Saturday, March 5, 2011

The New York Saga...Part Two

Don't Let The Bed Bugs Bite!

*A bit of background before we begin*

As I was packing my suitcase for my business trip to New York, hottie husband offered a warning,

"When you check into your hotel room, make certain you use the luggage rack provided in the rooms to place your suitcase. Do not, under any circumstances set you suitcase on the hotel room floor."

Giggling at his super serious facial expression and his matter-of-fact tone I buzzed back...

"Ummmmm, ooookay.  Why?"

All joking aside, he responded...

"I recently saw on the news how bed bugs are a serious issue in hotels, especially in New York.  There was an investigation on Dateline a few weeks ago about how the hotels are entrusting exterminators to spray the rooms, however these professionals are only spraying the beds and small areas around the beds. Meaning that the pesky critters are still hiding in places you wouldn't think of, such as corners of the room, under furniture and on the floors."

The OCD within me was triggered...I shuddered and promised I would not, under any circumstances, set my suitcase with all my belongs on the floor of the hotel room.  This chic was NOT going to bring the bed bugs back to the "Show-Me State"!

~ * ~

We landed at Laguardia Airport in New York City at 1:30 in the morning. Eleven hours of travel had the three of us irritable and eager to get to our hotel and crash. Our first business appointment was scheduled for 9:30, a mere eight hours away and we would need to leave the hotel no later than 8:45 to make our destination, meaning I would need to be up and at it by 7:30 (this will all be relevant in my next post, titled "Its A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World")

The bitter cold nipped at our faces as we stood in a single file line outside the airport waiting for a cab.  The line moved slowly, my suitcase weighed a ton, my body was begging me for rest and we still had a 20 minute cab ride ahead of us! Finally we loaded our bags into the back of a cab and the three of us piled in the back seat. Before giving directions to the cabbie I looked at his rear view hanging monkey from the mirror, I made a mental note that we were good to go! (Ummmm, hello???  Have you ever seen the movie "The Bone Collector", starring Denzel Washington? In case you haven't, in the movie a married couple hops into a cab in NYC and state their destination...the cabbie has a monkey hanging from his rear view mirror and the couple ends up buried under railroad tracks under the Brooklyn Bridge....yeah, I'm not taking any chances!)

31st Street and 7th Avenue, we had arrived at our hotel. The Affinia Manhattan, our first time staying at this hotel, the lobby decor looked promising.

*I should back up a moment and offer additional background information that will play a vital role in the details of this tale...

My boss is "frugal" with his money. That's saying it nicely...there are a few other choice words I would offer, but I promised to be nice. Why is this information important, you may ask? Well....because when one works for a "frugal" boss, one must make sacrifices....such as, oh...I don't know....sharing a two room suite with one's "frugal" boss and his wife (which by the way, kudos to her for staying with this "Scrooge" for over 25 years!) In his defense, an acceptable hotel room in New York City starts at a rate of around $350 a night, so spending $700 a night for four nights is a bit crazy. So, each time I venture to NYC and my boss and his wife accompany me, we share a two room suite...and in all honesty, it's quite alright...we've done it so much now that I'm totally passed my bathroom issues (as in I don't go all week...which works out nicely because by the time I return home and finally use a restroom, I lose about four pants sizes).

Now that you are armed with this bit of background you can appreciate the rest of the story....

Where was I?.....Ah, yes...the hotel...

So, my boss, his wife and I saunter into the lobby of the Affinia Manhattan and approach the front desk. The attendant was kind, she could see we were exhausted so she did her best to make check in as quick and smooth as possible. Within her memorized welcome she offered information about the hotel restaurant located to the left of the lobby, the workout gym which houses six ellipticals and four treadmills is located on the second floor and is free for use with your hotel stay. "Your hotel room is our one room suite with a king sized bed and a couch, how many keys would you like?"

Becky and I looked at one another...Greg had wandered off to the far side of the lobby and was making small talk with the security guard.  Becky quizzed the attendant, "I'm sorry, did you say one room suite? The couch pulls out to a bed, correct?"  The attendant looked confused, "Yes mam, it is a one room suite, but the couch does not pull out to a bed. There is a king sized bed." Beginning to panic, I inquired a second time, "But the couch is in a separate room, right?" Still confused the attendant torted back, "No mam, the couch and the bed are in the one room...hence, the one room suite." Okay, I was in full panic mode...

Becky, in all of her calmness simply explained to the attendant that we would need a pull out couch and a separate room, she asked if we could be upgraded.  The attendant began clicking away on her keyboard, searching for an available two room suite with a pull out bed.  While searching, the attendant pressed the situation, "I wondered how that was going to work when you approached the front desk. I thought maybe the gentleman would be leaving or perhaps you had another reservation." I was satisfied with her assessment of the pickle we were least she didn't think this was an episode of "Big Love."

After our debacle was solved we took the elevator to the eighth floor and opened the door to our two room suite. Spacious, that was my first impression. Old, but nice, was my second. The three of us looked at the couch that would pull out into my bed and laughed....should we even attempt to pull it out? Or would nuts and bolts project from their obviously rusted hinges and the whole thing collapse? The couch was say the least.

As Becky entered their room, she explained..."this is interesting."  We entered the doorway and were perplexed with the layout before us.  A queen sized bed, a nightstand and on the other side of the nightstand was a twin sized bed.  Hmmmmmmm.  Greg had a brilliant idea! "We could take the mattress off the twin sized bed and drag it into the other room and you could sleep on it while we are here."  It seemed logical, and at the moment, comfortable. I let Greg and Becky drag the two ton mattress to my space...I didn't want to break a nail!

I wheeled my suitcase over to the luggage rack and hoisted it up to rest high above the floor! (Are you proud honey?)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....FINALLY, the three of us could put an end to our bizarre day and rest for the next few hours. Greg and Becky shut their door and I washed the day away in my separate bathroom (oh, did I mention there were TWO bathrooms this time!! I had my OWN BATHROOM!! No bladder infections for me this time! WhooHoo!), slipped on my pj's and sunk into the fresh sheets on my mattress on the floor.....

The room was dark. The shades were pulled. The sounds of the city that never sleeps filled the silence. I closed my eyes and withdrew a deep breath. Slowly releasing a sigh I allowed my body to go limp...

...and then BAM! A thought crossed my mind and I sat straight up on my mattress on the floor.... mattress. on. the. floor.

The floor........with my mattress.....on it.

Do you see where this is going?

Hey hottie husband....I'll be DARNED if I'm going to lay my suitcase on the bed bug ridden floor of my hotel room!

....but, did Dateline say anything about mattresses on the floor????

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