Polar Vortexes, Life at Home, and More Uber… the Weekly Recap

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Happy Monday!

I’m having one of those weeks where I was happy when the alarm went off this morning and I could jump back into my routine (which today saw me catching an 8 am flight to the east coast).  This is a two trip week so I’ll get to sleep in my own bed one night midweek as well as sample hotel rooms in three different cities crossing three different hotel brands.  This is also my last full week of work for an entire month (and one of only two “five day work weeks” left for me in 2014) as I leave on a three week vacation late  next week.

One of the reasons I’m glad to be back on the road is that I tend to have a clearer head when traveling. I’ve been pondering making some big changes in my professional life for the past year or so.  Being home forces me to think about what switching up my routine might look like if I return to a more traditional consulting model where I travel every single week.

Being home is nice though too. I had the chance to do some fall cleaning and repaired my bed (the frame had cracked and in danger of crashing to the floor one night).  I did a tiny bit of Uber driving for the big TCU game on Saturday and attended a brunch to celebrate the 140th anniversary of my sorority’s founding.  I didn’t quite feel like I had enough weekend though… it’s always a reality check when it’s time to write another weekly recap here and I gasp and think “another week, already?!”

I think my week would have been better if Starbucks would roll out the eggnog drinks already. As I covered last week, they decided to only offer them in the Pacific Northwest this year but changed their mind after listening to customer feedback.

While I was sharing that latter news about eggnog returning (next week!), I also shared my thoughts on the discontinuation of the Hyatt Diamond Challenge. I’m contrarian to most travel bloggers in that I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  I also lamented my missing Cadillac test drive miles… which the general manager of the dealership assures me are coming – they somehow registered me but never marked me completed!

Security of those miles and points, once earned, is always an intriguing topic. I covered two separate articles that covered some of the ways hackers and fraudsters are trying to take your points.

There were a couple of interesting Uber tidbits this past week. The media was all over the topic of Uber surges after a rash of them nationwide on Halloween weekend, something I’ve previously covered here on Jetsetter’s Homestead.  What caught my eye was how one resourceful twentysomething decided to crowdfund the cost of her unexpectedly high surge fare.

Uber catches a lot of heat for their dynamic pricing, but hasn’t gotten enough good press for UberMILITARY, a program that aims to employ up 50,000 veterans, active duty military and military spouses by year end.  (And if you are thinking about driving for Uber – military or otherwise – be sure and get referred by an existing driver.  There are bonuses for both the newly referred driver and the referring driver – I’m happy to refer anyone who is interested.  Just drop me a note – jetsettershomestead@gmail.com)

I’m hoping for smooth travels this week – something I almost didn’t have last week when I sat out weather delays traveling from SFO to DFW. The Dallas Cowboys fared better than I did with their Virgin Atlantic charter to London.

I only squeezed out one hotel review this week for the TownePlace Suites in Richland WA. This was my first stay at a TownePlace branded property but I enjoyed it.  Those hotel reviews to be written are piling up now so I’ll probably cue a few of them up for while I’m on vacation.  (And look, I did one earlier today even!)

Also while I’m out, don’t forget to check out my blogger brethren at Prior2Boarding. For a sampling of what you might find, I highlighted some of my weekly favorite picks.

This coming week I’ll share a bit more about my vacation planning, try to knock out some of those subscription box reviews I’ve been promising, and make a tiny dent in my hotel reviews. I’m also working ahead on some other content for Jetsetter’s Homestead during my vacation since I will have several gaps where I’ll be offline for one to three days at a time during that trip.  (If you have the itch to write about something related to travel, home, or anything that falls into that travel-life balance gap, drop me a note… I have room for a guest blogger or two – drop me a line and we’ll chat!)

I hope you have a fabulous week, wherever you are. And if you are in the path of the first polar vortex of the season in North America, stay warm!!!



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About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last nineteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 48.5 US states. Once an "every week" road warrior, she now only travels around 100 days a year. She resides in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and playing with her Border Collie/Great Pyreness mix puppy Harley Quinn.

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