I travelled just north of Heather's current location this past weekend. Partially to get away from a really long work week, but mostly to get away from the dirty ______ (fill in the blank - floors, laundry, dishes, drunks). I did not tell Heather I was headed her way because it was a very last minute decision and I don't believe in suprising people.
It was late Friday night. We'd made a stop (or two) on the way and we were tired. We'd reserved a room at a cheap but clean hotel. They are nice people (we've stayed there before), and they'd left a key in a basket on the front porch for us. We hauled our snowshoes and stuff-one-must-have-when-one-leaves-the-house-for-the-weekend up the stairs to our room. Which was fifty five degrees. Even though the thermostat was set at sixty five. Hm. We turned the heat up, and the baseboard heat in the bathroom started to bang and groan and hiss. The copper pipe that led to the baseboard heater was warm... but none of the heating elements anywhere in the room even thought about warming up.
It was late Friday night. We didn't know the area well enough to just choose another place, and we knew some hotels were full. We just couldn't face getting back in the car. Yay snowshoe gear! We put our long unders on underneath p.j.s, and climbed under the covers repeating the mantra "it's just like being at camp". We opened a bottle of mead, and ingesting it in the name of antifreeze, we indulged in cable T.V. (having none at home, this is a guilty pleasure of hotel stays). We fell asleep huddled together like hikers at base camp on Everest.
Saturday morning dawned clear and cold. Our room had dropped to a refreshing fifty degrees. At 7:00 a.m. the Better Half put on jacket and boots over p.j.s and tromped to the front desk. Which wasn't open. I guess I didn't mention that we'd called the front desk (and knocked on the door) the night before. We left messages. We made it clear that because we were tired, we would put up with the cold... but we'd be up early, and please have a warm room ready so we could shower and defrost. BH's second trip to the front desk an hour later rewarded us with a key to a new room and the information that they 1) hadn't listened to voicemail yet and 2) the heat in that room had been fixed the previous week and 3) they have an emergency line on voicemail that stopped working after it was turned on the night before. So we could have gotten a real person on the line, and they would have given us a real room (instead of a glorified campsite)... but we didn't.
The rest of the weekend was lovely. The weather was warm (for Maine in the winter), we had fried pickles for the first time (and they're great!), and we had a higher appreciation for a sixty five degree hotel room. We even cranked it up to seventy because we'd "earned it" (when Vermonters live large, watch out!). Best of all, we did not pay for our camping experience that first night. It did make me consider the radius of a Gourmet Knitting Disaster Goddess' influence. Perhaps, if I'd been smart, I would have thrown a sacrificial skein of yarn in her general direction.