Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fiscal Responsibility and Forgetfullness

Ashley raised a lot of money to help us with the cost of being a kidney donor; probably a lot of you reading actually donated to the fund.  Kate and I are very thankful and we want to make sure the money you donated was well used, which brings me back to the rental car story.

Kate communicated with a travel agent through the fundraising company and they booked a car for us at National rent a car.  National and Alamo are connected at the office in West Palm Beach, and Kate and I have rented from this location in the past with not the best results.  We rented a car that when we got home we realized the door opener didn’t work, we had already packed the entire car and when we went back they couldn’t replace the battery so we had to move everything to a new car.

This time we showed up to get the car, the travel agent had told us that everything was already paid for and they wouldn’t need anything from us.  We walked in they pulled up the listing and it said that the car was booked but not paid for; we would need to put it on our credit card.  We weren’t excited about this but we were going to do it until we looked at the price, they were charging us $1250 for a full size for 3 weeks. 

I had done some research leading up to this and knew I could get a minivan (which we wanted) for $150 a week, so I thought this price was ridiculous.  I immediately logged onto Priceline and found the minivan for $711 at Budget, so we went down the street and booked the car from Budget, and saved over $500 of the donated money.

Kate and I really appreciate all the effort Ashley and her family have put into raising the money, and we would have been the donor with no financial assistance.  If we are going to use the money we want to make sure that we are using it responsibly.

Today we drove that van from Jacksonville to Chapel Hill, it was a pretty uneventful trip, Kate woke up with a little head cold so we have been pounding the OJ, and medicine today to make sure nothing goes wrong with the donation.  We got to our apartment which is very nice and comfortable, the TV’s are about 10 years old which is fine except we were planning on hooking our computer to them to watch TV and now that is not going to happen. The other thing is it doesn’t seem to have Wi-Fi just an Ethernet connection so only one person on the internet at a time.  Overall it is a great place, and Kate did a great job setting it up.

Every time you travel you usually forget something, even if you had been packing for the two weeks leading up to the trip. Here is a list of things we forgot to bring.

·         Laptop Charging Cable (Jeremy – I brought one but it was for my work computer, got a replacement at best buy)

·         Flip Flops (Jeremy)

·         UNC Hospital Patient Card (Jeremy)

·         Loofa (Jeremy, seriously you didn’t believe that, it was Kate)

·         I’m sure there will be more; I am starting to think I need someone to follow me to make sure I am making good decisions.

Tomorrow we go in for our pre-op, hopefully everything will go smoothly and there will be nothing much to report, but whatever there is you will be sure to read it here.

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