I've usually had very good luck with hotel reservations in the past, including online reservations. Sure, there have been times when I've wondered if the hotel even got our online reservation, but for the most part I've been pretty successful. This time around, though, I decided to get a little fancy. That is usually the point in which one courts trouble. It's like trouble sees you from across a crowded bar, and decides to buy you a drink.
Apparently there was something going on in Cinci that caused most of the hotels in the area to be pretty booked. So, I pressed on through the online travel pages, and stumbled upon an Extended Stay. I looked through the description, and noticed that they had things like kitchenettes and sofas and the like. What luck! Now if JoDee and Ruth decide hang out in the room, they'll have a stove and a sink to work with. It'll be like the Residence Inn, right? And not only that, but it's also cheaper than the Holiday Inn Express, which was already booked up. I couldn't believe my outrageous fortune. I signed up for the rooms. That's odd... there's no place for marking whether or not you want a non-smoking room. That must be an oversight, right?
BTW: smoking is bad, m'kay?
I told JoDee of our outrageous fortune for not only finding two rooms, but also finding two rooms with kitchenettes and sofas and the like. Then I mentioned that it said smoking, but all of the rooms said smoking. JoDee knew something was amiss. (I guess the female intuition about trouble is more tuned than the male intuition). She alerted me that we'd likely get a smoking room (which is bad, m'kay?) and said it would be a good idea to call the place up to request two non-smoking rooms.
So, I called, and asked for two non-smoking rooms. End of story, right? Lest the advances of trouble so swiftly thwarted with just a simple gesture as a phone call, the conversation I had with their representative let me know that this wasn't going to be easy. First, they didn't recognise the reservation number (which the website clearly stated yea verifly that thou shalt not forget thine reservation number, lest you be cast from the kingdom's gate into the cold cinderblock pits of the unheated Motel 6), and asked for my last name, first name. Then they said that the reservation was for two deluxe rooms, and that they didn't have non-smoking deluxe rooms. They them said I could change the reservation to a non-deluxe, non-smoking room, but we'd loose the couch in the deal. Goodbye, couch, we hardly knew you. So, I sealed the deal, and hung up the phone.
Now I started to notice the leisure-suit and way-too-much cologne scent of trouble.
I made a note to myself to call the place about a week before CinciClassic just to confirm that indeed we had the non-smoking room we were promised.
I made the call to the Extended Stay, and gave them my name (and also made a note to make an appointment to get the reservation number tattoo removed), and asked if we still had non-smoking rooms. Apparently our sacrifice of the couch did not appease the non-smoking hotel diety, as they still had us down for smoking rooms (which is bad, m'kay?). I was furious. The person on the other end of the line promised me she'd try her best to find a non-smoking room. I asked her to try harder. She noticed I was there for a weekend, and said she would.
The chains of trouble's medallions clinked in my ears.
So, when we got to the hotel, what did we find?
A lady that knew Pall Mall by his first name greeted us, and I asked her if we had non-smoking rooms. No, sir, we don't have any. I was livid. What the hell happened? I sacrificed a couch and everything, and now I don't have non-smoking rooms? BLARGH NARGLE FRUP FAKKIN! Her eyes got wide as my fury seethed within. JoDee calmed me down, and we toured the rooms. They didn't smell too bad to my nose, but the funk of trouble was already in the rooms stinking up the joint. Beat down, and not looking forward to finding another room on short notice, we relented and accepted the rooms.
The lady kindly removed the ash trays, as a token of the non-smoking rooms we weren't going to get.
And trouble smiled it's toothy grin and called dibs on the couch.