Friday, January 16, 2009

Fun in the desert

I received for my birthday back in October, a room at the Camelback Inn in Arizona. It was a gift from my boss complete with a dinner and a note that said "take a day off and relax."

She loves me.

I spent last Thursday at the Camelback Inn. It was a lovely hotel. The grounds were beautiful during the day and at night, around the restaurants, there were huge fire pits and lounging areas. It was very relaxing. Flowers everywhere lent to a beautiful scent in the air. Did I mention the spa? It was excellent! I some time in the hot tub, lounged in the eucalyptus infused sauna and then spent some time in the dry sauna. When I was done with that, I showered off in the private showers and waited for my one hour Swedish Massage (a Christmas gift from boss also). After the massage, I spent more time in the hot tub and finally went back to the room for a little nap while I waited for The Man to arrive.

I'll spare you the gory details of the rest of the evening but at one point I casually mentioned that we needed to win the lottery so that we could stay at nice hotels with full size towels and down comforters. The only down side to the night was no internet access. For $399 per night, I thought internet would be complementary. NOT. I had to pay $12.99 to complete a three paragraph assignment that was due and that I couldn't complete before Thursday night or after Friday at noon. (have I mentioned that sometimes professors are picky?) I won't go into detail about the $6.50 bottle of water or $12 nuts they offered on the counter in my room.

The next morning we woke up, checked out and went home to pack for a weekend in Vegas with the kids. The Man had three days off from work (over a weekend no less) and we were quick to capitalize on that. It was a last minute trip so I was doing it on a budget. I scored rooms at the Fiesta Henderson, a mere 12 miles from the Vegas strip. Staying on the strip costs anywhere from $160 up per night. I got a killer deal on our room at the Fiesta for a whopping $39 per night. SHE SHOOTS! SHE SCORES!

Upon arrival Friday night we put our bags away, hopped into the car and headed for the glittery strip. We trolled about for a couple hours, people watching and headed back to the room for some rest. The kids were tired and I had a school assignment to complete. (Another one of those picky professor assignments that must be done within a small window of time because some professors believe they own you the during of their course.)

So, upon getting back to the room, I fire up ye trusty ol' laptop and search for some internet access. I grabbed my purse for a couple Excedrin and wala! Internet hook up. FREE. (High Five!) I looked at The Man and said "we paid forty bucks a night for this place and it comes with complementary internet AND full size towels? Maybe we don't need to win the lottery."

The weekend proceeded with food, virgin daiquiris, laughter, fright and delight of roller coaster rides and much people watching. By Sunday morning, we were ready to check out and come back home. Upon checkout I noticed a charge on our hotel bill of $8.95 per day for "guest services." Complimentary internet my ass.

Consensus: it doesn't matter where you stay, you pay for everything. Period. Both rooms were nice. Both served our needs, a safe, warm place to sleep that didn't come with livestock. Both and running water and working plumbing. Food was cheaper at the Fiesta which is to be expected because a) it is not a resort like the Camelback and b) it is off the strip where everything costs way too much. I spent $109 on four hamburgers, 1 grilled cheese and five cokes at Cesar's Palace once. We don't eat there anymore.
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