Be prepared – Hurricane Irene

All of you residents and travelers on the East Coast, stay safe!  Be prepared, just in case Hurricane Irene packs a punch! She has already pounded the Bahamas! There is already talk about flight cancellations and such. If you already have set plans to travel to the East…call ahead and ask your hotel/accommodations about cancellation policies and disaster plans.

Happy & safe travels!

Rustic Mountain Retreats

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Groupon Follow-up

Hi, everyone!

This is a follow up to my post about Groupons.  I purchased my first Groupon a couple of weeks ago.  For $15, I got $40 worth of merchandise at a local health food & supplement store!  You can either print off your Groupon, or do what I did, download the smart phone Groupon App! You don’t have to print anything, just pull up your Groupon on your smart phone and show it to the cashier!  How convenient is that?  You get $10 in discounts when you sign up and then $15 more for referring a friend!  You can really get some great deals with Groupon!

Get your Groupon ON! :-)

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“Spear Phishing”

Spear phishing” anyone?

Most of us have heard of “phishing”, you know, where you get an email that masquerades as a legitimate company that you are familiar with.  The “phisher” hopes to trick you into disclosing sensitive information in order to steal your identity.

Well, now we have “spear phishing” aka, “targeted phishing”.  This happens when someone hacks into a company’s system, lifting names and email addresses, then sends the same “phishing” type emails, but the difference is, they know something about you….your name and the fact that you most likely get emails from that particular company.

The spear phishers odds are in their favor when they know you most likely already get emails from a particular company and they can address you personally, by name… would more than likely not be suspicious of the email.  You should be suspicious however, when the email asks for any personal or sensitive information, regardless of who it is from.

Do you want to see a list of the most recently hacked companies, like Kroger, Capital One and Marriott Rewards?

Here you go…: up to date list of breached companies

Unless you are ABSOLUTELY certain that an email is from a legitimate company that you do business with, just don’t disclose personal information.  Even if you are certain, why not just call them at a number you have for them instead?

Be thy safe in this age of living electronically…. :-)


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What is Groupon?

I ran across Groupon on Facebook.  A friend “liked” it, so I took interest.  I signed up and now, much to my delight, I get these great “Groupons” in my inbox!  What are they?  Deals at local places in your area, usually at least 50% off the standard price.   How does it work? You get an offer in your inbox, if you are interested, you do a “preliminary” purchase.  So, you give them your payment information, but are not charged until the deal is final.  For the deal to be final, there is a specific number of people who have to commit to buying the deal.  If enough people don’t, well then you don’t get charged.  If enough do, then you have a great deal!

Here are some of the groupon offers I have received:

*1/2 off helicopter lessons.  I can get lessons for $149, the standard cost is $299. Sounds fun!

*82% off laser hair removal.  My cost, $109, standard cost is $594!  Wow, Summer is close!

*$25 for one month at a local Boot Camp, standard cost $50. Awesome! I could use that!

*$10 for $20 worth of food at a local eatery.  Half off of food is always worth it!

I have been waiting for the right groupon to pop in my inbox, and when it does, I’ll put it to the test.  I think Groupon may be tired of waiting for me though. Here is a recent message I got from them (they are also offering me $5 off my first Groupon purchase!):

Sure, reading Groupon emails is fun, but actually going out and exploring your city–at a huge discount–is even better. Keep your eyes peeled for cool deals this week. If you see something you like, buy it! Remember, every Groupon is 100% guaranteed–if you feel like Groupon let you down, we’ll refund your money. Simple as that.

I’m excited!  I might just become a GROUPIE  :-) .

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What’s new in gadgets? Nintendo 3DS!

We all love them, daydream about them and drool over them.  Everyone loves gadgets!  So, what’s new?  Today, we are featuring something for the gamers. Nintendo 3DS! Yes, I said 3D…and without those ridiculous glasses that teenagers like to wear with the lenses popped out!  The new Nintendo 3DS will come in aqua blue or cosmo black.  Features include, touch screen, telescoping stylus and a larger screen.  But, that’s not all, there is a 3-D depth slider, motion sensor, gyroscope, one inner facing camera and two outer facing cameras for your 3-D photography and 3-D gaming.  Luckily, there is no learning curve required and most of your old Nintendo DS games will still be compatible! Check it out here:  Nintendo 3D



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Loving Heber City, Utah!

I love Heber City, Utah!  There is so much to do here!  Heber is a mid sized town, and a Traveler’s Gem in the mountains! During the winter months, vacationers come from all over to ski the Fantastic Powder that Utah offers.  There is a ski resort right next door at Soldier Hollow and just 30 minutes away in Park City, Utah.  Another favorite winter past time for the area is Snowmobiling! There are miles and miles of trails to ride and explore! During the Summer, vacationers come to explore the same trails on ATV’s.  This is a great area for mountain bikers, hikers, campers, fisherman and many more! There is even an ancient crater, Homestead Crater,  that offers swimming and scuba diving in 90 degree water all year round! You can horseback ride, golf, ride tubes down Provo River, take kayak lessons, hot air balloon rides, take the kids to the historic Heber Valley Railroad…..endless activities!

Visit Heber City and Fall in Love!

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Phone Apps for the Bargain Hunters!

You gotta love a phone app that can give you the BEST PRICE on an item by aiming your smartphone camera at the bar code.  That’s right, a phone app by REDLASER compares the bar code for the same product on Google, Ebay,  TheFind and other popular places.  Once you get the best price, just take your phone to the manager and show them what you could get the item for…chances are, the manager will give you the same deal! Now this particular app is just for the Android & the Iphone, and it’s FREE.  Now, I’m a Crackberry Lover myself, so, you can get a similar Free app from ScanLife , BeeTagg and Sccope, I understand you have to have a steady hand and you need to turn off your flash… I plan to try these out soon, I’ll let you know my reviews.

Happy Bargain Hunting!

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Avoid Travel Scams

The best way to avoid scams is to be INFORMED! As always, if it’s too good to be true……….well, you know.  In the day and age of Internet, scams are all too easy! Know what to look for and what to avoid.

Here are some common travel scams to be wary of:

Fraudulent Timeshares – You receive an extensive package in the mail, or a detailed email of a great deal on an awesome Timeshare for sell, you pay a deposit only to later find out that the Timeshare doesn’t exist, the company is out of business and you are out your deposit.

Airfare Scams – You are promised largely discounted airfares, you purchase the airfare, you are told your credit card declined, so you need to wire the money.  You wire the money and never see your tickets or money again.

Vacation Rental Scams – You have to love Craigslist for this one!  You search online for a rental for your next vacation or family get together, you find an awesome deal at a desirable location.  You call the “renter” who requests a wire transfer of a deposit for the rental.  You show up to your rental only to find that it doesn’t exist.  Scammers often lift pictures of rentals from other websites or real estate sites.  Once you wire money…it’s gone…just don’t do it.

Free Vacation Scams – This boils down to, either you have to pay a “processing fee” to get your non-existent Free Vacation or you get roped into high pressure Timeshare Sales.

Of course, there are so many more scams out there…these are just a few.

Things to remember:

*Always pay by CREDIT CARD….never use wire transfers or bank to bank transfers.

*Be wary of classified ads for rentals, though many of them are legit, we even have some listed, just keep in mind that if their prices are way lower than competition and they want you to pay by wire or bank to bank transfer……… wary.

*Ask tons of questions and do the research!

*The Better Business Bureau is always a good place to search for info on companies.

*Need I say it again?  If it’s too good to be true…..

Take care! Stay informed!


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Tragedy in Japan

Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the recent tsunami and earthquake in Japan.  The videos out there show just how unbelievable and devastating the events are.  There is belief that there are over 10,000 dead in the Miyaga province alone.   This is the biggest tragedy to hit this region since WWII causing unfathomable deprivation to the people.

How can you help?  Donate to reputable organizations, such American Red Cross, or read CNN’s blog here about donations.



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Hot Air Balloon Tours, Heber City, Utah

Looking for something else fun to do with the family in Heber City, Utah?  How about a hot air balloon ride?  See breathtaking views of Heber Valley while drifting in the elegance of a hot air balloon.  Experience the magic of a sunrise flight! Check out these Hot Air Balloon Vendors:  Hot Air Balloon Rides

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  • Contact Us

    Primary Phone: 1.435.709.8303
    Secondary: 1.801.599.2198
    E-mail: Rustic Mountain Retreats
    Fax #: 1.435.785.8056