Monday, August 6, 2007

Road Trip, Day 12, Visit With Ben, Ruth and Ashley

Last night we spent with Ben, Ruth and Ashley, and most of today Ben worked while we enjoyed being with his family. That granddaughter of ours is still not sure if she wants us around, but at least she tolerates us from a distance while she's making up her mind. She's very free with her smiles, so it's fun to sit on the couch, sing and laugh and make her smile. If you get too close? That's when the trouble starts. Ruth is endlessly patient, and still whips up a delicious meal for everyone while looking at least as good as ever. Maturity suits her. I was proud to see Ben really pitching in with the dishes and chores as well as the daddy duties when he gets home from LONG days at work. With all that's going on, he's still managed a great big bond with that tiny little girl. It does a mama's/grandma's heart good.

Now, before I crash on this absolutely wonderful bed, let's discuss hotels again. I've finally come up with a fair analogy to the hotel search while traveling: finding a great hotel is similar to kissing frogs while looking for Prince Charming. It takes a lot of frogs. Right now we're staying for eight nights at the Fairfield Inn in Wallingford, Connecticut, close to New Haven. This is a hotel I'd be proud to put my own name on. The rooms are spacious, the furnishings inviting and well arranged, and the mattress and bedding are the best for quality and comfort we've had to date (sorry, Hyatt, you got edged out by a hair.)

Add to that the amenities. Hyatt had shampoo and soap. Here? You name it, they have it. Our room doesn't have a fridge, but they offered to bring one in for us if we'd like at no charge. Hyatt would have charged us $9.95 per day to use the internet, so we just didn't use it. Here, it's free. Hyatt would have charged an outrageous amount for a "half carafe" of coffee so we went out to breakfast. You get the picture. In this life, it seems, service is the one thing you can't buy. You either get it as a gift, or you don't get it. Obviously Fairfield Inn knows how service makes the clients feel. I feel great!

The rooms were so quiet that we were rather surprised to see all the guests at breakfast. And the breakfast was also the best and most imaginative courtesy breakfast we've ever had in any hotel anywhere. Bravo, Fairfield Inn! (And booking through means this was also a smart move, as it was the least expensive room per night for our whole trip. I'm sure glad this is our longest stay. I wish we could take the room with us...

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