Well, I’m in Florida. The last time I was in West Palm they had the coldest snap in 50 years. This year, they’ve had a drought the past few months. The day I arrived, the drought broke and it’s supposed to rain every day I’m here. At least here it rains and then the sun comes out and it may rain again and then the sun comes out again. Also no coat and I’m in shorts. I’m happy. Also I don’t have my copy of Chase’s Almanac, so no anniversaries to list until I get home. Sorry.
Traveling down I77, there were several signs warning about fog coming up. It was bright and sunny and I was crossing the top of a mountain. (For you familiar with I77, it’s that last hill in Virginia that has that dramatic view of the flat farm lands below). I cressed the mountain and bam, it was a white out. It reminds me of a trip I made to Philly two winters ago. The warning on the signs just past Breezewood said to beware of snow and ice. There were all these Penndot salt and plow trucks on the highway. The road was dry, the sky was cloudy, but not overly threatening and the temperature was probably in the low forties. So I though they were over reacting. Again I cressed the mountain and there were cars off the road to my right in the median and left on the berm from the snow.
My friends that own the Hibiscus House up in Northwood didn’t open this year, so I stayed at the Palm Beach Hibiscus West Palm Beach. Pat is doing such a nice job. He’s very comfortable, welcoming and truly concerned that you have a great stay. The accommodations are very comfortable, nicely appointed and clean.
This is not to say the last place I stayed. I’ve written Comfort Suites corporate offices (two days later I’ve received three auto replies) and negative reviews on Yelp, Trip Adviser as well as Google Maps. One of them (I think it was Yelp posted my review on Facebook and the common response I got from people was WOW). Sunday, I got up at six as normal to make breakfast for my guests, after serving them and pretty much cleaning up (Dee was going to finish up) I loaded my stuff in the Prius and took off. After ten plus hours later, I enter Georgia and pull off I95 and parked in a common lot between about four of those travel hotels. I pulled out my iPhone and pulled up Google Places, the first hotel came up was Comfort Suites directly in front of me. Comfort Suites is a three story hotel, generally meaning they had three hundred rooms, there were twelve cars in their lot. So I called and a man answered the phone (it turns out to be the manager) and I asked “what the rate would be for a single, this evening.” Considering it was after nine, his quote of $39 didn’t seem out of line-I had seen that rate on a number of electronic billboards on the highway. I told him I was in his lot and would be right in. I entered the lobby and presented him with my ID and credit card. He processed my information and put a computer generated form and told me to initial in two places and sign the bottom, which I did. He ripped the form in half and wrapped my key around my half. As I walked away, I noticed there was nothing about the charge on my half. I turned and asked him about the receipt and he said I would get a receipt under my door overnight. When I got up at five, there it was and he had charge me $79. I got cleaned up and gathered my things and stopped at the front desk to inquire about the charge. The clerk pulled out the form I had initialled twice and signed. She pointed out the top initial and asked if it was me and I said it was and there was the room rate of $79. She said there was nothing she could do about it and I dropped the issue. Shame on me for being tired and not paying attention to what I signed (I had just spoken with him). Shame on him for being a thief. This is the same as Enron, AIG, MF Global and the other dishonest organizations that have made headlines of late. It doesn’t matter if you steal $40 or $40B, theft is theft. If Comfort Suites ever contacts me to withdraw my three negative reviews, I don’t want the $40, I what proof that they have started an Ethics in Business course and are ensuring that all their managers get certified.
One of my favorite stores down here was Karin’s out on 45th Street. The ceramic sun as well as high top table and chairs in the Sunroom, Oleander’s end tables, all the colorful ceramic pieces in Bougainvillea came from Karin’s. I was so disappointed a couple of years ago when she closed. I was driving down Dixie Highway (6405 South Dixie, Bay 103, WPB, FL 33405 to be precise) and saw a colorful Mexican furniture/accessories store and pulled over.
To my pleasure, she has reopened. She doesn’t have a web site yet (she’s just reopened), Facebook or Google Places page, which I strongly encouraged her to do. She says someone is working on a web page. Look at the two adorable Dia de los Muertos dolls I found there:
Aren’t they cute for dead ladies? Here’s a final picture of some furniture and accessories in her shop:
I was great seeing and talking to the owner of Karin’s, named after the owner’s daughter, again. She’s so cool, has great taste and is very reasonably priced.
Also, another store I visited was Music, Movies & More to pick up several new Reggae CD’s. One of my favorites is Sister Saw (there’s a song they’re playing on my DirecTV of her’s, so I picked one up and I found one of my old time favorites). My other favorite is Collie Buddz. Anytime I visit West Palm, I stop by to pick up a couple CD’s. They don’t have a huge selection of Reggae, but it is nice and they can look for a CD and mail it to you. They recently passed their 31st anniversary.
I frequently have the TV on when I’m working on my desk, usually I have the DirecTV Reggae on. I’m obviously not at home, so I have the Ellen Degeneres Show on. I used to listen to her a lot in the past before I got my Reggae station. I don’t know if you follow the news, but JC Penney’s hired Ellen as a spokesperson for them. The group, One Million Moms, who happens to have 40,000 members, says she is an inappropriate spokesperson because of her sexual orientation and have threatened a boycott last week. JC Penney didn’t back down and has said they will continue to use Ellen as their spokesperson. She is frequently the object of some far right’s tirade and I have never seen her acknowledge it. Well, she’s struck back today, click on the link above it you’d like to see it.
Enjoy your evening,