Tag Archives: Chicago

Hotel Owners Should Be Required by Law to Live in a Hotel Room at Least 2 Weeks a Year!

Don't Touch My Stuff

Don’t Touch My Stuff

That’s right, I think that hotel owners and managers should be required to live in one of their hotel rooms, anonymously, 2 weeks a year WITH ANOTHER PERSON. Yep, if I made laws this would be one, except that I object to passing laws in general almost to the point that I could fit into the category of an anarchist.

The 10 laws that God came up with pretty much cover everything, in my opinion.  I’m not even going to get into tax laws because I will start foaming at the mouth and it’s not a pretty sight.

So, back to hotel rooms.  Seriously, who thinks up the arrangement in these damned rooms anyway? Did somebody take notes from old I Love Lucy episodes or what? You never even saw their bathroom so I guess it didn’t exist. 2 cutesy little beds and no one ever decided to sleep at different times than their partner. Lying back on a pillow that at first seems soft and then collapses to envelop your head in a cocoon of polyester is always a delight. The pillow also doubles as a sleep mask, and if your partner decides to end you after being stuck in the same bizarre room for days, they don’t have to work up a sweat to smother you in your sleep.

And then there is the bathroom. True, I am a minimalist at heart, but come on! Hotels now provide you with 85 towels and no place to hang even 1.  But there is the chirpy little sign that asks you to save the planet and only throw your towel in the floor if you want a new one. Well hell yeah I want a new one.  If you gave me some place to hang a towel, I wouldn’t need a new one now would I?  I am not gonna pick up a towel off any floor anywhere at any time and reuse it.

Ah, counter space in the bathroom. I turn into a raging territorial baboon when it comes to my little corner of the bathroom counter.  I travel lite and keep it small, but it doesn’t seem to help. My attitude is; don’t touch my stuff, don’t put your stuff on or in my stuff, don’t even think about laying a wet towel on my stuff, don’t put the book that you were reading on the toilet on my stuff, and don’t dig through my stuff looking for something because you forgot to bring stuff you needed! Mr. Hubman has not figured out how much this pisses me off after 10 years together. I love him but he’s a slow learner. Perhaps if I beat him senseless with my dop kit I can get through to him.

Electrical Overload

Electrical Overload

On to electrical outlets. These are usually conveniently located on the ceiling, behind the 300 pound chest of drawers with a TV bolted to the top, or directly next to the coffee maker that only works every other Tuesday from 2 to 3 am. Outlets seem to hate being located anywhere near where someone might actually want to use one. Like near the desk or bed to plug in your phone that you use as an alarm clock, calendar, reminder list and, in moments of extreme boredom, playing games. Is that too much to ask? If there are 2 people in the room and both have a phone and laptop, plan on charging something in the bathroom. But don’t use them in the tub. That’s the only advice I can give you on the subject.

Wireless internet is progress that many hotels are implementing, but don’t always hit the mark. If you plan on using wireless in your room while traveling, practice at home first. Try browsing the internet while perched on one foot on a pillow or exercise ball. After you master that, try doing it with the laptop as close to the ceiling as possible to get a signal. You get extra points if you can type without seeing the keyboard.

Mr. Husband is a big man, but not that big. At our hotel in Chicago he sat on the corner of the bed to put on his boots and the bed collapsed. I thought it was uproariously funny. It would have been a lot funnier if it collapsed while we were in it. He was not amused. I stopped feeling amused when I ended up being the one to go to the front desk and tell them that we broke the bed. The man I talked to was polite and non-judgmental, apologizing profusely. The woman standing off to the side rolled her eyes.  I wanted to tell her that as tourists who had walked a thousand miles we were too tired to break the bed in the usual manner, but I decided to just let her think whatever she wanted to think.

So there you have it. Hotel Managers take heed. Are your ratings down? Stay a week or 2 in your hotel and you will feel your customer’s pain and know exactly what to do to get those ratings up.

Back From Chicago – There’s No Place Like Home

Hubman and Me

Hubman and Me at “The Bean” in Chicago

Mr. Husband and I just got home from a much needed vacation. It was the first time the Hubman went to Chicago. For some reason I thought he’d been there before. We had a great time and walked our feet off. Hub was recuperating from a cold but still managed to drag himself all over the city with us.

Open Mike Night

Mom at Open Mike Night

Our gracious host who is Mom’s longtime friend showed us around town. It was a lot easier and so much more fun than wandering around with a map and lost look.

On the second night there we went to a bar called the Red Line Tap for open mike night. The picture to the left is Mom doing her gig there.  They know her by now because she’s been going there for about a year now whenever she gets up to Chicago. The lady who runs the place gave her a big hug and made an effort to put her in the line up fairly early in the evening so we didn’t have to stay until the wee hours for her turn to come up.

Route 66

We also went to the Museum of Art and the Museum of Science and Industry.  We got in to see the U505 exhibit. It is a tour of a German submarine captured in WWII. What a trip. I don’t not want to imagine what it was like to be cooped up in an underwater tin can for 90 days with 60 men, 1 toilet and no shower. I guess in times of war you gotta do what you gotta do. I probably would have asked them to just shoot me out of a torpedo tube and be done with it.

When we left the Art Museum we headed to the Russian Tea Room which is right past the sign that indicates that it is the location of the start of the famous Route 66. Yummy, the tea service there is out of this world. We got a 3 level plate of finger sandwiches and sweets that is to die for, along with the Russian tea of course. After that we went to a restaurant and bar that holds the 1st liquor license granted in Chicago after prohibition,

Liquor License #1

1st Liquor License in Chicago after Prohibition

Chicago Museum of Art

Chicago Museum of Art

Mom headed home on Friday because she didn’t want to Halloween in New Orleans. We stayed on with her friend. Thank God we did. We had been in a hotel but had to leave Saturday because the hotel was booked solid. I was extremely grateful to be in a home of a friend rather than a hotel at that point because the temperature dropped into the 30s so it was way cold and windy. They’re not joking when they call Chicago the windy city.

Mom & Gentleman Friend

Mom & Gentleman Friend

Chicago Neighborhood

Chicago Neighborhood

So now we’re home and there’s no place like it. I love to travel more than anything else in the world and getting home is part of the joy. My own bed, my own shower, I can sling my stuff everywhere. I don’t need a map to find my way to the corner and back. Now I can kick back and plan the next trip. 

50 Shades of WTF?

There ain’t nothing I can do
Or nothing I can say
That folks don’t criticize me
But I’m going to do
Just as I want to anyway
And don’t care just what people say

If I should take a notion
To jump into the ocean
Ain’t nobody’s business if I do
Billie Holiday

What do you do when you wake up in the morning and get the feeling that the whole world went kooky while you slept? Then after a cup of coffee or three you start to wonder if maybe it’s you who has gone kooky. Interesting perspective to dwell on in the morning.

I am  starting to wonder if this stuff just a normal part of the aging or maturity process. Or is it a gradually feeling of caring less and less about what people think about you? What would happen if I decided to take a stroll down Main Street down wearing nothing but a hoola skirt and a lampshade on my head while alternating puffs from a hookah and blowing a trombone. Is it really anybody’s business if I do? I’m not hurting anyone? Would government intervention be required to convince me of the error of my ways? Would I be committed to a psychiatric facility to evaluate my level of sanity?

Things that would have been unthinkable in my younger days are considered normal now. Many of the shows on prime time TV are 1 tiny bed sheet away from hardcore sex. And that’s what our kids are watching. And things that were overlooked in the 60’s, like smoking a little hooch on a Sunday afternoon in the park, are now serious crimes.  Is it all backwards now, or is it just the changing times?

When I went to Chicago last month I spent some time sitting on the floor people watching. My luggage was delayed and I was tired of standing up. I noticed something that struck me a little odd at the time and then it percolated until it finally came to the surface. There was a group of soccer moms and teenage girls waiting for their luggage also. They were all dressed in soccer gear including shorts so short that if one of them sneezed their shorts would have taken off across the terminal like a slingshot. When did Moms stop worrying about their young girls wearing clothing like that? Soccer boys don’t wear itty bitty shorts, and the last time I checked there isn’t a soccer field in the terminal anyway.

Sitting beside me was one of the soccer girls reading a book. Ah reading, an actual book, instead of messing with a phone. I got all warm and fuzzy until I saw the cover of the book. She was reading 50 shades of Grey. If you’re not familiar with the book, it’s a “soft porn” book with a major bondage and S & M component written for “young adults.” Fox News had a little blurb about this series. It’s a best seller and they called it “Mommy Porn.”

I’m all for freedoms of most kinds including freedom of speech and all that jazz, but seeing a 15-year-old girl sitting in public in micro shorts reading a porn book just struck me as just all wrong. A young girl has not been around the block more than a few times and has no way of understanding how many dark alleys and cul de sacs she might find along the way. Is it just me or is this just weird?

Leaving on a Jet Plane

jet plane

can I take a jet to the airport?

My bags are packed – I’m ready to go. I’m leaving on a jet plane – Don’t know when I’ll be back again. Sorry, broke into song there for a minute. I do know when I’ll be back again…Monday. Why am I leaving? The answer is: Mother decided to have elective surgery without telling anyone until the very last-minute.

Talked to her day before yesterday and she said she was packing to go up to Chicago on the train and oh, by the way, she’s having surgery. It’s an elective procedure to reverse a previous cosmetic procedure done about 40 years ago when she was at the height of her modeling career. You can probably take a wild guess at what it is. It involves the removal of 2 grapefruits from the front of her anatomy.

I thought I would have time to process the info and make plans to go up there all in due time. Then I found out last night that the surgery is TODAY?!!?? What the hell?? Mother, why do you do this to me, to us? I know you’re a grown woman and free to make your own decisions, but you have 4 daughters and 2 sons who flip out when you go off with warning. Is this payback for all the crap we put you through?

So anyway, a whirlwind of last-minute ticketing at last-minute prices ensued along with a fury of repacking. The one time in my life that I unpacked right away was from last weekends wedding. If I’d just left my suitcase sitting there untouched for days like I usually do,  I wouldn’t even need to pack at all. Just launder some clothes, throw them back in the bag and good to go.

Not quite sure if I’m flying to Chicago to be with my mother because I’m concerned or if I’m flying up there to strangle her, or both. Mom does things her own way and in her own time. Which is usually at the last damn minute. Makes it a little difficult to shift around ones chess pieces to catch up. This could in fact be her unconscious and diabolic plan all along. Doesn’t give anyone time to talk “sense” into her. If there is such a thing. Who knows?

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