Updates: September 9 – 15

The beginning of September always seems to be jam packed, and this year was no exception. After returning from Singapore last week, CF and I turned around and headed out to Washington DC this past week. I was attending a conference, so we did a few of our free activity suggestions but not as many as if we were on vacation. One disappointing aspect was the hotel that the conference was held in. At over $200 USD a night, I expected a pretty decent room. The first room we were offered was clearly not a ‘non-smoking’ room as advertised – I could tell as soon as we entered that it smelled of cigarette smoke. Old Brian would have been reluctant to complain, but I’ve come to recognize the benefits of providing negative feedback when appropriate. After all, if we don’t say anything, how is it going to get better?

Photo Credit: Echo9er (http://www.flickr.com/photos/echo9er/204535103/)

The second room we were shown was only marginally better and in many ways more deficient than the first. There was a burn mark through one of the top sheets on the bed, and after we asked for it to be replaced they said the didn’t have any more! They even had the nerve to ask if we minded keeping the blanket! One of the lamp shades was also loose and a used room service card was placed on the bed. I’ve never received such poor service for such a high priced hotel. At this point, the hotel didn’t have any more rooms to offer, so we settled for the second room. CF then took to twitter to complain to the hotel directly. We were put in touch with a hotel director and after some negotiation were offered a free in-room movie rental, free breakfast buffet and rewards points equal to over half the amount required for a free night. I’m glad the hotel was willing to try to make things right, but I still won’t be returning to that hotel again. Ever.

While we’ve been off dealing with American hotels, here’s what’s been going on in the blogosphere.


  • When I write a Craigslist ad, I always take the time to add pictures and a detailed description.  After all, I want to sell my items quickly right?  So it always irks me when people don’t take the time to do the same and you end up playing email tag for the next two days.  Bah!  If you’re one of those people (*shakes fist*) Mo Money has some tips on how to make a successful craigslist ad!
  • Are you a dishwasher or hand-washing sort of person?  Here at Outlier Model, we do a mix of both.  Sustainable Personal Finance has a post this past week which compares dishwashers to hand-washing to see which is cheaper and greener.
  • Owning a home continues for many to be part of the American (or Canadian) dream. One Smart Dollar shares his story of home ownership and why it’s not always the dream you expect.
  • Networking is key in any business and the blogging world is no exception. Jeremy at Modest Money gives us some tips on networking with other bloggers. A very helpful and sincere article which I highly recommend checking out.
  • In case you hadn’t heard, there was some big financial blogger conference in Denver recently. See Debt Run gives their recap of the festivities at FINCON Part 1 and FINCON Part 2 this week.
  • Jason at Work Save Live talks about the options for Taking Care of Elderly Parents. Not something I want to think about in the near future, but some very interesting things to consider, especially if you live in the USA


Thanks to everyone who included us this week!

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  1. A big thanks for mentioning my post this week. I hope it inspires others to look beyond the wallet. Cheers Mr.CBB

  2. Ugh I’m sorry you have to deal with the hotel. That must be frustrating. We had an odd experience with our hotel too, when we were in NYC.

  3. Michelle says:

    Thanks for linking my posts, Brian! Wow, it sounds like you guys have been really busy with traveling. D.C. is an extremely expensive place, so that doesn’t surprise me at all about the $200 hotels.

  4. Modest Money says:

    You’d think for a pricey hotel you’d actually get good service, but I guess not. That’s too bad that you had to put up with that while in DC. I’m sure you still had a great time though.
    And thanks for mentioning my post 🙂

    • CF says:

      You’re welcome! Yeah we were pretty disappointed. I’ve stayed in better hotels in Enderby (land of 3000 people, 4 liquor stores and 5+ bars…) :S

  5. Jason says:

    We actually didn’t travel to my cousin’s wedding a few years back for the sole reason that the hotel rates were outrageous! It was going to cost $600-700 just to stay a few nights and it was something we couldn’t swing. I hope Singapore was fun and thanks for the mention!

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