Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Quick Jump to Short Pump Part 2

As I noted in yesterday's post, over the weekend we slipped away to Short Pump for a birthday get-away.

Someone asked me about the different stores. Short Pump Town Center is a big open-air mall, but there are numerous strip malls in the area.

I am not a big shopper and the heat was incredible, but I did notice Whole Foods, Kohl's, Plow & Hearth, Dillard's, an Apple Store, Good Feet, Nordstrom's, Macy's (we went in Macy's and it was a much nicer Macy's than the one at Valley View), Dick's Sporting Goods, the Cheesecake Factory, Cold Stone Creamery, and Teavana, not to mention lots of other smaller stores.

If you like to shop then this is worth the drive, for sure.

One of our stops was a Williams-Sonoma. This was, truthfully, the reason for the trip. My husband had been asking me for a month what I wanted for my birthday.

"A salad spinner. They're about $5 at Walmart," I had told him time and again.

This bothered him for some reason, so he decided he was going to get me a really nice salad spinner. Which he did. He purchased for me a Good Grips Salad Spinner, made by OXO. He seemed very happy about this. It is a nice salad spinner; I've already used it.

After we checked out the mall we checked into our hotel. Our room was on the second floor.

The first warning of impending problems came when we stepped off the elevator.

"It smells like wet dog," my husband said. And it certainly did. My eyes stung a little as we wandered down the hall to find our room.


The room was very nice, with a king-sized bed, dark furniture, and spacious bathroom. The furnishings were very masculine; I told my husband that they must have had a male decorator. The room was also quite warm, about 76 degrees, and we switched the thermostat down while we settled in. I showered and dressed.

The staff downstairs sent up complimentary tickets for breakfast the next morning at their in-house restaurant, because I had told them we were there for my birthday. That was a nice surprise.

The temperature in the room did not drop, and finally we called downstairs to ask for help with the thermostat. I thought we had set it wrong.

Maintenance came up and said there had been problems with that room before with the thermostat. He set it and suggested we see how the room was after we returned from dinner.

We had planned to eat at the Cheesecake Factory, but the wait was 60 minutes and no restaurant is worth that.

We wandered around and came before Copper Grill Lobster & Steak House. We went in. The place was completely empty and it was 6 p.m. The hostess asked if we had reservations, which we did not, but she said that was fine and seated us.

It was rather odd that no one was there. Restaurants in Roanoke are crowded at 6 p.m. Once we took a look at the menu we figured out why.  This was the most expensive restaurant we had ever been in. It is similar in style to the Pomegranate in Troutville, which prior to this was the most expensive restaurant I'd ever eaten at. We are Red Lobster folks for high-end dining, if that tells you anything.

James said he wanted to treat me to a nice meal, so we went ahead and ordered. I had shrimp and he had surf and turf. The meal was indeed very good and the shrimp was some of the best I've ever had.

During the time we were there, perhaps five other small groups came in. The place definitely was not jumping. I can only imagine it was the pricing, for the food and service was excellent.

After we ate, we returned to our room to check out the air conditioning. It was still warm. We called the front desk and they decided to move us.

We packed up and went across the hall. It was a little warm, too, but we turned down the thermostat.

Then we went back out for more shopping.

We returned to the room to find it still warm. It was not as warm as the first room but obviously the temperature was not dropping. The room should have been pleasant by the time we returned but it was not.

It also smelled much more strongly of dog than the other room. Regular readers know I have very severe allergies and I wondered if I would last the night without needing my inhaler - or worse, a call to 911.

I never said anything to my husband about the doggy smell, but he could smell it as well and said something about it. The longer we sat there, the angrier he grew. I had not yet unpacked our things again and as he grew more agitated I decided not to.

"I've had it with this," he said. He went out the door, headed for the front desk.

He later told me he told them we were not happy with the accommodations and were thinking about going home. The front desk said they would move us yet again.

This time we went to the 8th floor, which according to the front desk was supposed to never have animals on it. However, by this time I suppose the smell was in our noses because frankly the entire place smelled like a wet dog to both of us.

This third room was a little cooler at 71 degrees. That should have been fine but the room was close and warm despite that. The maintenance man set the thermostat to 67 degrees and by morning we should have been freezing, but the temperature was still 71 when we woke up at 6 a.m.

This is a new motel that opened in January. Obviously their air conditioning system is not strong enough to keep the rooms cool during severe heat. Anyone who tries to open a hotel in the south without proper air conditioning obviously hasn't been thinking clearly.

We dressed and went down for our complimentary birthday breakfast bar. It was good but very pricey and I was glad we were eating on the house.

Then we packed up and checked out. The hotel gave us a discount because of the problems with the rooms. We did not know before that this hotel chain allowed pets. We will not be staying there again for this reason, not because of the heating, which was simply unfortunate, or the customer service. The service was excellent.

The ride back was uneventful and we were home by 11 a.m.

And that was our quick jump to Short Pump!

9 comments:

  1. How unfortunate. Hotels are supposed to have pet free rooms. How did it affect your allergies?

    Di

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  2. Di, I developed a little stuffy nose and cough but I was taking my medicines, fortunately. It cleared up by Monday evening. Had I not already been on my antihistimines, though, I think I might have become more ill.

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  3. A belated Happy Birthday to both you and your hubby. So sorry you had such problems with your room. Hope you enjoyed your shopping, however. I don't go to Short Pump very often, eventhough it's not that far away. I'm not much of a shopper.

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  4. Sorry you had so much trouble on your birthday get-a-way, but I'm glad you were able to enjoy Short Pump. What a great place to shop!

    Enjoyed meeting you at the Roanoke Library on June 3.

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  5. Thank you, Sally! I enjoyed meeting you as well!

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  6. What an adventure! We've had a few trips turn out like that and it ruins a good time. Tripadvisor is a great place to get reviews next time you decide to take a trip.

    Happy Birthday!

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  7. Sorry about the Hilton. That stinks. I've found that the older I get, the more spoiled I get. I want wherever I stay to be up to my standards - like home. On the flip side, I'm glad you got a break. Sounds like you had quite an adventure! BTW, I totally relate with the male phobia over the scanner. What's up with that? I've found that I make more progress when I shop without Shannon just for that reason. Must be a Hollins thing, hug? *wink

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  8. No T13 this week? Well, I linked to you anyway.

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  9. I've never, ever gone wrong with Marriott; Sheraton and Hilton have been more hit-and-miss.

    That said, I'm very happy you had a great time.

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