Sunday, April 11, 2010

View from My Window - Day 6 of 10


Conde Nast Traveler used to -- and may still -- have a feature page that faces the inside back cover called "The View from my Window" where readers have sent in magnificent views from various hotel windows. The caption always sounded so enchanted -- like "Grand Island Oceanfront Resort, Eleuthera, Bahamas -- Room 458" and you'd see pink sand beaches, sailboats, turquoise waters, swaying palm trees -- the works.

I have rarely been that lucky. The view here is fairly typical for my travels: parking lots, highways, gas stations, other hotels. I did manage some stunted swaying palms, but that's about it.

Two highlights in the past 24 hours: [wait, make that 3] -- I did get my Cracker Barrel dinner. I went about 8 thinking the dinner rush would be over, but when I arrived, there was a line and a PA system announcing names of reservations and I wasn't that desperate so I drove around for a while -- didn't want fast food/drive thru, and the other choices were Dennys, and those kind of places. There was a place called Grand China Buffet -- and I do love Chinese food, but man, I thought that might be a risk. I drove around and then went back to Cracker Barrel and those extra 15 minutes made the difference.

I got my chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, corn and coleslaw along with a glass of lemonade. Jesus, take me, I'm ready to go. That was so good. (If I'm ever about to be executed, drive me in shackles to Cracker Barrel for my last meal of chicken fried steak.) Read a magazine and had a wonderful dinner. That was the first highlight.

The second highlight was when I went to brush my teeth before going to bed last night, I dropped the brush head on the floor, immediately bent over to pick it up and it was gone. No really. Gone. Disappeared into thin air. I looked everywhere, including inside the tissue box. You think you're losing your mind. Maybe I just thought I dropped it, and it's here somewhere. Things don't disappear into thin air. Finally I gave up and went to sleep un-brushed which I hate.

This morning I thought surely I'd find it, but I didn't so I eventually called down the hallway to a housekeeper who came in my room, got flat on her stomach and found it somehow wedged into this space under the vanity. I wanted to kiss her. It was the kind of trick that if you attempted to do it, you couldn't. So finding my toothbrush head was highlight #2.

Then I thought I'd have to spend some time looking for a laundromat, a place I hoped never to have to frequent again. The hotel guide that they had on the desk only mentioned "laundry and drycleaning services" and I wasn't about to pay to have laundry sent out. Coming back from dinner last night, I saw something right opposite my room which is a laundry room, the only one in the hotel, and it's right across the hall.

I got quarters and detergent and Bounce from the front desk and my laundry is being done now. What a time saver.

I finished my one article this morning, so now it's on to the next one. I was supposed to have dinner tonight with one of my clients which I was looking forward to -- the kind of business dinner that's with a friend. But the company president is coming in a day earlier than planned so my client has to be with him. Dumped for a president; rank does have its privileges.

Just went to put my wash into the dryer and I saw the housekeeper sweeping in the laundry room and I thanked her again, said I hadn't had to feed quarters into a machine in some time --these hotel machines are two dollars for wash and two dollars to dry. She said the going rate at a regular laundromat is $1.75 to wash and still 25cents to dry. My undies are getting one cycle and if they're not dry, they can air dry the rest of the way.

Hope the view from your personal window is a beautiful one.

1 comment:

BJ & Lori Nicholls said...

Hmmm, we have lots of Cracker Barrels along the interstate. I'm not much of a fan of generic American chain restaurants but you almost have me convinced to give this particular chain a try.