A plate of Foie Gras to Room 502, S’il vous plaît and merci beaucoup

I am a hotel geek. Always have been ever since I was kid.  My favorite book growing up was Eloise of course, the precocious, forgotten child of jet-setting parents who lived in the penthouse of New York’s famed Plaza Hotel and spoke french to her British Nanny while creating mischief throughout the hotel with her pet dog and pet turtle. I grew up in New York City, which made this book all the more appealing to me, and to this day I still own every book in the Eloise series.

As a child, instead of drawing little daisies or writing my name in curly cues in my book margins, I would sketch my imaginary hotel.  It looked like the Goodyear blimp on wheels with several floors and a set of M.C. Escher-like stairways leading from one floor to the next.  Each room was visible as if the entire outside was nothing more than a plate glass window.

My hotel had everything my nine year-old imagination could dream up.  A game room, bowling alley, swimming pools, a crystal-chandeliered ballroom, library, bedrooms with fireplaces, even a salon.

So whenever I have an opportunity to stay at a hotel, I jump at it. It need not be a 5-star hotel – although they sure do wonders for my hotel fantasies – a nice, clean, comfortable Marriott or Sheraton is just fine.

So this past weekend, when I had the chance to get away to the annual regional conference for the National Association of Professional Organizers, I couldn’t resist even though the hotel was only a little more than an hour away from my home.

There is something about the anonymity of a hotel room that appeals to me, and room service, of course.  I love the feeling of walking into a hotel lobby for the first time knowing from the moment I enter I am treated as a “guest.”  I suppose if I had to travel every day of my life like the character George Clooney plays in “Up In The Air” the novelty might wear off after a while, but luckily my hotel fantasy gets to be played out only occasionally.

While the rest of my colleagues were gathering for schmoozing and appetizers, I was out soaking, alone, in the outdoor hut-tub right next to the “climate controlled” heated pool. During a break I walked around the hotel to sneak a view of the other unoccupied “deluxe” rooms because I like to know what could be available to me.  I looked at every amenity, stopped in to every empty conference room, scanned the supply of junk food at the “snack shop”  and took a thrill as I opened the little bar soap in my over-sized bathroom,  never before to be new again.

When I started to write today, I thought briefly about writing about my insights from the sessions I attended or the connections I made with other professionals I met.  Instead I kept thinking, “wouldn’t it be nice to be back in that hot-tub again, looking at the stars and contemplating a cold beer brought to me by a nice waiter or better yet, dessert served under one of those aluminum trays from room service?  So instead I had Chinese food delivered to our house, took a hot bath in my own bathroom and wondered what ever happened to my drawings of the “Goodyear” Hotel?

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