Tag Archives: hotels


My good friend BFJ and I have just had another lovely spa weekend. Well, not a whole weekend, really, just a half-weekend. But it was great anyway.

BFJ and I always have a terrific time together and many adventures, some of which I have written about here, here, and here. This time there was a giggly, drunken phone call at 10 pm to her husband to thank him for paying for our dinner – and more importantly, our many drinks. This would, of course, be the dinner that he had no idea he was paying for prior to our phone call. But she had their joint credit card, and since he’s the one who pays it every month, he technically bought us dinner. And drinks. Lots of drinks.

BFJ had booked the hotel room with her own personal credit card, so she ended up paying for that. Usually, we split all costs, but this time we figured that our spa treatments would be roughly equivalent to the cost of the room (and our room service breakfast the next morning), so we decided that I would pay for both our spa treatments and she’d stick with paying the hotel bill.

We were both having hot stone massages and facials. Mmmmmmm. I’m never so relaxed as when I’m face down on a massage table, drooling on the floor, while someone rubs warm oil (and in this case, warm rocks) on my back. It really is a fabulous feeling! I highly recommend it.

Anyway, two hours later, we were dressed and ready to go at the spa’s front desk. BFJ was checking out some of the products that had been used for her facial, and I handed over my credit card to pay our bills. The woman at the desk handed me back their handheld credit/debit machine, with my card placed in the slot. She’d already keyed in the amount, as they do, so all I had to do was okay everything, enter my PIN, and we’d be good to go.

Except I couldn’t remember my PIN. Again. Every effing time I try to use that credit card, I can’t remember my PIN. I can picture the piece of paper on which the PIN is written, the piece of paper tucked into a file in a drawer of my desk. I can picture the exact file, its colour and the other items in it. I can even picture where it is in the drawer. What I can’t ever picture is the actual PIN.

I thought I had the four numbers, but maybe not the correct sequence of them. I punched them in. Error. I tried again. Error. The machine said I had one more try. I don’t know what happens when you try three times in vain – maybe your credit card self-destructs. In any case, I didn’t risk it. I had to cancel the transaction and pull out my debit card, which I hadn’t wanted to use because I wanted to pay at the end of the month, after I got paid myself. But I had to do it.

I miss the olden days when credit cards didn’t come with chips in them, and you just had to sign your name on a carboned slip of paper to purchase something on credit. I even remember further back when the merchant had to physically phone the credit card company for a quick check on you and your card before the transaction could go through.

Now that I’m officially middle-aged and forgetful, NOW I need to remember a new set of numbers. Just perfect. If I was 20 or so, no problem. But at my age, I’ve got so much stuff in my head that it’s really hard to put more stuff in, especially numbers (not my strongest point) – and then remember them instantly when called upon.

And what the hell IS my PIN? When I got home, despite all that wonderful visualizing that I was doing in the spa, I couldn’t find the damn piece of paper with the PIN written on it in the file. So I have no idea what the PIN is any more and I can’t use my credit card except for on-line transactions where I don’t need it.

I’m obviously meant to use cash only. Except I’d probably put it down somewhere and forget where.


Knock three times …

My very good friend BFJ and I enjoyed another hotel-and-spa visit this past weekend. We have our usual overnight hotel stay and dinner routine on Friday night, then a huge breakfast and a couple of spa treatments on Saturday morning and afternoon. Around the dinner hour we usually head to our respective homes to recuperate from all the calories ingested and the sore tummy muscles from laughing so hard. We do this several times a year, and our last spa weekend in February was quite – um, how should I say this? – eventful.

We hadn’t spoken to each other face to face for a few months, so we had an awful lot to catch up on. Although my life has been pretty bland lately, hers has been quite interesting, so over dinner, she talked and talked and talked. I listened and drank and drank and drank.

After dinner, instead of heading back to our hotel room to continue the gabfest in private, we decided to go to the hotel bar. Which had these really yummy champagne-like drinks that went down nicely. Which kept tasting like more. Which ended up making our bar bill almost twice as much as our dinner bill had been at the Italian restaurant we’d eaten at earlier. Which also made for a couple of loud, giggly women who really are of an age to know better.

Of course, we weren’t driving, and the bar was in our hotel, so we safely staggered upstairs shortly before the bar closed. But naturally, we were too keyed up to sleep, so although we had no more alcohol, we partied it up some more. Eventually, I had a shower (you try shaving your legs after drinking what I drank that evening – I dare you! It’s a real challenge!), and BFJ changed into her pajamas. But when I emerged, instead of calming down, we simply kept on talking and laughing. Like a couple of goofy teenagers! And by this time it was after 2 am.

imagesThen, from the room next door, there came three startlingly loud thumps on the wall we shared. We froze in mid-giggle. I don’t think we quite comprehended what it was at first.

Then BFJ sputtered in amazement, “We’ve been SHUSHED!”

That started us up again. We rolled under the covers, howling with muffled laughter. Yes, we’d actually been shushed by someone in the hotel room next door. Two grown women acting like loud, drunken idiots had been shushed by someone trying to get some sleep. How embarrassing! And how much more lame and immature could we be???

Yet, the next morning, we huddled in our room till we were quite certain that whoever had been next door had already left, just so we could avoid seeing them and their accusing glare in the hotel hallway or at the checkout desk. So, yes, I guess we could actually be more lame and immature after all.

The good, the bad, and the ugly – part 1

This has been quite the weekend.

My weekend included such diverse elements as an overnight stay in a swanky hotel, a phone-call to hotel security, quality time with my pal BFJ, a chatty spa visit, skanky girls, broken glasses, blown-out candles, a tipped-over branch arrangement, a spilled glass of beer, a spilled bottle of wine, an almost-crunched back bumper on my car, and a delivered Writ of Summons.

Cool, huh?

BFJ is one of my very favourite people. We have been great friends for over 25 years and have seen each other through many, many good and some bad times in those 25+ years. She is smart and funny, wise and intuitive. She is working on her masters degree in counselling, and she will be an amazing counsellor. She is also even more hooked on spas than I am, and we try to get away together three or four times a years overnight to a hotel and spa. This weekend was one of our hotel ‘n’ spa dates.

The almost-crunched bumper came when I was parking my car in the underground carpark of the hotel. I backed in, then popped the trunk to get my gear out. As I got out of the driver’s seat, I realized that I could back in almost another metre, so I hopped back in to do so. I reversed quite slowly, I thought, then heard this big BANG. Holy shit! was my immediate reaction. I’ve smacked my car AGAIN!

I sat there, cursing aloud for a couple of minutes, then got out to see the damage. Nothing. I was still a half a metre from the wall. Huh? I examined the bumper more closely. Nothing. What is going on?!? I puzzled. I definitely heard a huge banging noise. I was so sure I’d hit that wall. Okay, I hadn’t been going fast at all, but that noise surely indicated some damage.

Then I realized that the bang was simply the car trunk bouncing down when I thought I was close to the wall and braked, apparently rather suddenly. O – kay. No damage. No one around to witness my incomprehension and confusion either, fortunately.

After BFJ and I settled into our hotel suite, we headed out for dinner. On the way, we kind-of got blocked by a group of very skanky teenage girls tottering in stilettos down the street ahead of us. Their skirts were basically belts, their tops were down to THERE, and not one of them wore a coat. In February. Okay, this is Vancouver, and our temperatures aren’t as low as most of Canada, but you still need to wear a winter coat in February here. They looked like hookers, quite honestly (Beginner hookers, maybe. More experienced ones probably walk better in stiletto heels.). In fact, a gal coming down the street toward them, and us, said, as she passed them, “A buck for a suck?” We almost died laughing, BFJ and I, but the skanks didn’t get it and twittered on and on about it as we finally were able to get past them and carry on looking for a restaurant.

We ended up at a small bistro that reminded me very much of restaurants in New York – narrow, long, dark. Very personable waiter and yummy food, too. That’s where said waiter dropped a glass and broke it, and where the guy at the next table spilled his beer all over the table and over one of his eating companions. That’s also where BFJ, in her exuberance, laughed so hard that she blew out our candle. She quickly got up to exchange it with a lit one on another table, but as she set it down on our table, she started to laugh again and blew it out again. The server came to our rescue at that point and replaced it with yet another candle that stayed lit this time. I think BFJ figured out how to turn her head to laugh.

Back at the hotel, we stayed up till 2, still laughing (We do that a lot. As I said, BFJ has a terrific sense of humour. And she thinks I’m funny, too.). A scant half-hour later, with BFJ already deep-breathing on the other side of the room, I started to hear loud voices and louder music. Somebody somewhere near our room decided that a loud party in their room at 2:30 in the morning was a good idea and wouldn’t bother anybody. I couldn’t figure out where the noise was coming from. It sounded like it was outside our window, but since we were on the 28th floor, that was unlikely. It was quite loud in our bedroom, but not in our living room. Next door maybe?

BFJ woke up about then, and held the door as I scouted up and down the hallway in my jammies, listening at the doors on either side of us. Nothing there.

BFJ: “I think it’s coming from below us.”

Me: “I think we need to call security.”

So BFJ called the front desk. They had just received another call about all the noise, and told us that security was already on their way up. We listened very closely, hoping to hear the arrival of security at a door near us. We didn’t. But in ten minutes, there was absolutely no noise at all. No music, no voices. I love hotel security. They are stealth. They get results. I want to be hotel security when I grow up. They have power.

And speaking of power, I have the authority to keep you hanging at this point. This stunning story will continue tomorrow, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.