Friday, November 18, 2005

The Beverly Hilton Dahling

This is actually a story from last weekend, when CH was still in town. It was Friday night, and CH was not out-of-town but across town working a charity gala for Big Brothers/Big Sisters at the Beverly Hilton.

Here’s a really deep and intrinsic fact I’ve discovered, since starting to date CH: Everybody needs lights.

No, dude, seriously: Everybody needs lights. If we destroy ourselves in a nuclear war and revert back to caveman status, it will be somebody’s job to provide the fire at caveman events.

Everybody. Needs. Lights.

Anyway, because the event was going to midnight, the entire lighting team got put up at the Beverly Hilton, so we talked about me coming round to the hotel for a little in-town mini-vacation.

But then we decided against it, because I was due down in Long Beach for a 5am track set-up for Jesse James’ (of West-Coast-Chopper-married-to-Sandra-Bullock fame) No Love Party, a charity event for which all the Derby Dolls who had actually attended practice in the last two months (i.e. not me) were skating.

So no Beverly Hilton.

But then on Friday night, CH called and said the hotel had overbooked, and since he was the last person in his team to get in, they ended up giving him the only room available – a Penthouse Suite.

“Wow,” I said. “Is it as nice as the Wynn?”

“It makes the Wynn look like your apartment,” he answered.

So I packed an overnight bag and went to the Beverly Hills Hilton.

First of all, it should be noted that I don’t have fancy-schmancy tastes. I don’t demand finery. I’m the kinda of gal if you try to hand her silk, she be like, “What’s wrong with cotton, fool?”

You see I like cotton. It breathes easier.

But even I have to admit the penthouse suite was kinda nice.

Here’s the list:

1. Not one but two toilets – one in a bathroom that had
a. Gold-plated fixtures
b. A television
c. Marble floors and
d. Travel-sized L’Occitane products
2. Not one but two large flat-screen TVs
a. One in the bedroom, which boasted one of the best beds I’ve even born witness to. Dude, it was like sleeping on a cloud.
b. And one in the living room, which had the deepest, most comfortable couch upon which I have ever lain. I felt like Bacchanalias – especially when I saw the room service menu.

I napped in the cloud until CH returned from his event. Then we ordered room service, which apparently happens often, because the bell guy looked fresh and alert and totally non-plussed about bringing us food at 12 in the morning.

Then we slept some more on the cloud, until my alarm went off at 3:30am.

I wasn’t happy about being up this early, but at least I had the bathroom to make up for it. As I got ready, I composed a languorous blog entry in my head. I noted that I was starting to sound more and more like a novelist every day, thinking deeper thoughts, taking more time with my words and literary actions.

I didn’t wake CH on my way out, deciding I would send him a text message around 10am. Something short and clever and precise.

I was very proud of myself for my romantic exit, until I realized, I had forgotten to get a parking pass for the garage. I called CH, apologizing profusely for waking him up. He told me to go to the check-out desk, and see if I couldn’t just charge it to the room.

It’s been a while since I stayed in a hotel, and had to get out under my own steam. I mean awhile. And apparently between 2000 and now, hotels started letting you charge everything under the sun to your room.

This had been the case in Vegas, but I had assumed this was one of those special Vegas-only dealies, like being able to smoke almost anywhere you dang well pleased.

I got my parking squared away with the desk clerk, who was also somehow completely lovely, even though it was 4:30 in the morning. They must take a course or something when they’re hired on at the Beverly Hilton.

As I walked to the car, I let the warm feeling of having had an exotic experience sweep over me. I now understand why Fred Astaire kept an apartment at the Waldorf Astoria. What a way to live.

And so what if the parking thing had set me back a few minutes? I still had a half an hour to get to Long Beach.

Then I realized that I had left my car keys in the room.

Unfortunately, the Penthouse suite at the Beverly Hilton is set off from the rest of the hotel. You don’t just have to have a hotel cardkey to get in your room, but you also need it to get into that particular section of the hotel.

This meant CH after not being able to find my keys (they had slipped underneath the cloud bed), had to get up, put on a hotel provided robe, come let me in to the suite portion of the hotel so I could get my keys. At 4:30 in the morning. After working a 10am – midnight gig.

I felt really, really bad.

“Why didn’t you take the key I gave you?” CH asked.

“Because I didn’t want you to get in trouble at checkout.”

CH stared at me.

Apparently, you don’t have to give your room keys back these days either.

I’ll remember that for the future.

Later that day, after I had helped put up the track and decided that yes, dangit, I wanted a power drill of my very own, and taken a nap in the back of my car, and made awkward, apologetic conversation with all the Derby Dolls I hadn’t seen in months, and called CH to apologize for waking him up twice; I realized that I had forgotten to send my clever text message. I gave myself a mental slap on the forehead for this, cuz it would’ve been good one. Would’ve gone sumthin like this:

Hey darlin’,
Thanks for the Hilton. Steal Everything.
Love, etc

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