Our Mini Vacation

My daughter’s boss has been telling her since the beginning of her job that he wanted her to find time to stay in the hotel because he wanted her to know what it was like as a guest so she could do her job better. We stayed at the hotel last night for free. My daughter learned a lot about staying as a guest, and we had fun together. Before we left, her boss had a talk with us to find out things that perhaps he could do better for the guests. This is what we did.

The beds in the room
Our room was actually a suite with a living area.
Our big flat screen TV that you could see from the beds and the living area

The hotel’s policy says guest check in after 3:00, so we checked in slightly after 3:00. They gave us a room on the top floor. It was cold when we went in, so the first thing my daughter had to do was figure out how to use the hotel room’s thermostat. Now, if a guest calls down to the desk saying they don’t know how, she can explain to them how to do it. While I was waiting for the room to warm up, I crawled in bed, and she messed with the TV and the TV controller. She figured out how to use the TV controller and found the TV show Mash for me to watch. Now, if a guest needs to know how to use the TV controller, she can explain it to them. I watched an episode of Mash where supposed to be having a traditional Korean wedding, but the only thing they got right were the clothes. What they said was traditional Korean music wasn’t at all. The attitude of the bride and groom was more like Americans than Koreans. They had them drinking green tea during the ceremony, but that would be more of a Japanese thing, and there was a lot of bowing of the bride and groom, and that is a bit more Japanese too. I am convinced they really didn’t know what a traditional Korean wedding was like. They even had the groom entering on a white horse, but I have never seen anything like that. The idea of rings came from the west, but they had the Koreans exchanging rings as if they were Americans. While I was watching, my daughter figured out how to work the safe in the room.

We wore our yukatas over our bathing suits to walk to the pool. Here, I have it over my actual clothes, and the picture you see on my T-shirt is Mr. Spok from Star Trek. My oldest son bought us all matching Star Trek t-shirts one year for Christmas claiming we were all Trekies because we all like to watch all the Star Trek shows. My yukata fits me quite different;y than it would a Japanese. When I was in Japan the first time, it was before I had kids, and they actually wrapped towels around my waist to make it bigger because they said women were supposed to look they the were flat like a board when they wore a kimono. That part of me definitely has never looked Japanese.
A decoration in the lobby of the hotel/ We walked from the elevator that was close to this, and then behind this down the hall to the swimming pool.
We had the swimming pool all to ourselves.
We also had the hot tub all to ourselves.

After that, we put our bathing suits on and headed for the pool. Neither of us wanted to walk through the lobby in our bathing suits, but my daughter told me that during the week, we would be in the pool alone because people usually don’t swim during the week. We put our yukatas (summer kimonos) over our bathing suits and creeped through one side of the lobby after we got off the elevator trying to get to the pool inconspicuously. However, I guess we weren’t so inconspicuous because the person at the front desk saw and hollered out how much they liked our robes. I said, “They are from Japan,” and just kept walking. My daughter said, “They are not robes, but regular clothes!” We went on to the pool. At least we didn’t go in our bathing suits. That might have gotten us more unwanted attention.

When we got into the pool room, we went into the pool first, and I was hoping it was a heated pool, and it was. The water felt good. We began by swimming a few laps. I wasn’t quite done swimming, and my daughter said, “Let’s go to the hot tub!” I wasn’t sure I wanted to stop swimming, but I decided to go ahead and go. We got into the hot tub. It was warmer than the pool, and it was wonderful! It has been many, many years since I have been in a hot tub! We just sat there and soaked in the hot water and completely relaxed and enjoyed it! Neither of us realized we would enjoy that hot tub so much. It was a real high light of her being asked to stay at the hotel. After a bit, she decided to swim laps again and told me just stay in the hot tub and float, so I did. I could have stayed there all day, but I know you are supposed to stay in the hot tub only a limited amount of time. When I began to get out, it was like gravity was weighing me down. I had to hold onto the railing to get out and wondered if I should just sit down and cool off, but decided to try the pool again. This time, when I got in the pool, it no longer even felt warm after being in the hot tub. I couldn’t just jump right in and begin swimming like I had before. I had to get in slowly and get adjusted to the water. As I cooled off, the feeling of being weighed down by gravity was slowly leaving, and I could eventually feel like swimming again. After a bit, we were back in the hot tub. We really liked the swimming pool, and liked the hot tub even more! Eventually, I decided that perhaps we had been in the hot tub long enough and should get out. I felt the gravity pulling at me when I got out again, and went to sit in one of the chairs. I didn’t want to leave the pool area but I knew it was dinner time. I said, “Maybe we can come back again later,” but I was afraid we wouldn’t.

We dried off with some of the towels from the pool, and began reading the rules on the walls. My daughter found some rules she didn’t know before, and it was good for her to learn them for her job. We headed back to our room and fortunately got ignored as we went through one part of the lobby headed for the elevator. When we got to the room, we decided it was time to take showers and order out for dinner. When I took my shower, I realized that they hadn’t put out enough shampoo. We couldn’t find a blow dryer either. Before we checked out, these are the kinds of things we discussed with her boss that would help the hotel. There was a blow dryer, but it was just in a strange place.

We ordered pizza for dinner.

My daughter ordered us a pizza. There is a Dominos close to the hotel, and a lot of guests order out for Dominos pizza, so we did. Actually, I didn’t think the pizza was that good. I like Pizza Hut’s, Mr. Pizza’s, and my own homemade pizza much better, but it was edible. We were having a party! We had brought a two liter bottle of Coca Cola Zero with us because my daughter knew the hotel’s store was expensive and didn’t want to buy anything there. She went to the ice machine and brought us ice. We used the paper cups provided in the room. After we ate, we broke out the Scrabble game I had brought.

Our Scrabble game has really been used a lot!
When we got out the game and looked at all the papers where people had been playing, one of our good friends’ name was on most of the papers, Shohag.

Our Scrabble game had been packed since we came from S. Korea. When we opened it up, I realized that it was still full of papers from different games we had played with people’s scores there. We decided to go through the papers and see who all we had played with, and it turned out to be a lot of fun. Of course, we expected that we had played with Shohag the most. Shohag was one my English majors who hung out with is a lot, and he loved to play Scrabble! He is now well on his way to becoming an English professor. He is completing his masters in English and will go on for a doctorate in English. We found Kim Ju Young’s name a few time, and we both thought she was very sweet. We found Oo Ji Hyeon’s name. She was president of the senior class or something like that. We found Chelsea’s name, an American girl who was in Korea a while, and when we found her name, we found James. My daughter said, “I didn’t realize James every played Scrabble!” James is her brother in law, and he can’t speak English, but he had a big crush on Chelsea, so of course, we found he was playing Scrabble whether he understood or not because Chelsea was doing it. We found Hasun’s name. Hasun went to Abilene Christian University from Korea Christian University, and he was extremely smart. We found even more names than this, and finally, at the bottom, we found the name Higgins, and we both laughed our heads off!

This is from a poster of when I directed the play “My Fair Lady.” The main character who caused so much trouble was Higgins. He is the guy in the center holding flowers and holding the girl who played Liza Dolittle. These are several of my English majors. The guy from Bangaldesh here is Dev, Shohag’s best friend and one of our best friends. Dev is a translator now for a big international marketing company in Korea. I saw the girl in the green just before I left Korea. She is now an English teacher at Promise Academy in S. Korea.

Higgins was the biggest pest we ever met! Higgins wasn’t his real name. He was a Korean who took the name Higgins because he played Professor Higgins from “My Fair Lady” in a play that I directed for the students of KCU. He was always late, and I had to pick him up in my car from the bus stop to get him there after we had to wait 2 hours on him to start with. I had to feed him chocolate to give him incentive to learn his lines. I had to coddle him like a baby or the play would never have happened. The head of the English department was flabbergasted by him because he was such a pest to her too, and I ended up promising her I would try to help her straighten him out. I tried, but I am afraid I didn’t do as well as I wanted. He was like a two year old in an 18 year old’s body. He was always trying to hit on all the girls, but he insisted he was actually in love with my daughter, but since she had nothing to do with him, he went around hitting on the other girls. I caught him necking with the girl who played Eliza in the play all wrapped up in a stage curtain once, and that is something mild he did. He was truly a pest! He showed up at my apartment complex in a rubber horse’s mask and paraded around in the parking lot calling my name and embarrassed me. You name it, that silly kid did it! He went into the military, and he was gone, and we were relieved! Anyway, when we ran across his name we couldn’t help by laugh our heads off!!

We played Scrabble.

After we went through the names and laughed a bit, we went ahead and played Scrabble. I did what I always do when I play Scrabble. I won. I actually have a reputation for winning when I play Scrabble. Everyone has a game they are good at, and Scrabble is mine.

After we played Scrabble, we decided to watch TV. My daughter tried to get the Net Flix from her phone onto the TV, but it didn’t work, and she thought perhaps the problem was her USB chord. However, she was happy to find out where the places were on TV to plus the chord in because just in case any customers to the hotel wanted to know where to plug their chords in, she knew.

We watched comedies on cable and I fell asleep, but I didn’t stay asleep. When I woke up, my daughter had turned the TV off and tried to sleep, but was unable. She was worried about the weather because it was raining, and she heard it was going to freeze. She tried to turn the TV back on since we had both woken up, but was having trouble getting a signal because of the storm. She thought she would try her USB chord again, but still had trouble, and finally, the TV came back on. We watched “Ferris Beuler’s Day Off.” As usual, it was funny. My oldest son would never have skipped school and lied and was a straight A students, but other than that, his personality is like Ferris Beuler’s. I have actually seen him walk into a dead party with his guitar and completely change the party like Ferris Beuler did in that movie at the parade. I think I went on back to sleep before the movie was over.

Heading down the hall to breakfast

My daughter had tried to set the alarm clock in the hotel because she knew she needed to know how to do it, but was unsuccessful. It didn’t go off, but the alarm on her clock went off. We got up about 6:30, got dressed, and went downstairs to breakfast.

The breakfast was a buffet, and it was much different from when I stayed in hotels in Japan.

The breakfast buffet began with Mexican omelettes and sausages.
If we wanted to pour the batter in the waffle iron and wait, we could have had waffles.
There was hot and cold cereal as well as hot chocolate, coffee, and tea if we wanted it.
Milk was available too.
There were all kinds of bread, bagels, muffins, and donuts.
Koreans aren’t the only ones who like it spicy, so they had provided Tabasco sauce in case anyone wanted their breakfast with hot sauce.
There were several kinds of yogurt available as well as boiled eggs.
Fruit was there too.
There was butter and jam for the bread, but they also took it into account that some people like peanut butter on their toast.
Here are chocolate chips, raisons, and granola if anyone wants them.

They also had a drink machine full of different kinds of juices and water as well as another one with coffee, but I must have missed those pictures.

This is part of the restaurant. You can see the coffee machine in the corner. There was a fireplace off to the right of this photo.
Here is another part of the dining room, and my daughter with her breakfast in the foreground,

I thought I had a picture of my breakfast, but I can’t find it. I ate a Mexican omelette and an English muffin. I drank water and orange juice with it. My daughter’s boss spotted us and decided to come and visit with us while we were eating. He seems to be a nice, friendly guy. After breakfast, we went back upstairs and packed our stuff up thinking we would go on home to finish sleeping. As we were walking out the door, my daughter’s boss wanted to talk to us again. He reminded us that the night was free and that he wanted our input. He wanted to make sure that my daughter had learned more about the hotel. I told him she had learned a lot. I also told him there wasn’t enough shampoo in the room, and he liked the comment because he said they really needed to know that. I joked and told him we missed the yukata and origami bird that was always on our bed when we traveled to Japan. He loved the idea of the customers finding and origami bird on their beds and asked my daughter if she could make origami birds. He may plan on her making origami birds for the hotel rooms now. He wanted to know if our beds were comfortable, and I didn’t want to tell him my bed at home was more comfortable, so we changed the subject and told him about Korean hotels where we had stayed where there were no beds. In those rooms, you find a thin mat, blankets and pillows in the closet, and the only thing you see when you come in the room is a TV, so I began carrying an air mattress with him Korea since I never knew when I would have a bed or not have a bed. My daughter told him about the beds in Korea that are basically big slabs of heated rock. Many people in Korea actually prefer sleeping in the floor. After we talked a while, we excused ourselves and went on home so my daughter could have a nap before she had to return to work.

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