Saturday, July 18, 2009

Picaboo Service

In June I ordered two photo books from Picaboo. If you remember I slammed them pretty hard on this blog. After pressing send on that blog I began working on another book through Creative Memories which I will tell you about on another day. Today I want to tell you what happened after I pressed publish on my review of Picaboo books.

My expectation was that I would rant to the WWW about my experience; receive one or two comments and move on with my life. Instead I received an email from the Vice President of Picaboo asking for permission to call me and discuss the situation. She wanted to learn what her company had done in greater detail and try to make it right. Ok, I was shocked! For several reasons:

#1They found me - I operate under an assumed name here (Mylerna). Those of you who know me know who I am, but if you don't know me then I am just Mylerna the crazy woman who post crap out here occasionally for the world to see. FYI: Later I found out they tracked my email address through their systems (pretty smart).

#2) The company actually read my blog and

#3) The company cared enough about my level of satisfaction that they made an extraordinary attempt to contact me and make it right.

So in my shock I responded to the VP and we had a nice long telephone conversation where I gave her the good, the bad, and the ugly of my experience. By this time I had already shipped the books back and my full refund (including shipping) was on it's way. So in my mind I was done. I have my money back, they got their books back all is well!

But no, the VP wasn't satisfied that I had gotten a refund. She wanted to make sure I was satisfied with their product. So she in turn offered to send me 2 more books, free of charge. She emailed me again after receiving my books back in the mail horrified at how they were. She promised this was not the product they strive to deliver every day. I'm not going to say no to free books... who would? So I told her to send them on.

My books came and you know what? They are better! If I had gotten these books the first time, I would have never said anything. I would have happily continued making Picaboo books my source for photo books. I received two books from them again this time and one of them is impeccable! The binding doesn't crackle when you open it, the pages aren't see through it just is a terrific quality book. The second one is very close my only issue is that the binding crackles a bit (noise) when you open it and that concerns me. However, my husband said it's normal for the type of binding and that it will last for years to come. I trust him - He is waaaay smarter than me. So with that my faith in Picaboo is a bit restored.

I'm not sure how much I'll use them in the future, if I will at all. However, I felt I should let the world know about my revised experience. It's not every day that a company goes to this much effort to make something right for their customers. Maybe they are worth another shot :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend In Recap

I try to be diligent about documenting our weekend trips here. I do it for more my sake than those on the endless web that may stumble across this page as I like to remember them years from now and this is my way of accomplishing that task. I find myself looking back on stuff I did two / three years ago and am so grateful I took the time to blog about it.

So with that being said to follow is a recap of our trip the weekend.

Friday

Friday was my birthday! I turned 28 years old. To many of you reading this that is still young, but to me it feels old. I remember when I turned 18 and 21. I wouldn't go back to then because I'm such a different person now (hopefully a better one), but I would take the body back :) hee.

To celebrate I took the day off and stayed home. I had planned on vegging all day and watching TV, however around 11 I got the urge to clean. Don't ask me why or how, but I did. My house is now spotless :) I still have some boxes in the red room and in our bedroom I need to deal with but the house itself is good! Jack even came home mid day and joined in on the cleaning action :) I love my husband!

After my cleaning episode, I need meds, I know, Jack and I got dressed and headed out to meet some friends for dinner / dancing. We ate at the Olive Garden and the food was yummy. Steve and Leo also brought me a B-Day cake that was a Strawberry shortcake (or similar) and a singing candle. The candle wouldn't cut off and later wound up in a million pieces (still singing)... it was persistent what can we say :)

After Dinner we went to Cowboy's for drinks and dancing. We were there till around 2:30 and despite the slight hangover the next morning I have to say that I had the best time! It was really a blast. Thanks to everyone who came, I really did appreciate it!

Saturday

Saturday I intended to get up and out of the house by 10. Instead we got out by 11:30. Which meant by time we ate lunch it was close to 1 before we could begin our day. I had planned to take the scenic route to Toccoa to visit our friends Lester & Linda, however after getting to Jasper / Tate, GA we realized that with the time given it wasn't going to happen. So we saw Tate, GA and took a few pictures then headed directly to Toccoa. We will have to do our scenic trip another day...

Once we got to Lester & Linda's we had dinner at their house. Linda is always the best cook :) It was good to see them again and to see their new little girl, Leslie. She is such a doll. They have three children all starting with L. I swear I'm going to get Lester a T-Shirt that says the House of L one day.

I also have to say it was also awkward to see them again. I've known them for close to 20 years and love them dearly, but when you don't see people for a large gaps of time your lives begin to drift in different directions. I was such a different person when they were in my life on an active basis. Not to mention the fact that we all have our own separate lives now and they don't really connect in anyway. I hope we can maintain our friendship and grow closer again, time will tell.

Regardless of any of that it was really great to see them again. Their girls (all three) are such a joy to watch. I remember when the first two were born and now they are teenagers - Yep I'm old, sigh.

Sunday

Sunday we woke up from the hotel and went on a McDonald's run before going to hear Lester preach. It was interesting being in church again; it brought back a ton of memories. Some good, some not so good. I think Lester pulled out the "Sermon's For Lisa Folder" that I'm sure he has stashed somewhere (Joke - At least I hope he doesn't have a folder hee). The sermon seemed tailored, for the most part, to fit me. I'm just not sure I want to go back there again. I love the Lord and I believe without a doubt he sent his Son to die on a cross for me. I believe... What I'm not sure I'm ready for is the church. I've discussed this before on this blog (here and on other dates I'm sure) and will probably discuss it again as it is something I struggle with. I know I'm not where I should be, but I'm not sure how to get where I need to be w/o conquering some old haunts I'm not sure I can conquer. Ah well time will see.

After the service we headed out to lunch with Lester and his family again. This lunch was a little bit more comfortable and reminded me of the times of old with Lester and his family. It still wasn't the relationship it used to be, I doubt it ever will be the same again. However, it is obvious we all still care deeply for one another and it was really terrific to see them again. Hopefully, we can start to see each other more often and the awkwardness will begin to fade.

We then headed home to get ready for the next work day! Overall it was a really nice weekend.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Waterfall Adventure - Last Day

We are home safe and sound. It really was a good trip and today was no different.

We slept a little late (9am), got dressed and checked out of the hotel. First stop was Waffle House for breakfast and some good coffee. After which we headed out to Chimney Rock State Park. We arrived at Chimney Rock and took the shuttle from the parking area to the welcome center. There is an elevator that goes up, but the line was like 40 minutes long so we decided to walk up - God Help Me. We went up I don't know how many stairs to the top - I came close to dying a few times I think, but the view from the top was worth it. Mountainous beauty as far as the eye could see...

After we relaxed (and got our breath back) from hiking up we ate lunch at their little restaurant. Only $10 for both us so we were happy... We then took the elevator back to the bottom and decided to hike to the waterfall. It was so worth it 404 feet of sheer beauty; I really wish I would have had on swimming attire, that pool sure looked fun :). We then left the waterfall area and hiked back down to the parking lot. I'd say over all we walked about 5 or 6 miles today, a good portion of it up hill or up stairs... I'm pretty proud that I pulled it off.

After leaving Chimney Rock we headed to Pisgah National Forest and checked out another couple of waterfalls. By this time it was 4:30 pm and we decided to head home (the scenic route). We took long windy roads for about 2 hours and only went 60 miles, by this time I was ready to end our scenic tour and head for food so I detoured from the GPS and had it reroute me... LOL ... we ended up on a driveway that lead to a horse trail that was gated (no kidding)... yea not the route I planned. It was so funny.. then Jack and I argued about the best way to get home (no trip is complete w/o a good argument). We finally wound up on a 4 lane and started heading to the house.

We stopped in Buford and ate Cracker Barrel on the way home; I had strawberry shortcake (YUMMY). We then finished our commute by watching the fireworks of the ATL as we drove around 285. Kinda cool to see the various firework shows from the interstate. Now we are home and burning up in the heat (cause we were energy efficient and cut it up in our absence). Overall it was a really good trip; I can't wait to go back.

Friday, July 03, 2009

NC Waterfall Trip - Day 2

Today we continued our adventure in Transylvania NC. We started our day at 6:45 AM with breakfast at the hotel and then make the trek to meet our guide at 8 am. Our guide was Craig Miller and though he was a little bit late for our 8 am meeting he did a great job. We saw between 5 and 8 waterfalls (I'll have to go count later) and all of them were spectacular. Furthermore they were off of the beaten path away from the tourist areas that most people go to see the falls so it was great. Several of them were on private property and we would never have seen them without him.

He was a little chatty so if you don't like he chummy chatty type avoid him, but otherwise I would highly recommend him for anyone coming in to the area wanting to see some falls off the beaten path.

After we left him we went into Brevard NC and wondered around a little bit while heading to lunch. We ate at Dugan's Pub which was recommended by Craig. It was really good even if we did have to hike out of town, down a mountain, to get to it. They had recently moved and we decided to walk... yea not the best idea. That being said at least we got to walk off our heavy food. We both had the bacon cheeseburger and Onion rings -> It was huge and very good.

After dinner we wandered around Brevard a bit more (I bought a picture frame) and then we headed out to Dupont State Park. I can't mention how sleepy I was by this time... My head was falling forward often. We walked down to a waterfall but it wasn't really able to be photographed due to the amount of people swimming underneath it. I really wished i had brought my swimsuit over with me, they looked like they were having fun. By this time it was close to 4 PM and I really needed a potty break - out in the middle of the woods, that isn't too easy to come by. Thus we decided to head back to the hotel and relax a bit ...

We came back and took a nap; which was really needed. We then got up at 7:30 and went to eat Mexican, which was not good at all. We weren't ready to come back to the hotel so we drove around and enjoyed the scenery for an hour or so. The scenery around here is nice and peaceful; beautiful blue mountains, peaceful valleys... We then drove 14 miles to get DQ Ice Cream and came back to the hotel.

So far it is a nice peaceful trip; I'm loving it.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

NC Waterfall Trip - Day 1

Today is the first day of our waterfall adventure. That is to say; today is the day we drove to NC. We got to leave a little early because my office closed so we got to avoid most of the traffic :) So we got up here around 6:30 pm and checked in. The hotel is really nice and clean; very nice for the money.

After getting settled we drove down to Hendersonville and looked around the town for food. Most of the restaurants down town seemed expensive and the menu's not too exciting so we decided to be boring and ate at Outback. It was really good :) and much cheaper than Outback in the ATL which was surprising.

After dinner we came back to the hotel and relaxed. It was almost 10 pm and we have a very early day tomorrow. We are going on a private tour to see waterfalls on private land in the area :) I'll let you know how it goes - you know I always do :)

Jamaica Day 2 and Part of 3

I'm relaxed - I mean really relaxed and it feels amazing.  Yesterday after the post they showed us a new room and I was really undecided...