we reached the airport at 1:00 expecting to board Delta 1865 leaving for Atlanta at 2:40 PM. When we checked in, they didn’t tell us anything. Simply pointed us to the gate. At the gate we find out that the flight has been delayed by 1.5 hrs. What does that mean? We’re most probably going to miss our connecting flight from Atlanta to San Jose , Costa Rica.
After standing in the line for 45 minues when we were finally able to talk to an agent we were told not to worry because the connecting flight has also been delayed so we’ll make it in time. No biggie, we wait patiently. I am knitting the dreaded socks ( read my previous sock post) and Gagan is busy with his blackberry.
We boarded the plane at 4:00 and they make us sit in it for another 45 minutes and we finally start taxing to the runway when they announced that because of some mechanical error (could they be any more vague?) they are going to take us back to the gate and swap planes. When we reach the gate there is obviously a big line at the counter. They announced that they will swap planes but they don’t know how long it’ll take.
They tell us that if we want to go home they’ll be glad to accommodate us for the next day. EXCEPT! All the flights are sold out until Sunday!
So at this time we’ve already paid $180 for weekly parking at Logan, the car we rented in San Jose for a week is non-refundable and so are the hotel rooms. The earliest they can get us out of Logan to San Jose is Sunday which cuts our vacation by 2 days and they can’t extend it either because they have no vacancies.
Needless to say we’re completely screwed. I am sitting here at the baggage claim waiting for my bag to show up. They said it can take some time. GREAT!
Will DELTA pay for any of the expenses we’ve incurred? Well , I am going to write to them until they do. And until they’re sick of talking to me. As for the vacation, I am still hopeful that we’ll get there on Sunday and still have a great time. I know we will.
As I am writing this, Gagan is furious and restless. I cannot seem to calm him down, but while we are in Boston, lets see if I can get him to take me to a nice restaurant so at least it’s not all bad. That is if we ever get the bag back.
If there is one thing PR has taught me, its to remain calm in situations like this 
Moral of the story? Do not fly out in peak season. Stay home, stay warm and enjoy warm cider, some home baked cookies and Netflix movies! BTW Netflix rocks. I just watched the whole season 1 of 30 ROCK last night. Well not all the episodes but most.
Thanks for letting me vent. I am sure you guys have been in similar situations. I have been too before but this is by far the WORST!
Now let me get off my soap box and find that hubby of mine. Oh there he is. He’s the one with smoke coming out of his ears!

p.s. We came back home last night without our bags after waiting for 1.5 more at the airport. So as it stands they dont know where our bags are. We’re scheduled to leave early morning tomorrow so fingers crossed we will be there Sunday afternoon. Wish me luck!!! I really do need it.

A weekend away from… well everything!!!

I have to say that taking my laptop with me and not opening it was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in a while. Gagan and I were in desperate need of R&R so we decided to go up to Camden, ME this labor day. We left on Friday and came back on Monday. Fortunately for us, it was also the Windjammer Weekend so the tiny town of Camden was pretty lively! We met some really great people there and had a great time.

We walked, hiked, sailed and just relaxed. Sometimes you don’t really need to do anything. This was an intentionally “unplanned” vacation which we simply loved.

We stayed in a cute little B&B just minutes away from downtown and a stone’s throw from the harbor.

When I am on the road, I love to knit. I started my sock on Friday and this is where I am today. Pretty cool right?

The pattern is Spring Forward from Knitty.com

Socks are so addictive arent they? I also stopped by this yarn store in Belfast, ME and bought a couple of balls of this bright yellow sock yarn. What is going on with me? I never liked yellow and now I can’t get enough of it. Well, atleast they will brighten up the cold wintery mornings.

Ok, what is up with yarn stores everywhere? I saw so many of these but not a fabric store in sight 😦 It’s so depressing. I did find this cute oilcloth in an eco-friendly store. See the yellow again 😉

It’s hopefully going to become a bright yellow grocery bag 🙂

BTW I loved Belfast, ME! It’s such a cute town with tons of eco-friendly stores. I bought a bottle of orange essential oil to make my own cleaner, recommended by Everyday Sewist on PR.

There is a vegetarian restaurant, Chase Daily in Belfast which was hands down the best vegetarian meal I’ve had outside in ages. I highly recommend it.

I am back now and finally caught up on my e-mails and other stuff. I can’t wait to drive up there again in a few weeks when the leaves change. They don’t call it ‘The Vacationland’ for nothing 😉

Some photos:

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