Get A Room posted 22 March 2009
We had already made a tour of available hotels but we were determined to move on to escape flea bites. We revisited a selection of familiar hotels, including the Keystone Hotel in Pas de Grille Beach, where we stayed the last time we were in Florida and wrote about it in these pages. Mrs Monk was disappointed by the off hand reception of the woman now in charge of bookings. She told her to try the Trade Winds Hotel which is one of the swankiest hotels on the beach as if the Keystone Hotel somehow compared with the Trade Winds, which it certainly does not.
Prices at the Trade Winds were out of site, but then we tried a more modest hotel next door, The Alden Beach Resort, but also discovered that we faced paying 250 Dollars a night, more than twice we had ever paid before. This was their high season. Mrs Monk told them that we wanted to pay 100 dollars a night, and thus the negotiations came to a close when she was told emphatically that we would never get a room on the beach side of the street for less than 250 dollars a night.
What were we to do? We returned to the flea bite hotel, and got on line to expedia.com where we discovered a room was indeed available at the Alden for 140 dollars. We paid up with our credit card, and we were back at the Alden within a half an hour.
The same two desks clerks saw Mrs Monk enter the lobby and each dropped their heads to avoid her gaze.
“Remember me?”, she announced, “Would you like to see my reservation number?”
In fact they had actually let every room of the kind we had paid for, and soon realised that they were obliged to upgrade us to a beach front room with a full private patio, when we actually paid for a room facing the car park.
“I can’t believe what you are getting,” said the desk clerk.
What Not to Say at a Barbecue
The hotel had generously provided spectacular views from our room from dawn to sunset. By our front door was a communal area where we could barbecue steaks and meet other guests, most of whom were from Canada and the northern American states currently frozen with snow and Ice. The fathers cooked the steaks as mothers sunbathed and kids tossed American footballs off the fourth floor balconies into the pool. One night we all went onto the roof to watch the Space shuttle take off at 9.30 p.m.. Small kids were taken from their beds so as not to miss the live spectacle, but then the take off was aborted and they were put back to bed.
One morning we met a family of kids on the tennis court on the roof of the Car Park. An older brother watched out for his younger 3 foot high brother who was transfixed by Mrs. Monk, standing alert with his arms folded as if he meant business. These were unaffected polite respectful American kids, who confided in Mrs. Monk, perhaps too much.. We juggled tennis balls for a while and then they told us they were named after their grandmother’s dogs.
“How do feel about that?” I asked.
They shrugged their shoulders.
Later, Mrs. Monk asked me, “What was the highlight of your day?”
“Talking to those kids” I said.
Over the BBQ that evening I mentioned this to the father of the kids.
He beamed with pride and so he should, but then I told him what we paid for our room.
“You paid what?” he said.
Later I was chastised by Mrs. Monk for spoiling his day.
To be continued .........