Sunday, May 30, 2010

Travel/Hotel follow-up

Ok, so the Super 8 in Columbus, GA did have an underlying scent of old cigarette smoke, tacky bedspreads and a retro TV; HOWEVER, it DID have a microwave, fridge, windows that opened and free internet service. It was $57. Take THAT $200/night Hyatt!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Some of The Petite Young Blonde’s Thoughts on Travel

Hello from the PYB! She is currently visiting Washington, DC for a work conference and this has spurned some thoughts and ideas on various levels about traveling. 

Leaving on a Trip

After taking so many traveling soccer trips and family vacations the PYB has identified female responsibilities and male responsibilities in preparing to depart.  All you single moms/dads do it all and the PYB’s vintage hat is off to you because it’s hard enough just to do one part (see Memory). 

v    Finish the laundry
v    Pack the suitcases (self and children’s when younger)
v    Lock all windows/doors
v    Clean the cat poopers (the HH does this, too)
v    Turn off the coffee pot & unplug appliances
v    Water the plants
v    Gather food for the ride and hotel
v    Fill water bottles
v    Make sure children’s schedules are covered if going away for business (rides to school, lunches, after-school activities/care, any doctor appointments, play-dates, etc).
v    House is in some kind of decent order (however – remember that a clean house is the sign of a wasted life….)
v    Arrange animal care or in the case of cats make sure they have enough food & water
v    Take out trash
v    Print out directions (and hope Mapquest or Maps.Yahoo actually have it right)
v    Make sure kids have enough car/vacation activities packed – games, cards, books, movies, homework, etc.

v    Fill up the car
v    Pack suitcase
v    Load the car
v    Cut the grass if going away for more than a weekend

Hmmm, seems a bit off kilter doesn’t it? She is NOT saying this is the case all the time or for anyone else, OR that it’s unfair…it’s just the way it is.

The PYB loves being a traveling (soccer) mom.


Although she doesn’t travel alone a lot she does travel fairly often and mostly to soccer tournaments in the Southeast U.S.  It never fails something is always left at home. The PYB and her Petite Soeur used to have a handmade jewelry company and once she left a box of jewelry when going to a show!  When she and the Petite Jeune Fille Brunette drove to Ohio for her father-in-law’s funeral she arrived without her clothes. Upon arriving at the ATL airport she realized left the company check for the hotel….

Lists you say? Doesn’t matter. She usually can’t locate the list after it’s been written anyway.

The PYB forgot what she wanted to say.


She is directionally challenged and it’s obviously a defective gene that runs in the family – her Petite Soeur is inflicted as well.  It might be something that skips a generation, however.  Their parents didn’t seem to have it, and she isn’t sure about the grandparents – they didn't travel more than a 50 mile radius of their homes in Oklahoma that often.  It’s obvious the Premier Petite Jeune Fille Brunette does not have this defective gene, as she is able to travel across the world without issue.   All right, perhaps she can’t blame it on a bad gene after all. 

Again, when the PYB and her Petite Soeur were selling their jewelry they were consistently getting lost.  Having step-by-step directions aren’t always enough either. Knowing left from right has been proven to be a good skill to have of which the PYB is sorely lacking and having to give split second directional instructions can prove to be problematic.  Once the Petite Soeur was using her OnStar service to help her get home and the operator ended up calling her husband to let him know they couldn’t help her…yes, it’s that bad.

The PYB doesn’t travel alone that often and it makes her kind of anxious.  That’s why she double-checks everything.  So upon arriving in Washington this week she pulled out her hotel info to find out where to catch the shuttle and found that the hotel was by the Ronald Reagan Airport.  Her ticket said DCA.  A momentary panic set in and then just plain disgust. Had she not verified all of this when scheduling her ticket and hotel?? 
Just. Great.
She only had so much cash provided by her employer for traveling expenses and now she’ll have to hire a cab to take her to the hotel.  The subway/metro was an option but she’d definitely get herself lost on that and did not want to be wandering around the station with her suitcase and computer looking oh, so much like the lost out-of-towner she obviously was.  Where’s the damn information desk?

The PYB is so sick of being lost.


Can anyone please explain to the PYB why the more expensive a hotel costs the less amenities it has available? For example, for $200 a night the Hyatt Crystal City has a killer bed – very comfy – with no less than eight, yes, eight pillows. The “complimentary” bathroom products have exotic fragrances like White Ginger and Sugary Citrus.  And the lighting, very soft and romantic.  However, where’s the microwave? Where’s the mini-fridge? How about the free continental breakfast?  How about movie channels or Disney (she really doesn’t need 5 cable news channels or 4 ESPN options)? And. where. in the name. of all that is. good and holy. is the free Wifi?!!??  Are you serious? $200 a night and the hotel still wants $10 per 24 hours of internet use?  That’s just plain tacky.  At least the Hyatt has in room coffee the Sofetel in Chicago didn’t even have that.  Oh, and the thin walls…not gonna discuss that.

The PYB is used to soccer tournament hotels. The cheap ones with mostly uncomfortable mattresses, a way to store and zap food, Suave shampoo & conditioner, three movie channels and Disney, and COFFEE. That’s what she’s used to and happy with. So she would gladly trade 2 pillows for a coffee pot and four pillows for the freaking internet so she can get her Facebook fix for the day and maybe even check email.

The PYB wants her wifi.

Maid Service

The PYB thinks that when staying in a hotel the “inner teenager” comes out and most of humanity reverts to being a total slob.  Yes, the PYB includes herself in this esteemed group.  There’s just something about dropping a towel on the floor, leaving it there, and not worrying about the tile being damp, or puddles forming outside the tub.  As for making the bed…well, she doesn’t even do that at home.

Hotel maids really do have a thankless job.  They have to deal with most unspeakable situations and filth.  Pizza fell facedown on the floor – oh, well.  Clumps of mud from the soccer field coming off the cleats in the room and being ground into the rug– oh, well.  Hotels at the beach during spring break – oh, well.  Because of hotel-induced slovenliness most guests are hoping that the room will get serviced while they’re out to breakfast.  That way the maid won’t be able to put a face with the pig inside – the humiliation! Which is why the PYB will clean up the spills, drips and dirt; but she draws the line at making the bed. 

The PYB does not like to feel humiliated.

Lost Part 2

Found the information desk…good news and big relief:  DCA is Ronald Reagan Airport – hurrah!  But that’s about as much info the Info Desk Guys could give me. After all, The PYB did interrupt them from reading their newspapers.  One would assume they would have information about where to pick up hotel shuttle and since they had a phone one would assume they would offer to make an informational phone call to the hotel since they didn’t know. 

The PYB was not impressed.

Hotels Part 2

If you are reading this it’s because the PYB broke down and spent $10 for the damn T-Mobile Hot Zone or Spot or whatever it’s called, because that’s just how much she loves you; her family and friends.

And the PYB will not be ignored – wifi or no wifi.