Mrs. Anderson's Lodging House, Leavenworthstaffed by Dead People
So, it's Memorial Weekend, right? Leavenworth is jammed. The streets are full of traffic, every parking spot is taken. And it's a heat wave. Luckily we drove right to Mrs. Anderson's, and I jumped out and ran in there to ask them where their parking lot was. There was somebody at the counter already; I waited for a break in conversation then I said, "I'm supposed to stay here tonight-- can you tell me where the parking lot is?" They told me to wait a minute, so I waited, trying to be patient, while the previous people got finished. Then I stepped up to the desk and told him my name. He looked me up on the computer, and what do you know. I said, "I'm in there? So, can you tell me where the parking lot is? My husband's driving around the block right now because there's nowhere to park." He said, "We have to sign these forms first." I said, "We can do that afterwards, I want to know where the parking lot is first!" He got huffy. He put the papers down, braced his hands on the desk and looked me square in the eye, and said, "You're going to have to find somewhere ELSE to park, because we have to check you in FIRST. We have to see your photo ID!" I said, "I left my purse in the truck, which is driving around the block right now." No sympathy. So I went running out there. Ed had found a spot to stand, as they call it, where he could at least idle until I came out. He saw me and pulled out of his not-spot and started to drive towards me; I waved my hands to tell him to go back. I dashed across the street and got my bag. He said, "What's the problem?" I said, "There's no problem, I'm just going back in there and strangle that guy." So I went back in (didn't strangle the guy; didn't even want to try, after I noticed his long yellow fingernails!) and I showed my ID, signed this incredible list of penalties ($500 cleaning charge if I smuggle a dog in in my suitcase? Sheesh!) We got through with all that. I said with a lot of sarcasm, "NOW can I be permitted to know where the parking is?" I don't think this guy noticed the sarcasm. I don't know if he was alive, even. He said, "Yes, and I'll show you some other things--" and he told me where the parking lot was, then started telling me about the breakfast room and the door locks, yes, seriously! I said, "I will be back in a minute WITH MY HUSBAND and get the tour!" He was miffed. I didn't care, I was miffed too. I left him standing there staring, and went out and hopped in the truck and we went around back and parked. We got an assigned spot and somebody was already in it... well, we took the spot next to it, and the codger actually adapted, which raised my opinion of him a little. A little.
We gathered our suitcases and went inside, and he was giving somebody else the tour, and he left us standing there for AT LEAST ten minutes. He acted like we were invisible. Left us standing in the narrow hall surrounded by all the antiques, while talking and being nice to the other guy, right in front of us. I guess I missed my one assigned chance for niceness or what? Would it have been too much to ask, that he show both of us at the same time, all this various stuff? Okay, that's asking too much, I guess. Would it have been too much to ask that he acknowledge our existence with his eyes if nothing else, each time he walked by us? There was only a little chain across the door that led to the upstairs, and since I already knew which room was ours, we toyed with the idea of just marching up there on our own. I walked back into the little room where the cash register was, where the woman was standing, and said, "Can YOU show us where our room is, or do we have to wait for him?" She said, "Al will be back in a minute," and she stayed by her cash register, and we stayed in the hallway holding our suitcases. I amused myself by mentally composing my review for expedia.com, hotels.com, Yahoo Travel, etc. Just think, travelers used to have no recourse other than to tell their friends. Now we have a bit more voice.
Eventually Al got back-- from OUTSIDE, where he'd gone to "get something from a guy"-- a second guy-- all without saying a word to us! When he did get back to us, he seemed to notice nothing wrong, just took us under his wing and we got this cute little canned tour, without a hint of emotion, either apologetic or resentful. I think Al's dead. That must be it. He's the walking undead. He gave us two keys with tags on them with the combination to the door locks, which he said got locked at eight p.m. He showed us the breakfast room, then we walked up some extremely steep stairs to the upper floor. It really was charming and cozy in there. The common room had quilts and games and interesting stuff. Ed hates antiques and wasn't impressed. I like antiques for their history value, not the cutesyness. There was a lot of cutesyness going on in there. Old dresses and hats and dried flower bouquets. Later on I noticed a Britannica 11th edition; that was worth a look. There were some other old books but I never did get a chance. There was a back balcony that went down back stairs, so we could come and go that way, directly down to the truck and not have to walk past the front desk. That was a good thing, so we could come and go without looking at those people.
So we did our Leavenworth thing... we went shopping, came back and dropped our stuff in the room, went walking out for dinner and movie. It was 11:45 when we got back to the room. We crept up the back stairs and into our room as quietly as we could so as not to disturb everybody else, but when we opened the door to the room, it hit us-- STUFFY. As stuffy and closed-up as an old attic, when you walk up into Grandma's attic in the summertime. They had an air conditioning vent in there, which earlier had been on and blowing, but was now OFF. It was just a vent, without any controls, so we were at the mercy of whoever was in control of the whole system. We headed for the windows to open them quick, and found them painted shut. Long since painted shut, as if they hadn't been opened for years. And didn't have screens on them, anyway... The only other way to get air was to open the balcony door, which turned out to Ed's disgust, to be a shared balcony with the next room, and nothing between them and us but a little chain. I pointed out that this is the kind of place patronized by senior citizens, not midnight slashers, so we weren't exactly in danger, but he wasn't impressed, and demanded that I phone that guy and tell him to turn the air back on. I told him the lights were off downstairs. There were phone numbers on the door, so I called one of them, and woke poor Al up. He told me the air conditioning was automatic, and if we wanted ventilation to open a window. The windows didn't have screens on them anyway, even if they hadn't been painted shut! Ed got on the phone, and while he was talking I went over and pushed up as hard as I could on the window. It started to groan, but in a bad way, and I visualized myself busting the top of the window frame so I gave it up. Ed being on the phone, and it turned into a Guy Thing, as he said to "Turn the $#@! air on in here NOW!" I kept shushing Ed so he wouldn't disturb the old ladies next door. Ed said, "Don't try to tell me the air conditioning is automatic, some human being has to set it!" and to go turn it on. Al told him it would be "inconsiderate" to turn it on in everybody's room and have people wake up cold, and Ed said it was inconsiderate to think we would be locked into a stuffy 10x12 room all night with no ventilation, and that he works with enclosed spaces and ventilation at work so he KNOWS about these things and there's no way he's spending the night in conditions like this. Ed said he wanted a refund in the morning, and I guess Al must have thought we only qualified for a refund if we weren't actually there-- I don't know how that actually happened, hearing only Ed's side of the conversation. But suddenly we had agreed to leave, in exchange for a refund. At midnight? Well, that's it, that's what we're doing!
It didn't even occur to me to argue, because I knew Ed wouldn't get any sleep because he'd lie awake and worry about the air, probably checking his consciousness level all the time or something, and what he'd be like in the morning, and what would happen at the front desk the next morning probably wouldn't be pretty. So it was better to just get him out of there and go look for a NORMAL motel.
Anyway there were bugs at Mrs. Anderson's. I kid you not. Bugs, plural; I saw two. One of those red-cross beetley-thingies crawling on the curtain, and some nasty black bug in the bathroom. If there's bugs crawling around in the open, WHAT is there in the bed? Probably nothing, but once you're creeped out, it's kinda hard to get un-creeped.
The next motel we stopped at was a new construction. We were the very first people to sleep there, fancy that! I even paid them for a room, then discovered when we entered it, that they didn't have ventilation either, and that their windows didn't have screens on them either, and they had a TAMED WILD BEAR that frequented the place. So not happening.
Next motel, a sign said to wake the guy up, and he woke up, but he couldn't ASSURE me that his rooms had any ventilation and he wasn't in the mood to let me inspect the room before paying for it! I took that as a sign and we kept driving.
Next motel, nobody there. Next motel, full. Next motel, nobody there. Finally got back to CIVILIZATION, Monroe, Washington, you know, where the racetrack is? Lots of nice, normal motels like Best Western, which were packed to the gills. We stopped at one called Fairgrounds, I think it was, where the lady said somebody had just had an emergency phone call and had to leave, so she went in and made up the room and we slept there. She gave us a nice discount for it being three in the morning, so that was good.
Motel adventure story not done yet! Because the next morning, I phoned up Al the Undead to make sure he was really going to give us a refund (because we hadn't gotten anything in writing), and he said he already had. I phoned my Visa card. He had refunded all right, but only HALF of the price!
But, thank goodness we used our Visa card, which does refunds for ripoffs like this :-)