Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Suite and Sour

So after the ordeal with checking in, we were given our room key. And not a little credit card like thing. Well, see for yourself. I considered it a good sign that we were not also presented with a paper clip or told that the room couldn't be locked from the outside.

Now when someone says "suite," I picture walking into a small living room like area with a foldout sofa, desk, chair and a television. Maybe a sink, fridge, microwave and coffe pot. Then there is a separate bedroom with a bed, desk, chair, and an armoire with a television. And, of course, a bathroom in there somewhere. What we walked into was a normal sized hotel room with a bed, armoire with television, desk, chair and a small non-foldoutable loveseat. In the corner was a mini fridge with a small microwave atop it. It was okay, but I definitely would not call it an executive suite. It did have some interesting features, however.

Random stuff lying around.

Questionable light fixtures.

And our very own Jiminy Cricket in the bathtub. Not to mention the large stain I spotted on the bedspread while we were sitting on it watching t.v. Hubby thanked me for pointing it out. But I think he was being sarcastic.

One thing that was conspicuous in its absence was . . . a clock. No clock of any kind anywhere. We resorted to hubby's palm pilot and my cell phone for alarms. But the getting up time was crucial, and there is something comforting about waking up and seeing the big red time flashing at you. Consequently, hubby's sleep wasn't as restful as it could have been.

We planned on going to the lobby and having the continental breakfast. Our room was right over the lobby and, while I was dressing, I started smelling burnt coffee. I had seen pictures of a continental breakfast at the front desk, complete with cereal, fruit, juice and coffee. They must have stolen the pictures from another hotel. What we walked into was burnt coffee and a bunch of greasy donuts. Fortunately, there was a small diner across the parking lot and breakfast was saved. I dropped hubby off, went back and hung out until checkout time and took hubby a sandwich for lunch. Then I went to an 850 booth arts and crafts fair, bought Christmas gifts and ate greasy fair food. At least it ended well.

Today is my first year blog anniversary. To all of you who read, and especially to those of you who comment, a great big THANK YOU!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hotel California

Jeff is famous for bad hotel experiences. The following does not approach some of his adventures in traveling, but I thought it was blog worthy.

My husband was scheduled to take a test in Edmond, just north of Oklahoma City. He was to be at the testing facility at 7:15 Saturday morning. He booked a hotel online that was literally three minutes from the facility. Friday afternoon, we drove to Edmond, checked out the building where the test would be administered so that he would know where to go next morning, ate supper, and went to the hotel to check in, carrying the printout confirming our reservation.

Girl behind desk, whose accent I could not place: "Can I help you?"
Us: "Yes, we have a reservation."
Girl: "What is the name?"
We told her. "I don't have that name in the computer."
Us: "We made the reservation last Sunday night. We have the reservation number."
Girl: "You have a reservation number?"
Us: "Yes, it's . . ."
Girl: "I don't need a reservation number. Your name isn't here."
Us: "We have a confirmation number."
Girl: "You have a confirmation number?"
Us: "Yes, it's . . ."
Girl: "I don't need a confirmation number. I don't have your name here. How did you make the reservation?"
Us: "Online."
Girl: "What website. We only do hotels and travel." What?

Meanwhile, another woman had wandered in and was listening to the conversation, looking a little doubtful. The phone rang, the check-in girl answered it, clearly frustrated with our stupidity, listened for a minute and informed the caller that she would have to call him back. She wanted us to go away and we wouldn't, so she called the manager. He came out and she explained that our name was not there and handed him our printout. He got onto the computer to check out the situation and the check-in girl asked the doubtful woman what she wanted and she said a room with two beds.

"I have a room with two beds but it's smoking."

Manager, who had a very heavy accent and was kind of hard to understand: "I have a non-smoking room with two beds, but you can't lock it from the outside."
Woman: "But I would be safe from the inside, right?"
Manager: "Yes, but you can't lock it from the outside, so your belongings would not be safe if you went to dinner. You would have to bring them to the office for us to watch. Would you like to see the room?"
Woman: "Yes, please." She took the key and left.
Check-in girl: "The man in 211 can't get into his bathroom. He's locked out of it."
Manager: "Oh, yes that lock is problem. I will go in a minute and show him how to get in." As he says this, he holds up a paper clip that he has straightened out, indicating that this is the magic that will allow Mr. 211 to get into his bathroom.

He had figured out the problem, but the only room he had left was the executive suite. Which was forty dollars more, but he comped us the forty bucks and apologized profusely for the misunderstanding. The interesting thing was, when check-in girl realized manager wasn't going to make us go away, but was actually going to be nice and accomodating, her demeanor changed completely. All of a sudden, she went from "I don't have your name!" to "Oh, I'm so glad you didn't come later or the room would have been gone." Yeah, right.

Since this is already getting quite lengthy, I will save the rest of the story. Tomorrow, DUN, DUN, DUN! The Executive Suite!

Monday, October 15, 2007

These Are The Things I Can Do Without

I have been away from the blog due to chili. The non-profit of which I am a Board member sponsored a booth at the annual United Way Chili Cookoff last Friday. The theme was "Oklahoma Proud - First 100 Years," because our state is celebrating its centennial this year. The founder of our organization happens to be 101 years old, so we tied that into our theme. Our booth ended up being very labor intensive and turned into a four day all day process. It turned out well, though, and everybody liked our chili. My house smelled like chili for a few days.

While I was chili-ing and not blogging, a couple of products came to my attention that made me go "Hmmm." Hubby handed me a flyer from the newspaper and said, "We'd better stock up on this." He was referring to a product called Anti Monkey Butt Powder.
I did not know that such a condition as monkey butt existed. I was also unaware that it's a common term used by motorcyclists to describe the condition of their posterior after a long bike ride. Thus, the fact that there was a powder for it came as quite a surprise. But it makes sense and is probably a good product. Unlike the next, which I really don't think anyone needs at all.

Now, I like Jones Soda. They have some yummy flavors, and I like the fact that you can submit your photos and they may become Jones Soda labels. Because I am a photographer, and I think it would be awesome to see one of my photos on, say, Fufu Berry soda. However, I think they may be making a major marketing mistake with their proposed new flavor. Apparently, someone decided that football fans wanted to know what their favorite players' sweat tastes like, so they came up with a sweat flavor that has a "stinky football sock" finish. I think it's called Sweet Victory, which would be quite misleading.I was amused by the Harry Potter Bertie Bott's jelly beans with flavors like dirt, earwax and booger. I didn't want to eat them, but they were fun for kids because kids like grossout stuff. But seriously, does anybody want to drink sweat? I'm just saying.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Rollin', rollin', rollin'

After visiting the cow camp on the weekend, we figured we had to go out and watch as they broke camp and continued north. I won't bore you with a lot of chatter. The pictures speak for themselves, starting with this one of a little dude and his dad who lived nearby the camp and came to help out.

Taking the victuals along.

These guys figured half a mile was a good enough walk and they needed a snack.

Bringing up the rear.

So there it is, what Carmen refers to as "the grandaddy of them all." Awesome.