Cruise 11, Vacations

Travel Notes

Before I write about our cruise (and no, I haven’t even started writing about it yet because I’ve been freaking BUSY these past few days. But I’m not complaining, I’ve also been having FUN), there are a few things I’d like to document about our trip that really have nothing to do with our actual trip.

Confused? That makes two of us.

Kevin was surfing around on the ‘net yesterday and happened to spot an article on Yahoo about airline ticket tax refunds. He followed the article over to Kiplinger and here is the gist of it:

Want an Airline Tax Refund? Be Patient
The IRS still is developing guidelines for passengers who paid expired ticket taxes.

Airline passengers who bought tickets on or before July 22 for travel on or after July 23 are probably due a refund of the federal taxes they paid on their tickets. The problem will be actually getting the refund.

Congress adjourned July 22 without passing legislation authorizing the Federal Aviation Administration’s operating authority, leaving the administration without the ability to collect air transportation excise taxes. So ticket taxes don’t apply to air travel starting July 23.

Yeah. Guess what, that would include US. We bought our airline tickets way back in January and we arrived back home July 28th. We should get a tax refund on our return flight.


The problem is, as the article stated, actually getting it. Kevin figured it up and it should be around $75 bucks.

Hey man, $75 bucks is $75 bucks, am I right?

We flew through Air Trans (which we just found out was bought out by Southwest) and Kevin wasn’t able to get ahold of a live person. But, the article states that the IRS has yet to put guidelines into place on how to get that money back to people and Kevin is figuring it will likely be something to file on our tax returns. So, though we may have some money coming back to us, typical government fashion, it won’t happen for a while.

Still – $75 bucks man.

But here’s the thing – can you believe our stupid government? I mean, they make more work for themselves by dragging their heels on making any sort of decision on anything. If they had just done their freaking jobs to begin with, they wouldn’t have to deal with the headache of sorting out the qualified customers and giving their tax money back.

What idiots.

One day, when we were looking over the “Fun Times” newsletter on the boat (it’s a daily newsletter that Carnival puts out to let everyone know what’s going on throughout the day on the boat), he saw a meet-up time scheduled for the LGBT’s on board.

He didn’t know what LGBT stood for, so when I told him (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender), he was not very happy.

For the record, we don’t agree with the gay lifestyle. We’re Christians. God does not condone gays. It’s pretty self-explanatory.

This is what we believe. Disagree if you must. But here’s the thing – I really don’t care if someone *chooses to live that sort of lifestyle.

No really.

I. Don’t. Care.

It’s really none of my business how a person lives his/her life. I figure the LGBT community will be judged at some point and that at some point they will have to look God in the eye and explain their behavior. I have enough to worry about without personally taking on one group of people’s problems.

I say, “good luck with that.” *SALUTE*

So when I see notices about LGBT meetings, I honestly don’t care. Whatever, man. Knock yourself out. But Kevin, he does care. And he was disappointed in Carnival for allowing meetings like that happening on a cruise line that caters to families.

In fact, he was so upset, he intended to complain to Carnival about it. And would have, if he had remembered when he filled out the survey they sent us. His biggest argument is though, reverse discrimination.

“Why does the LGBT community have to have a special meeting set aside just for them? Where are the ‘heterosexual’ meetings? Why aren’t they getting special treatment?”

I explained to him that though I agreed with him in principal, I could see WHY they would need a special meeting because you can’t really tell, by looking at a person, whether that person is homosexual or not. Homosexuals don’t walk around with a big label tattooed to their foreheads anymore than heterosexuals. So they need meetings like these in order to single each other out, to find like-minded people.

I understand that, I get that. I don’t agree with that, but like I said, who cares if I agree or not.

But he’s right. If we’re going to be tolerant of one group and set up special meetings for select groups, then to be fair to everyone, we should set up meetings for ALL groups of people. He would have had less of a problem with the LGBT meeting if they had also had meetings set up for heterosexuals, car lovers, ice cream lovers, dog lovers, cat lovers, etc. Why should they stop at just one group? Why not set some time aside for all groups?

It’s reverse discrimination.

I’m bringing this all up because this is what we discussed after our cruise was over. And coincidentally, it was also mentioned in the news.

Heterosexual Pride Day Measure Passes in São Paulo

The city council of São Paulo, South America’s biggest city, has adopted legislation calling for a Heterosexual Pride Day to be celebrated on the third Sunday of each December.

São Paulo Mayor Gilberto Kassab must sign the legislation for it to become law and has said only that he is studying it. His office declined Wednesday to say whether he supports the proposal.

The legislation’s author, Carlos Apolinario, said the idea for a Heterosexual Pride Day is “not anti-gay but a protest against the privileges the gay community enjoys.”

As an example, he mentioned how São Paulo’s huge gay pride day parade is held every year on Paulista Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares in this city of 20 million people, while the March for Jesus organized by evangelical groups is not allowed on the same avenue.

That’s Kevin’s point. Instead of singling out ONE group of people, let’s be fair to ALL groups of people and allow those groups to have their own parades, or whatnots. After all, it’s all about equality FOR ALL, right?

*Yes. I believe homosexuality is inherently a choice – though I also believe it’s possible that people can be born with homosexual tendencies – tendencies he/she will have to fight off a little harder later in life than say someone who doesn’t have those tendencies.

Wow. If this wasn’t a potentially loaded post, I don’t what is. But these are my thoughts, and this is my journal, and contrary to what some people think (or wish), I don’t think about rainbows and unicorns ALL the time – just MOST of the time. *snort*