What I’m Riding . . . my D.C. Romance

Why do you keep making me come to Washington . . . .

Which has about as much chemistry as Reese Witherspoon and her countless string of crap RomCom leading men.  If you need a refresher on how D.C. and I need to throw in the towel, check out last year’s two March blogs dealing with the subject.  Or, you could just read on, because here we go again . . . .

So if you know me, or read me, you know I’m an Alex Ovechkin fan.  Heck, if you read me you were there when I discovered that I was (reference my “When Repulsive Becomes Sexy” blog; sorry, Ovi).  So I traveled to D.C. last March to watch him play and found everything about D.C.–other than those thirty or so minutes I watched him skate around the Verizon Center–quite miserable.  I thought I’d get to see him play hockey in Tampa but of course he has to go and get suspended the week the Caps come to play the Lightning.  So here I am, back in Washington to meet Ovi at the Caps Casino night.  Four hours of bliss sandwiched in between four days of crap.  Share with me:

DAY ONE:  THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9
Arty Party and I arrive at the hotel before Mom, the Beetster and Super Bee.  Originally I had booked us all in the same room, Beet called later to get a second room, the three of them were coming in on Friday.  The man at the check-in counter informs me Beet’s name is still on my room, he has no other room for their party.  We spend five minutes going over this, he checks the computer–or says he does–and says there’s no other room for them, would I like a king or two queens?  I say, “Well if I take a king do I get a cot so all five of us don’t have to squeeze into bed together?”  He doesn’t get my humor.  His name is Parsnip or Kumquat or something like that and I say, “Two queens.”  He then asks me if I’m going to valet or self park.  I tell him self park.  He tells me it’s an extra $18 and that I’ll have to walk around the entire building to get back to the lobby because there is no back entrance.  I ask him to repeat himself.  He does.  I think the parking lot can’t be that far.  AP takes the bags inside, I go park my car in Maryland.  Yes, that’s how far it seemed.  I am thinking I am going to be killed before I ever get to meet Ovi.  I will be buried in Arlington Cemetery, grave of the Unknown Caps Fan.  I see two Pops smoking cigars at the back of the building.  I venture towards it.  It leads to some sort of meeting room.  It seems too easy.  Am I in a different hotel?  I go down the stairs, two flights.  Nothing.  I go back up to where I was.  A sign that says “lobby” straight ahead.  Yes, the parking lot is at the back entrance of the hotel.  Does the clerk think he’s funny?  I’m pissed.  I go to my room and call Mom and Bobeet and tell them they have no room.  Bobeet calls the hotel.  Yes he does, they confirm.  He gives me his confirmation number.  I go back downstairs and ask the female clerk to check it for me.  Yes, it is under Bobeet’s name, check in on the 1oth.  I ask for the manager.  It’s her.  I tell her how I was treated by Spaghetti Squash.  She says he’s new, she’ll take care of it, she’s so sorry.  Right.

DAY 3, SATURDAY FEBRUARY 11
I cannot complain about Friday the 10th.  It was touched by Ovi magic.  But on Saturday the shit storm came back.  I wanted to go on the Internet.  They charge for it, but Hilton Honors members can use it for free.  (Yes, it’s a Hilton Hotel, the Hilton Alexandria Mark to be specific).  I used to be a Hilton Honors member, but every time I join they cancel me within a year for not staying enough.  Whatever, I can’t live in your hotel, sorry.  But Bobeet belongs so I go online using his info.  The hotel catches wind of this and calls my room to yell at me and tell me I’m not entitled to free Internet.  I tell them I’m with the Bobeet party and they tell me his name is nowhere on my reservation, which I find interesting considering according to them his name was on my reservation and nowhere else when I first checked in.  I go downstairs for some juice in the gift shop (a small bottle of Minute Made, $3.69 a pop) and the manager is at the desk.  I go over and tell her about the nasty phone call.  I ask her what I need to do to stop being harrassed in her hotel.  Again she apologizes.

DAY FOUR, SUNDAY FEBRUARY 12
Our party is late getting to breakfast, so Bobeet goes to the desk to ask for a 1pm check-out time rather than twelve.  Twelve-thirty I’m relaxing in my room, watching the Caps-Rangers game, waiting for the Fam to call me to meet in the lobby when a knock comes at my door.  I think it might be them coming to get me.  I get up, the knocking keeps coming, sounds like my family.  Then a key goes in the lock and the door is pushed open and gets caught against the security bar.  I yell, “Whoa, whoa,” and hear a timid, “Sorry.”  I throw the door open and there’s a woman standing there with a clip board.  I point to the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the knob, give her some crazy eyes and say “WHAT?” because I’ve had it with this frigging hotel. Her English is broken and she mumbles something about the time, I say we have an extension until one but she doesn’t really understand what I’m telling her.  She points to her wrist and says, “I come back?”  Oh, yes, please, and bring some tea and biscuits, no, don’t come back, LEAVE ME ALONE.  Needless to say I see the manager again before I leave and tell her about the latest assault on my vacation at the hands of Paris’ minions.  Again she apologizes and says if I ever comne back she will make it up to me.  If I ever come back?  Not even if Ovi books it for us for the weekend.  Well, ok, sure in that instance, but it would have to take that.

So now I am in Virginia Beach, making my way back to Tampa, and what is directly across the street from the hotel?  A Wawa, beautiful babies.  Who says God doesn’t give with both hands?

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About whatimriding

Born and raised in Philly, I spent several years in Las Vegas, working at the House of Blues and writing about the city. I now reside in Tampa, where I continue to work on novels, scripts and short stories and tearfully await former Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier's return to the bay area.
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