Friday, May 1, 2009

Feel like a billion dollars.

All is well today. I feel even healthier than I did yesterday, so I may have lucked out. That's twice today.

Last night, I pulled into my last-minute hotel and it was -- less than ideal. On the disgusting scaled I'd rate this somewhere between a CDC test lab and the aftermath of the Avian flu chicken cullings. I had made my reservations far in advance - as I always do - at a great place for a great price, but I accidentally scheduled my checkout for Saturday rather than Sunday. I only realized this error four days ago. I quickly called to try to add Saturday night to my reservation, but of course it was far too late. If I tried to stay where I was and just do Saturday night somewhere else, I'd have to checkout by 3pm, which is right during the annual meeting. I don't have time to check into the new place and change clothes and such after the meeting because I have a hundred events to attend.

Thus, the only option was to cancel my entire reservation and book wherever I could get three nights. I did, and ended up and the most disgusting place I've ever stayed. It cost a good deal more than what I had previously booked, too.

I find it perplexing that the city of Omaha gets taken by surprise every single year by this meeting. Every year 30,000+ people pour into a quiet, mid-Western town. You'd think they'd get used to the routine, but no, if you book early for next year you get their regular, cheap mid-western prices. They don't raise rates until they start to get overbooked. As an example, I got a rental car at the Omaha-esque price of $17 per day because I booked last year. The guy in front of me in the rental car line was wanting the cheapest, smallest econo-box car they have and was quoted $120 per day. Why didn't they charge me more when they knew as well as I did this day was coming?

At any rate, this place was so disgusting I could not stay here again. On top of this, Sarah is flying in tonight to share the annual meeting with me for the first time ever. I can't have her staying here. As soon as I woke up I got back on hotels.com and Priceline trying desperately to find anywhere that could give me all three days. I lucked out and found a Holiday Inn not too far from downtown. It costs more than I just payed for The InterContinental in downtown San Francisco, and it sounds like Priceline is going to screw me and charge me for all three days at the CDC test lab even though the hotel itself said it would not, but I don't care. I had to get out of there. I think I have a strong case against being charged (since the manager said they would not) but even if they do, I'll chalk it up to learning a hard lesson about checking reservation dates.

I'm just happy I got a new place to stay and I have it through the entire weekend. I even called and asked if I could come over and check in right now -- five hours early -- because it is either that or sit in their lobby. I can't stay here!

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