Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I love staying in hotels. I have these little rituals and routines that I savor and save for hotel stays. I know some people have a very negative view of hotels...they're all the same, dirty, substandard service, living out of a suitcase, smoky, bad mattresses, lumpy pillows, thin walls, cheap toiletries, noisy hallways, tacky decor, overheated or freezing cold...and the list goes on. I've experienced probably all of those and more (once I was hit in the head so hard by a rowdy guest that it about knocked me silly...and I won't even go into the missionary stories!). But when it's a decent hotel I'm booking into, I'm in heaven.
I am a project-oriented person, always on the go, never bored, but never really at rest either. When I do sit down, say to watch a movie, I fold laundry, iron, or do some other project...recently, my recipe books. But when I go to a hotel, I lounge, I leisure, I laze, and I love it.
I'm at a conference today and we are staying at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver, Washington. It's not a resort or high-end hotel, but it is nicer than a Best Western or Holiday Inn. We upgraded to a fourth-floor room, not a suite but a few extra amenities like better mattresses and shower heads, breakfast, evening refreshments and snacks in your room, and things like that.
My hotel routine goes something like this:
1. Check-in - While Jeff is checking in, I peruse the travel brochures or browse the gift store, peek into the restaurant and check out the pool, if it is visible from the lobby.
2. Check it out - Once in the room, I give it a once-over. I see what toiletries they have. I look out the window to see the view (last year we overlooked a wooded creek; this year, even though we have a better room, we overlook the parking lot). I pick my side of the bed.
3. Settle in - I'm very territorial. I like my space organized and categorized. I use the luggage rack for my suitcase and set it up near my bed in an empty corner. My shoes go in the closet. My laptop is instantly set up on the desk. My snacks are unpacked into the fridge. My purse is stored out of the way. I open the curtains and the window if it is a nice day or I close the curtains and turn on fresh air if it is dark and chilly. I turn on the side lamps. I put my toiletry bag in the bathroom. Jeff sets up too, but much faster. Suitcase in a corner, shoes off, keys and loose change dumped, TV on, flop on bed.
4. Set up - Oh, what to do first?! I open my bag and pull out whatever special project I've set aside for this trip or the magazine I've saved to read or the nail polish I've brought to do a slow and careful manicure.
5. Go out - This is one of my favorite aspects of staying in a hotel...I actually get to spend about an hour doing nothing but getting myself ready. I do my hair with a little more care and I put my make-up on in the mirror...not the car!! I NEVER get ready like this at home...never. It is sheer luxury for me to get ready at the hotel.
6. Come back - When I come back to the hotel room after a night of meetings, it's always late and I'm always tired. It is soooo nice to not have one single thing to do but get ready for bed. No dishwasher to empty. No cat to put out. No living room to tidy up after the kids. No messages to check. No laundry to start. Just brush my teeth and go to bed. I layer all the pillows and prop myself up to read until I start to drift off to sleep. Then I toss the extra pillows on the chair and do just that...go to sleep. Jeff kicks off his shoes, dumps his keys and loose change on the desk, turns on the TV and flops on the bed. I usually don't even know when he turns out the light and goes to sleep!
7. Get up - I'm always an early riser and I never sleep in late when I'm at a hotel. Nope, I'm up bright and early and into my LuluLemons and running shoes and off to the exercise room. I always go for the elliptical (it's really the only machine I know how to use!). I rarely have to share the room with anyone else that early in the morning so I get to choose my own TV channel, which is either the cooking channel or the home channel. There are only two times I watch cable TV...in the dentist's office and in the exercise room of a hotel. It's my special routine! When I'm done working out, I go into the pool (again, no one is ever there so early in the morning so I have it all to myself), and when I'm done swimming, I soak in the hot tub for about 5 minutes to warm up. I am feeling relaxed and energized all at the same time!
8. Get ready - I hit the shower in my own room. If the toiletries are good ones, I'll use the hotel's. If not, I always bring my favorites from home, like my Philosophy Amazing Grace travel set. Then I do the leisurely get-ready hair and make-up application again.
9. Wait for Jeff - by this time Jeff is awake, so he jumps in the shower and I relax while I wait for him by checking my email and Facebook.
10. Check out - We pack up and head out, always with a Starbucks for the road.
11. Come home - Ahhh, nothing like my own bed...and a dishwasher to empty, a living room to tidy up, a load of laundry to start, mail to sort, suitcases to unpack, work to be done, etc., etc., etc., which is why I love a night at a hotel!