Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Doing It Right

Alex wanted to "get away" for a couple of days.

I am a stay-at-home woman. I live in paradise. Why do I want to go anywhere? I don't really, but being a sometimes compliant wife, I tried to figure out a plan for a few days away.

We have two big dogs, Harry and Honey. Neither of them like to travel any more than I do. Harry cannot lie down or even sit on a road trip and that means hours on his feet in the cargo area of the station wagon. Harry does not like to "poo" anyplace but home either.

He also requires bottled water any place we go. His preference is Fiji Water which is quite expensive. (But I like it too.)

Honey sleeps in the car on any ride, but she gets sore and cranky after hours of inactivity. I think she takes after me.

I made us a reservation in Santa Cruz, California, on the Coast. The person who answered the phone took my reservation, but he also sounded totally bored by the whole thing. "Yeah, we take dogs" and "Yeah, we have a room". The place was equally lackluster. The hotel was my idea of a "hot pillow" joint, except it cost $200 a night, but was lacking in the presence of crack "ho's". (Now come to think of it, I did see a couple and even had a conversation with one.) I'm broad minded like that!

The room was poorly arranged and we all fell all over each other trying to get from one end to the other. Overall Rating: Fail. It was a depressing and weird place even if it was two blocks away from the piers.

Santa Cruz may be good for young families with very little money to waste except on cotton candy and roller coaster rides. I don't really understand why anyone would go there. There are no "good" places to eat. It's dirty and crowded and the population makes you wish you had brought your 357 magnum for protection.

The following morning, we drove up to Half Moon Bay, also on the coast where I had made a reservation for one night. It was about a two hour drive from Santa Cruz. When I called for the reservation, the person I talked to was helpful, made every effort to accommodate us and even convinced me to change our original travel schedule. We actually were so disheartened from our Santa Cruz adventure that we considered just driving on home and forfeit the deposit. I convinced Alex that we needed to get a suite if one was available after our dismal trip to Santa Cruz.

The entire get-away turned around dramatically when we arrived at the Best Western Half Moon Bay Lodge. It was a gorgeous facility set directly on a golf course right next to the crashing waves. The suite had a bedroom with a king sized bed, wonderful linens, robes, and a color scheme that made everything restful, aesthetically pleasing, as well as a large living room with a lovely fireplace.

The people at the front desk were friendly and helpful. We watched the golfers out on our patio while the dogs frolicked on the lawn behind our suite. (Yes, Harry was able to "poo" in these surroundings and that's a good thing.)

We spend an invigorating and restful night there before returning home. There are wonderful restaurants in the area. The bed was like sleeping on a cloud. Heavenly! Alex, Harry and I were very content. Honey is a little harder to impress, or she just reserves her judgment in these things.

From the moment I made the reservation at this place, I had a feeling it was going to be "special". It's amazing that a person who answers a phone can give you that sense of luxury. The man, Kurt, told me he wanted us to consider this Lodge our get away place on the coast from now on. He was on the money!

The whole experience taught me something. When people actually "care" if you enjoy a visit, it's going to be special.

And it certainly was.