We usually end up having an adventure when we take a trip... but they aren't usually as gross as our recent one.
We left Friday around 1:30...decided to take a slow leisurely drive as to avoid some of the Friday afternoon in October mountain traffic. Our first stop was....eight miles down the road to Calhoun for some lunch! ha ha. Our service was extremely slow though, and we didnt leave there until 3:00pm!!! Oh well...
Our next stop...McKay Used Books in Chattanooga, TN. If you love books you MUST visit this store. We gave each of the kids $20 to spend (this is their souvenir from the weekend) and they each got a TON of books. I was in charge of helping Katie and she got about 30 books with her money. LOVE this book store. We left with a HUGE box of books, so plenty to keep them busy for the rest of our drive.
By this time it was 5:00....and combined with some more traffic and a stop at the pharmacy in Sevierville, we arrived to check in at our "condo-cabin" at 8:30pm. It was a little difficult to find the unit we had rented in the dark. We had to walk past a big construction area with a big drop off and that was a little nerve racking with the kids, but we got in, put our stuff down and investigated. At first the place seemed so nice...gas fireplace, kitchenette, nice big beds, etc. I noticed that it looked like the floor in the bedroom had not been vacuumed. Well, okay...whatever...someone got in a hurry.
We ran back out to pick up some McDonald's for dinner. While the kids were eating and watching tv, I investigated in more detail.
The jacuzzi tub had hair and dirt in it. *ew!*
The toilet had not been cleaned. I could tell! Now, think about that...how can you TELL a toilet hasn't been cleaned?! *double ew!*
I am feeling quite appalled by now...and we investigate what is available in the kitchen.
When we opened one of the cabinets...there was a cinnamon bun sitting on the shelf...open with a bite taken out of it!!!!!
I said to Corey, "This place has NOT been cleaned at ALL!"
So we decide right then, at about 10pm, that we are not going to stay here. I cannot even give my kids a bath. This isn't like we are staying at a friend's house and we are just using their stuff....this is a vacation rental! It should be pristine! We don't know whose hair that is in the bathtub....or who took a bite out of that cinnamon roll....and even if you ARE our friend, I hope you don't have a half eaten roll just sitting in your cabinet! (unless you have a 1-2 year old, then anything goes!)
Well, while we are looking around the place for a phonebook to see if we can find a place to stay...I found a tooth flossing pick in one of the drawers!!! USED! TRIPLE YUCK! This place is just getting worse by the minute.
We knew that we had to get a refund and didn't want any arguments, so I took pictures of every single offense. I wrote a list on the back of the satisfaction survey and sent a detailed email when we finally got to another hotel.
After we left, we remembered that this rental also charged us a $70 CLEANING FEE on top of the rental price. FORGET IT PEOPLE! That is insane!
We were driving out, thinking we might be crazy for leaving a place at 10:30 on a Friday night in Ocotber to find another place to stay, but we did. We actually, in fun, stopped in at the Inn at Christmas Place. I thought for sure they would be booked or insanely expensive. When I walked in, it was like a magical place. It *smelled* like Christmas. It was so cozy, decorated with Christmas trees, a huge log fire burning in an oversized rock fireplace...oh just beautiful. AND they had a room available. AND...it was a little bit expensive...$159. BUT, she said they include a FULL breakfast buffet and have a 24 hour indoor heated swimming pool.
"My husband will be right in!" I said.
I got back in the car and said, "They have a room!"
"$159, but it includes a full breakfast buffet and they have a 24 hour pool."I replied.
"It is nice?" he asked.
I replied in a very kid-excited voice: "It smells like CHRISTMAS!"
"I'll be right back" he said.
What a great husband. We REALLY enjoyed our evening at the Christmas hotel. For one, Katie and Noah LOVED it when we walked in. Katie said,"It's CHRISTMAS!" and started singing "It's Christmas, It's Christmas!"
In about 40 minutes we had unloaded the car, changed into our swimsuits and were taking advantage of the 24 hour pool and hot tub. We were swimming at midnight and the kids were LOVING IT! We were too. We needed the nice relaxing welcome after having such a miserable check-in at the other place.
The room was decorated with Christmas design comforters and pillows, the lobby was just GORGEOUS, and there really was a "smell" of pine, or something like that all through the hallways and in the rooms. We also had a mini-fridge and a kitchenette type area with a sink. The beds were DIVINELY comfortable and the breakfast the next day was great and filling. Biscuits, gravy, eggs, sausage, bacon, all sorts of toast, bagels, pastries, doughnuts, waffles, cereal, juice, fruits, etc. Katie even saw Santa as she got out of the elevator that morning. Santa makes regular appearances here to sing in the evening some days or just visits in the mornings sometimes.
So, the first night started out awful, but ended VERY well, and since this has been so long, I will save the next days for another post. There wasn't a room available for the second night at the Christmas Inn, so we had to move on....
Stay tuned for Mountain Adventure...part two. Highlights of this post will include a pigeon on the balcony and a Classic Carrie spazz attack! Sound fun?!
(BTW, Corey took the camera with him to work today, so I can't upload the pictures yet!)