As mentioned here, the Professional Bowlers Association spent the last two weeks of May in Milwaukee to compete in five tournaments in the GEICO PBA Summer Swing (Side note; calling May "Summer" in Milwaukee could be creative license, however it was warm and humid for about three days of the fortnight).
I am a very traditional guy. I wear my britches up where they belong, I take off my hat at Mass, and I give you the vicarious thrill of my yearly trip to Nationals.
Ready to be vicariously thrilled?
Saturday, May 11 -
My wife and I caught the 6:30 AM flight from Milwaukee on Southwest and managed the boarding procedure perfectly so that there was an empty seat between both of our amply portioned frames. Landed just after 8:00 AM PDT and the captain was patting himself on the back for an early arrival... then came on the mic and said that since they were so early, the arrival gate was not available. So much for an extra 20 minutes of Las Vegas.
Headed over to the Car Rental Center to pick up our Mustang convertible (I must have hit the internet one random day at the right time, as I found a rate of $18 per weekend day, less a 10% promo code I had for Dollar; all in for two days for $57.) Except...
Except for the $500 security hold they wanted to place on the credit card. They were really pushy on the insurances (as it is a "high risk" vehicle, they tell me) which I declined; I don't know if the security hold (which coincidentally matches the insurance deductible that I told them that I have) was because I declined the insurance or not, but I knew I had three hotels and two other cars to rent over the next few days, and I didn't have that much available room. The result is that we used my wife's work AMEX to hold the car with the intent of going back to my credit card upon return. They were happy to do that for a $10 a day extra driver charge. But the $20 vs a tied up credit card for the rest of the trip was a frustrating but ultimately easy decision.
But that's not even the best part. When they rejiggered the transaction to my wife's name and credit card, the rate skyrocketed to $57 a day. I had made a trip to the restroom while my wife finished the transaction. When I met her at the car, she said "When you said $57, I thought it was total for two days... not per day before taxes".
Of course, now I am seeing red. I take the contract back to the Dollar counter (I have to wait in line AGAIN) and the clerk (a different one) was happy to make the correction, saying that sometimes the computer downloads the regular price instead of a promo. I less than friendily told her that there really isn't any excuse and that someone needs to either reprogram the computer or be super-100%-diligent if they know this is a bug. She wasn't impressed with that comment. I wasn't impressed that the whole time to get the car was almost 45 minutes. I've never had either of these problems at Alamo (where we normally rent). Then again, I've never seen a convertible for $16.20 a day at Alamo...
Still angry, we pulled out of the garage with our white Mustang, flipped the top down and noticed LAS VEGAS!!!! The mood changed considerably as we headed up the strip to our first stop - Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas.