Overall, I had a wonderful time covering the Saddlebred Horse show at the State Fair, but it did get off to quite a rocky start! So here is the story!
I booked the host hotel, a place recommended by the show management. I contacted the hotel directly to see if I was allowed to bring my dog Chrissy, a small Pembroke Welsh Corgi and they said it was fine with no charge. I sleep so much better in a hotel room when I am alone, with her with me and she is very well behaved. Also makes it easier to strike up a conversation with anyone when you have a cute dog on a leash!
So Thursday, I was on schedule - planning to get to Dallas at 10:30am. I drove up to the said "Host Hotel" and was shocked! Actually I was shocked before I got there as only 1 block away was an abandoned building and a Cabaret show...and I ain't talking about the good kind either! To make matters worse, this hotel - which I always thought had such a good reputation, was literally falling down! As God is my witness, the 2nd floor was sagging down! I swear - I am not a snob about all of this and I actually went and got my key to check in. I went to my room - which was around the back and ran into a drunk man. Trying to just get away from him, I proceeded to my room. (You entered your room from the exterior of the hotel.) The card key would not work and as I tried to move the door handle back and forth while inserting the key, the DOOR FRAME MOVED!...in other words, I think the door had been kicked in at some time!..Well, that was the last straw. I walked straight back to the front desk and told the lady about everything that had just happened to me. She acted like she knew who the drunk man was and told me she would have him removed if I wanted her to! OMG - NO...just clear my credit card and let me out of here I told her. While I was in the lobby, there were other people checking out for the same reason I was.
I proceeded towards Mesquite, just a few miles away, but a much nicer area and started my search for a new hotel. Hotel after hotel turned me down because of my dog. At the fifth hotel chain that I stopped in, I realized that if they did not give me a room, I was going to be late for my first show. As the man behind the counter started to tell me that they had a no pet policy, I burst into tears. I was so stressed, I could not hold it in. His eyes widened like saucers, he lowered his chin and he corrected his statement by saying,
"Never mind, I have a room for you." I thanked him profusely and assured him my dog was not going to be a problem and also offered to come and go through a back door. I got settled into my room, changed and made it to the show maybe 5 minutes before the first class started.
I was in a room that is cost $109.00 base per night and then another $10.00 per night was charged for my dog. Roughly twice the price of the first hotel. I had to accept it and felt fine about offering to pay for part of this room. My new boss had nothing to do with this situation, as we are given free will to book any hotel we want as long as it is within a reasonable price range. I knew if I had done more research I could have found a nice hotel for half of what I was now paying! That night I constructed a long e-mail to my new boss telling him all of what I just told you and he graciously told me he would NEVER want me to stay in a hotel that I did not feel safe in and said he would gladly pay for the room I was in. What a relief and proof that the nice things that have been said about this man are very very true!