OMG: My trip to New Mexico !!
Sat: Oct 6
Spent Friday night in Raleigh at LaQuinta by the airport. It was obtained at Hotwire at a rate of 52 . All I knew was a 3 1/2 star unnamed resort with airport shuttle . Name would be revealed after I booked it. I really lucked out with that as it was almost the same amount of money as long term parking.
Sat plane ride to ABQ was uneventful, not so, coming back. More later. A real nightmare, unbelievable, crazy, & Delta needs to know what happened. See, you have something to look forward to.
Took shuttle to offsite Enterprise where my car was waiting for me. It didn't have cruise so I upgraded for $58 total for the week. I got a Toyota Camery so I thought that was good. $318 for the week (the highest I've ever paid) but much better than $600/$700 at the airport.
First stop was the Rio Grande art festival in ABQ, They hold it in conjunction with the balloonfest on both weekends only. It's a juried artshow so really, really nice stuff as my wallet can attest. I got a beautiful Kokopelli jacket & Kelli got a gorgeous hot air balloon vest with warm wool interior. Of course, I got jewelry & hot air balloon garden stakes , stuff like that.
Headed to Villas de Santa Fe after eating at Cowgirls but it was dark & I couldn't find it. Stopped at a gas station but of course they didn't know. Called resort & they said I was right in their backyard. Gave me directions & I drove for about an hour and still couldn't find it. Called them again, still couldn't find it. Went back to the gas station & called AGAIN. They told me to stay put & they'd come get me. Now, you know I'm directionally challenged but this wasn't all my fault. There were no street lights and the sign to the resort was BURNED OUT!!! No wonder I couldn't find it. They took me down a street I didn't even see ??? I felt a little better but was too tired to care. I have to say the desk clerks were so nice and helpful. All of the people I met in New Mexico were nice beyond belief. They must have learned some Southern Hospitality. More to come !!
I'm really surprised by the price you were quoting for a car rental on-site at the airport (which is actually off site since you take a shuttle). I wonder if it's more during the balloon festival. We rent there and have never paid that much for a week, even over Thanksgiving. Last time we rented I used Costo, we got a Toyota Camry. It was supposed to be with Enterprise, but since they are the same as Avis now we got the car with Avis at the same rate we'd booked, which was $200 for the week.
Ate at the Cowgirl on our first trip to Santa Fe. Fun place.
Luanne, it was because it was the balloon festival. The motels jacked up the prices too. I paid $158 for 1 night at the Holiday Inn & I heard that Motel 6 was over 100 a night on the weekend. I was told this was bigger than any holiday and they count on the balloon festival to make a lot of money.
I booked my car several months out and it was $486 for 1 week plus 2 days. The original reservation was for 8 days and they really tried to jack up the price for the entire rental when I called to add the extra day. I stood my ground and they backed down, but when I checked rental car rates later, they were in the $700 range and up. The demand from Fiesta definitely raises all the prices.
If you plan to go to Fiesta, definitely book hotels early. My husband overheard the front desk clerk at the TownPlace quote something like $497 for a two night weekend stay while we were there. We decided rather late to go this year, so I thought that was why we wound up out at the airport. I chose a closer in hotel to book for next year (DH still says we should go every other year, but I'm not convinced yet). I went online the very first day the reservations opened, and the closer TownPlace Suites was 100% booked. They must board all the tour groups there. I was able to book a close in Residence Inn on points, but the last two days I need don't even open until next Sunday morning. I like Residence Inns better, but the point requirement is 50% more than the TownPlace Suites. When you're staying 10 nights, that makes a big difference.
I'll be interested to hear your Delta tales. Middle daughter took Delta to Birmingham when she was doing that presentation in Tuscaloosa, and had to wait overnight going out and was late getting back as well. She's always flown Southwest before this year, and going on her recent experiences with Allegiant (grandpa pick) and Delta (Notre Dame pick), she's decided she's been spoiled by Southwest and will be sticking with them in the future! She did like Delta's cookies, though.
My Aunt from Vermont used to say that about going back to visit the folks -- she says the first time she's dealing with a stranger after getting off the plane, she's all, "What are you trying to sell me?", then she'll realize, "Oh, yeah -- I'm in Minnesota!"
Originally Posted by chriskre