Sunday, March 26, 2006
hotel life
Last Sunday I drove about 2.5 hours to the town I was going to be working in the next day. The idea was that I would drive there the night before so that I wasn't driving for 2.5 hours before working a full and long day. I would be able to get a full night's rest and start fresh in the morning. Sounds like a good plan, right?

I arrived at the hotel around 8:30pm and checked in. I asked the person at the front desk if they had wireless internet and he said that they did. This made me happy. However, once I settled into my room and set up my laptop I found that, yes, they did have internet... but at a cost of $7.50 and hour. An HOUR. Thanks but no thanks. Note to self: asking if they have a wireless connection is not enough, ask if it's free (as it had been in most of the hotels I had been staying in over the past month).

Whatever, not a big deal just an annoyance. Upon finding out that Desperate Housewives was a rerun, damnit, I decided to have myself a nice hot bath and watch a little tv in bed. Tired, it didn't take me long to start to drift off once I got into bed, so I shut the light off and started to snooze...

Now, let it be known that I am a light sleeper. An extremely light sleeper. It has been the bane of restful sleep for me and has cost me many a night's sleep. So when the heater in the room came on... and then off.... and then on again, I soon found myself waking up every time it automatically clicked on and off. I finally had to get up and shut the heater off so I could sleep (and nearly froze my ass off in doing so). Then it was the bar fridge in the room; it too clicked on and off as it regulated the coolness within. Frustrated by my continually interrupted sleep I got out of bed, pulled the fridge out from the wall and unplugged it. Ahh.. at last, sleep.

One thing stood between me and my sleep and it was something I had missed earlier, likely due to the other noises (tv included); the ice machine out in the hall, across from my room. Every single hour at around the same time it dropped a load of freshly made ice into the bin below. The sound was akin to a crash and if you happen to be asleep... it doesn't just wake you up, it startles you awake. Indeed, if you happen to manage to get somewhat deeply asleep within that hour it downright scares you awake. Hour, after hour, after hour. I nearly lost my mind.

Eventually I got up and dug through my luggage until I found my earplugs and I jammed them in deep. By then it was about 4:30am and I got only 2 hours of real sleep. When I checked out I thanked them profusely for putting me right by the ice machine and advised that they keep that in mind when checking others in. For me, it goes on my list of questions to ask at the hotel desk, right along with "is the internet connection free?".

The next day I was in the store by 7:30am to set up the new display and out by about 1pm. I grabbed lunch at a restaurant nearby and drove to my next town, an hour away. There I began my next store setup and finished at 10pm. My day was LONG and I was beyond whipped. Being the small town that it was I had a bit of difficulty finding somewhere to eat before looking for a hotel so I decided to grab a hotel room and order a pizza.

When I checked into my hotel of choice I was smart and asked where the ice making machine was (I didn't bother with internet, I was too tired anyway). I was assured that the ice machine was on another floor altogether, so I was happy. However, when I got to my room I learned a new lesson about what to ask at the front desk; does the room have a tub? Sadly, this one did not and after a 15 hour day I like to 'soak my bones' and sore feet in nice hot water. I was devastated to find I wouldn't be able to and had to settle for a long hot shower instead.

Eventually my pizza came and I wolfed it down and watched a bit of tv. Exhausted and unable to keep my eyes open I shut the lights off and fell asleep.... until about 1am when a baby started crying out in the hall. "What the hell??" I thought, "Who takes a baby out in the hall to quiet it? Way to wake up everyone in the hotel!". I tried peering through the peephole to see what was going on but couldn't see anything. I climbed back into bed and fell asleep when the baby finally stopped crying. I was awoken two hours later when it started crying again, and it was then that I realized that it wasn't in the hallway.... it was in the room next to me, and that little door between the rooms did a lousy job of separating me from them and their sound.

The baby continued to wake me up every 2 hours until I once again dug out the earplugs, but it was far too late by then. It was another sleepless night for me, and a nearly 4 hour drive home in the morning. When I checked out of the hotel I suggested to the hotel clerk that when they check in a family with a baby it would just be swell if they made an effort to keep them away from the general sleeping population. Or at least make an effort and ask if the child usually sleeps through the night! Ucch, I hate it when hotels are lazy and put everyone on the same floor so that housecleaning doesn't have so far to go to clean.

So. What did I learn from this trip? (1) ask if they have wireless internet in the rooms and if it is free. (2) ask if the room has a tub. (3) ask if there is an ice machine or baby in the vicinity of my room.

Lesson learned!

Now I am back in town for the forseeable future, though my job does have me on the road much of the time and I will have overnight trips at least twice a month. Good thing I know what questions to ask now, isn't it? ;-)

I spent my weekend trying to get organized and to pack. I have to move out of my old apartment by Friday night and take possession of my new place on Saturday. I have decided to move my stuff out of my old place and into my parent's garage so that I can paint my new apartment however I like before I move in. Afterall, it's not crucial when I move in to the new place so much as it's crucial that I get out of the old one. Having lived on the move and out of a suitcase for about 7 months now, I am looking forward to finally settling in again and starting fresh. Anyone wanna help paint? (and hey, Sam, Mulder, I'll have a spare room and bed if you wanna come hang out!)