Saturday, January 21, 2012

Haiti, from a cruise ship's perspective

After the earthquake, cruise ships still pay to use rest stops on the island, thus helping the economy.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Oddities -- Curious Motel Stay

(Photo taken from Google page.)

Sometimes we experience things which stay embedded in our memories forever.

Many years ago, I endeavored to locate a place to stay near Wickham Park (Civil War historical reenactment site)  in Manchester, CT.

I was interested in location, location, location. Using an airline computer at my disposal, I found a reasonably priced motel on East Center Street, and I could reserve the room by using my computer (so it couldn't be too bad, I thought, if it has computer connections). This was long before one could read reviews on internet sites.

When I checked in at the motel office, I was told I had no reservation. (Not all that rare of an occurrence.)
I was asked the name of the lady who made the reservation for me.
I explained that the reservation was made through the computer and provided the reservation number.

"Oh! The computer", she responded. "We haven't turned that thing on in months."  I waited as she located the switch, turned on the very outdated computer, and waited for it to boot up. While we continued to wait, she said she still had a room available (for more than I priced it online). Even though the room was ready then (1200 Noon) , she told me I would have to wait in my car in the parking lot until check-in time (300PM) or pay for another night's stay. As I sat in the car reading, I glanced over at the office window and could see her looking back at me. Since she had already collected the money for my two night's stay, and since at that time there were no alternate lodging choices that close to Wickham Park, I dutifully appeared back at the front desk at 300 PM to collect my key.

The room was quite spartan, but I had prepared myself for that. Time to relax and switch on the TV. Something was amiss. I called the front office and was told to place quarters into the slot behind the TV  to get a picture. I did give it a try, but one quarter (25 cents) only provided 10 minutes of viewing time. So I settled on "sound only" with 1/8 viewing area showing on top of the screen for free.

The next day, I received a call from the front office telling me that a gentleman who had been spending the week at the motel was checking out but had no money. Would I come to the office and pay his bill so that they wouldn't have to call the authorities.  I declined.

This was one of those unforgettable experiences. Do you have an unusual hotel/motel experience? I would love to hear it.

By the way, the motel has changed it's name since I stayed there.  It has been taken over by a hotel chain, but from the reviews I read, it would appear that they have managed to maintain their substandard service.

Saturday, January 14, 2012