Reporting in: Day 1
** Note: this started as a comment for my original post until I realized how freakin' long it had gotten. =-) **
It's actually beautiful here. It's a DoubleTree, but it's amazing. You know they have Targets and then Super Targets? This would be the equivalent of a Super Double Tree. It's like a palatial mini-city, with all these stores and restuarants (and BARS). The lobby is amazing. And you get a free warm cookie when you check in. Hell yeah, byaatches! Seriously, though, it's really, really nice. Hell, we got our exercise today just by walking around and seeing what all is available. (Nice fitness area, too. I even brought my sneakers, just in case we get ambitious.)
Here's what *I* think sucks, though. Now, tell me if this is normal, for those of you who stay in nicer hotels on a regular basis. Seriously, this place is like a freakin' palace. It's gorgeous. I hate to bitch, especially because it's all paid for. Even sitting down at the pool--and the Jacuzzi!! Holla!!--after our workshops, looking at the palm trees, having a drink from the tiki bar....this is NOT a bad work trip, at all.) =-) HOWEVER:
1) No free Wifi in rooms. You have to go down to the common areas, like the lobby, pool area, etc. So you won't be hearing from me QUITE as much; maybe once a day. I don't want this damn thing around all the time.
2) You have to pay for parking, $12 a day. That's onsite parking. WTF? I have to pay to use their parking lot?
3) They charge your credit (or in my case, debit) card $50 a DAY for any "incidentals" you may incur; so right now there's a $250 hold on my checking account, which doesn't get credited back till probably Monday, since we check out on Friday and it will take at least a business day. $50 a day would be a lot of porn, my friends. Of course, this money DOES also go towards the parking (you swipe your room key to get in and out of the lots), and of course the parking (and meals) will be reimbursed when we get back, but still. WTF.
4) You have to pay to use the in-room safe. Good thing I left my jewels at home.
5) NO FREE CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST IN THE MORNING!!! Shit, even Motel 8 has that. You have to go to a cafe or restaurant (they have plenty of them here, and some of them are pretty reasonably priced, considering--it's just the principle of the thing. Would it kill you to throw some free juice and cereal my way? Maybe a banana, if you're feeling REALLY saucy? Damn).
Those are my main complaints for now. Is this shit normal? Damn. It's expensive to be rich. ;) I guess, being right in Orlando, they're capitalizing on all the tourists that came through here. But seriously, I got more free shit staying at the Days Inn in Atlanta for Ron Clark. And I'm pretty sure there was a drug bust while we were staying there, if that tells you anything.
I told Liz that I'm scared to even open the fridge. "Oh, our records show that you opened the fridge at 8:00 this evening. That will be a $10 daily free."
And now if you'll excuse me, I have to get a toothbrush from the front desk. I may have to apply for a loan.