Tibb’s Eve Brunch

Yesterday was definitely a character building kind of day. With a stiff lip, I let myself mull over the situation for an hour or two, then go about my evening. The Guy came home early, and decided to take me out to get some Subway and check out the festive Christmas lights around Santana Row. He sure knows how to cheer me up! With that being said, thanks for all your comments regarding yesterday evening’s post. I do need to thank WestJet for their impeccable customer service.

This morning I got up and made us a brunch, and shortly after I finish proof-reading through my post, I’m heading over to Jessica’s house to make some cookies with her!

Brunch-headerI can hear you asking yourself what the heck does Tibb’s Eve mean. It’s a celebration to kick off the Christmas Season as you do in Newfoundland (where we’re from). Tibb’s Eve is the Eve before Christmas Eve and can often be referred as Tipsy Eve if ya catch my drift.

To start our mid-morning Tibb’s Eve, I made us a huge breakfast as we can finally sit back and relax with the two of us and Alfie. We had three sets of visitors throughout December, my parents in law, my sister in law and my husbands best bud all came down for a visit. It was great! I love entertaining, and showing people all the sights and sounds that California has. I will never tire of the Golden Gate Bridge, let me tell you that much!

I’ve been lucky that Walmart Delivery is taking a liking to my food posts, this is the third instalment of me working with them. Once again, all the food shown in the post (ok minus the grapes, they were gross anyway) were from Walmart and delivered right to my doorstep. The delivery guys and I are getting to know each other pretty well. Alfie still doesn’t like them — wouldn’t blame him really, they’re strangers.

I do have to say, I’m getting bolder in the kitchen and expanding my cooking skills to making a ton of things at once, instead of baking muffins and some scrambled eggs. I’m doing it all. Fryin up the bacon, making blueberry muffins, egg bagels with tomato and cheese, fresh fruit with whip cream, and having a side of apple juice, hot chocolate and then peppermint tea! Whoowee.big-brunch

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Tibbs-Eve-Brunch

peppermint-tea-santa-mugI stocked up on the Celestial peppermint tea and now have a couple of boxes, there’s nothin’ better than peppermint flavoured treats at Christmas. After breakfast or even before bed, I like to sit in my chair and have a little chit chat with The Guy about our day ahead, or unwinding after a long day. My Santa mug has a few cracks in it, I think it can’t handle the heat of my extra hot drinks. Hopefully it’ll last a few more seasons!

So, it’s two days until Santa Claus arrives on his sleigh, and for those that celebrate the Misters visit, I sure hope you’re all ready. Are you? I have to admit, I need to wrap a couple of more gifts and I am set. We have a modest amount of presents under the miniature Ikea tree this year, but I’m really excited to celebrate our first Christmas as a married couple. This year has been so different for us, and believe it or not (I probably keep repeating myself) I’m the happiest I have been in my life. I’m content with where I am in my/our life right now. With that being said, I will be taking the next week or two off blogging to spend time with my new little family. See you in 2015, stay safe and Happy Holidays!

But before I head off until the New Year, here’s $15 toward your first order with #WalmartToGo, an online grocery pickup and delivery service and if you spend over $50 delivery is free.

Disclaimer: Walmart-to-go provided me with a gift card to use their delivery service.

American Airlines hung up on me

I debated blogging about this. I wanted to completely forget the entire situation ever happened, but I knew I wanted to address it further and tell you guys what happened. We will not make it home for Christmas.

Let’s back up to the beginning.

A few weeks ago, we booked our Christmas flights through American Airlines (AA), including paying a $350/return fee for Alfie (our dog) to go in the cabin with us. Ridiculous fees right? First of all, I don’t know why airlines charge basically another seat for an <10 pound dog to go in the cabin with us when he doesn’t even get his own seat (not that he should). The dogs go under the foot-well of the cabin and is considered the passengers 2nd carry-on luggage.

A friend told me I needed to confirm whether or not Alfie is on the connecting flight when it switches over from AA to WestJet (WJ). I assumed our dog would be brought through with us since we already paid the fees for him. I didn’t know we had to pay more fees from WestJet to book him the last leg of the flight. At least WestJet is more reasonable with their prices and charges $100/return fee for dogs in cabin. Since WJ only allows up to 4 pets in the cabin, there was not enough room for Alfie to go on. WJ suggested I call AA to change our flight in order to get Alfie on with us but she was to stay on hold. What? Ok, I’d try that.

It was a bit complicated.

Picture this. I had WestJet on the skype phone. American Airlines on my BlackBerry phone (with limited minutes sine we don’t have a phone plan LOLZ), and my husband on gmail chat, discussing it all simultaneously. I dialed into AA and waited 14 minutes to be connected to an agent (I mean, Christmas wait-times, you know and all). Talk about sweat-fest over here, leaving it all up to me to communicate everything to everyone. Especially since the AA woman kept going off on tangents and me asking her to repeat herself so I could write it in notepad, talk to WJ about it, then explain what was going on to the husband on G-Chat so he could help make some decisions.

American Airlines couldn’t get us an earlier flight to reach our connection for the Toronto to St. John’s leg in time, as they were all booked up (as it would be. Hello, Christmas). The AA flight that had enough room for two people was unavailable to book as the AA agent told me “Under our contract agreement with WJ we can only sell coshare flights not prime flights. The WJ connecting flight is a prime. AA can only sell flights they (WJ) allow them to market as AA evn though it’s marketed at WJ.” A bit over my head, but I wrote that down and recited it back to the patient WJ agent who by that time was on the phone with me 50+ minute who completely understood what I told her.

AA gave me the option to cancel the Toronto to St. John’s leg for a fee. Oh the fees. So laughable. $489 total, but then we’d be completely screwed as we’d have to book a brand new flight with WestJet. Which I mean, 2 days before travel = an arm and a leg. Right. We could have done that. But we’d pay the cancellation fee with AA, rebook with WJ pick up our checked luggage in Toronto and re-check in. Since it was a 55 minute stop over, we would not have time to land, check the bags, go through Canadian customs.The checked bag time is an hour before flight departs. Virtually impossible. AA ended up checking the flights for me for December 24, but it too didn’t work out.

Typing this and remembering what happened just minutes ago is giving me a headache.

I panicked. I did not know what to do. We are not made of money. American Airlines ended up hanging up on me after an hour into the phone call when I asked them to hold tight as I discussed incredibly expensive fee charges, with my husband then WestJet on the other phone. I mean, I’m a fast typer, especially when in a panic or angry. Why did you hang up on me, American Airlines?

That’s when I started crying and that’s when I blew up on twitter in a fury.

As soon as I realized AA hung up on me I couldn’t contain myself and I actually bawled. I tried to stay quiet but I mumbled “OMG AA hung up on me, are you f*cking serious?” WJ was still on the skype phone and I heard her sympathize with me. She was so patient with me, and I mean this is after an hour of her being on hold while I did the majority of my talking with AA. That’s Canadians for you and their awesome customer service. THANK YOU WestJet for being amazing!

I asked her if she would mind holding tight once again or if she wanted to hang up with me and I’d get another WJ agent. She told me she’d stay put while I called AA once again. Okkk! Perfect. Awesome.

American Airlines call number two. I explained to the AA agent what had happened (politely, because I mean she’s completely new to the situation, why be angry at her?). She didn’t apologize, in fact I thought she had put me on hold until I said “hello?” and she came back with a “yup?”. Great, another difficult person. She was completely confused with my request of her changing the flight and I had to repeat myself 4 times to re-explain the flight change requests until she got it. No biggie. Except changing the flight would not cost me $489 total like the previous AA agent quoted, but would cost $200/person + $99/person fee change. SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS LOLOL.

I asked her if she would be okay if I put the phone down (for the first time of this second AA call). She said “I can’t wait long” What? Well how freaking long can you wait for? I told you I was on the phone with AA previously for over an hour. You cannot wait until I type to my husband on G-Chat the $600 fee? What’s wrong with you? (I didn’t say that to her. I’m not that rude). I asked her if she was serious, I told her “WJ is on the other phone, my husband is on the computer waiting to hear back from me and you’re telling me you cannot wait? How much time do I have to type?” I sh*t you not. She said these exact three words (she sounds like a woman of many words), no more no less “2-3 minutes” I swore under my breath and I said “okay I’ll be quick.” Husband suggest I ask her to waive the fee somehow, as we are already missing out on Christmas Eve, and Christmas day with our family.  Alright. Back to the phone with AA.

 So, I guilt triped her. What else was there to do? If we cancelled we’d lose out on MORE money.

I told her “I’m sorry for taking up so much of you time and the flight fee is understandable as the cost of the ticket changes. But as a goodwill gesture, could you at least waive the change fee?” (The previous AA would not budge on this for me, while she was smacking her gum). I continued “we’re only bringing one checked bag between my husband and I,  for Christmas to lower our costs for these flights. We have to pay $350 for our dog already. I mean you guys aren’t making it easy. We’re screwed if we try to cancel. I mean when will all the billing and charges stop?”

AA put me on hold. I guess it worked since she came back with $200 off the fee bringing it back down to $399.02 for the changes to be made to our flights. We will be missing out on Christmas Day with our family, but we will still be going home at some point over the holidays. AA made the changes and we hung up. Now that I think back on it, I hope to God it’s not $399.02/person and that is just all included now.

WJ, that same woman who was on the phone for 93 minutes with me got Alfie on our flights back to St. John’s and asked for my credit card number to book our dog on the flights. She she had heard it all, I thought I would try my luck on her and ask her if she would be able to waive the $100 fee for Alfie. She seemed so sympathetic towards the situation, I didn’t think it would hurt to ask. The worst she could say is no.

WestJet sorta waived the fee on their end (but couldn’t officially do it). Once we get to the airport, we will have to see if it is in fact waived. But for now, no charge.

We’ll be home in Newfoundland at some point. That makes me a little happier. I hope the Christmas tree will still be up by the time we make it home. I don’t expect Christmas to be put on hold just for us, either.

I don’t like to rant or use my blog as a negative outlet. But I needed to post this.

It just goes to show how customer service goes a long way. WestJet has never screwed with us. Air Canada has once or twice when I lived in Ontario. That’s besides the point. But flying with American Airlines for the first time, simply leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, especially since one agent hung up on me. The second AA agent was so quiet on the phone, not answering my questions until I said “Hello?” to her, leaving me completely bewildered. All in all, it worked out with a butt-load of fees, still missing Christmas, shortening our vacation. But at least we’ll be there.

POM Friday . 9

Alfie is always such a great little sport, putting up with me dressing him in warm jackets or shower caps. I suppose he’s like me in the way he will do anything for a treat, right?

The weather isn’t nearly cold enough for him to wear his Canada Pooch jacket we got for him in 2012, but I sure love dressing him up in it, especially this time of year because it looks like a Santa suit!
Getting-coat-on-Alfie

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Canada-Pooch-with-Alfie

Alfie-in-his-coat

Alfie-in-Canda-Pooch

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Christmas-AlfieI may be biased, but isn’t he the cutest? Love our little schnogg. We will resume POM Friday’s in the new year — Merry Christmas from Alfie, The Guy and I!

Exploring coffee shops: Chromatic Coffee Co.

Chromatic-headerIt never occurred to me to let you guys in on some of the coffee shops I visit. After I posted a photo of my first Starbucks red cup of the season, my old Graphic Design classmate Geri suggested I check out local coffee establishments rather than large chains like Starbucks. While I do often go to smaller one-off coffee shops, I didn’t really blog about it, except for that one time I went to Bellano!

Today I’m bringing you along with me to Chromatic Coffee, a few blocks down the road from Bellano.Latte-art

For my own personal review purposes I’ve decided to order the same type of drink for each coffee shop I visit, a vanilla latte. I sound some fancy! It’s only because I’m not a fan of regular coffee — flavoured coffee’s is where it’s at you guys. That and iced vanilla coffees. Hoo-wee, yummo! This time I took my iPad, sat down and read for a little, people watched while I was at it too. It was pretty packed when I went this day since I popped in around lunch time. They were playing No Doubt (an ol’ classic fav of mine, brings me back to the early 2000′s when my local climbing gym back home played that). I got lucky and snagged an awesome comfy leather couch to perch myself down on and sip away.

Chromatic-GamutI love whoever did the Graphic Design for this coffee shop, and the fonts they used on the ground coffee packages.

Chromatic-Coffee-CoChromatic doesn’t have a menu up on the wall, but they have a stand alone right in front of the cash register which is clipboard cut in half and smoothed out. Pretty snazzy if you ask me. It’s not the cheapest coffee spot I went to, I ended up paying $5.15 for my vanilla latte. Ouch.

Inside-ChromaticI love watching the barista’s work their magic. One dude was so quick with his hands pouring out two tea pots into two to-go cups at once, a little fascinating to watch especially since I’m a little clumsy.

Chromatic-menu It’s like having “me time” and being social without being social. Know what I mean? I can write a lot of my blog posts here if I didn’t get annoyed and frustrated with my ipad no working with wordpress. Instead, I bring a pen and notebook, sit down for a bit and write a few pages.

Chromatic-latte-artI stuck around for about an hour until my friend from Canada texted me, and I drove over to her house in Sunnyvale to hang out for the afternoon.

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coffee-time-at-Chromatic

What is your go-to drink when you’re at a coffee shop?

Chromatic Coffee

5237 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95051
Hours: Weekdays 7am-9pm, Weekends 8am-9pm

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