This evening, Thursday, May 13, I’ll be attending a book club meeting in Tallahassee at which my book, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, will be the topic of discussion, This will be my second book club experience with Mayhem, but while the first one was via Zoom, this one will be held in a friend’s home with actual people in the room with me!
I’m no introvert, but having been fairly sequestered with Studly Doright for the past year, I’m going to confess to being a bit nervous. And when I get nervous, I’m liable to say just about anything.
“By the way, did you all know I lost my virginity back in….”
On Friday I arrived in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, only to find there were no hotel rooms available anywhere other than a couple of seedy looking joints. Every spare room was reserved by folks working on the film, “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
Had Studly Doright been with me I might’ve been open to staying in one of the less reputable establishments, but as a woman traveling alone I wasn’t taking any chances. I googled bed and breakfasts within a fifty mile radius of Bartlesville and one in nearby Pawhuska popped up, so I called the Grandview Inn and crossed my fingers.
A gentleman answered the phone at the Grandview and after hearing my request told me he was booked up. I sighed and then said, “I don’t guess you know of any place a woman traveling alone could stay safely…”
“It’s just for one person?”
“We have one small room with a bed that is suitable for one person. It doesn’t have an en-suite bathroom, but there’s one just outside the room. We don’t rent it out often, but if you’re interested I can get it ready for you.”
I almost cried with relief. “Do you need my credit card.”
“No, just show up. The room will be ready.”
Now, I have a very dear childhood friend who lives in Bartlesville. She and her husband had just moved into their new home (it’s beautiful!), but everything was still in boxes. They only had one bed set up, and while they offered to put me up I just couldn’t do that to them. But I did let them take me to dinner.
Since I was staying in Pawhuska, we drove the 25 miles from Bartlesville and had dinner at the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile. We enjoyed a lovely meal, and as we were getting ready to part ways I asked our server if she was familiar with the Grandview Inn.
She said, “Hold on,” then turned to the people at the table beside us. One of the diners, a man holding a precious infant, stood and came to our table. It was the man I’d spoken with on the phone earlier! He and his wife were dining with friends. I felt much better about my upcoming stay having met them in that setting and my friend was no longer reluctant to leave me in Pawhuska.
The inn was beautiful, and I spent a comfortable night there. I meant to take pictures, but was in a hurry that morning to be at the funeral home in Bartlesville. The Grandview has a website, and if you ever find yourself in the Pawhuska area I highly recommend it.
I arrived home from my whirlwind trip to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, late on Sunday. Studly Doright had cooked dinner for me in honor of Mother’s Day and then after dinner brought out the gifts my children sent me.
My favorite gifts by far were the framed senior pictures of my grandson, Garrett, and my granddaughter, Dominique. It’s hard to believe they’ll be graduating from their respective high schools in just a few weeks, and starting college in the fall, but the pictures can be used as evidence.
During my all-too-brief stay in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, I took a moment to stop by the Price Tower Arts Center, designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. I’d hoped to stay in one of the hotel rooms in the tower, but Martin Scorsese is in the area filming a movie based on the book, Killers of the Flower Moon, and rooms were not to be had in Bartlesville.
I stopped for a potty break at a rest stop somewhere on Interstate 40 yesterday. After using the facilities I washed my hands and looked around for a hand dryer. The item pictured above was built into the wall and when I stuck my hands inside, warm air blew from the vents.
Very slow moving, mildly warm air, that is. After several minutes my hands were still wet and I had to use my blue jeans as a towel.
I turned to a woman who was stationed at another drying station and said, “This isn’t a very efficient dryer.”
She said, “If you leave your hands in long enough, the moisture dries up out of boredom.”
Yesterday afternoon I set about making hotel reservations for our trip to Illinois for our eldest grandson’s high school graduation in June. Due to Studly Doright’s frequent travel for business we’ve accumulated a rather hefty number of points for hotels in the Holiday Inn chain. Usually, exchanging those points for a hotel stay is a relatively easy task. Yesterday was not one of those times.
For some reason the Holiday Inn reservations link on their website wasn’t working, so I called their helpline. The conversation went something like this:
Them: (after a ten minute hold time) Hello. How may I help you today.
Me: I need to reserve a room at the Holiday Inn Express in Le Claire, Iowa, for two adults for the following dates… (I’m not sharing the dates here because I don’t want everyone to know we’ll be out of town.) and I’d like to use our IHG reward points to pay for the room,
Them: Yes ma’am. You do know you could use our website to conduct this transaction.
Me: Yes, I do; however, the link wasn’t working so here I am.
Them: Do you have your account number?
Me: I do. (I read it to her)
Them: Please hold while I check for availability.
Me: (humming along with the Muzak)
Them: Okay, ma’am the Holiday Inn Express in Montgomery, Alabama, is fully booked that weekend, but we could book you into another of our properties there.
Me: Alabama? I need a room in Le Claire, Iowa.
Them: Oh, please hold while I check for availability.
Me: (grumbling to myself)
Them: Okay, it looks as if there is a king room for $156 per night.
Me: Remember, I want to use my points to pay for the room.
Them: Well, you can’t. You could redeem your points to reserve a room with two queen beds, but not a king.
Me: Did you check my account to see the number of points we have in our account?
Them: Do you have your account number handy?
Me: Yes. I read it to you earlier, but I’ll do it again.
Them: Please hold while I check your account.
Me: Why, of course.
Them: Are you David Noles?
Me: (facepalm) No. My husband is David Noyes. The account is his, but I’m making reservations for the two of us.
Them: I’m sorry. You can’t do that.
Me: I’ve done it countless times.
Me: May I talk to a supervisor?
Them: Well. (Pause). I’m going to have to put you on hold…
Me: I’m fine with that.
Them: Well, okay.
Me: (banging my head against the wall)
Supervisor: Hello, how may I help you, Mrs. Noyes?
Me: (sigh) I need to reserve a king non-smoking room at the Holiday Inn Express in Le Claire, Iowa, for two adults for the following dates in June and I’d like to use our IHG reward points to pay for the room,
Supervisor: Your account number, please?
Me: 555555555555 (not really, but I’m not giving you all my account number)
Supervisor: Thank you. We’ve reserved a king room in Le Claire, Iowa, for two adults on the following dates. You’re reserving with reward points. Is there anything else I could assist you with this afternoon?
Me: I could use a couple of Advil…
Supervisor: Pardon me?
Me: Never mind.
Supervisor: Thank you for choosing Holiday Inn.
Me: Okey doke.
Seriously, I think I lost 10 years off my life. But, all’s well that ends well, right??