Saturday, June 23, 2007

What We Don't Do Well with on Vacations.....

In a follow-up to yesterday's post, I thought I'd compile a list I've come up with that guarantees the Rileys won't be in the great moods they've been hoping for while embarking upon the anticipated "greatest vacation ever".......

- lack of sleep- sadly, this is almost a guaranteed certain for any vacation given John's line of work. He is almost entirely paid by commission, so being away from work means income not coming in. Trying to offset that means 3:15 wake up calls the week prior to get prepared for a week away from the job. Throw in a mom who's procrastinated a bit in the packing department and you've got two worn out adults with a very short tempers. Grrrrrr......

- kids that are only thinking about themselves- yup, another given, especially when all they are focussed on is having fun on this great trip. Brayden tends to be a lolly-gagger and Mikayla can get a bit sensitive and dramatic - and neither one of them are very interested in pitching in to keep the car clean or grabbing bags when we get to a hotel. Mommy and Daddy then get even crankier.

- motion sickness- no, not us - that would be our weak-stomached daughter. Did you know that gallon size ziploc bags can also serve as motion sickness bags? We've tested that twice already. However, I do have to hand it to her, she handles it like a champ, for that we are very thankful.

- crazy traffic- and, a husband with a propensity for driving faster and closer to the car in front of us than I'm comfortable with. I have yet to find the right wording or body language that appropriately expresses I am uncomfortable/freaked out without offending him. This deteriorates the attitude on our roadtrip very quickly.

- bigger cities- John and I came to a major revelation already on this trip. We are not city vacationers. Not at all. The first day of this trip had to be spent in Sacramento as John had an all-day dental conference that he and Tyson were presenting at. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency downtown on the company's dime and boy oh boy, is that not our style of "cozy vacationing". I could devote a whole post to the experience, but suffice to say, high class hotels and I don't mix really well. I am aghast at how much money is being given out right and left to the valet person, the bellhop, the concierge (for suggesting a family friendly restaurant), the taxi-cab - and then repeating the process all over again when we checked out. The whole feel of the place just screamed "stuffy" - it's just so not me.

The family friendly restaurant that we chose was Hard Rock Cafe. Funny, we didn't remember it being quite that "hard rock" when we've visited in other locations. It was in a bizarre location in a part of out-dated downtown Sacramento and John and I just felt super uncomfortable being there and even waiting outside for our taxi to return. (the concierge had suggested avoiding walking as you'd be going through transient areas - I think that settled into our heads and had us overly paranoid). Then and there, as we were waiting outside the restaurant, we decided that a future dream of ours to go to NYC to see the Macy's Day Parade in person and witness Christmas in NY- well, it's been scratched off the list. We figured the whole time we were there we'd be wishing we were watching the parade on tv all cozy in our home or a place in Sunriver. Glad we came to that conclusion, we saved ourselves thousands of dollars.......

- being treated like a second-class citizen- If you know John, you know that he loves to make friends in a hurry. He is generous, friendly, and very social. As a result, we had striked up conversations with all of the folks that helped us get checked in, and as a result of John's personality and ease in tipping, had them eating out of our hands. This pleased me and made me feel much more comfortable about staying at the hotel the next day, all day, while John was at the conference. We were able to extend our check out until 2pm, so the kids and I juggled the Disney channel in the hotel room with the "quite nice" outdoor pool all day until we finally had to secure our belongings on a luggage cart and just hang out (outside by the pool) until John returned. This had all worked surprisingly well for the 3 of us and by 3pm, with just one hour left until John was due to return, I was feeling pretty good about myself. I had stacked the kids' backpacks and a bag of mine on a table by the pool and the kids were getting out so we could splurge on some ice cream treats from the hotel store. As I was helping Brayden get his swim shirt on to go into the lobby, a hotel security staff person came near me and oddly suggested that I might want to have us return to our room first so the kids could dry off before getting their extra clothes on. Weird. I didn't process what he was getting at. I replied that we didn't need to as we would be returning to the pool and were just going in to get ice cream. I think he then asked if we'd be eating the ice cream in our room. I still didn't get it and told him we'd be eating out by the pool. Finally, he came out with it and said, "Well, do you have a room here at our hotel?" OH, THAT'S WHAT HE WAS GETTING AT!!!! I finally got it! I quickly replied, "yes" as if that was the craziest question ever, and he backed off and away quickly, obviously surprised his theories were off.

What really ticked me off, once I had absorbed the whole exchange, was that I was dressed "classy". My kids both looked good and outside of a few pieces of kids' backpacks on the table, he had no reason whatsoever to imply that we'd came in off the street to cheat the hotel out of their precious private pool. It gave me satisfaction that immediately after speaking to him I was able to walk right up to the check-in desk and begin a conversation with one of the registration guys (I was checking to see if John had called) - so it further backed my evidence for being there at the hotel legitimately. I knew he was watching too.

I spent the next hour stewing and plotting my revenge..... "How dare he....." And, revenge I got. I chatted with the concierge on duty as we were waiting for our luggage to be loaded up and she was astouded that had happened. I was sweet and polite about the "whole mix-up" but for "the better of the whole hotel, knowing how I felt, I thought I'd mention the incident so another hotel patron doesn't end up feeling offended unnecessarily". Like I said, the gal was aghast that it had happened and determined to get to the bottom of it and correct the "obviously new employee who doesn't know our policy about making this hotel feel like your second home". Thattagirl, go get him for me - he deserves it.

Wow, can you tell I needed to get that off my chest? I guess today's post is a sort of cleansing therapy for me.

Today, as John is gone (I'm assuming he's safe, I think I'd know at this point if he wasn't.....), the kids and I will be checking this place out. This resort is huge with buildings all over the place, sprawling over significant distances. It should be fun - and have I mentioned, I am SOOO happy to be here.

For the sake of context, this trip was very random for us - due to an unforseen perk in something we purchased in the past, we were able to spend 7 days here for a whopping $125 total. It has paid for itself already, and I am very pleased. I just thought I'd throw all of that in as I spent so much time complaining earlier.

I think the next post will be full of race pics and the beauty John got to see helping - have a great Saturday-

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Steph, Next time you're in a big town and feel worried about your safety, just think of my friend Courtney (who grew up in Idaho) who told me she's scared to death of Eugene because of all the homeless people and hippies hanging we drove through Skinner's Butte Park a couple weeks ago she was like, "Look at that guy - did he just flip us off? I think he did!" and "See that van? Do you think they're camping there or what?" and I was like, "Yeah, maybe, I don't know...does it matter?" Too funny.

But I totally agree with you about comfort levels in big cities. I get edgy just approaching Wilsonville on I-5. Send me out on the Burns Highway instead, any day!