Sunday, April 09, 2006

Getting Here

Well, getting to Palm Springs proved to be a bit more of a challenge, thanks largely to Priceline

To date, I've had pretty good success with Priceline. I've gotten a good hotel within reasonable proximity of where I want to be. This time, spending Friday night in LA, I used Priceline again and got the Radisson in Whitter, a hotel where I'd stayed (through Priceline) before. I got the room a week ago.

I got into Whitter a bit later than I had planned, about 10:30. When I got to the registration desk and gave my name, I got the person there telling me to wait for a moment after staring at the his computer oddly for a moment. After a few minutes, I was told that the hotel was sold out.

Now I had just seen someone check in and get a room right next to me. I asked how that could be, especially as I had made the reservation a week earlier. They were apologetic, saying that a water leak had rendered a floor unusable. I was skeptical, but what could I do.

They had arranged for me to stay at another hotel, but that meant I had to find it and check in there. I had wanted to get in and then get over to the Bicycle Casino for a little poker. I realized as I walked back to my car, rather unhappy, that I should have asked if they had no more rooms, why others were able to check in.

I'm guessing that they had booked more rooms since I made my reservation at their higher rates and were giving Priceline bookings the shaft, so to speak.

Meanwhile, getting to the other hotel it turns out that construction had closed the freeway exit. So here I was, at night, in an unfamiliar area, on a crowded LA freeway and needing to find my way off that freeway. I did manage to head further down and double back, but that meant I got to The Bike a lot later than I had planned.

The good thing: the other hotel was a DoubleTree and they not only got me checked right in, they handed me their traditional yumy cookie.

Saturday morning, Yahoo had given me directions from LA to Palm Springs viz 60. I asked the desk clerk at the DoubleTree if that was better than I-5 and was told that it really didn't matter. And I suppose it didn't.

Even so, it took a bit longer than expected largely because it seems that in the car capital of the world, they still can't design freeway interchanges. With the exception of one stalled car, every delay I encountered resulted from a backup at a major freeway intersection.

Palm Springs is warm and sunny, really almost the first time I've seen this much sun in something like a month and a half. The hotel where I'm staying (Extended Stay America) isn't going to be mistaken for any sort of luxury hotel, but it is perfectly adequate and comfortable. And affordable. And just a block away.


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