Tuesday, June 25, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on September 14th, 2011, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 12, Issue 28 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 12, Issue 28

Travel hassle

Romance is hard when you don't have a room


In August, my wife and I decided to take an impromptu trip to Wine Country. When I say “Wine Country,” I am referring to the Napa Valley. I specify this because people who have seen the film Sideways are under the impression that Wine Country is in Buellton. Other folks think that Wine Country is in Paso Robles, or even Temecula. But I, being a true connoisseur and aficionado of cheap Mexican beers, consider Napa Valley the true Wine Country. If I’m being honest, I only have this uppity Wine Country opinion because somebody who was a lot more sophisticated than me mentioned it to me once. The only thing I really know about the place is that my wife wanted to go. All I cared about is that my wife thought Napa was “romantic.” Married Man Rule No. 1: If your wife thinks someplace is romantic, take her there immediately (before somebody else does).

My wife whispered to me:
‘Please don’t start drinking while we’re standing in line.’

Since our trip was a last-minute idea, we didn’t have a hotel reservation. This didn’t concern me, since I like to keep things casual and play things loose. “Playing things loose” in Napa Valley during a summer weekend turned out to be pretty foolish.Apparently everybody’s wives think the place is romantic. The only hotel we could find with a vacancy was in Oakland. Married Man Rule No. 2: Never take your wife to a hotel in Oakland.

My wife grabbed my phone and went to Expedia.com to find us a room. My phone is called a “smart phone,” but we refer to it as the “dumb phone,” since it never works very smartly. My wife, whom I love, is perplexed by the technology involved with a light switch, therefore she is easily frustrated with the Internet connection on my phone (or lack thereof). After some lengthy bouts of cussing and pressing the touch screen on my phone very hard (to no effect), somehow my wife booked us a vacant room in Napa. I couldn’t believe she was lucky enough to score one. Then I realized luck had nothing do to with it; it was the $300 a night room rate. Married Man Rule No. 3: Don’t complain about the room rate if you want your wife to continue to feel romantic.

As we were driving to the hotel, we decided to pick up some deli sandwiches and a six-pack of Mexican beer (no wine for us in Wine Country). Then we headed to the Embassy Suites hotel, where we would be staying for one single night, but our money would be staying forever. We patiently stood in line at the front desk, waiting for our turn to check in to the posh hotel. The people in front of us were being turned away one after another. The poor slobs; they came to Napa without a hotel reservation? When we approached the front desk, my wife and I were flirting and laughing; “Room for Krider, please.”

“I’m sorry we don’t have a reservation with that name.”

“That’s funny, because Expedia already took 300 bucks out of my bank account, which says that I do have a reservation here with my name on it.”

“I’ll check again … no I’m sorry, no reservation. We’re completely booked tonight, so I can’t provide you with a different room.”

The flirting and the laughing were over. My wife pulled out my dumb phone and showed the hotel clerk our confirmation with Expedia for that hotel for that night. The hotel staff didn’t care: “You’ll have to call Expedia. We don’t have a reservation under your name.”

I lost my cool: “You do conduct business with a website called Expedia, correct?”


“You allow that website to represent your hotel, right?”


“You allow rooms to be reserved and paid for through Expedia, is that accurate?”


“Then why don’t you get on the phone with Expedia and figure it out after you give me the keys to my room?”

This hotel clerk asked my wife to find the phone number for Expedia on my dumb phone. We stood in the lobby for 30 minutes while the clerk was on hold. I was losing my patience exponentially with every minute I stood at the counter. To kill time, I reached into the bag we picked up from the deli and pulled out a Mexican beer.  My wife whispered to me: “Please don’t start drinking while we’re standing in line.”

I didn’t have a bottle opener with me, so I put the edge of the bottle cap on the counter of the Embassy Suites hotel desk and slammed my hand down. The bottle cap went flying over the desk, beer spilled on the floor, and my wife looked like she wanted to die. I took a nice swig of the beer and announced to the staff, “I am staying in this hotel tonight! Either I’m sleeping in a bed in one of your rooms, or I’ll just party right here all night. Your choice.”

Married Man Rule No. 4: Public displays of anger, lunacy, alcoholism, and foul language are not the recipe for romance.

While we were waiting there with my wife stewing, the clerk on hold, and me drinking heavily, a few more hotel hopefuls arrived and were each sent to other hotels (probably in Oakland). I took another swig of beer and made another important announcement: “If you want to move my reservation to another hotel, you better call me a limo right now!” My wife was pretty sure I would be spending the night in the county jail.

An hour and three beers into this debacle, I started to get just out of control enough that the hotel manager thought the best course of action would be to get me out of the lobby and into a room that had been recently canceled. The only catch: We had to pay another $300 because they couldn’t find our Expedia reservation. I didn’t care. I was drunk and needed to pee. Hallelujah! Being a jerk got me a room in the beautiful and romantic Napa Wine Country. There was only one problem: Due to my lobby behavior, there was no romance in Napa. Married Man Rule No. 5: After drinking three Mexican beers remember to brush your teeth.

Rob would like to take this opportunity to tell everyone to not use Expedia.com.

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