Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Wuertleys Visit the Big City

Many of our friends were going somewhere "big" for Spring Break, but our family decided to forego the long trip and just spend one night in Indianapolis for our big Spring Break outing. Items on our "to do" list while in Indianapolis - go to Build a Bear, visit the Children's Museum, eat at the Old Spaghetti factory and Cheeseburger in Paradise, and swim at the hotel. The first major decision we had to make to plan the trip was our accomodations. I told Jason I did not want to spend the night in a crummy hotel in Indianapolis when we only live an hour away, so we typed in an offer for a 4 star hotel (one that we thought was pretty low but after hearing everyone else's success stories I guess we weren't so smart after all) and were pleased to get accomdations at the Omni in downtown Indianapolis. Our family usually stays at the Super 8 or Budget Host, so we were pretty excited to be staying at such a fancy hotel.

After a fun but VERY expensive trip to Build a Bear, we headed to check into the Omni. At the Super 8 or Budget host, the check in procedure goes as follows - Jason pulls up to the front door, leaves the car running while I stay with the kids, he checks in, gets our keys, gets back in the car, we pull around to the closest parking space to the outside enrance to our room, we all take a load up, I start unpacking, and he unloads the rest of the car. Apparently this procedure is not what happens at a 4 star hotel. We knew we were in trouble when we pulled up to the front and several young men in blue suits were standing by several pull racks for luggage. Uggh, valet parking. We both agreed that we would respectfully tell them we could get our own luggage. However, when Jason inquired about parking to one of the young men, he said our two options were to do the valet parking or to park in the closest overnight parking lot 3 blocks away. The valet parking was $25, the overnight lot parking was $18. For $7, we figured that was worth not dragging all of our stuff across Indianapolis. Then came the issue of the bags. Sure, we would pay the $25 for valet, but we were NOT going to have them take our bags and then have to tip them for that on top. So we started to unload. This is what we initially thought we would be able to carry ourselves (in one trip, of course, because they were going to take our car as soon as we left, and there was a line forming behind our car so we had to hurry) - 4 bags (one for each of us), Jason's laptop, two build a bear animals IN THEIR BOXES, two bitty babies, the bitty baby suitcase, the bitty baby stroller, the snack bag, and a sleeping 5 year old. Needless to say we didn't get far before we broke down and enlisted the help of the man.

Jason and I headed upstairs with the girls to our room. We were feeling a little uneasy about getting our "stuff," but less than a minute later the door knocked and we had our luggage. Jason got out his wallet for the tip, and having no idea really what to give him, had no less than a $10, so we had to give this man $10 for dragging our junk to our room. $35 later the price on priceline wasn't seeming like such a good deal.

After a wonderful meal at the Spaghetti Factory, we headed back to the hotel to swim. Jason and the girls changed into swimsuits (I wasn't in the mood to swim) and we headed to the pool. We didn't really know where the pool was, but Jason figured we would just "run into it." We went to the lower level and hearing dinner music in the background and not seeing anyone around, Jason said to wait where we were while he went to check it out. I didn't realize he wanted me to hold the elevator door open, so it shut, trapping me, my two girls in nothing but swimsuits and towels, and Jason in his swim trunks and a t-shirt on the lower level right next to...a private dinner party. Luckily the next people off the elevator was a family, and they pointed us in the opposite direction to the pool.

After swimming in a very unpopulated pool (I don't think a lot of families stay at the Omni) we went back upstairs to our room to find that someone had turned down the covers on our bed and left mints and cookies. Since the cokes in the refrigerator were $3.50 and the bath salts were $7.50, we were a little nervous to eat any of these snacks, but we took them assuming they were complimentary and thankfully didn't get charged.

All in all it was a great trip, although the Wuertley family was definitely out of its element. Elizabeth wrote a little note to the Omni management saying that it was the nicest hotel she had ever stayed in, so even she was impressed.


Blogger Keetha said...

I'm with Elizabeth - - - I LOVE the Omni in Indy. "Back in the day" when I was still young enough and was on the steering committe for Wesleyan Youth Conventions, I stayed there in a suite. IT WAS AWESOME. In fact, I LOVE all the big old downtown ritzy hotels. I think I could LIVE there. :-)

Also - - -when in a downtown hotel, let the valet park the car - - - it may cost a bit, but it's worth it to have it at your beck and call and know it is SAFE.

Good for you for tipping the bell hop. I always let them "haul" my stuff - - - like I do this very often. Hehehehehe

While it is TRUE that we went to FL this time on my Spring break, I do prefer to stay home and go to a hotel one night - - - I think it is more restful.

Also - - - - HOOORAY for a new post and HOOORAY that I am again to FIRST to find it and comment.


April 03, 2008 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Heather said...

This reminds me of when Aaron and I went to Opryland last year. I had a conference there and our hotel was across the main intersection. He would drive me and drop me off at the main entrance in the mornings.
He would get so freaked out dropping me off because of the valet parking. One morning, I was still getting out of the car as the valet parking guys walked up to us. Aaron got so freaked out that he started going while one of my legs was still in the car.

April 03, 2008 8:10 PM  
Blogger Bekah said...

I've never stayed in this fancy of a hotel...and I am excited that you got to do it!

Last year when I took my spiritual retreat, I treated myself to a nicer room than I grew up on (we did super 8's too!) - and it was AMAZING. I still carried my own bags though. :) Maybe someday I'll graduate to more luxury...

April 10, 2008 9:56 AM  

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