Tuesday, August 9, 2022

September 10

When we arrived back at the Staywise after the wedding neither of our swipe cards worked and we couldn’t get in our room. The guy behind the desk who seemed to answer every question with, “I don’t know, I’m not from around here,” also couldn’t get us into the room. Somehow, he didn’t have a master swipe card or key. He was apologetic and made several futile attempts to contact the manager, but no dice, The room next to us was vacant so he put us in there for the night, but we didn’t have any of our things—toothbrushes, Caroline’s iPad, my laptop and most importantly my C-Pap, which would make for a rocky night’s sleep for all of us.

The manager arrived at 6am and was able to open our door without issue. She was a no-nonsense woman who walked fast and offered no apology for our inconvenience. She also had a large tattoo of a flower or a sword or something on the right side of her face that started just below her jawbone and extended onto her cheek. I mention this because in most cases people go to the face tat when they run out of body real estate. This woman had tats in maybe two or three other spots but there was plenty of virgin territory on her lower body to lay more ink. The choice of the face struck me as odd. I can’t say for sure what the tat even was because I don’t look thoroughly at any of them out of fear of being accused as some kind of degenerate gawker. I did think the possibility existed given this woman’s lack of warmth the face ink was a way to both keep people at a distance and be like, “Oh yeah, I did it. I went right to my grill. You don’t want to mess with me.”

And quite frankly, I didn’t want to mess with her. I’m mostly conflict averse, but I will engage when I see a reasonable chance for success. In the two minutes I had interacted with this woman I could tell she had no use for me at all. She was five-steps in front of me as we went up the stairs to our second-floor room and didn’t acknowledge our inconvenience whatsoever. Given these factors I saw little chance  for success. Donna felt otherwise and marched down there and engaged her. Again, the manager didn’t acknowledge our inconvenience and scoffed at the idea of compensation and said to Donna: “Shit happens. You don’t like it, write a review.”

Donna was very proud of herself for not swearing back at this woman. I was proud of her too because this was total bullshit. In the grand scheme of things though, we were in Colorado with our daughter who we hadn’t seen in months, and it was stupid to let this inconsiderate person ruin our time together.

She did come back a little later and offer to let us stay in the room where we slept after the wedding. See, when I made these arrangements, we weren’t sure Caroline was going to be able to attend the wedding. Given that, Donna was going to go fly back to Buffalo the day after the wedding and I was either going to L.A. to visit Caroline or start on my way home in the van.  But when it turned out Caroline could come, I made a second reservation. Before the fiasco of not being able to access our room started “Mr. I don’t know, I’m not from around here,” told me that we would have to check out of our original room at 11am and then come back at 3pm to check into our new room. While I was in the shower the manager came up and told Donna we could stay where we were, and we wouldn’t have to go through the nonsense of checking in and out again. So, there was that warm and fuzzy accommodation.

After that was all worked out the girls decided they wanted to have a lazy day. They watched some Poirot on PBS while I worked on the blog. Later we watched a Bob Ross marathon which was so soothing. I peppered the two art experts in the room with questions of Ross’s technique and style but as is the case with a person who has limited knowledge or experience in a given area words failed to provide an adequate explanation.

In need of more knowledge because I only knew Ross through his righteous afro and his calming voice I went to the fountain of all knowledge and information—Wikipedia. Turns out Ross did twenty-years in the military and was quite the ladies’ man—Vincent Van Fro could pull chicks. He died in the late 90’s having built a small fortune on selling supplies and materials to paint in the Bob Ross method. Lawsuits from family and business partners followed as they started to capitalize on his image. But it was all settled in a beautiful peaceful Bob Ross way.

We did go out to eat and after that and got caught in the hundred-dollar tourist dinner. We went to the Colorado Boy Brewing and the girls ordered personal pan specialty pizza’s and I went healthy with a Vegan panini, which had pesto, sun dried tomatoes, lettuce and other vegan shit. The waitress very innocently asked if I wanted a salad with my sandwich and I said sure—with a little honey mustard on the side. It was a nice healthy salad which I devoured along with the sandwich. But when the bill came there was a charge for the salad, which I thought was included with the panini. When I showed Donna how this waitress did us dirty, she wasn’t having it. She said, “You ordered it. Make sure you leave a good tip. The service was really good.” When I brought up how she did us dirty a second time Donna repeated that I ordered the salad and looked at me in a way as if to say—why is this so hard for you to understand?

How we got here...
An Ode to Fire and Donna
Chronological Posts From The Road 
Going Mobile: What We Learned
Our Rig: A Pictorial Essay


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