Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Saga of the Vacation Inn Express

(homage due to "Paul Revere's Ride", by Longfellow)

Sit back, my children, and you shall hear
of the ill-fated journey of this poor Girl Scout here
For, on a weekend in August
to a conference I did go,
expecting fun, fellowship, and good cheer.

I carpooled with a friend --
my mentor, a Girl Scout true-blue, to the end
We loaded our packs, all stuffed to the brim
in the trunk of my car, and the journey we'd begin.
We headed down the interstate, past village and farm,
reveling in the weather and countryside charm.
In the afternoon haze we arrived on the dot
and searched out the hotel, hoping for a rest in one spot.
We checked in, and headed for the oasis upstairs
only to find the hotel was undergoing repairs!
The carpets, all tacky with some white residue
and no working light to be found in our loo!

It seems that the management was painting the rooms
(We thought we'd be overcome by the fumes!)
Doors along the hall are all swathed in plastic and sheets
and someone tracked paint all over with their feets! (sorry)
My mentor, too tired to stay in such a place
told me to pick up my things -- was she running a race?
She marched down to the desk, told them this would not do
The clerk just looked at us for a moment or two.
We ended up getting another room, so back upstairs once again
hoping that soon our journey would be at an end.

The new room was good, or at least we had light
but we had to go, for we had plans for the night!
Off to the conference we merrily roll
(though hunger was starting to take its toll)
Stopping for a bite to eat,
we discover that McDonald's is where the kids meet and greet.
We navigate the crowds, and finish our food
and scurry off to meet with our girls-in-green brood.
Once there, we say hello to friends from far-flung places
and we're offered a spa, and goodies for our faces
But mentor and I, we're ready to work!
(Or, at least to play!) So, out with our scrapbooks we jerk

We sit and crop happily, talking with pals
and admire the handiwork of the beauty-spa gals
And then they haul out the karaoke machine!
and set to singing and dancing like Rock Star queens!
(I sat in the back, not wanting to sing
and played cards -- who's hiding the King?!)
And when we closed up shop for the night
we cleaned up like good Girl Scouts might.
We all headed out for a well-deserved rest
at our hotel, the away-from-home nest.

On the way, I call home to talk to my spouse
who says the hotel staff treated him like a louse!
He'd tried to reach me to check that I was all right
only to have the clerk hang up on him with all her might!
This is another strike against our hotel crew --
they may have some refunding, or at least, explaining to do.
Once inside the quiet room, we find this
again, in the car, away to Wal-Mart we go!
We buy books, snacks, drinks and a stack of cards that are new
to take back to the room to ward off the feeling of blue
We play cards into the night, "Kings in the Corner" for us
and, finally, off to bed with a minimum of fuss.

I set the alarm for an early morning rise
(knowing that I am no first-up-in-the-morning prize)
and drift off to sleep with the cold air a-blowing.
At four in the morning, we're awakened by a fight someone's throwing!
The yelling, the stomping, the pounding on doors!
we're surprised they haven't awakened all the guests on *both* floors
we mutter, grumble, and I come quite close to a curse
until I remember, *good behavior*, not worst.
Sleep finally overtakes me again; happy dreams resume
until seven a.m. when we awake to ear-blasting tunes.
We get ready to go, packing up all our stuff
reflecting that our time there has been quite enough.

I console myself with the fact that breakfast is included
grab myself some grits, toast, and jelly that is fruited
We settle up the bill, and take our leave at last
and hope that, for the next conference, this dwelling is passed
I just thank my lucky stars that I didn't have to endure
the broken pool light that would have fried me for sure!
We Girl Scouts, we put up with a lot --
fights, not sharing, bugs, the cold, and the hot
But, my advice is -- on the horror hotel room,
try to look for the good, and not for the gloom!
It was clean, and we did end up getting some sleep...
and --most of all -- its one saving grace -- IT WAS CHEAP!


Many thanks to Longfellow, for being dead, and not caring that I totally swiped his poem. :) I wanted to think of an interesting way to tell you how odd this trip was, and I guess I was inspired by the Scrivener sestina that I missed. I know it's not exactly John Dunne, but then again, neither am I!


Friday Mom said...

Wow! Impressive.... Glad you survived the hotel and made it home to tell the story!

KLee said...

It was a comedy of errors. It was a one-horse town, and we really had no other choice, as far as hotels went. It's not like we haven't had worse, bunking in less-than-palatial places, but it was just an ill-fated trip. :) I'll live!

Anonymous said...

Cripes, woman! Poetry!? And humorous too?! Kind of raising the bar on us, aren't you? I can't speak for all of us, but don't expect this lazy-ass blogger to try and keep up. "Jelly that is fruited" - frickin' genius. Thanks for making my evening. Now come over and improve upon my Bush Administration Insult Of The Day.

KLee said...

Sure thing, Corndog...always glad to kick The Man when he's down! Oh, I have some song lyrics I have to email you....remind me if you don't get them in a day or two!

Raising the bar? No, Scriv did that when he posted *correct meter sestina*. I just jumped on the poetry bandwagon. Plus, another same-old, same-old boring post? I had to shake it up a bit. Had I wanted to really appear insightful, I woulda modeled it on "Ozymandias" by Shelley.

Running2Ks said...

Awesome, impressive. Are you for hire?

Phantom Scribbler said...

LOL! You are the Bard Extraordinaire of Cheap Hotels, KLee!

Yankee T said...


KLee said...

No, I'm not for hire, but I *did* stay at a Holiday Inn Express that night! :)

I'm going to print this out, and pass it on to my mentor, hoping she'll see the humor in it as well.

PPB said...

At first I thought you were going to the Macy Center---otherwise known as "we'll make people think we're living in platform tents, but we're really ordering in room service" Girl Scout extraveganza. But a stanza in, I realized it wasn't so. Sounds like you survived in a way that is, um "courageous and strong."

KLee said...

Nah, I haven't made it to Macy yet, but I am heading off to our National Convention in Atlanta in October! It's my first time at National, so I'm really excited. I'm also trying to scrape the money together to go on a Leader's Retreat in the summer of 2007 at Pax Lodge in London, but I don't think it's gonna happen.

PPB, I may not have been all that "courageous and strong", but I did "use resources wisely!"

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credit cards now said...

nice blog there muchacho. What was your inspiration? care to return the visit? ;-) cheap hotels