Monthly Archives: December 2007
A lady telephoned on Monday (December 10, 2007). She stayed at Saratoga Arms in early November but couldn’t remember which room. She is packing for a Christmas trip to Mexico and cannot locate her charger. Did she leave it here? Tech-savvy daughter asked what brand. “No idea”, says she. “It’s very different looking” was the only clue she could give. The computer told T/S daughter what room she had stayed in. T/S daughter went to the Lost and Found Log and found something that might have been left around the first part of November.
Now here’s where it gets to be amazing. Tech-savvy daughter takes a picture of the missing equipment and emails it off to woman packing for Mexico from her iPhone. “Is this yours?” Two minutes later woman packing for Mexico emails back with her Fedex number. And now that it is Wednesday, the charger is in the Mexico bound suitcase.
I just want to keep up.
As I said in my previous blog, people leave lots of their life behind in their hotel rooms. Years ago, the housekeepers turned in an engagement ring found in the corner on the carpet. It held an unusually small diamond, and the office staff theorized that its size was no doubt a surprise to the bride to be. It was probably tossed across the room and each must have thought the other retrieved it. No one has ever telephoned for its return, and you know my rule.
There has been a book left behind many times this fall. Eat, Pray, Love. All of these copies have been left with bookmarks about one hundred pages into it. No one has ever telephoned for its return either. Apologies to Oprah, but I think many ladies are getting stuck.
Based on these “in house” reviews, I have chosen not to attempt to read it.
We have just finished another busy weekend at Saratoga Arms. That means on Monday morning the telephone calls start. “Did I leave my phone charger in Room 218?” “Did you find my thyroid medicine in Room 103?” “Oh…I left my favorite pillow there!” We start shipping on Tuesdays…but only after we receive an email or a call requesting that whatever was left behind be sent back. It wasn’t always this way, but life teaches many lessons.
Our first foray into the lodging industry was in 1984 when we purchased an old motel on five acres on the outskirts of Saratoga Springs. We moved our family there. The only paved area on the property was the 135 feet of concrete in front of the motel, and it was in this area that our six year old rode her bike up and down the sidewalk with our wonderful yellow Lab named Bates Motel trailing behind her. Shortly after we refurbished and opened for business, a lovely couple from western New York State checked in for a few days. The husband had business in the area and the wife stayed at the motel during the day waiting for her husband’s return. She was especially kind to little Ann and Bates as they rode up and down. She fulfilled all requirements to be a pleasant guest. When they checked out, the gentleman left behind a sports coat hanging in the motel room closet. I was so efficient and organized in those days that without being asked, I packed it up and sent it back to Syracuse. Three days later I received a telephone call from a woman who asked me exactly when her husband was at our motel.
I don’t return anything now unless someone requests that it be sent back.
Saratoga Springs is a special city well renowned for premier racing during the summer at the nation’s oldest thoroughbred track. Every citizen and every visitor, in fact every person walking down the street, can tell you what a furlong is, who won the Travers last year and when post time is for the first race (1pm). The racing season brings special excitement to our city.
But…winter and the start of the holiday season has its own magical style. Last night, Thursday, November 29, 2007, the 21st annual Victorian Streetwalk filled the town with residents and visitors prepared to get into the spirit of the holidays. Normally busy Broadway was closed to traffic for five hours while strollers filled the streets. Shopkeepers opened their doors welcoming customers with goodies and treats…cookies, hot chocolate, eggnog, chowder, punch, chestnuts and candy kept shoppers coming back for more. Santa, Mrs. Claus and a few representative reindeer delighted young and old alike at the Santa house in the center of town. Santa was a busy fellow appearing in various incarnations around the city, while Father Christmas greeted passersby and Sax-o-Claus entertained on his “north pole” saxophone. Up and down Broadway choirs singing carols and holiday songs, musicians, jugglers on stilts and entertainers of varied talents entertained the crowds. Our front porch and steps were a natural stage for three different singing groups. It was a real treat to hear. Horse drawn sleigh rides and even a fellow riding an ostrich added to the magical spectacle of the Victorian Streetwalk. Saratoga Arms has the holiday spirit as well. The wonderful white wicker that graces our front porch during the warmer months has been stored away and replaced with hanging greens, red bows and white lights. The mantels inside have been decorated to warmly welcome cold and weary guests.How lucky we are to live in and be a part of this great community!