Saturday, 13 April 2013

Too Much For Customs

I just wheeled down the hallway in this lovely Marriot Courtyard Hotel here in Minneapolis. The hotel was completely refurbished about a year ago and they made these terrific accessible rooms. The bathroom has easy wheelchair access and the shower is one of the best I have seen yet for someone who needs to sit while they shower.

And there there is the carpet. For mobile people, those who walk among us, this carpet is wonderful. It's thick and soft with a wonderfully gentle, and probably very expensive, underlay. It's the kind of carpet that grabs the wheels of a wheelchair and holds on tight. There is complete friction as the wheels settle in to the sand-like softness underfoot. It takes a monstrous effort to get down the long hallway, something almost impossible to do with a cup of coffee in hand.

That's the other challenge. The wheelchair accessible room is at the far end of the hallway, completely traversed by this wonderfully soft carpeting. It's hard enough the chair, but add any attempt to carry anything where you are single-hand wheeling, and it becomes impossible.

So I did the impossible, went to get coffee, and asked a member of the hotel staff to bring it down to the room for me.

This room is on the ground floor with a sliding door that opens to a small patio. It's on the outer edge of the hotel with easy access to the parking lot if you want to walk over the grass. That's what Ricky did last night in order to get our miscellany from the truck. Only there is no grass; it's covered in about 4 inches of fresh, new fallen snow. This is not the soft, gentle snow of a winter's evening. This is the hard, icy, crusted snow of a frozen spring storm. Ricky seemed to enjoy it; he says he likes being back in the cold, versus the heat of Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada. Me? I prefer the moderately warm climate of Vancouver or San Francisco, only without the rain.

Today we are returning to Canada. I am bereft, as in the course of our adventure I purchased the ingredients for Chocolate Martinis and now I have too much liquor to bring home without paying additional duties. I suspect the duties will be worth more than the $20 value of the Crème de Menthe and Crème de Cocao, so I am simply leaving them behind here at the hotel as a non-cash benefit to whomever cleans this room.

This time they get the silver lining.

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