Getting out

You know the old saying “if you don’t like the weather wait five minutes? Well that sure applied to today’s weather. My son Alex, my mother and I took a 45 minute drive to Lake Tahoe today. We wanted to check out some well known thrift stores and see the lake. The weather started out great here in Carson City; it was in the high 60’s. Knowing the elevation of Tahoe is around 6300 feet (Carson sits at 4500 feet) I grabbed a jacket and headed out the door!

The drive was pleasant; it is always nice to leave the dessert and head into the forest. We got to Incline Village just as the stores were opening. I had a map of all the thrift stores but should have known to call ahead. Two of the thrift stores on my list were gone and the ones that were left had little to offer. Still it was nice to get out of town.

After visiting two thrift/antique stores we looked for a place to eat. We found a really great pub called Coogins. The building and staff were very warm and inviting. The pub chairs were very comfortable and the tables were made of large dark wood planks, something I would expect to find in Europe.

We ordered the house appetizer special Irish Nachos which consisted of big wedges of potatoes smothered in cheese and bacon. It was great! We chatted about blogs and things; turns out my mother reads my blog, I had no idea.

Out in the parking lot we struck up a conversation with some locals; again the feeling was warm and friendly. They reminded me of people I knew when I lived on the north coast of California. Made me home sick for California, if only I could afford the cost of living!

Next we headed to South Lake Tahoe to find the big Salvation Army store, once again I should have called around. After driving past what should have been the address twice I broke down and asked for directions. Sure enough even the Salvation Army has fallen on hard times, the store was gone. My mother wanted to take in some more scenery so we headed back to Carson with the intent on taking the long way home. Before we could take the 88 cut off it started snowing! We were having such a good time enjoying ourselves we failed to notice the gathering storm. We got home before the storm started in earnest so no harm done.

Despite the change in weather I was very happy to get out. I am always so busy between work, school and reading it is a wonder I get out at all. We plan on going back in the spring, but even then I will remember to take a jacket.

Save Mart Part 2

Yesterday I told you about SaveMart’s new gift card policy and how angry it made me. Well I am not one to just get angry and stew; I am very proactive and since Beth Terry armed me with a positive solution to the problem of trashing gift cards, I wrote the company again. Here is what I wrote:

Hello from a loyal pharmacy customer. It has come to my attention that a recent change has taken place concerning pharmacy gift cards. The new policy is to issue disposable $10.00 gift cards replacing re-loadable gift cards. This seems to be a waste of natural resources and more non-degradable plastic cluttering up our landfills. When asked about the policy change the store manager had this to say; “we are number crunchers and this will save us money”. I am not sure how this will save you money; could you please explain it to me?
I am also including a link to an article about recycling gift cards; apparently there is a company out there who will take gift cards to be recycled. Does your company participate in this program already? If so please let me know so I can pass the information to the readers of my blog as well as other blogger who are very interested in your answer.
Sari Nichols

And here was the reply:
Dear Sari Nichols:
Thank you for taking the time to write your comments to us. We appreciate the opportunity to communicate with our customers.
Your comments have been forwarded to store and corporate management, and supervisory personnel. Please be assured the issues you raised will be addressed and your comments will be given every consideration as store issues are examined and changes are planned for the future. Customer satisfaction is very important to us and we appreciate your input.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patronage. We value our customers! If we can ever be of any additional assistance to you, please write or call our toll-free number, 1-800-692-5710.
Thank you,
Consumer Relations
Case ID: 70560

I will call the number above if I do not hear from them by Wednesday. Meanwhile I encourage everyone who feels the way I do, to not only write Save Mart about this but to other companies as well. My next letter will be to Starbucks. Turns out they do not recycle their gift cards, they just throw them away. I thought Starbucks was a green company??