Friday, April 24, 2009

Deals @ the JW Marriott Desert Ridge

Summer is a normally a fantastic time to find some great deals on hotel rates in Phoenix. This year, with the economy in the pits, it seems like the deals are even better. I just booked a "Revive Spa Package for Two People" at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge for $239 (for a Saturday evening stay).

It includes the following:
  • Deluxe Resort Room
  • Breakfast Buffet, including tax, per person, in Blue Sage Restaurant, or Spa Bistro each morning (maximum $22 value)
  • 1 Spa Treatment at Revive Spa, including gratuity, per person
We did the same package last year for $319. Even at that price, we thought it was a great deal, since the room alone can run that much during most of the year. Last year we got lucky and were upgraded to an 869 square foot Executive Suite. We're not expecting another upgrade this time around, but are definitely looking forward to our "weekend getaway"!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Just got this email from Southwest:

Hello Andrew!

Your flight on April 13, 2009, is currently scheduled
to be on one of our Wi-Fi enabled aircraft!* That's'll be able to check e-mail, surf the Internet, and stay connected to the world below via your personal laptop or other Wi-Fi enabled device! (As a reminder, devices that exclusively use a cellular signal won't work with this service.) Don't forget to power up at the gate before you board!

Southwest is currently testing Wi-Fi on four of our planes. The service will be free of charge during this evaluation period; all that we ask is that you take a few minutes to tell us what you think! Your opinion will help shape the future of this exciting product. A link to a short survey will be available on the Southwest Airlines/Yahoo! Homepage once you log in inflight.

I'm bummed that I didn't bring my laptop w/ me this time!

The dark side of Dubai (from The Independent)

Fascinating article about Dubai:

The dark side of Dubai (from The Independent)

The article is quite long...the final paragraph sums it up pretty well -

I ask the Filipino girl behind the counter if she likes it here. "It's OK," she says cautiously. Really? I say. I can't stand it. She sighs with relief and says: "This is the most terrible place! I hate it! I was here for months before I realised – everything in Dubai is fake. Everything you see. The trees are fake, the workers' contracts are fake, the islands are fake, the smiles are fake – even the water is fake!" But she is trapped, she says. She got into debt to come here, and she is stuck for three years: an old story now. "I think Dubai is like an oasis. It is an illusion, not real. You think you have seen water in the distance, but you get close and you only get a mouthful of sand."

As she says this, another customer enters. She forces her face into the broad, empty Dubai smile and says: "And how may I help you tonight, sir?"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

AP IMPACT: Chinese drywall poses potential risks

Something new to worry about...
AP IMPACT: Chinese drywall poses potential risks


Wow - it's been almost a month since my last posting!

Since then, I visited my hometown, Madison, and then came back to Phoenix on March 19th. I'm currently in LA visiting my parents over the long Easter weekend. Patty is in London visiting her sister (who is studying there).