Sunday, October 14, 2012

I will take the long way home... (Part 1)

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. Where to begin...?

The Waterloo Fire Dept Pancake Sausage Supper was on Saturday Sept 22nd where Aiden took one of the fire trucks out for a quick drive.

The following week I went with my co-worker and fellow lab rat Travis to LECO Corp in St. Joseph Michigan for training. Metallurgical analysis - I live an exciting life. We stayed at the Boulevard Inn in downtown St. Joseph which was a major disappointment... especially at their rates. I shall now summarize my stay:

Upon check in around 9pm I walked into my room to come face-to-face with another person in the room. Thinking they'd double booked the room, I nearly ran back down to the front desk to throw a fit. Turns out he was a hotel employee working on the plumbing (at 9pm!?) and had no warning that I was headed to the room. He asked for five minutes to finish what he was doing so I went back to the car to get my luggage.

There is no good way to get your luggage from the parking lot to the building that doesn't involve a long walk, a huge step up a loading dock and then a long ramp or a long walk and up a flight of steps in the lobby.

The revolving door at the main entrance was out of order for my whole 3-day stay.

My room came with the unpleasant surprise of a pile of broken glass under the kitchenette counter.

This tells me the room was not cleaned well :(

Now, with my food allergies, I always bring my cookware and a full supply of food since I really don't like to rely on restaurants. Sadly, there was no cook top and the microwave was terribly inadequate. And because it wasn't a full kitchen, there was no flatware and no plates - only two glasses and two disposable coffee cups. 

So I had to go to the local Meijer which was an interesting drive through Benton Harbor...

It's a closed hospital I think. But it almost looks like it's an apartment building now.

And there was this heavily armored (WTF!?) backhoe.

Anyway, at Meijer I bought a set of toddler flatware (1 fork, 1 spoon, 1 knife) and a set of large square plates on clearance. I figured the plates can go in our camper (when we get one) and the kids can use the flatware.

 My plates didn't fit in the microwave or kitchen sink...

So I had to wash them in the bathroom.

There wasn't room for a drying space on the counter so I had to use the nearby reading chair.

The single serve Keurig did this to every K-cup.

Now, I have a Keurig at home and one at work and I can tell you with great certainty that this is NOT normal. But worse yet, when it blew the top off the K-cup it also blew coffee grounds all over the place! Something I then felt responsible to clean up. And being a coffee lover I cleaned that effing Keurig many times during my stay!

However, on the pleasant side of things, my room was on the 7th floor overlooking downtown St. Joseph. I was greeted by this view every morning.
I don't wake up to scenery like this at home.

And I was close to the beach.

Little hand prints in the sand made me miss my kids. 

I made Travis take my picture with the snow shovel pirate.

This art gallery was a block away but was closed when I got there.

And after all that I must say that LECO Corporation is one of the most gracious companies I've ever had the pleasure to visit. I look forward to the chance of a return visit. However, I will be making alternate lodging arrangements.

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