Taking Tampa by the Tale – Part II

woman across the way - the "other" hotel
woman across the way – the “other” hotel

Now, I have to pause here to make two statements.

1.  I hate Florida.  Hate it.
2. I hate cities full of interlocking one-way streets.

Back to the tale.

We were trying to stay at the Marriot Residence Inn and Suites.  Which was, of course, both in Florida and on a one-way street.  It seemed to be a block wide and a block long with entrances on both sides.  But one side had a valet.

We were tired.  The car was full of luggage and ten days worth of groceries.  A valet was perfect.

So we circled the block.  A ten minute driving exercise, thanks to the lovely one-way roads all over.  But when we pulled up in front of the hotel at the valet stand (which was now standing empty), the sign said it was a Marriot Courtyard.


Wait a minute.  What?

I parked at the curb, flipped on the emergency flashers because, at this point, it was totally an emergency that we stopped – and went in.

“Please tell me we’re at the right place,” I said to the front desk clerk, handing her my paperwork.

She looked embarrassed.  “No, you’re around the corner at the Residence Inn.”

“Seriously?  And we can’t just cut through?”

She shook her head, and I noticed that it looked like there was construction between the buildings.

Back to the car.  Another ten minutes of driving.  No valet.

We got checked in, and my travel wife (who we’ll continue to call “Sandra”) unloaded the car onto a cart while I got everything set.  We unloaded, and then I went to park the car across the street.

By the time I got back to the room, she had set up dinner and put the groceries away.  Excellent travel wifery!

But then we realized that there was no balcony.  The front desk clerk had told us that we’d have one.  How odd.

We checked our rooms again, and that’s when I discovered that my tiredness had worked against me.  I’d picked the wrong room.  The one I picked was smaller – no desk, no balcony.

I demanded an immediate switch.  I’d gotten stick in a crappy room during the last convention I’d gone to, and it wasn’t going to happen again.  So despite being called an Indian giver multiple times (no matter how often I protested that it was politically incorrect), I dragged the bags back and forth to get the good room.

But then I had to catch up on my day of roller coasters.

I’d gotten a payment for some of my writing.  And I’d gotten a call back for a job interview!

But the payment was under $5.  And the job interview was for while I was in Tampa.

Right hand gives.  Left hand takes away.

But that was all okay because I’d be starting my MFA the next day.

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