10.06.2012 - 11.06.2012 37 °C
Room 1122, Hilton, Fort Worth
Monday, 11 June 2012
A long but enjoyable drive through, at first empty, then gradually filling up Texas as we approached Fort Worth. Safely installed in the Hilton, previously Hotel Texas, built in 1916 and where Kennedy spent his last night on this Earth.
We went out to Stockyards for a meal last night and forgot to take the camera. Plan to revisit today after a walk round a reviving Downtown and some final shopping. So more on that later. Meanwhile, some thoughts about hotel life for the over-60s!
Part of touring these days involves staying in the modern hotel room.
For we elderlies rapidly approaching Pensionable age, this can prove to be somewhat of a challenge.
Waking up at a Hampton Inn or Best Western motel one first has to work out where on this Earth one is. And then, where the heck you put your glasses last night in order to find and switch off the buzzing mobile phone you set as an alarm.
The room is inevitably in total darkness, although, when you went to bed, those curtains were not keeping out the noise nor the headlights of vehicles on Interstate over which the room looks. Now it’s the Black Hole of Calcutta. The first thing you find with your fumbling hands in the dark is the glass of Sprite Lite on the bedside table which goes flying, soaking you and your bedclothes. What will the maid think caused those bright yellow stains on the undersheet?
Glasses found, now dripping in sticky Sprite Lite, you put your first foot tentatively to the floor. It finds the little mat so thoughtfully provided to protect your feet from whatever foot condition the previous occupier of the room suffered from. The mat, of course, immediately folds into a ball and takes your foot with it as it skids towards the solid wooden bottom of the bed with which your big toe comes heavily into contact. Ouch!
As it was not possible to find the light switch by the bed by groping, one heads for the dim outline of the bedroom door where there should be a switch for the lights. Tripping happily over a suitcase left in the middle of the room by somebody else, one eventually finds the switch and all the blinding lights come on to wake one’s slumbering but now grumpy companion.
Next comes the trauma of the dreaded coffee machine. No one machine is the same as another so each has to be approached differently. The first task is to fill the jug with water. Of course, the basin tap is carefully designed so that no coffee jug will fit under it. So it has to be the bath tap. Some thoughtful soul has left the control on “shower” so turning on the main tap to fill the jug gives our happy traveller a damn good soaking. Thoroughly wet, the jug now full, it is now time to negotiate a sodden floor back to the coffee machine.
Another thing carefully designed is the spout on the modern coffee jug. Of course, its design means that, when trying to pour the water into the tiny filler of the coffee machine, 95% of the water goes everywhere else except into the machine. Eventually it is time to plug the beast in. Naturally, there is not a socket anywhere near the coffee machine so it has to be balanced precariously on a bathroom shelf where the short cord will just about reach the shaver socket.
Now it’s time to open the coffee bag which has to be inserted into the machine. This is treble wrapped for freshness and any attempt to tear along the perforations yields nothing apart from raising the blood pressure. Eventually a small pair of nail clippers can be used to make a tiny nick in the plastic, enabling one to tear open the wrapper, at the same time tearing open the coffee bag itself so that coffee grounds are strewn all over the already wet and messy bathroom floor.
Similar problems are encountered opening the packet of whitener and sachet of “Sweet ‘n Lo”, which together, are wrapped in unopenable cellophane, but eventually a cup of warm stuff vaguely resembling a coffee is produced.
Aah, next its shower-time. The controls are unfathomable but through trial and error, after first scalding then freezing oneself, a gush of tepid water is produced and it’s time to open the little bottle of what is assumed to be shampoo. Wrong! It’s the Body lotion. Nice greasy hair now. Of course these containers are even more difficult to open with hands covered with body lotion but, either by using ones teeth, or trying to grip the top using the slimy shower curtain, eventually the top is off and, splunk, down the plug hole before making it to one’s head. Maybe this one is the shower gel? It’s impossible to tell without glasses but they are somewhere in the bedroom. And they'd steam up in here anyway.
Once the refreshing shower is complete it is time to finish preparations for the day by cleaning the teeth and applying any medical lotions that may be required.
However, I do recommend taking great care before doing this. It is not at all pleasant starting the day with the taste of PreparationH in the mouth and the sting of Colgate where the sun doesn’t shine, anymore!
Aah, what it is getting old!!
PS Packing sorted, checked in online for flight which is not until around 5.30pm tomorrow (Tuesday). Hoping to get a Blog on Fort Worth done before we get going. Great city, disappointed with the hotel to a certain extent. See you soon!
Yep, we get a real cowboy at last!