I struggle to type on a wet keyboard, as my tears flow for beloved Finny’s departure this morning… buon viaggio! Italy will miss you!
Oh, the stories, folks. I will leave FK to tell you most of them, but there is one in particular that I have to relate, since it is my big, fat fault that the whole tale unraveled in the first place.
I know you must have one of these stories too. Oh, please tell me you do.
That “I-booked-a-hotel-so-horrible-I-had-to-laugh-to-keep-from-crying” story.
Well, if I didn’t have one before, I sure do now.
Wanting to give one my best friends in the whole world a grand tour of the lovely isle of Ischia, I bravely ventured into uncharted territory: vacation accommodation planning. Seeing as how I run vacation accommodations, you would think this would be my specialty; however, even though I know what I like and try my best to provide that for my special guests, I don’t have a knack for finding great places. Actually, I just always leave it to Ale, who loves it and does a great job. But since he was down playing on the movie set (pics out in this week’s Italian Vanity Fair—I will post if I can get a hold of mine and Ale’s photo with “DJ”), I was faced with the dilemma.
All the good ideas come in hindsight. Like: dummy, you should have just asked Tracie B. But, alas… I didn’t.
Instead, I ventured out on my own. Mind you, I did do my homework. Here are the titles for the first 5 comments that come up for the place in Trip Advisor:
1) “Peaceful setting”
3) “A wonderful relaxing holiday”
4) “Great place”
5) “Highly recommended”
Now, Trip Advisor has never steered me wrong, so I thought I was really onto something.
So, let me now commence with my TOP 10 SIGNS THAT YOU HAVE BOOKED A BAD HOTEL:
1) Upon arrival, your host hands you an opened package of toilet paper with two remaining rolls, smiling: “I don’t normally supply my guests with toilet paper, but…” (BUT, what? I’m special?)
2) When you pull up, there is an illuminated picture of a saint, perhaps the patron saint of the hotel, clearly telling you to pray that you might have a nice room. (No help there.)
3) Beautiful flowers adorn the parking lot, alas, only to cover the garbage bins.
4) Symmetry is not a priority.
5) Lampshades are optional.
6) Owner remarks that the bay is just steps away, and that we are lucky because, and I quote: “a new, super convenient 200-step (yes, that’s TWO HUNDRED step) staircase has just been added!”
7) Looks like owner is attempting some kind of zen experiment in wall decoration.
8) After being handed your sheets to make your own bed (could possibly be #8b in and of itself), you find you were also given a hand-monogrammed bath towel, yet, strangely, the initials do not correspond to anything or anyone you are aware of, as owner’s name starts with a “P.” (Have we stumbled upon a new phenomenon of hotel owners stealing towels from hotel guests? Could be an ironic role reversal.) I later realize that the initials might correspond to two words in the four-word hotel name. Guess the owner didn't want to buy the extra consonants.
9) Patio described as molto bello by owner has "dog issues." (Which I will link to, however not photographically, as soon as FK elaborates, since it was on her patio and this is her cleverly-worded term for the problem.)
10) Your friend turns to you rather desperately, telling you: “I don’t think there’s a shower in my bathroom.” (Um, that would be the big spigot sticking out of the wall. It’s continuing with that whole zen theme, no shower curtain or shower stall needed, just go ahead and spray all over the toilet, sink, clean and formerly dry clothes, etc.)
Oh, the horror of it all. And yet, a silver lining. After many ha has over our misfortune, we take the extreme opposite route and resolve for our next night to find the “most scrumptiousest” (see #7) hotel on the island, or at least the town of Forio on the island. Our search started and ended at the lovely and most scrumptious Hotel Villa Carolina, where we traded views of flower-laden dumpsters and dog issues for this:
So, all’s well that ends well. Sigh. Thank God for low-maintenance friends with a healthy sense of humor and sense of adventure, as my little mishap could have easily sent another less patient person a-packin’. Grazie Finny!