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Thursday, April 05, 2012
How deep is deep sea fshing?
Thursday, May 03, 2012
A long and dusty line
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
TMI (Too Much Information)
In the current lingo of the internet and texting, most teenagers can tell you what “TMI” means. “Too much information.” More than I need.
When I got married a few years ago to Jilly, I wanted to surprise her for our honeymoon (no wise cracks, guys!). So I told her I was sagely going to handle the honeymoon arrangements especially after all the work she had done for the massive wedding. She rolled her eyes a bit and laughed. She had her hands full anyway and she gamely expressed confidence in my stellar organizational abilities. In all fairness, I could’ve set up a camping trip or a Motel 6 and she still would have gone along cheerfully.
What she didn’t know was that I was secretly going to extend our honeymoon for extra days. Some things she didn’t expect. Some things NOT in the budget… Some ritzy hotel! Spa! Restaurants! Only doing this once so might as well shoot for the moon. The credit card was empty at the time (ha!).
So, I hit the Internet. Now, this was only three years ago. The last time I booked a really big deal was back in the day when I reached into dad’s car and grabbed the Auto Club Catalog. Remember those? Dog-eared and coffee stained. It was the” bible” when you went on a family trip.
But because this was so special, I needed to know everything about everything. Bad move!
Before long, I had two laptops opened, plus my desktop computer. I had multiple screens opened on each one… Trip Advisor… Yelp… Facebook… MySpace… Yahoo… Google…
I had review after review. Link upon link. Photo libraries. Experts’ reviews. Some agreed. Many conflicted. Who had the best hotel? Ocean view? Spa? Restaurants nearby? Brunch? Room service?
Wait, that one looks good, but two other reviews said the place had bad service. But another 10 reviews say it’s great. This other hotel has ocean views, but their restaurant has bad reviews and they say it’s noisy. This other one looks good, but it’s not walking distance to anything and they charge an extra 40 bucks to park which could have fooled me.
OK…this resort has a spa discount package but only on weekdays. That won’t work. This one has great rates… Darn it… only during off-season. This one looks great! Call them now… “What? You’re already sold out?” (Gnashing of teeth). Delete, delete, delete!
And the restaurants… Okay… That one has 500 good reviews but 60 bad ones. This one has live music and great seafood, but it says don’t go on weekends because it has too many tourists in it. This other one is famous and has been there for years, but the last few reviews are terrible!
I was doing this all in the middle of the night too so that I could hide this from Jill. Before long, I was going crazy! My eyes were going buggy looking at so many websites and reviews and photos. INFORMATION OVERLOAD! TILT! TILT!
But, you know… it’s your honeymoon. You want everything “just right.” As it turned out, after four fretful nights, I finally just pulled the trigger and made my best-informed-decisions and all turned out well. My lovely bride was all smiles and I saved the fledgling marriage! She didn’t cut and run. Whew…
It used to be so easy for Baja, as well.
In fact, the least amount of planning seemed to be the typical modus operandi. You called the guys. You got the station wagon or van. In went some clothes. In went the surfboards and fishing rods. A cooler. A copious amount of junk food procured from the first 7-11 on the road… Dorito? Check. Jerky. Check. Oreos? Check. Oops… run back in and get beer and Cokes. A box of cassettes or 8 tracks.
You had a destination in mind. You headed sort of in THAT direction. Again… the Auto Club Map and book in the glove box. Maybe a copy of Gene Kira’s the Baja Catch on the dashboard and some faxed copies of the surf report.
You’d figure out the rest “on the fly.” Maybe you’d camp. Maybe all sleep in the car. Maybe all of you piled into some little Mexican beach motel.
It was THAT easy. You knew it would work itself out. The important thing was that you were GOING! Not where you were going so much as the thrill of knowing you were on a road trip together to BAJA! You all piled out of work on Friday and picked all the buddies up along the way.
Nowadays, the information superhighway has, in many ways, complicated things as much as made it easier.
There is so much out there that it’s impossible to filter! Our own website must be 40 pages large, but that’s because it has to be large to compete with everyone else out there. It’s a necessary evil.
And it’s hard to decode everything. It’s easy to hide that a certain hotel is 30 miles away from town or that another is actually built next to a cement plant. The photos always look GREAT on the Internet.
Likewise, what does the word “rustic” mean when used to describe a hotel? That could mean charming Mexican artisan décor or it could mean the air-conditioning system is powered by two gerbils running in a wheel. Or “close to the beach?” How close is “close?” Walking distance. For whom?
After all that, sometimes it’s just easier to ask someone who has been there. Assuming you trust their opinion. But often, word of mouth trumps technology.
But, I miss the old days. Pass the Doritos and pop some Rolling Stones in the 8-track…
We’ll get there when we get there.
Posted By Sally On 04/18/2012 At 9:06 AM
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