When will I learn? My husband means well when he plans a vacation or get-a-way, but they always end up with complications and something that is not the expectation either one of us envisioned. However, our best-unplanned trips were to Niagara Falls, Canada even if he chose a Hotel/Motel that did not meet my specifications. No, I am not a princess, but I like a nice clean room that does not smell or look musty, and a bathroom that mold is not growing out of all the crevices. Short of that. I’m OK; I don’t have to stay at a five-star hotel just give me clean, no smells, bugs, or unusual growth!
We have had our share of mishaps starting with our honeymoon, thirty-three years ago this month that we planned and scheduled at a newly built Holidome in Virginia Beach. We prepared for both good or bad weather, noting this hotel had an indoor and outdoor pool, restaurants, and nightly entertainment. However, upon our arrival, the hotel was still under construction, and the pools were not completed and entertainment that was advertised was not scheduled for the summer season.
That was just the beginning of our honeymoon issues because July is generally dry in Virginia Beach and this week it rained, not just rained; it was stormy! Streets were flooding and getting around was a nightmare…we felt stuck for a week, and to top it off the hotel’s air-conditioning went out. We considered returning home and trying this trip at another time, but our airline tickets had a hefty penalty we sweated it out.
Another vacation years later took us to Seattle, Washington to a friend’s wedding. Both Rich and I had been traveling for work so we had acquired airline points that we could use for our flight and hotel. We planned the trip, and we were excited to be able to take a week away and show Alex Seattle and the surrounding area while celebrating the marriage of friends. Within minutes of landing in Seattle, I received a phone call that the IT project I was the working on was being shut down, the client, University Hospitals chose to do the project in-house. I was informed to contact my team and close out the project by 5 pm that day. Reality hit, I was on vacation, and I just lost my contract job. (No income!)
As Rich was reassuring me that all was “OK” and I would find another contract job when we returned home, the next morning he received an email, the project he was working on at National City Bank was ending at the end of the week due to funding. There was no indication, if and when, the project may be resumed. All contract employees were asked to pick up their personal belongings within the next forty-eight hours. Since that was impossible, Rich contacted his manager to obtain his items, and the two of us stared at each other in amazed shock.
Since our trip was already prepaid, we made every attempt to enjoy ourselves for the week, but I had a harder time than Rich. I kept thinking I should be looking for a job, making contacts, working. What should have felt right, didn’t. I didn’t know how to shake off that empty feeling.
Since 1999 Rich and I have taken short overnight vacations and they too have been met with strangeness. The most recent was this weekend. Both of us have a fascination with Lucille Ball, and Jamestown, NY is only three hours from Cleveland. We took our first road trip up there a couple of years ago and stayed at a Best Western Hotel, and it wasn’t bad, in fact, it was nice within walking distance of the Lucy/Desi Museum. There is not much else, but we did find a nice sports-bar restaurant about a mile up the road and the food was good. It was a nice get away.
Last fall we drove back up that way but chose to drive a little further and ended up at the Seneca Casino Hotel Reservation, a beautiful hotel. Although we aren’t gamblers we enjoyed people watching, and the food was so/so, but it was a night away and relaxing.
However, on Sunday with reservations at the Best Western our troubles started. We arrived at 2 pm to be greeted with a very curt, “We Cannot Check You In Until 3 pm, Our Rooms Are Not Ready!” In the meantime, two employees were arguing in the lobby about being short staff, and it’s not fair that it’s a holiday weekend and they want the day off too! We asked where we might go to eat at, the restaurant we liked no longer was in business, and no one had a clue. When we asked directions to Lucy’s childhood home, the instructions given were wrong. The staff had no desire to help us. We finally chose to break our reservation, and they were glad to accommodate. What does that say?
So, now, three hours from home but wanting to have a break, what do we do? We decided to head towards home and go to Erie, Pa. We get to Erie and find this nice looking modern Hotel the Solstice. They inform us they have rooms. In fact, the clerk for some reason is determined to make one room available for us that shows it is not sold but also shows not available. He overrides it. He shows it to it us, and at first glance, it looks OK. It’s a handicap room, but we were OK with it.
However, after we came back from dinner we noticed no toilet paper, and we asked for some, and although we got a roll, we were told they were low on toilet paper. When we got back to the room, I also noted not Kleenex, but I did not go back and request it.
As Rich and I were so exhausted from driving around to nowhere all day as we were relaxing, we found ourselves swatting at flies (all night). In the middle of the night (really about 10 pm) I notice a weird smell and I mentioned it to Rich, he didn’t notice it, but it was pungent and sweet. A little later there was noise in the hall kids running up and down playing for some time. In the morning when I tried to take a shower, the shower didn’t work, and I had to sponge bath in the sink, just to get out of this place. We registered our complaint at the front desk, and the clerk acted as he could care less. I called in an hour later to speak to the manager on duty, and she told me she would look into my complaints but said that room should not have been rented to us. (Not my fault, make it right!)
What I have learned….I have a lot of memories to laugh about, but in the future, I will be contacting Helen and Evan, The Cruise Planners. At least they will ask Rich and me what we want to do and what we want to spend and instead of going to the Olive Garden for Dinner we might have Dinner at a cute little place on Lake Erie.
I’m Just Sayin!