Have you all settled into nights and points earning yet? I have not that many of either, based on lack of paid stays, but intend to keep myself occupied writing about what everyone else SHOULD be doing!
Now that I have your attention, what about your projections for the year that has just begun?
And are you bracing for a raise in the categories as I am (when and where are the big questions)? I see a Cat 10 on the horizon, all things considered.
Fess up y'all as they say in the Movies.
Overseas Points Travel:
--None for 2014.
Domestic Points Travel:
--I am doing points for JW Marriott Essex House in New York; I have heard some negative reviews on this property, but I've stayed at most of the US JW Marriotts (Denver is my favorite so far) so I feel like I should give it a try.
--I did have a points stay for the Kentucky Derby, but I canceled it. Next year though. It would have been a great deal (15,000 points/night as opposed to $400-$500/night).
--I'm really hoping to lock in a points stay for the Hotel Beaux Arts in Miami. It is currently a category 6 hotel (though you have to use more points if you want a view) even though the hotel is consistently +$450/night.
--I'm not sure if I'm going to have many interesting properties here, but I am planning on paid stays at Renaissance Chicago (on Wacker) and the Renaissance Toronto.
Nothing planned for overseas this year.
Domestically, I'm eager to begin my county collecting travels as soon as the weather warms up. Actually, my first trip is in a couple weeks, so I may still face some cold weather even as I head south.
Using a free cat 1-5 cert to stay a the SHS Chattanooga Downtown/Cameron Harbor
Paid stays at CY Decatur, AL; FFI Oxford, AL; and FFI Cookeville, TN as I wind my way through middle Tennessee and northern Alabama.
Also on the horizon is a smiliar trip to North Carolina in early April. Nothing booked yet, but likely will use another cat 1-5 cert to stay in Charlotte (likely Renaissance Charlotte Suites). Probably paid stays at FFI Christiansburg, VA; CY Wilmington (new property); and either FFI or CY Beckley, WV
After that, here are the likely destinations. Minneapolis in June, Michigan in July, upstate NY in August, southern Illinois in October, and D.C. in early November.
Mixture of paid and points/certs stays throughout the year which might adjust based on MegaBonus promotions available at the time.
Good to know. I'm still working on my route for this trip, so I'll have to see where I end up. Insiders have recommended both Beckley properties, so I'll have to do a little research.
Trade off. CY has the Bistro (which in general I am avoiding) and FFI has breakfast included. I've got a couple months to decide so I may solicit additional comments elsewhere in this forum.
Regardless, I appreciate the tip bpelican.
I'll be driving, jerrycoin. I expect Beckley to be my last overnight stop on the way home from Wilmington and Charlotte. I've covered most of WV already (after this trip I'll just have the eastern panhandle to go), so this trip will be be about seeing part of NC (and if all goes well, the last 6 counties I need in the central northern part of SC). Should be fun and hopefully reasonably warm by early April.
Monterey CA Hotels | Hotels Near Monterey Bay | Monterey Marriott Hotel in Feburary, Paid
Fort Myers Hotels | Courtyard Fort Myers at I-75 and Gulf Coast in February, Paid
Boutique Hotels in Downtown Portland | Portland Marriott City Center Hotel in October, Points
Fort Myers Hotels | Courtyard Fort Myers at I-75 and Gulf Coast in November, Paid
Seattle Waterfront Hotels | Seattle Marriott Waterfront in November or December, Points
Might be a couple additional all using Points
Hotel in Bologna | AC Hotel Bologna in September, Points and Cat 3 certificate
I have bought some property in Arizona, bracing for the the BIG ONE to come along and make my property beach front! I do not worry about category changes, as stuff happens and it is out of my control. I already have 10 nights in this year (paid), and would anticipate somewhere around 125 for the year. Some stays at LA LIVE, perhaps a dozen stays in NYC, shared between Renaissance Hotel 57 and Marriott's Essex House, Perhaps 2-4 stays in Boston at Marriott Long Wharf, 4-6 stays in Dallas, shared between Marriott Hotel at LEGACY and the Ritz Carlton downtown. And the list goes on.
Perhaps 1-2 International trips. One to Europe, one to the far East.
several to the Austin Renaissance at the Arboretum. First grandchild coming in early summer…...
a few stays at the WORTHINGTON HOTEL in Ft Worth - visiting Daughter #2.
Pinehurst North Carolina for the US OPEN.
Finally, a few trips TBD with just me and my wife…..
This will be another busy year for SHOEMAN
You dog you, Pinehurst.....love that place and for the U.S. Open even better.
Congratulations on the upcoming Grandchild.
There are a lot of golfing fans, and many others in the area! They raised the prices from $25 to $30 to get into the golf tourney, but it does sound like fun. No, I won't go, but the weather is wonderful and this RI, is "Perfect" for all of my needs!
Take care, and I need to get my "List" together for the year!
This is not my year for travel. WDC end of March and London end of April are both unofficially scrapped.
A number of trips to Idaho and Tennessee to see kids and grandkids (#3 arrives late May), along with biweekly trips to San Diego to see the parents. No hotels. All travel by air.
Late February - Seattle Marriott Waterfront - cash (advanced purchase)
August - MVCI Newport Coast (family time at the folks timeshare)
Late Oct/Early Nov - Either Honolulu, Boston or WDC. Free flight must be booked by 1/31 and I still haven't decided which city to visit. Thoughts, anyone? If Honolulu or Boston, I'll use points. If WDC, I'll pay cash for a good rate and use Cat. 5 certs (unless the Key Bridge Marriott jumps up another category. Anyone care to venture a wager on that?)
I have a handful of Cat. 5 certs that will expire by around August, and you can bet I'll put them to good use. Maybe another Giants game at AT&T Park, maybe a weekend out in Anadyr territory or Paso Wine Country. If. The hotels categories don't rise.
By this time next year, I should be a silver elite member with almost a million still unused (and no doubt deflated) points. I'm honestly not hoarding. I just can't use them right now. Not my time. Last year was cool though and I'll think on that whenever I find myself pining for far away places.
Completed trips to Boston and Aruba this month. Paid in BOS and points, comp, and paid stay in Aruba.
Boston again and Naples in Feb. Unsure of pay or point. Depends on deals available.
Newport Coast Villas in May...INDY in May for my 34th 500. Paid stay at the JW downtown...the best Marriott property (for service and staff) I've ever stayed at.
West Coast to San Fran and Seattle in June. Paid stays most likely.
Probably Nantucket in July but no Marriott there. Probably at the White Elephant. Leading Nantucket Hotels - The White Elephant
Points stays in August at the Grand Flora in Rome, The Boscolo in Venice and the AC in Florence.
Most likely another West Coast junket in October...then the Caribbean in November in St. Maarten... no Marriott property there.
Happy Travels to all!
Overseas -- Ha! We've been in a financial bind for almost 2 years (paying mortgages on 2 residences, one that we don't even live in) so my thought of taking the kid to Italy or London this summer have been scrapped again. For someone that loves to travel, this is getting harder and harder to take! I keep telling myself it's just a temporary situation and my luggage will see European daylight once again.
Domestic Points -- I'm toying with the idea of Ottawa for 5 nights in the summer (love the 5th night free deal). It counts as getting out of the country but it's driving distance for us. And I'm a pretty frugal traveler when it comes to spending money on myself! And I still have a couple of e-certificates to use somewhere...
Paid Stays -- March in North Conway, NH (hockey tournament state finals)
April -- 1 week at Marriott Fairway Villas in Absecon NJ as our family's beachside condo will be under serious renovation and not available
October -- Columbus Day weekend in Manchester, NH (working the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association Grass Drags & Water Crossing, over 30,000 people attending)
So you see, I live through everyone else's travels! Sounds like some great itineraries out there.
No, jerrycoin, I've never been but always wanted to go to Ottawa. From internet browsings, I think we would enjoy ourselves immensely. I made a list of placed that we'd like to cover and of course it would take more time than we have -- but that's always fun, deciding what we would like to do most. Do you have a favorite restaurant there that serves up medicine?
The property in question has been for sale 19 months; we had to move 5 miles away to get into a different school system so it's by no means a vacation home. But it was worth it, as my son is a "smart cookie" and wasn't getting what he needs. Now he is and I can't put a price on that!
Ottawa is a "Classy town"! Having stayed at wonderful Marriott properties, my favorite is the CY! Likewise, the "Social" is my favorite place to dine, a short walk from the hotel. Likewise, "The Keg" is another wonderful place to dine, and it is across the street from the hotel.
If you would like a nice tour of the Canadian Mint, (I can't get you into the gold vault". let me know, and I can arrange it for your family! They are wonderful in Ottawa, and it is truly a great place to visit. Just let me know! Here's one of my favorite photos in the "Gold Vault"!
Those bars of gold weigh 400oz each! There were so many you could not count. This is before you get to the "Real Gold". I will confess few people have ever been in "Canada's Fort Knox", but I have!
Let me know if you need any help in Ottawa, I will try to help!
Oh, jerrycoin, I think you just sealed the Ottawa deal! Thank you for your generous offer of setting up a tour; you are too kind. We would love to do that! I will let you know when I have booked the trip. We have a snow day here in NH and I was showing my son the Ottawa hotels on the Marriott website. My thought a few weeks ago was the Ottawa Marriott Hotel because of the CL and my son loved the photos. But the CY Downtown looks nice too, and they are both Category 4 so great for saving points. The RI is Cat 5 but I think the Cat 4 hotels are comparable and all in the same area so now it's just deciding one over the other. Since you've stayed in them all, any advantage of the Marriott Hotel over the CY (besides access to free food)? This photo is great! I appreciate your willingness to reach out and start this conversation; it helps me immensely.
I like the CY location the best!
You have a wonderful place to dine just across the street, "The Keg", and "The Social" is also within walking distance. An indoor shopping center is close, and The Canadian Mint is also an easy walk! The area is filled with "Outdoor Markets" (In Season), so everything is pretty close.
Let me know when you are going and I will arrange the Canadian Mint tour for you!
We would love to take all your snow, JC! And New York's. And Connecticut's. And New Jersey's. Etc.! Just got back from skiing with the school PE program (yes, we do that here in northern New England) and the conditions are fantastic. Don't get me wrong, I love Florida in February and March (everyone needs a break, right?) but we need to make the best of it up here. A little of your "medicine" helps to pass the time in the evenings...
While reading this, I was having a dose myself to warm up before we hit the ice rink! The kid has a home game at 8 p.m. and that multi-purpose medicine works wonders on windshields and hockey arena glass. BTW, it was a chilled white. It will be down to around 5 degrees tonight so I needed it to stay warm as you advised!
JC- Anytime, and I mean anytime, it would be a pleasure to meet you and the Mrs. Don't you need to get to Littleton Coin or do they have a direct pigeon carrier to your place? Just kidding!
Yes, Ottawa door to door would be about 5 hours for us, an easy trip for sure.
I'm happy to report that my wine tasting group will be coming over tomorrow for our monthly meeting (doctor appointment?). This will help us get through this awfully cold weather!
I know IAHFLYR, and myself know you are being "Medically taken care of with your Medical group"
Will get you detailed info on Ottawa, and look forward to all of us relaxing in NH, preferably in the Fall!