Pitch for Awareness
2010 National Tour
July 17, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010 -- from San Diego

One of the toughest jobs on the tour is playing travel agent -- finding and making reservations for planes, hotels, and
ground transportation.  And these days with Internet sites like Expedia, Orbitz, and Priceline I can spend hours (and I
have) searching for the best deals.  Since the tour was never picked by a corporate sponsor, I need to be as frugal as

During all this research I've learned some very valuable lessons:

> Thursday -- roundtrip (RT) airfare from San Diego to Detroit cost $425 on multiple sites.  On Friday the price rose to

> Thursday -- while the Detroit RT airfare was still $425 I looked at various options - including a 1-way flight from San
Diego to Detroit -- which only cost $525 -- $100 more than the RT!

> Airlines must dislike Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.  To fly from Toronto to Pittsburgh (219 miles), one airline wanted me to
change planes in Boston (total 928 miles). Instead I booked a non-stop flight from Toronto to Cleveland (191 miles) and
will drive to Pittsburgh (123 miles) in a rental car.

To get from Detroit to Cincinnati (237 miles) I needed to take multiple carriers to Atlanta to Charlotte to Cincinnati (1,151
miles).  Instead I will opt to take Amtrak - via Chicago (about 450 miles).  Plus I hope to spend a few days with relatives in
Chicago.  Never been there before, other than airport connections.

> I finally booked my trip to Detroit & Cincinnati on Orbitz -- and luckily noticed on the confirmation that my birth date was
listed as July 16, 2010. (It never prompted me to enter my birth date during the purchase.)  Imagine that -- I popped into
the world that day and immediately set my sites on Detroit!  

Orbitz allows you to chat via the Internet with a customer service representative if/when you need help.  After typing out
the problem in detail I submitted it to Orbitz.  Their response -- my problem was too complicated for the chat feature and I
needed to call customer service.  So after nearly 30 minutes on the phone with an Orbitz rep (New Dehli would be my
guess) and an airline rep, I convinced them I wasn't born yesterday -- or today.  So they finally got the correct info on the
reservation.  I hope.  More important, they didn't charge me a fee for changing my reservation.

Imagine the fun I'd have with the TSA folk at the airport if the birth date info wasn't changed!

> When in Miami, I was set to fly to Boston the next day, but still couldn't find a hotel for under $125/night.  With nowhere
else to turn I tried Priceline's "name your own price" feature.  And they accepted my bid for $85/night and put me up in
the Rodeway Inn near the airport which worked out great.  So kudos to Shatner & friends at Priceline.

Final note - summer officially reached San Diego this week with temps in the 90s.  We decided to splurge and turn the
house air conditioner on today.   Nothing.  The outdoor unit clicks... then  doesn't do diddly squat.  So we are surviving
on fans this weekend and will get the repair guy here sometime soon.

First my SUV needs a new starter and now the AC needs repair.  Not  a great week for electrical things in our household.

Final final note - I did get 120 practice pitches in earlier this week.  It  was my first time back on the field since Milwaukee.  
I hope to get a few more pitches in before I leave Wednesday for St. Louis.

Stay cool!
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