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About MamaFej

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  1. I gave an extremely abbreviated version of just a few of the amazing things he has done for me. Your inability to recognize the value that other people get from service providers does not negate that value. Different strokes for different folks. I have a great time researching for my trips. I book most things on my own. Getting better rates on hotels (often) and international flights (nearly always) than I can get on my own (I always check) is of great value to me. When it was doubtful that my oldest could join us on one trip, my TA was able to put a hold on his ticket from Montana to Paris for three months. The price soared during that period of time.We were very grateful to have had the much lower price locked in. I appreciate being able to get refundable hotel rooms for lower than non-refundable rates by using my TA's booking group. Having my TA go to bat for me when the cruise lines screw up or have tens of thousands of refunds/FCCs to process like now, is also very valuable to me. The group rates J has gotten me on cruises have been fantastic. I prefer to pay less up front than to have loads of OBC. YMMV By the way, it's okay to have a differing opinion on the internet and not be jerky about it. I've seen you do it before, so I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and guess you're having a rough day. It happens to the best of us.
  2. It has mostly been site-specific things like "follow the Purple Line" to get to the shuttle bus our first time in Heathrow, and which port cities on our first European cruise were best for on our own exploration and which were better for HOHOs. etc., but he also introduced us to Seat Guru and a few other helpful websites. As we have become more experienced international travelers, we've learned things on our own as well, and have been able to recommend tour guides, BnB's, and more to him: information which he then share with other clients. In 2014, for our first cruise in 23 years, I hadn't even thought about how to get to the airport once we disembarked, but he had it covered for our group of nine. My TA is a close, personal friend of over 30 years. I feel very comfortable calling or texting when I have a question or an issue. We've traveled together a few times, and he often steps away to take care of clients. I've seen him go way above and beyond the Call of Duty for new clients and those with whom he has long-established relationships. The efforts he undertook to repatriate a 16 year-old New Zealander from where his bike group was in Spain last month were extraordinary! The kid was not even his client, just a friend of one.
  3. Exxon Valdez, perhaps, but not Juan. I know, I know. I'll go sit in my timeout corner.
  4. Amen! My TA can't give me the enormous amounts of OBC that the big boxes do, but he does give me enormous amounts of personalized service. He takes care of the problems that arise, so I don't have to. He knows tips and tricks that would never occur to me. He makes sure I want to return to him again and again. And I do!
  5. It seems the opposite here. The high school and college kids are the ones being responsible and begging others to do the same. The 35-60 crowd are the ones "protesting" on the weekends, some dragging their poor kids out with them, without masks, of course.The over 60 folks have been the "Faith over Fear" crowd, many refusing from the start to follow the directives. Count my dad's golfing buddies among those. I'm aligning with the high school and college kids. Granted, I'm hearing mostly from my 18-25 year old kids' friends, and they're a pretty level-headed bunch (most of the time). And the several hundred "protestors" on the weekends are not at all representative of the demographics of our very diverse city of 180,000. I'm quite confident there are knuckleheads and wise ones in every age range.
  6. Cruise With Confidence seems to be a perfect example of why the mantra "HUCA" is so popular. Hang Up. Call Again.
  7. I didn't interpret Jeremy's comment as not believing gooch. I think he just wanted to hear it from another angle. Certainly, there were folks on the ship whose plans after disembarkation got messed up. The crew perspective would also be interesting, dealing with disappointed passengers. I find it interesting to hear about the same situation from different perspectives.
  8. I believe you and I are thinking along the same lines, @Fouremco. It's as if France is the center of a Venn Diagram between UK/Ireland and Schengen. It essentially connects the Isles with Schengen, so they are no longer bubbled off.
  9. Will you please share the evidence you have that 100% of the Edge crew are smokers? When the video came out of the announcement, there certainly didn't seem to be any mention of that. And it seems extraordinarily odd that it would be the case. Personally, I loved the initial announcement video, and even more so the video of the drawing of the key cards in which a number of crew members ended up in suites. I thought it was a class act by Captain Kate and crew. Indeed, news from the Edge is one of the bright spots in all the pandemic-related news.
  10. You're right, Thrak. In California, we have over 12% of the population of the USA. As of yesterday, we had less than 3.4% of the USA's COVID-19 deaths; seven states have more deaths. Implementing the guidelines early kept our numbers down, though it still seems we were st least one week late. Opening up too soon will make the numbers rise. I'm glad that some of the decision making is being shifted to local jurisdictions, however. One size does not fit all.
  11. My husband is our designated errand runner/provisioner. He recently retired after nearly 40 years in the fire service, starting as an Explorer when he was a teen. He says he was far more comfortable in burning buildings and Haz-Mat scenes than he is shopping these days. In a fire or Haz Mat scene, everyone followed strict safety protocols. They were as concerned for the safety of others as for their own. Only those who needed to entered the Hot Zone. With logic, education, safety equipment, and people who use all those things wisely, we could all be as safe as Hubby and his colleagues. The situation would still be dangerous, but people wouldn't be making it more so.
  12. Re: colonoscopies, I had to start them 10 years ago, at 43, due to family history. I had heard the prep was rough. What I hadn't been told was how cold I would get. A warm top and a backwards bathrobe are helpful. You're putting cold liquid into your body, and after a while, it goes straight through. Hubby was supposed to have his first one, and got a call canceling about 10 hours before starting prep. I'm due again next month, but I don't know when they will start up again for asymptomatic folks around here. Hubby has no family history and no symptoms. My past ones have been "clean as a whistle" and I have no symptoms, so I'm not concerned.
  13. I think pink hair would be fun! My kids have done some wild colors over the years. My 51 year-old friend has bright teal hair right now. It's just hair, it grows out. Why not have some fun with it? If you don't like it, you're not stuck with it.
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