Hotels and Mystery Centers

Living out of a suitcase is the ultimate in discomfort. I have been away from home for an extended length of time and that small fact magnifies every hotel-related quandary.


First, there is sleeping at night. The bed is comfy and large, but there is the matter of the AC clicking on and off all night long or not working at all. I’m a light sleeper, so any little disturbance gets me up, which sets off a chain reaction of bathroom routines. Finding one’s way in a room that is as dark as a cave is not an easy task. This is followed by trying to go back to sleep, in a strange bed, with the AC clicking on and off.


Mornings have been a little easier. The hotel provides breakfast, which is nice. The coffee is never any good, though (I think they spike perfectly good coffee with water), but the breakfast is edible. It’s edible if one likes a breakfast wrap with a mystery center. Your fork cuts into the center, for example, and you think, What’s that? A fork tong carefully balances whatever food item it is and delivers it to your mouth. Then you think, mmm, not bad or what the #*&! and quickly return it to your plate.


Finally, taking a morning run was a practice in patience and endurance on many levels. I scoped my potential route from the parking lot of the hotel—first mistake—and started my run, thinking I would get in the miles that I do normally. It started off great with a beautiful morning and with my aging body feeling young again. Then I noticed that I had on a non-waterproof watch. So I took it off and attached the watch to my tank strap, while running. In the process, I unknowingly attached my I-Pod ear plugs with my watch, so that as I ran, the ear buds would inch their way out of my ears, repeatedly. Aside from having to stop at major intersections and wait on the “walk” signal and re-inserting my earbuds, the route was going fine. Soon I determined that I was about to complete a large rectangular route, only to discover that I was headed for an entrance to the highway, so I turned around and finished my run on the treadmill at the hotel.


Living out of a suitcase is not something I care to repeat often, but the experience of a new place has been invigorating. The food has been a treat for the tastebuds (dinner, that is) and the scenery a feast for the eyes. I will, no doubt, be glad to return home, to a relatively hard bed, but a quiet bedroom and predictable routes for running, but fond memories of this place will live on in hundreds of pictures and behind every smile for years to come.


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