Tag Archives: Florida

You Can Check Out Anytime You Like

To my friends & family who witnessed my gleeful boasting during my week-long sojourn in the sun… here’s a wee bit of Schadenfreude in which you can happily bask.

No vacation would be perfect without, at least, one minor hiccup in the proceedings. And ours was no exception to that rule.

The day had been perfect. We’d just spent six-plus hours trekking around the Kennedy Space Center, witnessing some of mankind’s most exciting moments in history and we were looking forward to relaxing in what we had been led to believe would be a charmingly, lovely resort-type hotel on Cocoa Beach.

Missing PhotoSmash gallery: 3

We’d taken a chance and used Hotwire. We’d heard, first-hand, from others who’d done likewise and had great results. So, we figured we’d give it a whirl ourselves. We selected the amenities that were important. We chose the location we thought would be fun. And we made sure to select nothing below a 3-star option.

But something went wrong. So very wrong.

We’re not sure if it was the excitement of knowing that we were going to get to personally witness history the next day in the 39th & final launching of the Space Shuttle: Discovery. Or maybe it was simply the thought of sipping Mai Tais at a balmy beach bar that caused us to lose our usual attention to detail. Either way, we clearly missed the fact that Hotwire had insidiously decided to somewhat alter our search parameters. Because of the shortage of the room calibre we’d selected (due, likely, to the fact that about a kajillion others were also going to be in town that night for the shuttle launch the next day), the Hotwire search engine unilaterally decided to throw in a few 2-star choices to our results page. I know.

Welcome to The International Palms Resort Cocoa Beach. The name drums up some pretty swanky, luxurious mental pictures doesn’t it? Yeah. Not so much.

We stayed in, bar none, the ugliest, tiniest hotel room either of us had ever seen. In fairness, the last hotel we stayed at was on our honeymoon. And it was the Bellagio in Las Vegas. But, whatever. So not the point.

Despite our having been checked into a double room (I guess they figured we wanted separate beds), this place was so small that the bathroom sink… wasn’t even in the bathroom. The vanity & sink were, for some reason, located in the room proper. Lovely.

And the tiny wee (broken) coffee pot was also proudly situated on that very same vanity. Oh, but you couldn’t actually turn it on and brew that half pot of rank Maxwell House java. No, you see the only electrical outlet available in this room was in such a position that, in order to use said (broken) coffee pot you had to sit it on the floor & balance the broken basket on top of the carafe. Oh, how I wish I were kidding.

Oh! Did I mention that when we turned off the AC (that had been set to stun), the room affected a charmingly musty smell by morning? Yep. Pretty awesome.

Despite it’s charming Eau de Basement scent, the place was clean. I’ll give them that. And it did come with free reading material (courtesy the Gideons) in the bedside stand. Singular. There was one; two (wobbly & uncomfortable) beds – but only one bedside stand. Oy vey.

The International Palms Resort was just… sad. Oh, so sad. So very, very sad.  Oddly, though? Free Wi-Fi. I know.  I don’t get it, either.

We were determined, nevertheless, to salvage the rest of the night and make the most of it. And, just when we thought all was lost, a light shone out. A bright beacon from within a dark & dingy window glimmered out to greet us.  It wasn’t quite a choir of angels we heard, but it was enough to take our dreary night and turn it right around – all thanks to three magical little words…
 
#1. Cheap.
 
#2. Beer.
 
#3. Karaoke.
 

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