Sunday, October 9, 2011

Divine Providence

When traveling you should always try to ignore the things that irritate you about a new place. Irritatedness (I know, not really a word) is probably not close to Godliness. (And although "irritatedness" is not a word, I would still like to see that cross-stitched on a pillow.)  
  1. Ignore the fact that Google maps directions failed to take into consideration the Gloria Gemma 5K for Breast Cancer Awareness, when suggesting you take Exit 22A to reach the Hotel Providence, in Providence, R.I.
  2. Ignore the fact that, once you've driven ten blocks out of your way, you discover that the street your hotel is on, Westminster, is broken up into two separate sections. The one you've finally managed to erroneously find yourself on is in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood. 
  3. Ignore the fact that, once you finally locate the correct section of the street, you find it is a one-way, and nearly impossible to access going the right way. 
  4. Ignore the fact that although your hotel's address is 311 Westminster Street, the entrance (and visible sign) is actually half-way down the cross-street of Matthewson, which, as far as you are concerned, could also be called Not Westminster. 
  5. Ignore the fact that you later notice, while walking several streets up, that there is a sign for Hotel Providence on Westminster St., although it is placed far too high up on the building to be visible from the street - where you were driving and desperately searching for a hotel sign
  6. Ignore the fact that the hotel offers valet parking for $26 overnight.
  7. Ignore the fact that you have not eaten in five hours.
Come on, Sunshine! Turn it around! Find that silver lining!
  1. The Gloria Gemma 5K provided an awesome visual of a sea of pink shirts against the red brick of downtown Providence. Plus, it was for a good cause. 
  2. The somewhat sketchy neighborhood had a Shell station where gas was $3.49/gallon. That was the lowest you've seen in two weeks, and you needed to fill up. 
  3. You got an unplanned tour of the city. 
  4. You are now intimately familiar with the location of Aspire Restaurant, because it's location (and massive signage) is precisely where the hotel would have been, if it's address had actually been 311 Westminster.  
  5. Should you arrive via helicopter next time, that sign (that is placed far too high on the building) will be invaluable.  
  6. You find a nearby parking lot where the guy agrees to let you park overnight, for $20, and you don't have to leave the lot until around 10am the next day. 
  7. You walked down one block, and found this:

This is your new Providence Happy Place. Today, Korean food is providing the comfort and solace you need after too many hotels, too many Google maps and too many weeks of road-trip travel.

It looks messy, but that's only because you've already consumed half of it. It is delicious, and there's enough left over to eat later for dinner, when you are relaxing in your hotel room
which is not on Westminster Street.

And after blustering on and on about the hotel's address, you check the hotel's website and see that they list the address as 139 Matthewson St. However, you made all your arrangements through Tablet Hotels, which lists the address as 311 Westminster, and that is the address you had written in your daily planner, and it is the address you typed into Oct 9 in Microsoft Outlook, and it is the address you plugged into Google maps. 

You might now direct your rage toward Tablet Hotels, if not for the melodic bonging of the bells from Grace Episcopal church, right across the street. Please refer to your cross-stitched pillow.

*If the Tablet Hotel's link to Hotel Providence shows the address as 139 Matthewson, it is only because I have (possibly politely) notified them of their egregious error.