Break: Summer Wedding Season!

July 23- Aug 20th, 2016

After three months in Europe, it was time to go home for two important weddings. But nothing is that easy. We traveled from Croatia to Ireland planning to spend the night in the Dublin Airport to catch a 5am cross-Atlantic flight to Southern California. Not until around 3 or 4am did we realize that our flight had been postponed a full 24hrs. Note to self: check your damn emails 🙂 So we made the best of it and spent the day exploring Dublin before returning to the airport for another night of poor sleep at the 24hr McDonald’s (battling other passengers for coveted bench space). The next morning, all set and anxious to get home, we checked in to our 5am Ethiopian Airlines flight. But again, nothing is that easy. @#*% YOU Ethiopian Airlines! Our confirmation email and United Airlines confirmed that Ethiopian made a mistake and left Siobhan’s last name off of her reservation. Regardless, they wouldn’t allow her on the plane and stranded us by literally walking away from the check-in counter. OK slight panic. With the wedding only 30 hours away, my miles and points nerdom kicked in and I found a new flight through Air Canada arriving in Los Angeles at 11pm – just in time to make the beautiful wedding the following afternoon 🙂 Drink please!

The first wedding was for Siobhan’s cousin Miranda and her wife Belyna. The ceremony took place at Wayfarer’s Chapel in Palos Verdes. The view of the trees and ocean from the glass walls was gorgeous, and the perfect location for such a special couple. Tears were definitely shed

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The ceremony was followed by games, dancing,  and endearing speeches.

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A few weeks later the second wedding was for Siobhan’s long time friend, Ana and her husband Zach. Both the ceremony and reception took place at Smog Shoppe in Los Angeles. The ceremony was against a gorgeous garden wall backdrop and the bride and groom looked incredible! More tears

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It was great to catch up with friends going as far back as elementary and middle school while enjoying some delicious food (and a waffle bar for dessert!)

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Within a week we would be leaving Southern California once again. And once again back to Ireland for a proper introduction.

California -> Europe

Redemption: 2 economy tickets from San Diego -> Europe

Total Cost: 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles + $22 (taxes&fees). This was before they recently devalued their award chart, new cost would be 45,000 AA miles)

Booked: 5 months in advance

Earned from: 1 Citi AAdvantage Platinum Card w/ 50,000 Bonus miles after spending $3000.

Spend was accomplished by: Citi Checking Account Funding (unfortunately no longer available)

Opportunity Cost (cost of acquiring miles or points): $0

Notes: We searched for American Airlines off-peak Miles SAAver awards from LAX, LGB, SNA, & SAN, since these airports were easily accessible to us. Even when searching 5 months in advance, availability was limited because OFF-PEAK awards redemptions cost 1/3 fewer Miles than PEAK season. Fortunately We found SAN(San Diego) to Italy in late April. Lastly, at the time we were searching, availability was much great for travel during PEAK season.

Miles & Points as explained by everyone else!

We owe a big thanks to the Miles & Points we have accumulated for allowing us to travel the world for much less than we could have ever expected. Here is a brief overview of how to we went about it…

In order to collect miles & points from credit card sign up bonuses you need to:

  1. Understand credit scores (by the DoctorOfCredit)
  2. keep an eye on your credit report & have a general idea of your score w/ CreditKarma
  3. understand that THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE, a warning from The Churning Community
  4. ok you’ve been warned, but don’t be intimidated!

now for the inspirational fun stuff:

  1. the first site i read about this hobby & the trip reports that got me hooked, MillionMileSecrets
  2. Loophole Travel’s Hawaiian First Class Trip report
  3. Million Miles Secret’s Kauai Trip Report
  4. Siobhan & i booked a One Way ticket to Rome for a total of 40,000 American Airlines points + $22 in taxes. earned from just one! Citi AAdvantage Sign up bonus.
  5. hopefully we’ll have more post to share on here to inspire you to get lost at last ❤

Here are some Guides to better understand Miles & Points and where to begin, they are redundant, but good write ups none the less:

now you’re into Miles & Points! here are some GREAT RESOURCES to help you along the way:

ps: if you interested in utilizing miles & points for travel please read as much as you can. There are countless blogs on the subject. The more you are well versed the better you can plan to take advantage of your next adventure. Though if a simple week long trip to Hawaii is all you’d like “Millionmilesecret’s Kauai trip report” is all you need 😉  ❤