Peas in a Pod

by Rachel Gertz

Hostel Room

Day 111

We are sitting inside within a hostel environment in Hollywood, Florida. To prevent a boondocking overload, we booked three nights at the Hollywood Beach Hotel and Hostel thinking we would just waltz out onto the beach and take in some well deserved sun. Just as we let down our guard, a grimacing cold air mass descended upon us, and as in the days of the plague, we all ran helter skelter to avoid the shrill winds and unforgiving sand blasts; toads raining from the sky.

Okay, perhaps I exaggerate. But not much! Not complaining. I repeat, not whining that we have stinkier weather than you. Except it’s Florida and it’s cold. Like under 20 degrees Celsius cold. Nothing to shake a stick at, but dammit we’re sick of dodging bad weather. Aren’t you? It’s simply uncharacteristic of Florida.

Anyway, the point of this story… We are sitting in this cozy little room, weathering the weather —and I’m vaguely aware that Walter is awkwardly parked at a diagonal in a single strip parking lot just outside the window. So that’s him taking up three spots of the ten or so horizontals. He’s uncomfortable, and now we are paying for it. Let me back up; I phoned in advance to make sure management would be comfortable with it.

I wrote on the reservation.

“Comments: We have a very humble 31 foot motor home that needs a loving place to sleep for three nights. We spoke with someone there who said it shouldn’t be a problem to stay in your parking lot. Please call us or email us right away if this is a problem. Thanks!!”

No one phoned or emailed, so we assumed we were copacetic. Even check-in was a snap. “You just have the one vehicle?” they asked. They told us to take whatever spot was available. So we took three. We had to; Walter has a huge ass. All was calm for three or four hours, then a knock at the door brought trouble.

Girl: “I didn’t know you had a huge trailer. That is way too big for our parking lot.”

Me: “Hmm, I checked and Bruno said it was ok.”

Girl: “Yeah, but he didn’t know.”

Me: “Well, I made sure to ask before I booked. We definitely wouldn’t have booked here if we hadn’t been told it was alright.”

Girl: “Yes, well, you are taking up too many parking spots. So… I’m going to charge you for parking. Also you could get a ticket for not being parked correctly, and we can’t do anything about that. RV’s cannot park on the street here.”

(Walter’s moony face is hanging out over the sidewalk)

Me: “So you’re going to charge us even though you told us it was okay to park here?”

Girl: “Our other customers can’t park because of you. It’ll be $5 per spot per day.”

Me: “So that’s $5 X 3 x 3. That’s $45 for parking?”

Girl: “Yes”

Me: “Can you give us a break for one of the days? Ya know, since we don’t really have a choice?”

Girl: “Ok. I won’t charge you for tonight. But I am charging you for two days. We didn’t know it was that big.”

Yeah, even though I told them it was REALLY big.

Blarrrg. I caved and we’re paying $30 to park Walter sideways so he won’t get torn apart sitting in Walmart’s jenky parking lot. Not a bad price for peace of mind, right?

(Other than that, we love this place. It’s so cute and funky and I would tell anyone to rent it at $79/weeknight. Just don’t park your big ass motor home here, or regret the day you did)

Tonight we order pizza and watch a movie called Cold Souls (apropo, oui?). It’s kinda like being in Calgary again, but lacking our awesome friends.

Cross your fingers for a blessed long range weather forecast.

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