Last year, my wife and I flew up to Albuquerque for the 2010 International Balloon Fiesta. It. Was. Awesome. And just a few months back, my wife mentioned that we should go every year to the Balloon Fiesta. I nodded my head and secretly started planning our 2011 excursion to the land of sweet desert air and colorful balloons.
Give me the deets on the points
Air. We took advantage of a sale going on at HEB (TX grocery store) for 20% off gift cards before we left TX. We had $200 worth of Southwest gift cards, and Jessica got another $400 (I think…) as a graduation gift. So I booked the air travel with Southwest, as we have sworn off Delta for good. We absolutely love Southwest, and flying with them is always fun. That’s how air travel should be.
Hotel. Jessica and I love Hilton. We have had terrific experiences at Hilton properties, and we’re saving HHonors points for an AWESOME trip very far away. Because of our food allergies, we prefer to stay at Hotels with full kitchens so we can cook. The Homewood Suites ABQ uptown fit that bill very nicely.
When I went to check in, the clerk said we were on floor 4 of 6. I have worked diligently to acquire HHonors Gold status, so I asked him to upgrade us to the 6th floor. He did, and the view was spectacular.
Not only was the view fantastic, what you see in the bottom right corner of this photo is the Uptown Outdoor Shopping mall. It reminded us of The Shops at La Cantera. It was incredibly relaxing to walk around, and we especially enjoyed visiting the Apple store, which had a beautiful tribute to Steve Jobs at the front.
T H E P O I N T S E A R N E D – From our stay at the ABQ Uptown for three nights, we earned 5,670 base points, 5,670 bonus points from the Double Points promo, 2,500 bonus points for booking with my HH AMEX, and another 500… for booking with my HH Amex. The total? 14,340 HHonors points earned from the hotel stay.
Rental Car. I always rent with Budget because regardless of the fact that most of the other carriers have loyalty programs, Budget always has the lowest rates. They also constantly have promotions going on with Hilton. Because of these promotions, I received 250 HHonors points for booking with Budget, and 5,000 bonus points from the current HHonors Budget promotion. Total points received? 5,250 HHonors points earned from the rental car.
Oh yeah, for the rental, I decided it would be fun to rent a truck. OMG it was FREAKING HUGE. (twss) I’ve decided that the next time we need a rental, I’m going to schmooze my way into a Camaro.
Okay, what about the fun?
The Sandia Peak Tramway, ABQ and its fresh, fresh air, and the 2011 International Balloon Fiesta. Enjoy the photos.