Monday, July 22, 2013

In which we procure a place to sleep

This post is a continuation of our Upstate NY weekend adventure. So to continue...

A couple months ago when we first started thinking about making the trip out to the pageant, and realized it was going to get over around 10:30 we started to look for a hotel right in the area. There were none available. Any hotel for over an hour back in the direction of our house was booked.

So on the Wednesday before, when Cam managed to get Friday off, we changed our plans and decided we would take off in the other direction, towards Niagara Falls after the pageant. I found a hotel that had one room available just 30 minutes away (I will not be disclosing the name of the hotel - I'll explain why later, but I can assure you it was a reputable establishment).

As I mentioned earlier, Wes crashed around 10, the pageant ended at 10:30 so Cam carried him to the car and he slept on the way to the hotel. Cam ran inside and checked us in, and then I carried the pack-and-play and Cam carried Wes up to our room. I stuck the key in, and the door wouldn't open. So I left Cam holding a sleeping Wes in the hallway, and sped down the long hall and down the elevator to the front desk.

There was no one at the front desk when I got there, just two somewhat disheveled elderly women in character pajamas sitting in the lobby. They told me I'd have to yell back there for Margaret because she was doing dishes and probably wouldn't be able to hear me. I yelled for Margaret, got a "hold on honey"... and after a few minutes Margaret wandered out. I explained that our key didn't work, so she ran it through her machine and set me back up  the elevator and down the long hallway.

Cam was still standing there holding a sleeping Wes. The key still didn't work.

I sped back down to the front desk again. I yelled for Margaret who was confused that I was back, as were the two elderly women who were somewhat flustered on my behalf. Margaret thought that perhaps it was the key not working, and got me a new one and ran it though her machine. She sent me back up and let me know that if there were any more problems to look for her in the laundry room because that's where she'd be.

Cam was still standing there holding a sleeping Wes. The key still didn't work.

I speed-waddled my way back down the hall (hey- at this point I'd had a long day and I'm now 7 months along with a baby who reduces my lung capacity by about half). I found the laundry room and a flustered Margaret. At this point I learned that she was actually only the laundry and dish lady... and since there is no desk person after 11PM it's her job to give people keys that come after hours. At this point she came with me up the elevator.

Cam was sitting on the floor holding a sleeping Wes with his elbow propped up on the pack-and-play. Margaret put in her key, which still didn't work. Then from inside the room we heard a lady say "Excuse Me!" Margaret gave us an open-eyed open-mouthed look of shock and replied with an apology. Cam remained sitting. Margaret and I huffed and puffed downstairs the whole time Margaret was nervous-talking about how she's just the laundry lady.

Back in the lobby Margaret pulled out the list of room occupants that the last desk person had printed for Margaret before she left, and we were in fact supposed to be in that room. Poor Margaret was so confused and kept saying how they told her the hotel was full and someone else should not be in that room because that was the only one they had. She tried to call a few people who worked at the desk and the room itself but kept getting a busy line (as Cam mentioned later, from outside the room he could hear the very upset lady inside trying to call the lobby and everyone else she could think of that someone was trying to get in her room).

At that point Margaret was pretty ready to resign that there was no room for us. As it was midnight... well, that wasn't an option I was going to stand for. I tried to reason with Margaret that even if they said the hotel was full, that if we were on the list then there must be a room empty somewhere... we just needed to go back upstairs and ask the name of the lady in there and find out what room she should be in, because that one was probably empty.

It took a lot of convincing. But finally we got to go back upstairs to Cam taking a little nap in the hall holding a sleeping Wes (he mentioned that at one point someone had come by and asked if he was okay). Margaret started yelling to the lady through the door since there was no way she was coming out. She asked all kinds of questions that weren't useful like when she checked in and kept repeating she shouldn't be in that room. Finally I convinced her to ask the last name. Margaret had brought her list up, but not her reading glasses so she handed it to me to find the name. It was the room across the hall.

She used her key, and the door opened and the room was empty. Margaret then went over to tell the lady she needed to move into the right room, and we had to convince her that it would be okay if she stayed and we would just take the open room. It was well after midnight.

We checked out the next morning and went on our way without further issue. In fact, Wes thought the hotel was great because it played Elmo on the TV the next morning.

I called the hotel customer service line on Monday to let them know that, as I had seen their list, I was aware that the lady across the hall had paid somewhat less to reserve our room than we had to reserve hers, and I was hoping they could remedy that for me. The customer service lady was so appalled at the whole story that she gave us half our money back... which was enough to buy my silence about the name of the reputable establishment in question in this whole event.

(Next up: the last installment of our Upstate Tour: Niagara Falls, Canada... and Vermont)

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