Those of you who really know me, know I was not “to the manor born”. More like “to the split level” or “to the crummy apartment”. Yes, this explains why I like fancy hotels so much-not that anyone needs a deep reason.
When I was a kid, we vacationed only once every few years. My parents would load up the rusty brown station wagon, my brother and I would climb in the “way back” with the dogs, and off we’d ramble. We always went to the same place, Ocean Shores – (the only beach I’ve ever been to where it’s always raining). And stayed at the same motel, that’s right, I said motel. The no star Gitche Gummee.
This haven of polyester bedding and shag carpets was chosen on the basis of its generous dogs-allowed policy. Every time my dad wheeled in to the parking lot under their trademark tee-pee, it felt a little like coming home.
The Ritz Carlton has become my Gitche Gummee. Our wedding reception was at a Ritz. Our first vacation as a young family was at a Ritz. More than one of our children was conceived, yes, at a Ritz.
Recently, I was in Orlando to take a Disney cruise press trip and review the Grande Lakes Ritz. But I got sick. So sick I ended up in the hospital. Being alone in the hospital sucks. Checking yourself out of a hospital and taking a cab to a hotel, alone, sucks more.
I had missed a Disney cruise, I was in a lot of pain, and I was missing my children. Dragging myself down the elegant hallway I was close to tears. I opened the door to my room to find the staff had printed this photo of me and my babies, framed it, and left it on my bedside table with a stack of sweet notes. The bellman who had helped me to my room that morning sent his get well wishes. The PR director said she knew it wasn’t easy to be apart from family when you’re sick, she hoped this would make me feel better.