One afternoon in an otherwise great vacation.
Do you remember the gas shortages in 1979? we were going to do a four week east coast tour with Disney World as the ultimate destination and highlight all by car. We cancelled most of it and decided on Disney with a stop in DC for the kids to see our capital and we did it all by train (Amtrac back in it's infant years). Disney was great but the Orlando to DC leg was plagued by delays. We arrived in DC about 6 hours late on a 105 + degree August day. Four kids ages 7 to 11 Gram and I made our way to our destination hotel, Key Bridge Marriott. We checked in and headed for the room with a bellman. In the elevator Gram promises the kids an immediate trip to the pool. Bellman tells us , the pool is under construction and is closed. I go back downstairs and with the help of a friendly manager we are on our way via van to another Marriott with a pool.
We checked in and headed for the room, as the bellman opens the door to the room, someone flushes the toilet in the room above us and the whole ceiling of the room caves in with water and other goodies (luckily it missed everyone). The bellman calls the front desk , reports the problem and they assign us yet another room. We trek through the hotel with 4 tired , hot and whining kids to yet another room. As we enter the room, we realize yet again there is a problem. Our sliding glass door to the balconey was open, (remember temps are 105+) and just beneath our balconey are the dumpsters for the hotel garbage. This room smelled like hot cow dung. At this point Gram , quite hot and tired, sat down on the bed and just started crying. The bellman accompanied me down to the front desk where I explained all this to a manager.
We are given yet another room, this one a bit too small ,but it was a room none the less.
By the time we fitted it with rollaway beds it was basically wall to wall bed,but, it had A/C
didn't smell, didn't leak and opened out onto the pool deck. Well, 10 minutes later the kids were in the pool, burgers and hot dogs were ordered and all was right with the world. So we thought.
A tired crew (including us) was put to bed right after dinner. Some time around 1am
we are all awakened by someone banging on our door. We are thinking , fire , flood,
who knows what. I go to the peep hole , only to see a room service waiter outside my door. He is carrying a bottle of champaigne on a tray. As I try to explain through the closed door we had not ordered anything, the waiter , who of course could not speak english, is saying over and over again one word. I finally realized he was using the spanish word for Complementary. I opened the door and took in the champaigne, to find that the afternoon manager, at the first hotel, had sent me a bottle of wine. Because of the three room changes it had taken all day and most of the night to get to us.
The whole thing transpired over a twelve hour period in the middle of a very wonderful vacation, but between the tired parents, the 105 degree heat, the four hotel rooms, the tired kids etc etc. it was an afternoon I will not forget.