Here we are in the dog days of summer, and the treadmill keeps running.
Sure the weather is better, but otherwise things have stayed a lot the same. I’ve been working, Murray’s been working. We’re still shuttling the kids to day camps and daycare. Weekends have been spent running errands.
But we’ve also had Stampede and played “Say Yes to the Dress” with my mom and sisters. We bought a new car – ahem – minivan. I know. I joined the dark side, and so far I love it.
Judge me. Whatever. I’m a suburb-living, minivan-driving soccer mom.
We managed to kick off the summer by getting away for an extra-long weekend to the mountains. It’s going to be our only “just us” family vacation this summer, so I’m glad it was so much fun.
|The kids are pretending to roar...obviously.|
It didn’t start out that way.
I did my share of internet research before finding what I thought was a super-sweet deal at Panorama Mountain Resort, just outside of Invermere, BC, about a three and a half hour drive away. I had hoped to leave early enough in the day so that we could still enjoy the evening at the resort, but that was not to be.
By the time we got there it was close to 10:30pm. We checked into our room at The Pine Inn and it was…not nice. I don’t know if it was the hole in the wall or the stains on the carpet. No. It was the black stains on the quilt. Yes. It was those black stains on the quilt. When I saw those - that was when I knew that we couldn’t stay in that room.
|See, black stains. So gross.|
But then I wasn’t sure what to do. I mean, I am a lawyer and I am very good at advocating for things I believe in, but I’ve never been good at negotiating for myself (at least not in that way). I’ve never asked for an upgrade for anything. If I get a meal at a restaurant that maybe isn’t up to par, I won’t send it back. I give pretty much everybody the benefit of the doubt, but this was a bit too much.
So at 11:30 at night I went back to the front desk and explained – VERY NICELY – that we could not stay in the room they had given us. I told the girl who was on the night shift – Laura from Petawawa – that I understood that it wasn’t her fault but could she please find us somewhere else to go. At first, she said that she could probably find a room but that it would cost me more and then I – VERY NICELY – explained that seeing as I wasn’t getting near what I was paying for that I certainly wasn’t going to pay any more than that.
|These pools were right outside of our new room.|
Laura found a room but couldn’t approve the upgrade herself because it was quite a substantial step up from the room I’d booked. She called her supervisor, and then her supervisor’s boss – AT MIDNIGHT!! – and got them to approve the upgrade.
I love Laura.
I went back to the room and we packed up and settled down in our new room. We all slept very well that night and as you can see from the pictures below, we had a fantastic weekend hiking and swimming and playing mini golf. They had a campfire with s’mores on the Saturday night for the kids. The room that first night was the only thing I could really complain about (which I did - VERY NICELY).
I learned a few lessons that weekend.
First, don’t let a bad first impression spoil the entire time. If we’d let that first night colour our entire weekend we would have missed a great time together as a family.
Second, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. I’ll admit there was a very strong part of me that wanted to just suck it up and stick with the room I’d booked. But I knew it wasn’t right, so I went and asked for what I’d paid for. This leads to the final lesson:
Third, you are more likely to get what you deserve if you ask VERY NICELY. I wasn’t rude. I didn’t swear. I didn’t raise my voice. And in return, Laura was very helpful. She wasn’t combative or defensive.
You really do catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
If only all vacations were this successful.
I guess there’s time to find out…the summer is only half over.
(This probably goes without saying, but Panorama did not pay me to write this review. Just thought I'd clear that up.)