Travels and Travails

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From all appearances, I would have thought that traveling would have been a no brainer yesterday.  As this vacation has proved to be, so far, nothing is a no brainer. 

Our flight from Eagle to Denver was an hour later meaning we would miss our connection into Denver and not get to Los Angeles on time for my nieces bday party.  The ground crew basically told me that I would have to deal in Denver.  Instead, I called American Express who informed me that there were only 2 seats leaving Denver to Los Angeles at 9pm that evening.  Not happening.  Yet, there was an American Airline flight at 410 leaving Eagle that I may be able to get on that goes directly to Los Angeles.  That flight wasn't available when I originally booked the tickets or I would have.  After getting United to pony up 5 vouchers, find our luggage, get it to American Airlines, talk to the AA people and get us on the flights and go through security again, we were set.  We dodged a bullet and got to Los Angeles last night only 15 minutes late for the event. 

After leaving my brother's family home we drove over to the Shangri-La which is located in Santa Monica and has just gone through a $35 million dollar renovation.  If you read magazines, it would be hard to miss.  The PR has been fantastic.  I wanted to stay in Santa Monica and there is actually a way for 3 kids to stay in one room without having a pullout which works wonders.  I have found that most of the hotels in Santa Monica are really just for 2 people, even the suites.  Also, the hotel has history originally being built in 1939, very deco. We checked in.

First of all, you have to know where it is because there isn't really a sign. Second, the renovation is not complete.  The pool, the restaurant and the gym are not done yet.  I knew that but was okay with it. Keep in mind they also ding you for $33 a night for your car although I got that waived when we signed in.  The rooms aren't meant for us.  Yes, the kids have a 2 bedrooms suite although it smells like smoke, there wasn't much user friendly thought put into the rooms.  The closet can hold one jacket, barely.  There are 2 drawers, that's it.  If you spend a week here, think about living out of your suitcase.  Second, the shower is in a large deep bathtub.  As someone who is 5'3', I can barely get in and out of the tub.  I might actually hurt myself if I slipped.  So, we are checking out this morning.  I told the hotel last night and even the front desk manager acknowledged my concerns in a sort of way that he was just as amazed as I am and knew exactly what I was talking about. 

I called around and we are moving over to the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Ray.  Amex has a deal with them and we will have plenty of room.  I hope this is the last of our travails on this trip.  Although it always does make for good conversations years from now.  Remember the time Mom freaked out on the hotel?