Wednesday, August 20, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 23
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Solvang recently celebrated Sideways' 10th anniversary. What did/do you think of the

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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on April 11th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 5 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 5

Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn

Camping isn't for everyone

BY ROB KRIDER

When I first met my wife, I was living in a dorm room. I was also skinny at the time. Unfortunately I didn’t have the self-realization to understand how incredibly lucky I was to be skinny; I feel as if I really took that time of my life for granted. As they say, hindsight is 20/20 and youth is wasted on the young. Regardless of my lack of a beer belly or lack of a sense of carpe diem back in those days, let’s get back to the point at hand: In college I met my wife while I was living in the dorms. Unfortunately, I had a roommate who didn’t have much of a social life. He wouldn’t leave the dorm room, ever. He had become addicted to the video game Doom, and he played it 24/7 in my room. The guy wouldn’t even stop to go to class. What that resulted in was my wife and I doing a lot of tent camping. Of course, back then she wasn’t my wife. She wasn’t even really my wife-to-be. At the time, she was referred to as “The blonde girl from the second floor.” She loved to camp, and I loved her for it.

Don’t worry moms and dads out there: We got married. It’s all good. In fact, we have been married for more than 16 years. Some things have changed: I got fat, and now she doesn’t like camping as much. Bummer. But things aren’t all grim, because my wife, whom I love, loves hotels. I don’t know what these hotel companies are pumping through the vents (pheromones?), but you get my wife away from the hustle and bustle of her daily life and throw her in a nice hotel room and BAM! We are on vacation!

Vacations are a good thing. They don’t come as often as anybody would like, but when they do come, they come hard: hard on the wallet, that is. You see, I wish I could afford to take my wife to a hotel every weekend, but my budget just can’t handle that kind of excitement. Camping is much cheaper than a hotel, but my wife has become a hotel kind of girl. She doesn’t do the whole granola outdoorsy thing anymore. I have tried to compromise and take her to a motel, but that doesn’t work either. She told me flat out, “I don’t do motels”—as if the word “motel” was a dirty thing. She only appreciates the finer establishments. I made the foolish mistake of trying the whole “stay-cation” thing. It was a huge flop. It certainly didn’t knock her socks off like I was hoping.

What it all comes down to is getting away from responsibility. Home equals laundry, dishes, bills to pay, essentially the four-letter word: work. Work isn’t sexy. Camping equals setting up the tent, dirt, sleeping with a rock in your back, and cooking food. A hotel is much better. A hotel means someone else makes the bed, and since there is no kitchen, we have no other choice but to go out to eat. A hotel equals no work, no responsibilities, and no roommate playing Doom until 4 a.m. So I have learned that the secret to making a woman happy is to get her away from responsibility and work. Ironically, getting a woman to a place where she feels like she doesn’t have to work is a lot of work for us guys. There are reservations to be made and decisions about rooms with views, or rooms with Jacuzzis, or rooms with two separate bathrooms (always a chick favorite).

But I’ve learned the hard way that not all hotels are created equal. Some smell. Some don’t give my wife enough conditioner. Sometimes the front desk doesn’t pick up on the first ring when my wife wants a complimentary toothbrush sent up to the room. Sometimes the valet takes too long to get our car. Sometimes the line at the bar during complimentary happy hour is too long. Sometimes the hotel forgets to give my wife a free cookie when she checked in WHEN THE SIGN IN THE FRONT CLEARLY SAID EVERYBODY GETS A FREE COOKIE! Yup, the manager got a nasty letter for that one.

My wife not only requires a hotel for her relaxing vacations, she requires the hotel meet her stringent specifications. There isn’t an extra pillow? Call the front desk. We didn’t get a laundry bag? Call the front desk. I’m going to need a late checkout. Call the front desk. They didn’t give us enough towels? Call the front desk. The ice machine on this floor is broken? Call the front desk!

We call the front desk a lot. They know us quite well before we leave. We sure do get big smiles as the staff waves goodbye to us.

Hotel budgets aren’t cheap, especially when you have kids (a result of an earlier hotel visit). Sure, it is cozy to have the whole family share a room, but if the whole point was to help the wife relax, sharing a small room and one toilet with two teenagers isn’t the answer. So that means getting two separate hotel rooms, which is doubling the budget. In the morning when the bill gets slipped under the door, I realize that spending quality time with my wife is really expensive. I might even think to myself, what other type of entertainment could I afford for the same amount of cash? A go-kart!

I’m not complaining. I am a very lucky man who has been married to a great gal for a long time. And that success comes from a lot of hard work and support from the people around us. I just want to take the time to thank the staff at the Hilton, the Holiday Inn, the Radisson, every hotel on Las Vegas Boulevard, the Hyatt, the … .

Only two Q-tips? Right now Rob is on the phone with the front desk.