Sunday, June 29, 2008

this hotel is too too

i can't even come up with an appropriate adjective here--this hotel is just too too. we are in washington d.c. right now for an ASOPRS conference and of course we piggy-backed it into a vacation. and it should be a relatively inexpensive vacation at that--the hotel is covered by rich's expense account (his meeting is actually here) and the plane tickets were part of our settlement with delta. i'm all about the savings, yo.

but this hotel is really, really over the top--it is the type of place the frugal abhor. we are at the mandarin oriental and i doubt i've ever seemed so low-class to a group of complete strangers in my life. my first faux pas was showing up here in a life is good t-shirt and nylon ripstop shorts with flip-flops. oops. the concierge was not impressed. my next big faux pas was asking the concierge where the nearest best buy was. i forgot the battery charger for my camera and i need to pick up a new one; he acted like i had asked him to throw out a dead cat for me or something. although i did have that life is good shirt on--maybe that was it.

later, when the kids were starving and i realized there was nowhere to eat but at the hotel, i was told that children were welcomed in one very small and well-defined part of the hotel for dining. in no sense would this ever be considered a child-friendly place--tiny, perfectly, feng-shui arranged things are everywhere at kid level; breakable decor precariously placed at every turn; $4 glasses of milk. yikes. so that was kind of bad. and of course my kids are oblivious to all this, but the sneers from the waiters are really unnecessary.

today i offended the allegedly-kid-friendly-restaurant manager by asking if we could please bypass the buffet ($65 per person!) and just get a to-go box of chicken tenders for the kids. again with the dead cat thing--perhaps it is part of their training? i got the one order of chicken tenders, and a tiny side of pasta with marinara (not fresh), and he handed me a bill for $25. at least we decided against the $4 glass of milk. if we had any other options for eating...i would so be there...

the most recent revelation about this hotel and how much i have to learn about how to function here is that i'm not allowed to get my own ice. there is an ice machine about 50 feet away from me, yet i am supposed to call the operator, who calls some underpayed, overtaxed servant to come to my room, get my ice bucket, walk 50 feet there and back and give me my ice. i am so confused. what if it melts before i can use it all and i want more? am i allowed to call more than once a day?

i'm off to best buy.

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