18 December 2014

Hotel Wish Lists

I'm on my second work trip of the year.
I have developed a list of hotel THINGS, both required, and nice to have. I'm writing it down for the next time I need to book something.

Room service. The hotel I stayed at in October didn't have it and it was devastating.
Swimming pool/hot tub. I don't always use it, but I always want the option.
Fitness center. Same as above.
Full service bar that's not weird. On my last trip the bar was an extension of the hotel front desk, at my current hotel the bar is beer and wine only.
Mini-fridge. If you're gone for a week, sometimes you want to have a place for a cold beverage or leftovers.
Free WiFi. Why are hotels that charge for WiFi even still a thing? That's not how 2014 works.
Ice machine on every floor. I guess this is more of a strong preference than a requirement, but seriously? Why is this even an option.
Showers that aren't flawed. I feel like so many hotel showers either don't have good water pressure or don't drain properly or whatever.
Decent bathroom lighting.
A cable/tv system where you can hit a guide button and see all the channels and shows that are upcoming instead of just going channel up/channel down and trying to memorize the ones that you like and figuring out what might be on where and when. This was especially annoying when I was traveling during the world series and couldn't find my Giants. Did I click through the channel and it was on a commercial? WHO KNOWS IT IS A MYSTERY.

My last hotel had gym/pool/WiFi/kitchenette area but had a weird bar and no room service and ice machines on every other floor and I was not on one of the ice floors.
At this moment, I'm staying at a hotel that does have a gym and a pool and free WiFi and room service and an ice machine on my floor, but does not have a mini-fridge or a full-service bar.
Both hotels have had flawed shower situations.

The next work trip I have to take, I will try yet a third hotel chain, in hopes of finding the golden land at a price that my company will pay for.
So I'm crowdsourcing.
What is your favorite reasonably priced hotel? There's no luxury hotels in my future, at least not ones paid for by my job.

11 December 2014

Decision Tree

Last Saturday night, a lost person knocked on our door.
He was young and hipsterish, and clearly terrified.
I was also terrified, because it is extraordinarily difficult to wind up at my house on accident, and I was not expecting visitors.

So, let's talk about how you get to my house. Let's talk about how you get to my house ON ACCIDENT.
I live at the top of a mountain, at the end of miles of windy road, on 200 acres, surrounded by other families living on hundreds of acres. In order to get to my house specifically, you need to get to the top of this road, and then choose our family driveway, which is one of four driveway choices, all long and windy and one-laned in nature. While the gate is kept open, our driveway is obviously gated. This driveway is 1/2 mile long, only wide enough for one car. At the top of that driveway, it forks. The drive to the right is where my aunt and uncle's houses are, to the left is my parents' house, and, beyond that, mine. So you get to the top of this driveway and you turn left, and then you drive through another gate, and past my parents' house, and then through ANOTHER gate, and then, in order to keep driving to my house, you drive onto a DIRT PATH. I literally live out a dirt PATH. It is wide enough for a car, so you can drive on it, and I sometimes call it a road, but you are also jostling over redwood roots, and there are no lights.
This is literally what my road looks like. Now picture it muddy.

So this young man knocks on our door because he's driven to our house. He only stopped at our house because Quentin's car was parked out front. Otherwise, I gather, he would have continued onward, into the field below...?

He explained that he was trying to get somewhere, and he was following google maps, and was he going the right direction?
NO YOU ARE NOT.
I knew exactly where he wanted to go, and it is physically close, maybe a mile, from where I live, but probably a 40 minute drive. You have to drive down our mountain road and up a separate mountain road.
Apparently google thinks you can drive through, but, no. I think if you take another driveway, there may be an old logging road that you can walk through on? I digress.
Anyhow.
In order to leave, once he determined he was, indeed, lost, he had to back up our road, as that is the only exit. In the dark (and it was raining) he got instantly stuck in his little sedan. Stuck, on our road, right there.
I called my dad, and my uncle, to see if any of them had ideas about how to get this dude off our property. They terrified him by being grisly country men and calling him an idiot.
Young man called a tow company, but they did not have a 4-wheel-drive vehicle available to pull him out.
Quentin drove him to town, to return in the morning.
Well, Quentin drove him to the bus stop.
And then had to explain to this person how to take the bus. Like, how city buses work.
He came back in the morning, and it hadn't rained any more, and by the light of day he was able to back out and drive away, sheepishly.

What I would like to discuss is the series of decisions that led this guy to our driveway. I get that he was following his GPS, and I don't fault him for that, but at the end of the road, when he had a series of driveways to choose from, how did he choose our driveway, instead of, say, turning around, calling his friend, or choosing a different driveway? Then you get to the top and there is a fork in the road, and you turn....left? Okay. And then you DRIVE THROUGH A GATE AND PAST A HOME, and you do not think, "I am lost. Let me reevaluate."
No.
You keep driving.
THROUGH ANOTHER GATE AND ONTO A MUD ROAD IN THE RAIN IN THE DARK.
I just.
How does this happen?
I just want to talk about this decision tree.
At what point to you let your instincts override your smartphone because, hey, perhaps I do not wish to drive my honda civic into a field.
My house
NOT A THROUGH ROAD