Tuesday, February 1, 2011

World's Funniest, or not, Hotel Experiences

Ever had an "OMG" moment while staying at a hotel? My fictional reporter Paige Stewart has one heck of a story to tell the grand kids someday ... but I'll let her tell ya'll about that tomorrow! You can catch Paige's adventure at the 17 Hundred 90 Inn of Savannah at Maeve Greyson's blog, Thursday, February 3rd!

I, too had an OMG moment while vacationing, though my experience was humorous rather than ... inexplicable. When I was about ten, my parents and I visited Toronto, Canada. My mother's sister and her two kids went with us. Now, my aunt Evelyn is, hmmm, she describes herself as eccentric so I'll go with that! Aunt Evelyn has never been overly concerned with appearances and nothing, and I do mean nothing, embarrasses her. My mother cannot claim the same!
Aunt Evelyn's husband was an up and coming business man at the time and their family lived in above average style; we were blue collar :). But Aunt Ev never really cottoned to the "upwardly mobile" lifestyle and there's that whole, "I don't care what anyone thinks" attitude too.
Anyway, we drive to Canada, without hotel reservations or even a plan. We were letting Aunt Ev's greater experience be our guide. Oh my, what a mistake!
Aunt Evelyn is chea, er frugal. Her Lincoln town car was packed with brown paper bags filled to overflowing with crackers, chips, and cookies. Her trunk held a cooler with drinks.
My aunt was used to staying in nice hotels, but she wasn't used to paying the bill so when she stopped at a hotel and inquired about a room she was shocked that they charged extra for people staying in the room over the standard two. She didn't agree with that policy so she decided that we'd rent one large suite, (for my parents), and she and we three kids would sneak in through the back door.
This was not a hotel one sneaks into. The lobby was three stories, the staircase was straight out of Gone with the Wind. We're talking marble and crystal everywhere. It was evening, and people were milling about in formal attire. There were no "back" doors.
On to plan B. (Did I mention that Aunt Ev always has a "plan B"? Well, she does and they don't usually go over any better than Plans A or even C! My aunt decided that we'd enter in pairs, and "blend in". The problem with that was we'd been traveling all day and we were dressed in, well traveling clothes. Think shorts, sweats, and T's.
when she announced this plan, her son, a hormonal and very appearance conscious teenager, threw up his hands in disgust and declared he was sleeping in the car. We convinced him to relent, (my Dad couldn't carry all of that stuff upstairs by himself!), and let him go in as one of the "paying" lodgers. My aunt's daughter and I were kids so we were already free so it was decided that we would go with my cousin and my Dad to help haul the piles of mismatched luggage to the room. That left my mom and Aunt Evelyn.
They were supposed to follow right behind us but after several minutes I pointed out that they hadn't come up. Dad sent me to find them. I found them in the lobby just outside of the elevators. My mother was sitting on the cooler, that the men had somehow forgotten, with tears streaming down her face. She was overcome with a very bad case of the giggles, (traveling with aunt Evelyn can do that to a person.). Aunt Evelyn was also incapacitated as giggles are contagious.
There they were, perched on a battered cooler, in this very posh hotel, surrounded by boxes of generic snack foods because brown paper bags are known to rip when overfilled!
I, being the smart little kid I was ;), ran to get Dad.
Once in the room, the story was told. You see, we only had one key. Furthermore, Aunt Evelyn couldn't remember the room number. So there the sisters were, lugging a full cooler and juggling grocery sacks up and down the halls and elevators with the tuxedo wearing men and ball gown clad women.
My mother was mortified but her sense of the ridiculous tumbled out when the groceries did. That is where I entered the picture. This story has been laughed at and retold more times than I can count and each time someone in the family remarks, "Well, what did you expect? You were with Evelyn!" (Does every family have an "evelyn" or are we the only ones so graced?)
Oh, if you've read Ring of Lies, you might be interested to know that Aunt Evelyn's middle name is Fay ;)
The spelling was changed to protect the not so innocent!

You know? I just might have to start a blog series of Aunt Ev stories ...

So, you know what I'm going to say, don't you? What is your OMG experience at a hotel?

1 comment:

  1. Girl, after working in hotels for more than 10 years, I have way too many OMG stories to tell... like when the fire alarms went off and wouldn't stop... or when a man's room had been broken into and I stupidly asked the thief if I should call the cops... or when a grump threw his key across the counter at me... well - you get the idea.