Monthly Archives: May 2015

Update: The Ecstasy and the Agony of Flying Spirit

I found out from Spirit what I should do and (expensively) fixed my mistake. Solution below.

One of the things that makes our car-free life possible is living so close to Oakland International Airport. Not only can we bike over there to pick up rental cars, but flying in and out of this airport is a local bus or cheap cab ride away.

Not only do I like to fly out of Oakland, but I’m also super-frug.┬áSo naturally, when I found out that budget airline Spirit was flying from Oakland to Chicago O’Hare airport (near my parents’ home) for low prices, I became a fan. I’ve taken Spirit twice this year, the last time paying well under $200 per round trip ticket.

But this weekend I just had my first Spirit-astrophe. I’m writing about my stupid airfare booking screw-up mostly because I want to cry on someone’s shoulder, and I can’t write in to one of those airline problem solver columns because the airline didn’t screw up — I did. My secondary motive for writing this is that maybe someone out there can figure out something I can do to salvage the lost money in this situation, because I sure can’t. Continue reading

Car-Free Destination: Uncorked Wine Festival



See disclosure about this sponsored post at the bottom.

Some events are natural car-free destinations. Enjoying wine samples without worrying about driving later? Check. Not having to park anywhere in San Francisco? Check. So when a girlfriend and I head to the 10th Annual Uncorked Wine Festival on Saturday, we’ll probably be taking some combination of BART and Lyft.

Since moving back to the Bay Area three years ago, I have gotten snobbier about wine. I joined Alameda’s Rock Wall Winery, went on a limo tour of some fine Sonoma vineyards, and one day realized that I couldn’t swill down the two-buck Chuck the way I used to. OK, I could swill it. I just couldn’t enjoy it anymore. My stupid palate got all refined and stuff.

But being the busy mom of three, I can’t just spend whole weekend days visiting wineries and trying all the varieties I’d like to try. Also, as you might have heard, I don’t have a car to drive from winery to winery in. So I kind of get excited when one of these big wine events happen. At Uncorked, 50 different wineries will be pouring.

Tasting tickets are $60, and for $90 you get to go into the San Francisco Magazine VIP area. Besides drinking wine, the rest of the event is free. They’ll have music, cooking demonstrations and craft booths. If you plan to be there, please let me know in the comments — I’d love to meet a reader!

Disclosure: Car-Free Mom was thrilled to accept two tasting passes for writing this post. Pretty much the best blog freebie ever.