Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A comedy of errors

This weekend in the USA was a 3 day weekend on account of Memorial Day. On Sunday morning, my wife checked the weather forecast for the next few days and was upset to learn that the previous two day's beautiful weather was not going to continue. A frantic search online for accommodation in any place other than this side of the Cascade Mountains ensued. Now when I say that this is a very popular time to go on vacation in the USA, it is an understatement. It is, apparently, much easier and more pleasant to celebrate your war dead and maimed when lying on a beach somewhere drinking Pina Coladas.
We found two possible locations, both in the same area. As we are allegedly trying to save money on account of me "not working," we chose the cheaper by $100 option, which was a motel a short 3 hours drive over Snoqualmie Pass and down into the Tyrolean Trompe L'Oeil called Leavenworth. If you can stop your gagging reflex working overload on account of the signs for" Das Copy Shoppe" and Das Waffle Haus" etc, it can be a great place to stay. Nestled in the mountains, between two beautiful rivers, the outdoor opportunities are fantastic. Not to mention the wineries and brew houses that have mushroomed to take advantage of the very large crowds (large in number and large in girth) that swarm here every weekend.
We checked in at the Icicle Inn, a Best Western hotel with a decidedly tacky face lift. "MMMM", I said, as we unloaded the car, "this place needs to update their photos on their website." Legend Jnr was already checking out the pool, one of the principle reasons for our choice. I wouldn't say that he enjoys the water exactly, but I have noticed some decidedly fishy looking openings on the side of his neck.
We made our way up the stairs, past a wooden bear dressed in lederhosen. It might have been one of the guests actually. I wasn't paying too much attention. You know that sort of dread that creeps up on you when you can feel your sweetheart's icy stare drilling holes in your back? By now, I was starting to look like a Colander.
The room was awful and stank of cleaning fluids. "Let's call that other place", I suggested helpfully, "the one that requires you to take out a mortgage."
Fortunately for me, they had a room available, but it was another $100 more than it had been 4 hours earlier. After a short and friendly argument about how they had elevated their price to take advantage of my suffering, they finally gave in to my pleading and tears, and offered it at the original price.
We  checked out, loaded up the car and dragged a screaming 8 year old out of the lobby. "I WANT TO STAY HERE IT'S GOT CRAZY GOLF AND A POOL AND A SWEET SHOP AND I'M NOT LEAVING".
I wedged him into the back seat while avoiding the flailing arms and legs, and told him about the wonderful swimming pool where we were going. It is MUCH better, I assured him.
The place is a wonderful retreat  called The Sleeping Lady, set amongst the Aspens and Pine trees along the Icicle Creek. It is full board, with fantastic food and an essential (for Daddy anyway)outside bar and fire pit. We've been several times  before (in more affluent times), so I was very confident that he would indeed love it.
After signing my life away at the check in, I quipped that I couldn't wait to go for a swim to relieve some of my tension. "Oh, I'm sorry" the clerk said, "the pool is closed for renovations. They should have been ready this week, but you know what contractors are like".

She might have said something else, but by now I was sitting on the floor with my head in my hands,  drooling into my shirt and contemplating how this news was going to be taken. "Mr Bell......hello... Mr Bell, are you wanting to continue with registration....or should we call an ambulance.?"
We did register, I did get an earful, and fortunately I survived. The hot soaking pool was open, but it was the new games room that saved my bacon.
Here are a few photos of the place. If you are in this area, it is worth taking a look.

Snug as a bug
Soaking pool nestled amongst the trees
Dining and breakfast room
One of the many options from the menu.
Chihuly glass sculptre
Our little cabin

21 comments:

  1. I am always ready for a good good laugh when I visit you, and I wasn't disappointed today. That POOL! Isn't it amazing they didn't tell you? I've had so many vacation disasters through the years, this one seems tame. Maybe I should post a couple just so you know it's not you. xx's

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    1. Maybe the subject for a mass blogathon.....Vacation Disasters Unlimited.
      Thanks for commenting (and reading). I always enjoy hearing from you.

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  2. a bear in lederhosen?? Surely worth the trip alone........the cabin does look rathe cosy ...hope you had a fab time!!

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  3. Loved this post. I could imagine it all, every bit of it. Your blog looks really fun so I've joined it. And thanks for your post about morris men on my blog.

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    1. Thanks Jenny, I'm glad you joined.

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  4. I stayed in a "German" or should I say "Germanesque" town once in Washington State. Could it possibly be the same one? it was a few years ago and I can hardly even remember why I stayed there now, let alone the town itself. But your mention of a bear in lederhosen rang a distinct bell in my mind.

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    1. It must be. There is only one. It is a bit over the top, but it has some nice places to stay and is amazing for outdoor sports, not to mention wineries now.

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  5. I so forgot how fun it was to visit you, and the laughter that is so good for the soul, you always make me smile when I visit, I am truly going to have to do this more often. Thank you dear for your visit and beautiful comment, yes indeed come live in my studio work shop, bring the family and the band, I so love your folk sound, I went and listened to your myspace music site and I knew I was in for a great mountain treat. In fact seeing your photo and the instruments you hold I knew there was a band of music to follow. So happy you shared this with all of us.

    Have a great day and weekend to follow, I only wish I could make you laugh when you visit me!

    PS... Love your cabin ans what a relaxing place to calm the nerves.
    xx
    ~Dore

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    1. Hi Dore, You don't need to make me laugh, I visit your site so I can drool (not literally) over your Art. If you hear a funny twanging sound from the workshop, you'll know I've moved in :)

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  6. Wow...we tended the garden over Memorial Day and went to a few of Liv's softball games.

    I think we missed some things...

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    1. Hi Maria, That sounds like bliss to me.

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  7. This other hotel looks FABULOUS and I am particularly liking the sculpture thing that looks like a martini glass or something *drink on the brain*

    Small boys ought not get their way all the time, much as we love them. It's good for them to suffer. And mine will be suffering today when he gets in from school, for sure.

    Ali x

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  8. When a friend asked Alex if he enjoyed having his Dad at home, he said "not really, he's so annoying." When pressed for clarification, he said "He makes me do my homework. He's really mean."
    We'll go there when you come out.

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  9. ☼ heh heh heh ..Icicle Inn - made my reservation, Wally! ☼

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    1. Wear dark glasses and a respirator. It'll be OK

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  10. That was utterly hilarious! And yes vacation disasters would be a great blogathon theme, I have so many, including my honeymoon where I locked myself in the bathroom and announced to the husband" Just go on your own" The pasty of true love never did run smoothly.

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    1. I'm glad he didn't take your advice. I bet he is too.

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  11. Wow it looks gorgeous.. pool or no pool... its pissing down here.. well jel xx

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    1. You can come over on a book tour and we'll give you a tour of the new pool. Liquor stores here are now deregulated so we can buy Vodka at the local store. Not that it would interst you of course;)

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  12. I love the sculpture and I love the idea of staying in a cabin and having all the hotel facilities - well nearly all of them...I hope your son enjoyed it in the end!

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    1. Hi Kate, Once he got over the lack of a pool, he was fine. We found a new game room with pool, table tennis and that table soccer thingy that I never got the hang of. Alex won, so no change there then.

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