Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I have a sense of humor, but I also have my limits, Part II

F and decided to make a “mini-vacation” out of our trip to Half Moon Bay and arrived the Wednesday before the Saturday wedding. Check-in is normally at 3 pm, but we were told that we could ask if the room was ready early, and possibly check in early. So off to the b & b we go. We got there about noon.

Now, the b & b doesn’t have a front desk – you check in at the bar. We walk in and get the attention of a heavy-set blond woman behind the bar (and after talking to her a few minutes, F realizes that this is the now infamous Dimwit he spoke to on the phone previously).

We tell her that we realize that we are early, but just wanted to check to see if we could check in early. If not, no big deal, we’ll go have lunch, walk around and come back at 3 pm. She pulls out the “reservation book” which is nothing more than a notebook-sized day planner (they don’t have a computer). She flips to that day’s date and sure enough, there we are – my name AND credit card number written down in this book. If they ever lost it, or someone stole it - hell, if anyone leaned over to look at it at the bar – all of us guests would need to cancel our credit cards.

Dimwit proceeds to figure out what I will owe for the duration of my stay – on a cocktail napkin. She then charges my credit card for the full amount (usually most places wait until the end of your stay – which tells me they are financially strapped if they need the money right now).

We’re told that she doesn’t know if our room is ready, but go have lunch and come back – she’ll know then. Fine. We go have lunch. We walk around. The town is pretty tiny, so we pretty much covered it in 30-45 minutes after our leisurely lunch. We come back. Now we’re told that they’re waiting for the locksmith because they think he’s doing something apparently mystifying called “re-keying” – something that Dimwit and her associates seem completely baffled by. “He’s 10 minutes late. It should take about 20 minutes. Come back then.” If you don’t even know what it is that he’s doing, how can you estimate how long it will take?

Whatever. We hop in the car and take a drive up the coast to see what there is to see. We’re gone for over an hour. When we come back, we’re told that the locksmith is still doing his incomprehensible “re-keying” but they don’t know if he’s actually finished with our room yet, he hasn’t come down with any keys. Heaven forbid they actually walk up the stairs and find out. It would have taken all of 2 minutes.

So F and I venture upstairs ourselves. Sure enough, there is the locksmith actually grinding new keys in the hallway. Our new key is sitting in our door. We stop a woman in the hall who is wearing an apron – whom we assume is cleaning rooms. “Can you show us where the shower is?”

“Gee, I don’t know where the shower is.” She stops a teenaged boy who’s also running around and asks him.

He seems to actually work there – he shows us were the shower is. There are only 12 rooms on the second floor – that’s the bed part of this b & b. The 13th room is the shower. Not hard to figure out. We probably should have just walked around ourselves.

F and I go up the street and purchase some wine – we’re going to need to be drunk to tolerate this place and it’s employees.

We come back. New bartender. We ask if we can check in. He sees the keys aren’t in their usual spot and decides to take action – calls the locksmith… who is, wait for it! UPSTAIRS. We inform him and Dimwit that we’d gone up and it appears our room is ready. Dimwit walks upstairs with us to our room to see for herself and exclaims “I’ve never been up here!”

No kidding. Really? Couldn’t have guessed. Please go away. I feel stupider just being around you.

We close the door and bust out laughing. This is the WORST. We can’t stay here. There is a 2 inch gap between the door and the floor – allowing us to hear everything in the hallway. When I sit on the toilet, my knees are under the sink. Whoever stayed there before us had long dark hair and sparkly clothing because there is hair and glitter all over the floor and bedspread. There is NOT that reassuring “clean smell” emanating from the sheets – which I have come to expect from a hotel of any rank. I’ve felt more comfortable camping than I do in this room.

And for the record – there WAS a phone jack in the room. No idea if it works, but it was there. No clock, one bedside lamp. The headboard was not attached to the wall, or the bed, and was on wheels, as was the bed. The top pane of glass in the window was held up by a previous guest’s rolled up luggage tag used as a wedge. We’re lucky no one got hurt.

Our next venture out, we are looking for a new hotel. Thank goodness for the Holiday Inn Express! And the wonderful, competent and NICE manager, who hooked us up for the remainder of our stay AND gave us a discount he didn’t need to.

We [heart] him.

F and I decide to take advantage of the b & b’s 24 hour cancellation policy. F calls the b & b and talks to Dimwit, who is none-too-pleased that we are staying just the one night and cancelling the rest of our reservation. F feeds her some story about friends’ plans changing and now we’ll be staying with them. Not trusting Dimwit to actually take action, we immediately go back to the b & b and physically watch her credit my credit card.

Now she has to update the reservation book to show that we’re only there for the one night. She starts to erase the check-marks on the following days, and is at a complete and utter loss of what to do when she realizes… [you might want to sit down for this]… that the reservation was written in PEN. [Gasp! The horror!] She quite literally does not know what to do. She is dumbfounded. She actually has to call her boss over and ask what to do - in a manner indicating to us that we just made her life a living hell. Cross it out? Scribble it out? White-out? Who knows?! The options are mind-blowing and who knows which way is the right way?! Eeeek!

F and I have a nice dinner at the Moss Beach Distillery – having the first serving of what would come to be clam chowder every day. It took us approximately 6 hours to officially check in, and during that time we decided we couldn’t stay there. That night we found gum on the wall. A dangerously protruding nail. Plastic taped over our smoke alarm. F was lying on his back in bed saying “I don’t want my skin to touch the sheets!”

The next morning we ventured to the communal shower in our shower flip-flops (thank goodness we remembered to pack those!). The grout in the bottom of the shower was covered in black/green mold. The floor was stained gray with grime and dirt.

The only redeeming thing about this b & b was the breakfast. It was wonderful. I can’t tell you enough how much we enjoyed the freshly baked goods, homemade preserves, and made-to-order omelets.

Sadly, the joy of breakfast was not enough to entice us stay.


Blogger LabTech said...

LOVE IT! Really, you can't make this stuff up... I'm off to a family reunion this weekend (Th/F/S/Su) in PA...my ENTIRE family in one house - and my extended family in all of the surrounding houses (they call them "cabins" - but they are huge houses). I plan to make good use of my birthday gift!! LOL Should be an entertaining blog next week. :)

7:00 AM  
Blogger DK said...


Doubly so on the mold. Yick!!

8:30 PM  

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