Monday, November 3, 2014

Which Country am I in?

500 west 3A Cali trip a month keeps the… oh, I don’t know what, probably keeps me insane.

In August, I flew down to San Diego to attend and present at the State Bar of California’s Annual Meeting.  As a speaker, I could get one complimentary room at the conference hotel, the beautiful downtown expensive fancy hotel on the water.  Not really wanting to stay there for the other 3 nights and feeling the State Bar keeping the couple hundred bucks was better than me moving back and forth during the week, I booked a room for myself at a nearby, less fancy hotel.

I knew it was fairly bare bones.  The room I booked was billed as “twin bed, no tv.”  But hey, I lived in a mud hut, I don’t need much.  Plus, all 4 nights at this place were the same as one night at the conference hotel.  I figured it’d be good enough.

And it was, for me.  But see the thing is, I had told Mr. Trizzle, “hey, if you want to come to this conference too, I already have a room.  Just let me know and I’ll change my reservation to a room for two people instead of one.”  Mr. Trizzle took me up on the offer and I upgraded to a room with a full size bed.

Thanks to some Southwest malarkey in Vegas, my flight was delayed.  Thank goodness it was!  Mr. Trizzle got to the hotel an hour before me and had some time to calm down before I got there.

500 west 2You see this “hotel,” which was billed as “the oldest hotel in San Diego,” used to be a YMCA.  Basically, a homeless shelter.  We were on the fourth floor, up a beautiful grand staircase and then some extra flights of fire stairs.  Only one of the two elevators was working and it was so slow that I generally opted for the stairs.  There was a delightful patio area on the first floor and a full service kitchen severely lacking in any sort of cookware or dishes.

The room was about the size of a single dorm room.  The full size bed, which was pushed as far into the corner as it could with the radiator pipes sticking out under the window, left about 3 feet of room on one side and 3 feet at the foot.  There was no headboard or footboard.  On the side of the bed, most of the space was taken up by a large wooden wardrobe.  At the foot of the bed, most of the space was taken up by a small desk.  There was no chair.  There was no room for a chair.  There was free wifi. :)

The walls were cement, with an accent wall painted a sort of faded lime green.  The floors were covered in dark carpeting.  There was no air conditioning, but the large wooden window opened wide to reveal a screen-less bastion of airflow.  A ceiling fan hung above the bed.

The bathrooms were down the hall aways.  Quite a good number of them for the number of rooms on the floor.  And they weren’t shared bathrooms like at a hostel.  They were individual self-contained rooms with shower and toilet facilities, and there was soap, body wash and toilet paper provided in them.

I loved it!  With the hot humid air heaving in through the open window, the sounds of traffic below and the general surroundings, I felt like I was back in Africa.  And I was impressed that walking around on the carpeting barefoot didn’t turn my feet black.

Mr. Trizzle was less impressed, but he impressed me further by managing it alright for the full 4 nights, despite pining for a lotion bar and a hot in-room shower that did not have flies hanging out on the shower walls.  We went to CVS the first afternoon there and picked up some almost-fitting flip flops off the end of summer clearance rack for the showers.  That helped a lot.  And I put myself in charge of quietly killing any cockroaches I saw.  That would have been more helpful if he hadn’t seen one or two on his own.  They were so tiny compared to the ones in a Zambian pit latrine.

We were pretty well located, a beautiful walk to the conference hotel and an easy walk to the gaslight district restaurants.  I would definitely stay there again if I were to go back to San Diego.  Mr. Trizzle, probably less likely.

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