Monday, November 14, 2011

The Stein

On Saturday we had the opportunity to stay at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City. It is a super swanky, full-service hotel. Yes it is N.I.C.E! Like one of those 5 star places you only see on TV (in fact Brandon was pretty sure a few scenes from Dumb and Dumber were filmed there). For whatever reason Brandon and I were not fully aware of how nice it actually was. I mean we knew it was nice, probably one of the nicest places in Utah but we were not thinking. I don't know if what was the relief of being childless for 12hours or if it was the excitement of staying somewhere we could never afford otherwise or if we were just plain naive. Whatever it was, it did not bode well.

For starters we decided to make this my birthday outing so we left SLC around 5 headed up to do a little Christmas shopping for the kids at the outlets and then hit dinner at the Baja Cantina. It was snowing and cold and perfect Park City weather and because Brandon always has a dollar sign in his brain we took his Civic for the gas mileage. I know what you are thinking, I don't need a reminder of the absolute "thriftiness" of this man, it is truly pathetic at times. Nonetheless we were rolling in style!

So after we had the To Do's checked off we headed up to the Lodge. We get there and I go check us in immediately realizing that I am so not rich enough to be in the presence of these people. The staff is super nice, asks if I have any questions. Feeling so awkward and out of place I softly ask if she could give directions to my room. She then says, "the bell boy will show you to your suite." Oh OK, I reply feeling a bit embarrassed, so then I sheepishly ask, "Can you tell me where we should park?" "It is Valet parking, the parking attendant will take care of your car for you." Well great! Even more embarrassed, but it gets worse before it gets better as I realize I have $4 dollars in cash and I know I am supposed to tip these people. Lets hope Brandon comes through and has some flow. I immediately realize he doesn't as he quietly asks me for some. Well crap, this is awesome. So we give the car attendant $2 and the bell boy $2. I am positive these boys are used to like $10-15 tips and I am handing them $2 bucks all while the bell boy is trying to grab Brandon's bag out of the door that DOES NOT open, so Brandon has to sneak his hand inside the car awhile embarrassingly muffling a "no, the door doesn't open I'll grab it." To top it off, Brandon has NO trunk, and what trunk he does have is full of a useless sub woofer and a whole bunch of sporting crap,(ie cleats, flags for flag football, a basketball etc). So the entire back seat is FULL of the stuff we just purchased at the outlets, and not neatly either. By this point I think both Brandon and myself were sweating to death hoping this would end soon.

The Bell boy takes our bags and asks if we have ever been there. "Ummm, NO can't you tell?" I reply. He just laughs it off. He asks where we are from and I tell him Herriman, luckily he knows where that is, most people have no idea. He is from Draper, not far from us so I think he understood our flustered appearance. He kindly mentions "not many people are used to a full service hotel so it's totally OK." he continues with the "tour" of the property and I am just praying we get to our room ASAP so this can end knowing I am only giving him $2bucks because that is all I have. I don't want to make him work too hard for a freaking fountain drinks worth of pocket change.

We finally make it to our suite, I hand him his stellar tip and hope we don't need any further assistance. Seriously, talk about the Clampets.

The next morning we get up and head to the lobby. Of course the Valet has to retrieve your car so here goes another round of embarrassment as he pulls out in the 265,000 mile' rusting old Civic that has just spent the night among BMW's, Range Rovers, Jaguars etc. and we still have NO cash. Brandon locates an ATM gets a $20 bill which is now worth $25 after the fees and then heads to the front desk for some change. We head to the car as Brandon gives both the new bell boy and the Valet guy a tip in a just take it and let this embarrassment end fashion rather than a yes I have done this a million times fashion.

We both get in the car, buckle up and head back to the "slums." Instantly Brandon is apologizing that we didn't bring the Path, because even though she has seen her day she takes the cake over the Civ, so that may have eased some of the some the car embarrassment, not to mention the snow! We both just start laughing thinking of how awkward we must have seemed. Not to mention young and poor, in a Deer Valley Respect anyway.

On a positive note, it was by far one of the NICEST places I have ever stayed. The bed was huge and comfy, the bathroom was nicer than anything I have ever been in and the tub was honestly as big as my own entire master bath. There were also some HUGE TV's for a hotel suite. Which was great for Brandon so he could get in some extra BYU time. We had some yummy hot chocolate, a stellar view and an awesome nights sleep since there were no babies to wake us up. It was super relaxing and if I skied I would be begging B to take me there. It was fun and we definitely created some laughable memories. I don't want this to sound like we had a terrible time because we had a GREAT time just not when we had to interact with the staff. Haha!

We were going to take the kids with us and I can only imagine how much WORSE this would have gone if we did. It would have been terrible! I owe my mother a HUGE thank you since she sacrificed a nights sleep with Miss Brooklyn.

I can sum this up in two words, "learning experience." Right then we vowed to NEVER go to any hotel without cash ever again!!! At least that way we can appear smooth even if we are not! So, so long Stein, we will probably never be able to stay there again and while you may not miss us, we will truly miss you!

Good Times at the Stein!

Sadly I can't find my camera anywhere so you will just have to imagine the beauty of this place.


Tisha and Mark said...

I just looked that place, yeah SUPER nice. We may have to give that a shot. Sounds divine! next time you go, you should eat at Shabu Shabu. It is so fun and the soup/meat is tasty!

Harrison Family said...

I LOVE that place!! We got the chance to stay there a few years ago with my work. If you get the chance to stay there again, you should try their restaurant, it was amazing! I would love to stay there again!

Catey said...

Oh my word-totally dying! Reminds me so much of when I worked for Ritz-Carlton....I felt out of place eve when they were company trips! The first time we stayed there on our own trip and not a company trip (and paid less for a room than for breakfast), I felt so awkward! lol Loved every second of it, but felt awkward. It was nice to go back when we knew the routine though....just faked our way through. :)

Nate and Jamie said...

That is hilarious!! Thanks for the laugh. Glad you guys enjoyed some alone time.

Martha said...

I loved this! I could totally see myself in your shoes, because I would be doing the same thing. Although, I wouldn't have even had $4 in my pocket.

Kristy Cefalo said...

I did a wedding up there last year. I had no cash and totally stiffed the Valet. I knew it was nice but I had no idea. I felt stupid. Oh well. Live and learn.

Andrus Family said...

LOVED this post, Rache! I'm so with ya, we would have been just as out of place!! But glad you had a nice getaway regardless. :)