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You can’t put a price on warmth!

Posted by Somebody's Mother on 7:40 AM

At the end of a hard day on the road, when you want to fall into bed and sleep, there is nothing worse than searching for a hotel room and finally finding one only to be caught by nasty surprises.

This happened to me last weekend and I suppose that it would have been funny except that I had experienced a weekend from hell. As many of my readers know, my mother passed away this summer and my father is in a nursing home. Last weekend, I went to their home to burn any documents that might have their social security numbers on them and to take whatever mementos and furniture that I wanted for my children and myself.

It was indeed a sad job made even more unbearable by the fact that there was no heat in the house and the weather had turned bitterly cold. Our hands were frozen and the task was made even longer by a meeting with the realtor who will probably be selling the house for us. She got cold so luckily the meeting was shorter than it might have been which allowed us to get back to work.

We finally finished throwing things away and burning papers and loaded up the van that we rented, heading north exhausted. I had picked up a coupon book that allows you to get discounts on hotels. Unfortunately, it was Saturday night and the coupons didn’t work for most of the hotels except for the Super 8. My husband was sceptical; he is a big believer that one should never stint on hotels. I thought that since it was a big chain, it couldn’t be all that bad. I was so wrong.

We got a pleasant enough greeting from the desk manager who even offered me a cup of tea. My husband picked up the key and we got back in the van and drove around the building to our room. We opened the door and that was when we were hit by something that we hoped and prayed that we had escaped, the chill.

The rooms each had their own heater and were not preheated. I turned on the heater with hope in my heart but when I put my hands up to it expecting hot hair, all I got was a lukewarm blast. I called up the cheerful desk manager who informed me that they never heat the rooms until it reaches -5 degrees. I was too cold and dispirited to ask if that was Fahrenheit or Celsius.

We jumped a blanket off the second double bed in the room and brushed our teeth with our coats on. The fan on the heater blasted all night long and by morning the room was warm enough. Then it came time for a hot shower but no such luck. My husband let the water run for a good ten minutes and finally managed to get a tepid shower. I was desperate for a shower so I gave it a try and was luckier. Somehow more hot water had made it to our bathroom and I got a hot-ish shower.

Disgusted, we decided not to try our luck with the complimentary breakfast so we left the Super 8 in White River Junction and didn’t stop till St. Johnsbury where we had breakfast at Anthony’s Diner. The food there is always good and it’s nice to eat well after such a cold ordeal. I love their home fries and if you’re ever there for lunch, try the coleslaw; it’s the best in Vermont.

I hate conceding a point to my husband but I admit - very publicly admit - that it would have been worth an extra fifty dollars to stay in a well heated room with hot water.
Take my word for it, if you need to stay in White River Junction when the weather is cold, steer clear of the Super 8. Learn from my experience. If I wanted to freeze, I would have slept in a tent.

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