In the Beginning

I attended the 3-Day Get Started Meeting tonight and officially registered as a walker. I’d love to say the meeting left me so inspired that I felt like this was the best undertaking of my life, but meh. Don’t get me wrong. I am very much excited about this walk and the entire journey I will be taking to get there. It’s just meetings like that are just not my bag. I’m much more of an introvert than what these types of things cater to, so I used my daughter as an excuse to leave early. The one thing that brought tears to my eyes was a young man – maybe 20 years old – who is the head of the security crew. As he was telling everyone his role and why he is involved (his mother was diagnosed 7 years ago) he said “there are 37 women in this room right now. Five of you will be diagnosed with breast cancer in your lifetime. I do this for each of you”. It was a very touching and well-stated sentiment from such a young man and it left me with chills up my back.

Good enough for me.


This past weekend my husband, Mark, and I finally had our first overnight get-away since M was born nearly 18 months ago. Can we pause a second to repeat that? 18 months without a single night away from our often wakeful child. Say what you will about sexy retreats, but honestly I was most looking forward to blissful sleep and staying in bed past 7 AM. My sister volunteered to take M and we booked a room at a small “boutique” hotel in Columbus called The Lofts. Our package included in-room massages, room service, etc. Everything was set for a day of relaxing and, most importantly, veging out.

We were told at check in that the room we specifically reserved because it had a soaking bathtub had physical damage from the previous guest and was unusable. Instead they gave us suite and a discounted rate. Fine with me as this was an expensive overnight – a bit of saved money is good. The room they gave us was next to the damaged room and upon entering we were impressed. It was a large, two-room suite with a nice big bathroom. However, upon further inspection we found the bill from the previous guest laying under the table, 2 discarded beer bottle caps on the sofa and toothpaste splatter on the bathroom walls. Oh well, we figured the room seemed pretty clean otherwise and we were too excited at the prospect of doing nothing to want to go through the hassle of changing rooms. The stay started out fine. We had our massages, and headed out to dinner. Upon returning we decided to watch a movie since it has been ages since we’ve seen a recently released flick. Too bad the movie service didn’t work on our TV. We called down and they tried to remotely fix the problem with no luck. They sent someone to the room to do the repair but still couldn’t get it to work.

By this time it’s nearly 11 PM and we decided to fill out our breakfast order for room service before turning in and when I grabbed the pen from the desk it was covered in something sticky that smelled like tobacco. I had to wash my hands 6 times to get the smell off! It was so disgusting I think I vomited in my mouth a little. We finally go to sleep content in the fact that there would be at least a solid 8-hours ahead of us. Not so fast. I woke up at 1:00 to the sounds of voices in the hall which lasted about 10 minutes. Then, after a few minutes of silence I we can hear a TV. It’s not muffled and actually sounds like the TV in our room is on with no picture. After looking like a fool, trying to figure what is wrong with our TV we discover the noise is coming from the room next door – the room that is supposed to be unusable! The walls are so thin we can hear everything. I call the front desk and they obviously call the guy in the room next door as we can hear every word he says. Then he turns his TV up!I decide to go downstairs in person and had to wait 5-7 minutes before someone came out of the office behind the desk. I explain my problem and he said there is nothing he can do. I am livid at this point so I ask to check out (remember that it’s about 1:30 AM at this time). I tell him I will pay for the package items that we used but won’t pay for the room. He tells me he can’t access the billing system so there is nothing he can do, our card has already been charged.

Fine – I get the name and number of the GM while Mark calls another hotel. The clerk prints my bill which apparently he CAN do and it includes a bogus $70 food/beverage charge which I dispute and ask him to produce a signature for the charge. He pulls out the stack of food recipets and says “There are too many here to through right now. I’ll do it tomorrow”. At this point I want to crawl over the desk and poke his eyes out, but am also so tired I just want to find a quiet bed. I write “DISPUTED” in large letters on the food/beverage bill and check out at 2:00 AM. We make our way over to the Northwest Columbus Marriott where the very nice night manager is expecting us. He knows our story from Mark’s phone call and set us up in a great room that is isolated from other guests. I don’t think there was anyone within 5 rooms of ours. He also kindly gave us a very late check out at no extra charge. We did enjoy our 11 hours at the Marriott, but were exhausted the entire day.

On the way to the Marriott, I used Mark’s iPhone to e-mail the GM at the first hotel about our problems and most likely used too many curse words in the message. He did call back on Sunday and after a lengthly conversation he refund our entire bill. He also offered a discount off our next stay. Yea right.

I’m still tired from the weekend. I think our next get-away may not be for another 18 months.

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