May 30, 2007

Relishing hotel reward stays

Does your company book your hotel reservation for you? Make sure that the hotel has your reward number before you arrive...just in case.

About a month ago, one of my clients booked me at a Hilton. "No worries," I thought. "I'm a Gold member, so I should get a good room."

Well, I would have. Except for the fact that (1) the hotel didn't have my rewards number (even if I had given it to the client a couple times) and (2) the hotel was totally booked.

My punishment: A smaller-than-small room with enough room for a bed - period. And no chance of an upgrade.

I learned to never (ever) assume that the hotel has my rewards number. It's a smart bet to call your hotel at least 72 hours in advance and confirm that they have all of your information. Sure, it's an extra step during an already-stressful travel time. At the same time, it can make a difference between a nice room - and getting stuck with a room next to an always-dinging elevator...

January 9, 2007

American Airlines Platinum membership extension

Damn, I only flew 30K miles last year. Totally shocking when I got my AAdvantage statement - I felt like I was on the road the same amount of time as normal. But, when I factor in that one European conference was cancelled, and most of my conferences were a short hop away, that majorly cut down on miles.

The sucky thing is, that pushed my status back to Gold again. It just didn't seem possible! Nooooo! I like the 72-hour upgrades and the special security line. The thought of losing my status made me want to buy a first class ticket to Europe for 12K, just so I would have enough miles to kick me over the limit. OK, OK. That's soooo stupid. I get it. But that doesn't mean that I almost didn't do it (which I would have regretted...I know, I know.)

Good thing I called the AAdvantage desk first. Turns out, I can "extend" my status for $599. Whew. $599 is way cheaper than having to buck up, spend the big bucks and fly all over just to maintain status...

January 3, 2007

Fav facial place: Bella Pelle in San Francisco

I'm down with aesticians. Getting a good glycolic-peel facial is pretty much skin care Nirvana - I could get a facial every day and love each one as much as the last. In fact, facials are what got me addicted to the whole day spa thing.

I'm waxing poetic about facial places, 'cause I found that I totally dig (and I'm picky about my skin care). Located at 9 Maiden Lane in San Francisco, the people at Bella Pelle (Italian for "beautiful skin") are good. I mean really, really good. Here's why:

It was my birthday. Unfortunately, I also had to catch a flight to SF - which meant getting up at the godawful time of 4am. I. Looked. Like. Hell. The kind of hell that doesn't get any better without divine intervention. The kind of hell that makes small children run, and cute boys call you "ma'am." What's worse, my birthday party was later that evening. I couldn't look like hell during my own party!

I was a little freaked about trying Belle Pelle on such a big day. How many times have you walked out of a facial blotchy and red? Yeah. Exactly. But I had to do something. I was willing to take a chance on blotchy if there could be some slight improvement. Somehow.

After explaining to the very knowledgeable aestician about my birthday party she suggested we forgo the extractions (yay!). Instead, she gave me a fantastic gentle fruit peel which offered all of the peeling power and none of the redness. Plus she used a super-hyrading mask to plump up what the plane sucked out. She even dyed my eyebrows, which was a treat for this super-blonde chick.

I looked great. I really did. In fact, I still haven't found a facial place that I love as much as Bella Pelle. I'm plotting ways to go on SF business trips. They were that good.

October 26, 2006

Mercy porn?

Talked to a friend last night who *always* travels with porn. ALWAYS. When he's ready for a little afternoon (or evening) delight, he whips out a DVD and away he goes. When he's..ahem...done with them, he ships them to me - complete with yellow sticky notes outlining the action, the actors and hot the scene was.

Turns out, his laptop DVD bit the dust - it won't play his porn. And the hotel machine won't work. What's a boy to do?

His solution: He'll call me, I'll put a DVD in *my* computer and turn up the speakers really loud. His term: Mercy porn. Gotta love it.

As a side note: This guy travels with a GPS system, expensive suits and cool electronics. But what gets stolen out of his suitcase? His porn. Always.

September 28, 2006

Color for the hair down there?

Now, there's a new way to freak out your partner. If you're tired of your pubic hair tones and need a pick-me-up for the hair down there, chech out BettyBeauty The owner tells the story about sitting in hair salon in Rome and discovering that hairstylsts gave their clients' products to match their pubes to their new 'do. Now, she's got a complete product line with colors from Auburn to Black to Blonde.

Most intriguing is the pink color - maybe for those punk rock days when your pussy sports a mohawk.

Best line in their marketing copy? "No mess, no drip." There are SO many ways to take that!

Thanks to Portland Picks!

September 18, 2006

Dating dumbass: Separate lives

This is such an obvious dating dumbass story that I completely forgot to mention it - until I heard it again on the plane back home.

Let me paint the picture: Imagine a cute guy with a wedding ring. Now, when I see the ring, I think "Hands off." I don't do married trade, I don't like to be the cheat-ee, I don't like to get in the middle. Nice to talk to, not nice to sleep with.

After a few minutes of really good conversation (of course, it's ALWAYS good with unattainable married men), he turns to me and says, "You know, my wife and I lead separate lives. I travel all the time and do my own thing. And she does her own thing while I'm away." ::insert meaningful pause here where he waits for me to respond accordingly::

OK, that's sooooo not a green light for me to go ahead. First, I always wonder how many wives out there know that their husbands are giving the "separate lives" speech. It's easy to say that you have an open relationship. But the reality is often a completely different story. Second, it's a piss-poor line besides. Am I supposed to be HAPPY about being their secret chickie on the road? Like, "Hey, I was thinking about beating off tonight. But you're cute. Why don't we have sex instead." Come ON.

Oddly, I've never head that line come out of a woman's mouth. If anything, it's more, "Yes, I'm married - but you're cute and I'd like to have sex with you." Not coming up with some elaborate line that doesn't make sense.

Granted, I do know a couple friends who truly do have a good "don't ask, don't tell" relationship. The husbands are on the road over 250 days a year and the couple have set some pretty strong boundaries outlining what works and what won't. I applaud those folks; it couldn't be easy having an unconventional relationship in a conventional world. But that's a whole different conversation. And one that doesn't take place within 10 minutes of meeting someone on a plane.

Back to Mr. Separate Lives. Sure, I listened and nodded in the appropriate places. And I did have a brief moment of wishing that he was single. But did I jump into bed with him the second I could? Nope. Sex is fun, but cheating sex lost its thrill in my 20s. I'm sure he found some young and dumb thing to listen to his separate lives tales of woe. But it didn't get any play with me...


September 16, 2006

Beauty day spa-stuff for newbies

Just got back from the Scottsdale Westin, where I spent an entire day hanging out at the Agave Spa. I'm still running around and trying to unpack, but I'll dish all about it soon. As a preview: Pretty nice, could be better - but damn, it was well needed.

While I was at my conference, I was amazed by the amount of women who told me that they've never been to a spa. Maybe they've gotten a massage or two. But going to a spa for an entire day seemed so....decadent!

Ladies - decadent is where it's at! Even the worst spa day is better than one without a spa. Where else can you be rubbed, pampered and coddled WITHOUT having to rub, pamper or coddle back?

I love destination spas (like Sedona's Miiamo) where I can stay on-stie and immerse in the spa experience. Beauty day spas (like the ones they have in top hotels) are pretty cool, too. But if you're new to spas, it *would* be a freaky weird experience. Sometimes you can walk around totally nude (like the Olympus Spa in Lynnwood). Sometimes, you're expected to be a tad more demure. Either way, it's awesome.

If you're new to spas, Spa Finder, Inc
has a great "Spa 101" section. They explain everything from the types of spas to spa ettiquette to the different types of spas. Check it out!