Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Enough Towels to Build a Towel Fort

I've spent the past few days at a conference in Florida, which my department generously sent me to so that I could learn more about our new housing system and talk to both the people who developed it and to people who are already using it. I took many pages of notes, and attended many workshops, but the downside to that was that I did not go to Disneyworld, or Universal Studios, or Harry Potter-land, or Sea World, or any of the other places people said I should in our downtime.

Since I will be spending a lot of money next month on my friend's wedding and travel, I didn't want to go to any of those places that exist solely to separate you from money, anyway. Instead, I laid out by the pool and read a book, because I already own my book and laying out by the pool is free.

And also gorgeous:

lounge chairs

The whole hotel was pretty gorgeous, actually:

hotel lobby

staircase, windows, urn

They had really nice grounds, including a golf course:

birdhouses, lake

but the water turned out to be kind of a problem. Some of the people at the conference saw a huge alligator on one of the walking paths, and then on another day one of the people working at the hotel was bitten by a snake by the pool area and had to be taken to the hospital.

After that, I decided to read in my room for the rest of the trip, but that was ok, because my room was also kind of beautiful:

my hotel room

It's even prettier in color:

my sitting area

One of my coworkers, who also attended the conference, was very bothered that everything didn't match, but I felt like the overall collection of tones and textures went well together without everything looking exactly the same:

chair textures

water glass, lamp, reflection

The room was also a little fancier than I'm used to. Instead of a "Do Not Disturb" sign, there was a hanger requesting "serenity":

serenity now!

The bed had built in booklamps on each side of the headboard:


and seven pillows:

seven pillows

which I thought would be a huge pain in the ass, because I was remembering the scene in "Along Came Polly" where Ben Stiller has to take all the pillows off the bed every night before he can go to sleep, but every night while I was downstairs at dinner the turndown attendant came to my room, turned down the bed, left me a card letting me know what the high and low temperatures for tomorrow would be, shut my curtains, and laid out some candy on the pillows.

Like I said, not the kind of hotel that I am used to.

The bathroom was equally entertaining, as I learned that people in a higher income bracket than mine apparently take a lot of calls while sitting on the toilet:

toilet phone

and I was mildly impressed that the bathroom had both a tub and a shower:

shower and tub

In fact, the whole thing would have been perfect if not for two things:

1) The cable did not have AMC. I was in my room in time for "Mad Men" on Sunday night, but AMC was not there with me.

2) There was an issue with towels. Specifically, with having too many of them.

When I used the bathroom for the first time, I noticed this sign:

save our planet

I'll be honest here: I have nothing against the planet, but I only recycle if there happens to be a recycling bin near me. I recycle paper at my office because someone happened to put a bin for it right next to my desk, but I throw plastic bottles in my office trash can because the bin for them is all the way down the hall by the elevators. Before anyone accuses me of killing the planet, I would like to make the argument that I've done more to reduce my carbon footprint by not reproducing than I ever could by carrying every soda can to the recycling bin. Given that, I read the sign with a skeptically raised eyebrow, but then I imagined the maids discussing the situation as they frowned over my towels in the morning.

"The man in 1952 doesn't hang up his towels. He wants fresh towels, every day."

"Doesn't he know that we make each towel out of baby seals and orphaned koala bears? He doesn't care about the planet."

"No, he doesn't. Let's use his toothbrush to clean the toilet."

"Yes, let's."

With that in mind, I dutifully hung up my towel and washcloth to dry after I used them (and rinsed the washcloth out). When I got back to my room later in the day, they were still hanging up, but there were fresh towels hanging next to them.

"Hmmm. Did I read the instructions wrong? No, but somehow I still have more towels."

The next morning, I hung up my towel and washcloth again. With the addition of the fresh towels from the day before, all the places to hang towels in my bathroom were now full. When I got back to my room, my towels were still hanging up, and the new towels were still hanging up next to them.

And there was a second set of fresh towels, neatly arranged on the bathroom counter.

Eventually, they took my hung up towels, but continued bringing fresh ones:

still life, with towels

Sorry, baby seals and orphaned koala bears.

I tried.


Lauren said...

This hotel is amazing! I want to stay there. The towel photo is hilarious. I forgive you for not seeing Mickey...this time. :-)

stanford said...

I have always found those 'ave the planet' towel signs really dishonest. They should read "One of our biggest annual expenses is laundry. We thought that the rising environmental conciousness would be a good opportunity to guilt our guests into reducing this cost."

But with that said, I have had the same experience with hanging my towels and having the laundered anyways.