Start the car, start the car...

Friday, July 14, 2017
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Let me start by saying what a great trip we've had here in Calgary.  Everything about it has been great.  I can say that NOW because the couple of little things that I thought would be issues were, well, they were so far from issues that it's not funny.  Definitely some 'start the car' moments!  And please don't disappoint me by saying you don't know what that is.  You must remember that famous commercial where the woman leaves the big Swedish store thinking the cashier had made unbelievable mistakes and walks purposefully out of the store all the while yelling to her husband to 'start the car' so a speedy getaway can happen before the store realizes they've made a huge mistake.  We had a couple of those tonight...but more about that later.
Time Capsule in Chinook Mall
We spent a lovely day with Fay and getting reacquainted with some old friends that we met some 17 years ago, Cathy and Allan.  Oh, and that was after Fay had an hour of retail therapy at the Chinook Centre where Kier bought a new pair of 'ca-boy' boots and I loaded up on cold treatments for the long flight home tonight.  After that we were off to Black Diamond.  When I first heard the name of this place I figured we were going to a ski resort, cause that's all I knew from black diamonds...aren't they the symbols on the toughest slopes at the ski hill?  But nope, it's a lovely town near Okatoks or as our 'dash bitch' calls it 'Awk-a-talks'.  We tried to calculate when we first met Cathy and Al over in PEI when they visited with Fay and Roger on holiday.  We guess it was around the year 2000.  So there's been a bit of water under the bridge for all of us.  After a short visit we headed off to nearby Bragg Creek for a wee look around and a lovely late lunch, or was it an early dinner?  Then it was time for us to head back into Calgary and to the airport to deal with those aforementioned 'issues'.
Cold remedy
So here's the deal.  I rented our car way back when we first decided to make this trip to Calgary.  We originally figured we'd stay a week and that's what I booked the car for.  As is my usual, I booked through that big membership know the one of which I speak...the one where we all go to make meals out of samples.  And through them, I got a steal of a deal with a company that I'll just call Wallamo.  Now, I've always been a bit leery of this company.  Through the jigs and the reels, we decided to shorten our stay in Calgary to just 4 nights.  When I went back to adjust my car rental to only 4 days, the price jumped from $189 for the week to about $350.  So I opted to do what all travelers who love a good deal would do...I left the booking as it was.  Figured I'd make up an excuse upon return as to why we had to leave town early.  Never really worried too much about it until I was signing the rental agreement in the wee hours of last Tuesday morning and noticed that it said we were required to keep the vehicle for a minimum of 147 hours and a maximum of 171 hours.  Well, I'm no scholar, but I can multiply 4 X 24 and realize it's significantly less than 147 hours.  Hmmmm, Houston, we have a problem.  Oh well, we'll deal with it at drop off.  When I had a spare minute this past week I went to 'the google' to get an idea of what we might be faced with.  Best case scenario, they would likely charge us the full week rental even though we kept the vehicle for a shorter period. Great!  I fully expected that.  The worst case scenario, they would charge us the full weekly rental we agreed to, plus an early drop off fee of $15.  Still great.  Fast forward to tonight.  We pull into the car rental return area, buddy meets us, gives the car the once over, deems it damage free, and then calculates our bill.  I'm waiting with excuse at the ready...I'll cough all over him, claim a contagious disease of sorts that requires me to leave Calgary immediately...surely he'll reconsider any penalty?  And then he says it...'that'll be $159 on the credit card on file?'.  My answer...'Start the car, start the car!'.  Issue #1 - favourably resolved
Proof that the grass IS always greener on the other side of the fence!
Then there was this little issue of paying $25 each for our bags at check in with Air Canada.  I really hate paying it.  I'm sure I'm not alone.  Then it hit me...Kier and I have these little CF1 cards that we got from the military when we retired.  They allow us into Can-Ex's across the country AND they supposedly allow the fees to be waived on baggage fees with Air Canada.  We've never tried them.  In fact, I forgot to even bring mine with me.  But, fortunately Kier had his.  We'll give it a go.  I checked in on-line last night and indicated that we had no luggage so as to avoid paying the fees at that time.  Tonight when we arrived at the airport we went to the counter to finish our check in and Kier presented his CF1 card.  At first she was only going to give us 1 free bag.  Hey, paying for 1 beats paying for 2.  And then another staff member came up and advised the desk agent that he was entitled to 3 bags.  'So', I says to the agent, 'he can claim my bag too?' To which she replied 'yes'.  My answer...'start the car, start the car!'.  Issue #2 - favourably resolved.
CF 1 card
So here we sit in the Maple Leaf Lounge enjoying some well deserved peace and quiet before boarding our red eye home.  It's been an excellent week.  No hitches, no bitches, no unbearable glitches.  All good.
So this new blog site is gonna take some getting used to.  I'm on a bit of a learning curve, but all in all, it's okay.
See you all next trip!

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