That's it, pretty much. We stayed at two hotels last weekend. The first, in Clarksville, TN, had the standard (nowadays) hotel fare of the bed with a plain flat sheet over a flimsy mattress "pad" and then another flat sheet on top of that, with a ratty blanket and one of those you-only-see-them-in-hotels cheesy bedspreads.
First of all, what happened to fitted sheets? Is it THAT much trouble to make up a bed with a fitted sheet? Are you paying the housecleaning staff SO much per hour that the extra 20 seconds it would take them to secure a fitted sheet to each bed cuts dramatically into your profit margin? Is it a matter of streamlining the laundering/folding/sorting process? Because, really, you MUST know that the stupid two-flatsheets-serving-as-top-and-bottom-sheets system is way substandard from a guest comfort standpoint. And honestly? When that sheet creeps up, down, or sideways, as it is going to if you so much as walk BY the bed or look at it funny, and we have to see that BARE HOTEL MATTRESS? Well, Hotel Industry, that skeeves We The Hotel Guest right the heck OUT.
The first thing I do upon checking in to most hotel rooms is to strip the bed of comforter/bedspread, blanket, and pillows, stash them in a closet or under a desk, and then make the bed up with my OWN bedding, which I have brought from home, putting as much of my own stuff between me and that rental bed as humanly possible. Because we know, you see, that you don't wash those things unless you absolutely HAVE to, and the fundamental truth of life is that, universally, OTHER PEOPLE ARE NASTY. And thanks to "Dateline," their black-lights, and my own personal neuroses, I'm passing along this hotel-hinkiness to my daughter, who, at preschool age, already knows that you can't sit on the floor of the hotel room to watch TV unless you spread a towel on the carpet first, and that to stray off that protective terry layer with any part of your person is tantamount to touching RED-HOT LAVA.
Now here is where I go all gushy with praise for one of your proud members, Hotel Industry. Look, ye, unto The Hampton Inn. Particularly relevant to this post, the Hampton Inn Bellevue, just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Imagine, after our experience in the first hotel described above, the wave of gratitude and delight and relaxation that washed over me when I first noticed the sparkling, fluffy whiteness of all the bedding in our Bellevue room, and then when I read the following words, typed out on the little information card propped on the clean, clean pillowcase(emphasis--and implied delighted squealing--mine):
"The new Hampton bed is comfy, cozy and clean all over. Everything from the lumbar pillow (!!) to the overstuffed duvet (!!!) to the custom-made sheets and pillow cases have been laundered fresh especially for you."
They didn't even have to brag about the gloriously FITTED bottom sheets on the beds, and the actual, REAL mattress pads underneath, because we could SEE them. And you know what we COULDN'T see, Hotel Industry? A SKANKY MATTRESS. I'm not saying there wasn't one under there, but you know the American public--out of sight, out of mind. It's a step in the right direction. And I can tell you, I rested better in that room for the short time we were there than I had for days, because I wasn't waking up every little while, tugging frantically at a flat, non-fitted sheet, worrying about mattress cooties and how close I was to being covered with them.
And here's a thought that should hit you where you live, Hotel Industry: We're not made of money, my little family, and when we travel, we do whatever we can to keep as much of our money in our pockets as we possibly can. We choose mid-range hotels, usually just nice enough to keep us out of the scary neighborhoods. BUT. Given the option of two hotels, side by side, identical in every way, aside from the bed linens, with one hotel being appointed like our Clarksville hotel, and one appointed like our Nashville-area hotel, WE WOULD HAPPILY PAY A SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER ROOM RATE FOR THE CLEANER, BETTER-APPOINTED BEDS. Do you hear that, Hotel Industry? And that Hampton Inn room in Bellvue, that was like a $70 hotel room, so we're not talking The Four Seasons, here. But we would EASILY, and with smiles on our faces, fork over up to, say, 50% more for a room cleaned to that standard, over the comparable, but sloppier room. That should really be enough of a difference to more than make up for the increased housecleaning resources you'd have to expend in order to maintain such a standard.
Oh, and on a tangential note, Hotel Industry: When you assign someone a room that is one of a pair of adjoining rooms, but the party on the other side of those double-doors is UNKNOWN to the guests they're "adjoined" to...TRY to assure that the doors on EACH side of that double-door arrangement do, indeed, LATCH.
And one other thing, this time addressed to Families Travelling En Masse For The Purpose Of Convening At A Gigantic Family Reunion Complete With Matching T-Shirts And Barbecue: Please, please, PLEASE, for the love of Pete's sake, do NOT pool your resources among family members in order to dump anywhere from six to twelve very loud and rowdy children, sans adult supervision, into one hotel room together while you escape to other, blissfully peaceful adult-only rooms, especially if that room is one of a pair of adjoining rooms, and the people in the other room are strangers to you who do not love your six to twelve very loud and rowdy children, particularly their repeated attempts to break into said adjoining room. That's just not right. (And Hotel Staff: When a guest calls to complain about the non-latching door and break-in attempts described above, the correct response to complaining guest is NOT, "Um, I think they're gone right now.")
The only other suggestion I have to make to the Hotel Industry that could improve everyone's hotel experience is that every attempt should be made to let hotel guests, for example in places such as Nashville, know when they are in such delicious proximity to divine blogger-peeps the likes of The Blogger Formerly Known As Lucinda and BusyMom. Because when you get back home and find out how close they were, and that they already even know each other and hang out and stuff, it will cause you emotional pain to think you missed them by so little.
P.S. Can anyone tell me why my YouTube video from the last post won't play? I can't seem to upload any new footage to the YouTube site either; I get the same eternal "loading..." message that you see here on my page.
P.P.S. My husband has spent part of this weekend building a POTATO CANNON. He can't test-fire it until tomorrow night, though, because all the seals have to "cure." If you don't hear from me soon, please send help. (Mr. Fabulous, DO NOT COME HERE PRETENDING TO "HELP.") Seriously. It's a giant, over 6-foot-long PVC cannon, designed to launch POTATOES. Why?