Starbucks Sweet Treats is back!

Hi All,

As part of a back to school special at least in the Pasadena, CA area Starbucks has brought back the sweet treat promotion.  Basically if you buy any drink before 2:00 p.m. you can come back with your receipt and get any grande drink for $2!  It’s a great deal especially if in the morning you get a small cup of coffee ($1.65) and then get any drink, my favorite, a Mocha Lite Frappucino with an extra shot of Espressso ($4.25 + 0.75) for $2!  So for $3.65 I get $5.65 in beverage!  Every little bit helps and it’s only 130 calories for a grande!

Also Starbucks is running another promotion called the 12 star dash.  If you get 12 stars between now and and September 9th you’ll get $5 added to your starbucks card.  So by double dipping with the sweet treat promotion you can get a significant discount on Starbucks, which is pretty rare!

Happy Distractions!

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Chipotle Rounds to the nearest nickel?

Hi All,

I stumbled upon this article from Yahoo News and it’s about Chipotle.  To sum it up they have basically been rounding to the nearest nickel in many high volume markets.


“the chain uses rounding in a few “high volume” markets,  including New York, New Jersey and some locations in Boston. The idea is to reduce the time cashiers spend doling out pennies, to keep the lines moving quickly.”

An example is:

“On the first, dated July 13, the nine items added up to $32.93. There was $2.31 in tax. The total should have been $35.24, but next to the ‘total’ line on the receipt, it said $35.25. The next receipt, with the same sale date, showed a subtotal of $8.64. The tax was $0.60, so the grand total should have been $9.24. But no. With Chipotle-style math, the total was $9.25.”

Well I don’t know about you, but I could care less.  Even though I’m trying to live graduate school on the cheap, a few pennies here and there don’t really matter.  Plus I probably eat at Chipotle only once a month.  So at most I’m losing 24 cents a year!  According to Chipotle it ends up being a wash, but who knows, maybe they’re making more money?

Happy Distractions!

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Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Resort/Sea World

Here’s a small blurb about my trip to San Diego for the recent Rock n Roll in San Diego!

Travel to San Diego and Expo
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay/Sea World
Rock n Roll San Diego 2012 and Petco Park

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Resort

Having stayed at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, I thought it would be a good idea to stay at this hotel to get a different sense of the Hyatt properties in San Diego.  The rates between the two hotels were only $20 different and the HR Mission Bay was the cheaper option –  I now know why.  Following the expo my friend and I decided to check-in at the hotel.  It was 3 o’clock and I figured that most hotels have a 3:00 p.m. check-in.  Plus, I’m a Diamond member, so I should be able to get a room.  Well when we arrived we proceeded to the self-park ($20) and decided not to do the valet ($25), which probably makes sense as the two lots are literally 20 feet away from each other.  Not necessarily true.  With the valet, the cars are right by the front and in normal sized spaces.  Now, I drive a pretty small car and I had trouble parking in many of the spots in the lot.  These spots were pretty much all compact spots, yet none of them were labelled as such. In fact while parking, one of the attendants joked, “don’t you love our wonderful parking accommodations here?”  We laughed as I slowly got into the spot.  Many other people gave up and just used two parking spots.

Anyway, at check-in I was told that  room would not be ready until 4:00 because that’s when check-in was.  I then asked for an early check-in and was only given a room on the 6th floor and was given the option for a bay view or an ocean view.  I just wanted a room so I took what was available.  The room was nice, except there was a small puddle of water in the room, which appeared to be from a leaky pipe.  Anyway, we checked in and I got some quick shots of the hotel.  This hotel definitely was more of a spa/resort as it is located about 5 miles from down town and seems to only be good for Sea World traffic, which it’s still not exactly easy to walk.  It’s about a 1-1.5 mile walk. There is a water slide and some nice pools below, however it can get noisy at night, which is a problem if you have to get up at 4:00 a.m. for a race!

Other than that the HR Mission Bay is a standard hotel.  The regency club is open for Diamond members, but the WiFi doesn’t work incredibly well.  The hotel is enough for a room, but for those rates, I’d rather stay at a different hotel.

View from the HR Mission Bay

Sea World

Now, I’m a fan of these Rock n Roll races.  I have nothing to compare them to, but from what I’ve experienced they’ve been pretty good to me.  As part of the entry fee (~$125), I was able to get a day pass to Sea World, 2x one-day pass to Sea World, 2x dine with Shamu and 2x dolphin encounter, as well as a free Padres ticket!  So all in all, I’m pretty sure that I cleaned up in terms of getting value for my race admission, so thank you to the Padres, Sea World and the Competitor Group.

Sea World is great if you’re really into animals and such, but my friend and I just wanted to see everything, have dinner and then get some rest for the race.  It was already 4:00 so we decided to see as much as possible.  We first headed to the antarctic exhibit.   Now, in order to get in you have the option of a motion-based ride, or a non-motion based ride.  I recommend the non-motion based ride.  It’s supposed to mimic what one of the helicopters feels like up in the antarctic, however it’s unnecessarily bumpy and basically tries to hurt you.  I’m a so-so fan of roller coasters, but my friend who loves roller coasters even thought it was stupid and took longer!

Getting into the exhibit is pretty cool though because you get to see the following animals:






Happy Distractions!

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20% Off Virgin America Flights (coupon)

Well, this seems to be a pretty regular thing, but if you’re willing to sign up for an e-mail Virgin America will send you a 20% off promotion code.  Hurry this deal ends July 31st!

It’s valid for nonstop or connecting travel for any Manin Cabin tickets.  You must travel between August 28th – November 14th, except Aug. 31 and Sept. 3.  You need to book travel by July 31st at midnight, so it’s like a short term sale, but if you’re looking for a flight this fall it could be a great deal!

Happy Distractions!

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Alert: Costco discontinuing American Airlines Gift Card

Wow, so I had a scare today.  While reading flyertalk, I saw a post saying that costco would discontinue selling the American Airlines gift cards.  Naturally I called my local costco and they said they were in fact being deleted from the system and that they only had 92 left.  Well I stopped what I was doing and drove to costco and of course they still had the large display and picked up a few for some future travel.

Happy Distractions

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Save 15% on Southwest Flights! (Spend $20 at World Market)

So as part of my weekly routine I check the sunday paper for deal and while clipping some coupons I stumbled up a great deal from costplus world market.



You do have to spend $20 at Costplus World Market, but you can save a hefty amount on a flight if you follow the terms and conditions and you must make your purchase by July 13th!

*15% Off Southwest Airlines Ticket Purchase Terms and Conditions: 15% discount valid for one-time use at southwest.comor off the total amount of any roundtrip Wanna Get Away purchase before taxes and fees. Purchase must be made between June 16, 2012 and August 16, 2012 for travel June 23, 2012 through October 23, 2012. Blackout dates apply June 29, 2012 through July 8, 2012 and September 2, 2012 through September 3, 2012. If any portion of travel falls on a blackout date the discount will not apply. The discount is only valid with the provided Promotion Code and is not combinable with other Promotion Codes or fares available exclusively through the web tool “DING!”. This promotion includes only Wanna Get Away Fares. 7-day advance purchase may be required. Changes made to the itinerary after purchase will eliminate qualifications for this promotion. Reservations made using Rapid Rewards points or through are not eligible for this promotion. Promotion code is not combinable with other promotion codes. Good on Southwest published scheduled service only and limited to 25,000 codes.

Happy Distractions!

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Happy 4th!

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy 4th and hope that everyone celebrates independence day in a responsible manner.

Anyway, today was an exciting run day because it was my semi-long run day and while I was running down the street I saw a police car escorting 3 gentleman who appeared to be racing one another.  Well I kept up with them for a little bit and the next thing I know I see a finish line!  Crazy, I didn’t even mean to race today, but I saw a finish line.  I obviously didn’t run through the finish line, but it was kind of awkward to see a crowd of supporters cheering people on, when I wasn’t even in a race!  After some research it was  5K that was to support one of our fallen soldiers.

Finally, it’s the end of the streak and I did it!  I ran at least a mile every day from Memorial Day to the 4th of July!  It was  a tough month, but I did it!  I even upped my mileage.  I’m trying to get in about 40-45 miles a week now and my long run (as of last week) was at 15 miles!  It’s becoming tougher with only a few water bottles, but I’m doing it.  How are your runs going?  Any summer goals?

My June 2012 Runs!

Happy Distractions!


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