Monday, August 24, 2009
Vermont charm, in some instances, could actually be a curse
Isn’t it strange how RARELY we ask questions of situations that start out as "something-seems-fishy" and later turn into a "should-have-known-better" tale?
Like, when you call the motel to book reservations the day before your arrival to a family reunion – knowing ALL OTHER AREA HOTELS are mostly filled up – you NEVER question why they have rooms and why those rooms are $79. You just thank your good fortune and remember your dad laughing about how the prices had gone up.
Oh sure, some red-flags may wave around a bit when the reservations clerk just repeats what you say -- adding a “yes, yes” over and over -- without really confirming anything. But you wave them off.
There was that weirdness with the Web site saying all rooms were booked when you checked it to get directions. But you write that off as just a technical glitch. You’re old enough to reason computers are fallible and Web sites aren’t always updated by the squirrel you imagine is spinning the wheel that powers Internets.
Why would you think there’s anything amiss, really?
It’s not as if anyone even remotely suggested we should “pardon our appearance while we undergo construction.”
So when we roll up after dark on that Saturday night to find a small cement mixer still churning as a few workers huddle near a hibachi at the end of the line of rooms, the exteriors of which where all exposed to the studs, and dirt piles parked in all the prime slots – you might say we were all a little surprised.
But we laughed. It’s not that bad. It's only for one night and we only get to hang out with family and folks once a year.
Of course, as the night wears on, we each reported our rooms’ individual quirks: card locks that don’t work, toilets that didn’t flush, water that never got warm let alone hot.
We laughed some more.
Aside from a few stains here and there, and the popcorn with which the kids seeded the floor, the place seems clean enough. The kids didn't care: they reported the place to be AWESOME.
And it was kind of awesome if you are referring to its lack of amenities: It has no tiny refrigerators, no working ice machine -- there isn’t even a pot of over warmed coffee let alone a continental breakfast. It had people living there who were hand-digging a foundation simultaneously as we popped the tops of our second Trout River Red.
In the morning we’re still laughing, although it is softer now that we’re sporting check-out-time hangovers, throbbing even more deeply from lack of caffeine and lingering a smell we never could put our fingers on.
As we toss the last of our bags in the trunks of our cars, we looked up at the place we’d enjoyed watching the kissing cousins, and the whirling dervish cousins vow to stay up all night as we imbibed and chatted, and noticed that the balcony to its nearest end really didn’t … end, that is. No wall. No railing. It just stopped.
The laughing stopped.
Then, just when you think you can’t really be surprised again, someone overhears the cleaning woman ask for an antibiotic as she had just stepped on a nail.
Everyone took a deep breath.
There's nothing really funny about the possibities we now seem to have narrowly escaped. Then someone mentions how great the place is going to be next year when it offers, walls, floors, a full breakfast and WiFi.
And we can't help it. We have to laugh.